H Street NE’s essential seafood spot Brine will open a surprise second location across town next month, filling out the high-profile address that housed Russia House for the past 30 years.
An underwater menu filled with items like lobster rolls, peel-and-eat shrimp, crab cakes, and East and West Coast oysters will make its way over to the new Brine Dupont (1800 Connecticut Avenue NW). Opening day is Friday, February 3, with reservations going live via Resy on Monday, January 30. The nearly 3-year-old original (1359 H Street NE) comes from Aaron McGovern and Arturas Vorobjovas (Biergarten Haus).
Russia House, McGovern’s Dupont destination for caviar, vodka, and Eastern European standards like borscht and pierogis, was supposed to reopen in its original form last spring after a long pandemic hiatus. But soon after Russia’s initial invasion of Ukraine, the historic building sustained over $20,000 in property damage. Vandals targeted Russia House simply due to its name, McGovern said at the time, stressing that it’s a U.S.-owned company that “has nothing to do with Russia or the attack.”
Now McGovern’s newly announced game plan is to revive the D.C. corner as an extension of his reliable raw bar. The Romanesque and Classical Revival townhouse, built in 1906, welcomed Russia House as a private club in 1991 before opening to the public in 2003. The nautical replacement seats 47 across two dining rooms and a bar, plus a seven-seat private patio out front.
Brine’s popular weekday happy hour $1 off all oysters, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays, and all night on Tuesdays. Also look for whole Maine lobsters daily and a fresh catch of the day. While options lean heavily on the surf side, the menu also carves out room for some “turf” selections like a burger and steak.
Other crowd-pleasing imports could include Cajun-influenced oysters Rockefeller with broiled andouille sausage, red pepper corn succotash, Parmesan, and cornbread crumble; po’boys; truffled mushroom mussels; and daily specials like grilled branzino or lobster risotto.