clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
Squid ink bucatini with scallops, fennel sofrito, calabrian chiles, meyer lemon, and bread crumbs at Old Town’s new Thompson Italian.
Steve Vilnit

The 15 Hottest New Restaurants Around D.C., January 2023

Where to find all sorts of fresh French fare, meaty skewers, guava cheese doughnuts, and more

View as Map
Squid ink bucatini with scallops, fennel sofrito, calabrian chiles, meyer lemon, and bread crumbs at Old Town’s new Thompson Italian.
| Steve Vilnit

Eater writers and editors always get the same question. Friends, family, acquaintances, and randos all want to know, “Where should I eat right now?” That’s where the Eater Heatmap enters the conversation, pointing diners toward the most intriguing or otherwise buzzworthy new restaurants in the D.C. area. This list considers restaurants that have been open for six months or less. For our map of the D.C. area’s 38 essential restaurants, go here.

New to the list: Bronze, for creative cocktails and whole fish on H Street; Kirby Club, for a kebab-filled feast in Fairfax; The Breakfast Spot, for bone-in oxtail and grits in downtown Silver Spring; and Thompson Italian, for a family-friendly pasta place in Old Town.

Leaving the list: Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse, Nama Ko, Puzukan, and Seamore’s Arlington.

For all the latest Washington D.C. dining intel, subscribe to Eater DC’s newsletter.

Read More

The Breakfast Club

Copy Link

Local restaurateur Jason Miskiri just brought downtown Silver Spring a polished breakfast spot with a morning-to-night lineup of American, Southern, and Caribbean-influenced fare. Look for cinnamon roll pancakes, lamp chops, mac and cheese, seafood or chicken fried rice, and bone-in oxtail and grits, plus a medley of daiquiris and Prohibition-era cocktails. Miskiri also runs Caribbean fast-casual Angry Jerk and The Society Restaurant and Lounge in Silver Spring.

Eggs play a starring role on the Breakfast Club’s menu.
The Breakfast Club

Huncho House

Copy Link

Billed as Prince George’s County’s first chef’s table, Huncho House brings Hyattsville upscale fusion fare like deviled eggs with bacon jam and fried shrimp, sushi specials, 16-layer oxtail lasagna, creamy crab and jalapeno fettuccine, prime steaks, and cream corn brulee. After retiring from the NFL in 2012, chef and Maryland native Tobias Dorzon studied at the Culinary School at the Art Institute of Washington and in Sicily, led the kitchen at a fancy Houston restaurant, and won several Food Network competitions along the way (he finished third in Guy Fieri’s Tournament of Champions this year). His new 46-seat showpiece with a 10-top bar is decadently dressed with white flowers, Hermès plates and wall decor, and Italian leather furniture.

Huncho House opened this fall in Hyattsville.
Huncho House

Colin McClimans and Danilo Simic, the culinary duo behind Logan Circle’s super-seasonal mainstay Nina May, just tacked on a Chevy Chase destination for fish, vegetables, and meats sourced from the American coastline. Situated in a converted row house, Opal puts a wood-fired oven to work to bake breads and roast all sorts of proteins. Menu highlights include ricotta dumplings with brown butter, squash, and Calabrian chiles; grilled red cabbage with hazelnuts and sweet and sour chili; and charred swordfish with a zesty citrus finish. A circular bar sending out smoked Sazeracs anchors an 80-seat dining room surrounded in stone and exposed beams.

Joy by Seven Reasons

Copy Link

Venezuelan chef Enrique Limardo and co-owner Ezequiel Vázquez-Ger, the partners behind D.C.’s pricey Latin standout Seven Reasons, just added a casual, a la carte counterpart in Chevy Chase. The more affordable, family-friendly spinoff cracks open with refreshing ceviches, crudos, tequeños, a pile of head-on prawns punched up with guajillo chile, a “Colossal” ciabatta sandwich flanked with slow-braised short ribs, and bright ube soft serve. Eye candy is everywhere, between ceramic animal heads jutting out of a white brick wall, rainbow-hued ropes dangling over diners, and a leafy bar stocked with sake, pisco, and rum.

Ceviche limeño with passion fruit leche de tigre, red onion, sweet potato canchas, and micro-cilantro. 
Jen Chase/Jennifer Chase Photography

Doro Soul Food

Copy Link

For his sophomore project in D.C., Eater DC’s 2021 Chef of the Year Elias Taddesse remixes American soul food with remixes American soul food with East African spices at a tiny new carryout counter near Howard University. The anticipated follow-up to the Ethiopian chef’s acclaimed burger bar Mélange swings open with fiery pieces of fried or char-grilled chicken, black cumin cornbread, doro wat-spiced macaroni and cheese, and turmeric-tinged coleslaw, mashed potatoes drizzled with timiz peppercorn gravy, and collard greens braised with smoked turkey and Ethiopian spices. Open for takeout and delivery at 11 a.m. daily.

Doro Soul Food stars pieces of bone-in fried and char-grilled chicken. 
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Yasmine

Copy Link

Chefs Chris Morgan and Gerald Addison (Bammy’s) reunite with beverage director Said Haddad to recreate the post-shift street foods and drinks they used to make during their days at Michelin-rated Maydan. Their new Lebanese stall in Union Market debuted in late October with grilled lamb kebabs, thinly-shaved beef shawarma, shish taouk, falafel, cheeses, salads, spreads, and pita-wrapped sandwiches topped with herbs, vegetables, and flavorful sauces. Yasmīne, named after Haddad’s beloved grandmother, also centers around pours of arak (a popular Middle Eastern distilled spirit). Arak “service” comes with add-ons like carrots with lemon and sea salt; Medjoul dates salted and seasoned with orange zest; and herbed mixed olives. The full bar also offers wine and cocktails.

Yasmīne replaces Rappahannock Oyster Bar in Union Market.
Jen Chase/Jennifer Chase Photography

Chang Chang

Copy Link

Peter Chang, the acclaimed Chinese chef behind a restaurant empire across Maryland, Virginia, and Connecticut, brought D.C. a long-awaited taste of his bold Sichuan cooking in October. The dual project in Dupont Circle is comprised of separate dine-in (“Chang In”) and carryout (“Chang Out”) operations, with little menu overlap for each. Cantonese-American chef and NiHao alum Simon Lam spearheads a modern menu featuring cumin lamb chops with chili-cucumber yogurt and Hainanese chicken presented as a roulade. Chang, a 2022 James Beard Award finalist for outstanding chef, puts his signature stamp a traditional Peking duck from his home province of Hubei, with only a few available each night. China’s beloved clear spirit baijiu plays a starring role behind the 12-seat bar. Acclaimed pastry chef Pichet Ong caters to both sides.

The 5,000-square-foot old home of Mai Thai got a refresh full of white textured walls, herringbone floors, and arched-ceiling booths. 
Suberr Chi/@dcfastcasual

Le Clou

Copy Link

Michelin-starred chef Nicholas Stefanelli leans into his classically-trained French foundation with the debut of Le Clou. Situated off the lobby of The Morrow Washington DC, Curio Collection by Hilton, Stefanelli’s modern spin on a French brasserie seats 75 across a gilded dining room dotted with swirled marble tables and sleek leather booths. Open for dinner service to start, Le Clou offers abundant seafood towers, frisee salads, Hudson Valley foie gras, escargot, frog legs, steak frites, French onion soup, delicate trout, and black truffle-topped veal sweetbreads. Roving Champagne, cheese, and brandy carts work the dining room and adjacent Lobby Lounge. Le Clou’s chef de cuisine Nico Cezar previously worked with Stefanelli at Masseria and (now-closed) Bibiana.

A French fruit tart at Le Clou.
Le Clou

Ellington Park Bistro

Copy Link

In November, the West End’s St. Gregory Hotel welcomed an elegant European bistro honoring D.C. music legend Duke Ellington, whose namesake park sits across the street. The 90-seat dining room opens with French onion soup, oven-roasted escargot swimming in absinthe butter, beef tartare mixed with caper berries and piccalilli, Maine lobster or bacon tartes, charcuterie and cheese boards, rotating crudo with grapefruit and shiso, and oil-cured tuna Niçoise salad. Veteran D.C. chef Frank Morales formerly cooked at downtown power spot Oval Room (now La Bise) and Alexandria’s modern American eatery Rustico.

Griddled Cornish game hen sits atop a bed of barley risotto and aged cheese with an onion-tarragon jus. 
Ellington Park Bistro

L'Avant-Garde

Copy Link

Debuting at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, December 7, the team behind Georgetown’s acclaimed cocktail bar L’Annexe adds a sophisticated French brasserie next door that pays homage to Parisian nightlife. Renowned French chef Gilles Epié — the youngest chef to receive a Michelin star at age 22 (in 1980 at Le Pavillon des Princes) — was most recently at the helm of the five-star Turtle Bay Resort in Oahu, Hawaii, and the former Montage Beverly Hills before that. His star-studded Rolodex of political and celebrity guests include U.S. Presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton; French Presidents Emmanuel Macron and Nicolas Sarkozy; and Princess Diana, Bruce Springsteen, Sharon Stone, and Robert De Niro.

Irregardless

Copy Link

The former H Street NE home of Le Grenier transformed into a modern American bistro with a love for Virginia wines and spirits in September. Mintwood Place alum Ben Browning sends out six-course seasonal tasting menus full of homemade pastas and breads, plus an a la carte menu available at the 12-seat bar. Mika and Ian Carlin, former attorneys who met while attending law school at the University of Virginia, serve as both resident sommeliers and co-managers. The two-story rowhouse got a midcentury modern redesign from HapstakDemetriou+ with pendant lighting, greenery, and banquettes.

Irregardless brings seasonal vegetables and local spirits to H Street NE.
Jen Chase/Jennifer Chase Photography

This sleek new restaurant for H Street NE aims to reimagine the history of the African diaspora through the lens of a fictional character named Alonzo Bronze. Owner Keem Hughley, a 15-year hospitality vet and native Washingtonian, plants the new project inside the former three-story home of Smith Commons. A 26-foot bar on the first floor offers a large cocktail menu with spirits from all over the world. Bronze’s dream team includes wine consultant Nadine Brown; Barmini alum and Hanumanh mixologist Al Thompson; and Brooklyn native and acclaimed Afro-Caribbean chef Toya Henry. Opening dishes include braised oxtail with pappardelle; coconut basmati and bamboo rice; kanpachi crudo; charred yuzu squid skewers; and a guava cheese doughnut.

Grilled sea bass with green papaya, rainbow carrots and spring onions with a passionfruit puree and vanilla syrup martini.
Life Expressed Online

Pendry Washington DC - The Wharf

Copy Link

The luxury 131-room hotel on the Wharf just flicked on its anticipated collection of dining establishments, all led by executive chef and W alum Barry Koslow. That includes Latin-leaning Flora Flora, an indoor-outdoor restaurant overlooking a pool deck (open for breakfast and lunch to start, with dinner coming soon); Moonraker, a luxe rooftop lounge serving sushi and Japanese spirits; and Bar Pendry, a lobby-level cocktail den decked out in gold and navy decor. Looking for a quick bite nearby? Consider fast-casual import Gordon Ramsay Fish & Chips.

Moonraker specializes in sushi and okonomiyaki (Japanese savory pancakes).
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Kirby Club

Copy Link

The latest Middle Eastern marvel from Michelin-starred Maydan and Compass Rose owners Rose Previte and Mike Schuster debuted in the Fairfax’s Mosaic District last month. The inviting menu kicks off with homemade breads and spreads (hummus, grilled red pepper, olive-walnut); snacks and sides (turmeric rice, an escarole and red cabbage salad, and pickled vegetables); and all sorts of kebabs, combo plates, and picnic-style platters. At the bar, za’atar from local Palestinian purveyor Z&Z gets infused into gin to make a uniquely dirty martini. Egyptian-American executive chef Omar Hegazi comes with a background running Egyptian chain cafe Zooba in New York City and working as sous chef at Bourbon Steak in Georgetown and Zaytinya in Texas.

Kirby Club’s subtle ’70s look celebrates its namesake Lebanese-American social club’s peak era.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Thompson Italian

Copy Link

Three years after impressing Falls Church with olive oil cake, spicy meatballs, and expertly made pastas at Thompson Italian, culinary power couple Gabe and Katherine Thompson expanded their chic namesake restaurant to Old Town. Thompson Italian’s second family-friendly location imports hits like rigatoni bolognese, spaghetti cacio e pepe, roasted focaccia slathered in garlic and parmesan, and Katherine’s famed olive oil cake that helped her earn a James Beard nomination for Outstanding Pastry Chef of the Year in 2020. An expanded pasta selection joins new seafood dishes like crudo and whole roasted fish.

The stylish 4,000-square-foot eatery features 77 seats in the dining room and 20 more in the bar.
Steve Vilnit

The Breakfast Club

Local restaurateur Jason Miskiri just brought downtown Silver Spring a polished breakfast spot with a morning-to-night lineup of American, Southern, and Caribbean-influenced fare. Look for cinnamon roll pancakes, lamp chops, mac and cheese, seafood or chicken fried rice, and bone-in oxtail and grits, plus a medley of daiquiris and Prohibition-era cocktails. Miskiri also runs Caribbean fast-casual Angry Jerk and The Society Restaurant and Lounge in Silver Spring.

Eggs play a starring role on the Breakfast Club’s menu.
The Breakfast Club

Huncho House

Billed as Prince George’s County’s first chef’s table, Huncho House brings Hyattsville upscale fusion fare like deviled eggs with bacon jam and fried shrimp, sushi specials, 16-layer oxtail lasagna, creamy crab and jalapeno fettuccine, prime steaks, and cream corn brulee. After retiring from the NFL in 2012, chef and Maryland native Tobias Dorzon studied at the Culinary School at the Art Institute of Washington and in Sicily, led the kitchen at a fancy Houston restaurant, and won several Food Network competitions along the way (he finished third in Guy Fieri’s Tournament of Champions this year). His new 46-seat showpiece with a 10-top bar is decadently dressed with white flowers, Hermès plates and wall decor, and Italian leather furniture.

Huncho House opened this fall in Hyattsville.
Huncho House

Opal

Colin McClimans and Danilo Simic, the culinary duo behind Logan Circle’s super-seasonal mainstay Nina May, just tacked on a Chevy Chase destination for fish, vegetables, and meats sourced from the American coastline. Situated in a converted row house, Opal puts a wood-fired oven to work to bake breads and roast all sorts of proteins. Menu highlights include ricotta dumplings with brown butter, squash, and Calabrian chiles; grilled red cabbage with hazelnuts and sweet and sour chili; and charred swordfish with a zesty citrus finish. A circular bar sending out smoked Sazeracs anchors an 80-seat dining room surrounded in stone and exposed beams.

Joy by Seven Reasons

Venezuelan chef Enrique Limardo and co-owner Ezequiel Vázquez-Ger, the partners behind D.C.’s pricey Latin standout Seven Reasons, just added a casual, a la carte counterpart in Chevy Chase. The more affordable, family-friendly spinoff cracks open with refreshing ceviches, crudos, tequeños, a pile of head-on prawns punched up with guajillo chile, a “Colossal” ciabatta sandwich flanked with slow-braised short ribs, and bright ube soft serve. Eye candy is everywhere, between ceramic animal heads jutting out of a white brick wall, rainbow-hued ropes dangling over diners, and a leafy bar stocked with sake, pisco, and rum.

Ceviche limeño with passion fruit leche de tigre, red onion, sweet potato canchas, and micro-cilantro. 
Jen Chase/Jennifer Chase Photography

Doro Soul Food

For his sophomore project in D.C., Eater DC’s 2021 Chef of the Year Elias Taddesse remixes American soul food with remixes American soul food with East African spices at a tiny new carryout counter near Howard University. The anticipated follow-up to the Ethiopian chef’s acclaimed burger bar Mélange swings open with fiery pieces of fried or char-grilled chicken, black cumin cornbread, doro wat-spiced macaroni and cheese, and turmeric-tinged coleslaw, mashed potatoes drizzled with timiz peppercorn gravy, and collard greens braised with smoked turkey and Ethiopian spices. Open for takeout and delivery at 11 a.m. daily.

Doro Soul Food stars pieces of bone-in fried and char-grilled chicken. 
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Yasmine

Chefs Chris Morgan and Gerald Addison (Bammy’s) reunite with beverage director Said Haddad to recreate the post-shift street foods and drinks they used to make during their days at Michelin-rated Maydan. Their new Lebanese stall in Union Market debuted in late October with grilled lamb kebabs, thinly-shaved beef shawarma, shish taouk, falafel, cheeses, salads, spreads, and pita-wrapped sandwiches topped with herbs, vegetables, and flavorful sauces. Yasmīne, named after Haddad’s beloved grandmother, also centers around pours of arak (a popular Middle Eastern distilled spirit). Arak “service” comes with add-ons like carrots with lemon and sea salt; Medjoul dates salted and seasoned with orange zest; and herbed mixed olives. The full bar also offers wine and cocktails.

Yasmīne replaces Rappahannock Oyster Bar in Union Market.
Jen Chase/Jennifer Chase Photography

Chang Chang

Peter Chang, the acclaimed Chinese chef behind a restaurant empire across Maryland, Virginia, and Connecticut, brought D.C. a long-awaited taste of his bold Sichuan cooking in October. The dual project in Dupont Circle is comprised of separate dine-in (“Chang In”) and carryout (“Chang Out”) operations, with little menu overlap for each. Cantonese-American chef and NiHao alum Simon Lam spearheads a modern menu featuring cumin lamb chops with chili-cucumber yogurt and Hainanese chicken presented as a roulade. Chang, a 2022 James Beard Award finalist for outstanding chef, puts his signature stamp a traditional Peking duck from his home province of Hubei, with only a few available each night. China’s beloved clear spirit baijiu plays a starring role behind the 12-seat bar. Acclaimed pastry chef Pichet Ong caters to both sides.

The 5,000-square-foot old home of Mai Thai got a refresh full of white textured walls, herringbone floors, and arched-ceiling booths. 
Suberr Chi/@dcfastcasual

Le Clou

Michelin-starred chef Nicholas Stefanelli leans into his classically-trained French foundation with the debut of Le Clou. Situated off the lobby of The Morrow Washington DC, Curio Collection by Hilton, Stefanelli’s modern spin on a French brasserie seats 75 across a gilded dining room dotted with swirled marble tables and sleek leather booths. Open for dinner service to start, Le Clou offers abundant seafood towers, frisee salads, Hudson Valley foie gras, escargot, frog legs, steak frites, French onion soup, delicate trout, and black truffle-topped veal sweetbreads. Roving Champagne, cheese, and brandy carts work the dining room and adjacent Lobby Lounge. Le Clou’s chef de cuisine Nico Cezar previously worked with Stefanelli at Masseria and (now-closed) Bibiana.

A French fruit tart at Le Clou.
Le Clou

Ellington Park Bistro

In November, the West End’s St. Gregory Hotel welcomed an elegant European bistro honoring D.C. music legend Duke Ellington, whose namesake park sits across the street. The 90-seat dining room opens with French onion soup, oven-roasted escargot swimming in absinthe butter, beef tartare mixed with caper berries and piccalilli, Maine lobster or bacon tartes, charcuterie and cheese boards, rotating crudo with grapefruit and shiso, and oil-cured tuna Niçoise salad. Veteran D.C. chef Frank Morales formerly cooked at downtown power spot Oval Room (now La Bise) and Alexandria’s modern American eatery Rustico.

Griddled Cornish game hen sits atop a bed of barley risotto and aged cheese with an onion-tarragon jus. 
Ellington Park Bistro

L'Avant-Garde

Debuting at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, December 7, the team behind Georgetown’s acclaimed cocktail bar L’Annexe adds a sophisticated French brasserie next door that pays homage to Parisian nightlife. Renowned French chef Gilles Epié — the youngest chef to receive a Michelin star at age 22 (in 1980 at Le Pavillon des Princes) — was most recently at the helm of the five-star Turtle Bay Resort in Oahu, Hawaii, and the former Montage Beverly Hills before that. His star-studded Rolodex of political and celebrity guests include U.S. Presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton; French Presidents Emmanuel Macron and Nicolas Sarkozy; and Princess Diana, Bruce Springsteen, Sharon Stone, and Robert De Niro.

Irregardless

The former H Street NE home of Le Grenier transformed into a modern American bistro with a love for Virginia wines and spirits in September. Mintwood Place alum Ben Browning sends out six-course seasonal tasting menus full of homemade pastas and breads, plus an a la carte menu available at the 12-seat bar. Mika and Ian Carlin, former attorneys who met while attending law school at the University of Virginia, serve as both resident sommeliers and co-managers. The two-story rowhouse got a midcentury modern redesign from HapstakDemetriou+ with pendant lighting, greenery, and banquettes.

Irregardless brings seasonal vegetables and local spirits to H Street NE.
Jen Chase/Jennifer Chase Photography

Bronze

This sleek new restaurant for H Street NE aims to reimagine the history of the African diaspora through the lens of a fictional character named Alonzo Bronze. Owner Keem Hughley, a 15-year hospitality vet and native Washingtonian, plants the new project inside the former three-story home of Smith Commons. A 26-foot bar on the first floor offers a large cocktail menu with spirits from all over the world. Bronze’s dream team includes wine consultant Nadine Brown; Barmini alum and Hanumanh mixologist Al Thompson; and Brooklyn native and acclaimed Afro-Caribbean chef Toya Henry. Opening dishes include braised oxtail with pappardelle; coconut basmati and bamboo rice; kanpachi crudo; charred yuzu squid skewers; and a guava cheese doughnut.

Grilled sea bass with green papaya, rainbow carrots and spring onions with a passionfruit puree and vanilla syrup martini.
Life Expressed Online

Pendry Washington DC - The Wharf

The luxury 131-room hotel on the Wharf just flicked on its anticipated collection of dining establishments, all led by executive chef and W alum Barry Koslow. That includes Latin-leaning Flora Flora, an indoor-outdoor restaurant overlooking a pool deck (open for breakfast and lunch to start, with dinner coming soon); Moonraker, a luxe rooftop lounge serving sushi and Japanese spirits; and Bar Pendry, a lobby-level cocktail den decked out in gold and navy decor. Looking for a quick bite nearby? Consider fast-casual import Gordon Ramsay Fish & Chips.

Moonraker specializes in sushi and okonomiyaki (Japanese savory pancakes).
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Kirby Club

The latest Middle Eastern marvel from Michelin-starred Maydan and Compass Rose owners Rose Previte and Mike Schuster debuted in the Fairfax’s Mosaic District last month. The inviting menu kicks off with homemade breads and spreads (hummus, grilled red pepper, olive-walnut); snacks and sides (turmeric rice, an escarole and red cabbage salad, and pickled vegetables); and all sorts of kebabs, combo plates, and picnic-style platters. At the bar, za’atar from local Palestinian purveyor Z&Z gets infused into gin to make a uniquely dirty martini. Egyptian-American executive chef Omar Hegazi comes with a background running Egyptian chain cafe Zooba in New York City and working as sous chef at Bourbon Steak in Georgetown and Zaytinya in Texas.

Kirby Club’s subtle ’70s look celebrates its namesake Lebanese-American social club’s peak era.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Thompson Italian

Three years after impressing Falls Church with olive oil cake, spicy meatballs, and expertly made pastas at Thompson Italian, culinary power couple Gabe and Katherine Thompson expanded their chic namesake restaurant to Old Town. Thompson Italian’s second family-friendly location imports hits like rigatoni bolognese, spaghetti cacio e pepe, roasted focaccia slathered in garlic and parmesan, and Katherine’s famed olive oil cake that helped her earn a James Beard nomination for Outstanding Pastry Chef of the Year in 2020. An expanded pasta selection joins new seafood dishes like crudo and whole roasted fish.

The stylish 4,000-square-foot eatery features 77 seats in the dining room and 20 more in the bar.
Steve Vilnit

Related Maps