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Color-soaked Joy by Seven Reasons opened in Chevy Chase last month.
Jen Chase/Jennifer Chase Photography

The 15 Hottest New Restaurants Around D.C., November 2022

Where to find Peking duck, wood-fired vegetables, shimmering ceviche, and more

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Color-soaked Joy by Seven Reasons opened in Chevy Chase last month.
| Jen Chase/Jennifer Chase Photography

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. And get ready for dine-in service to drop this month at Hyattsville’s glam new Huncho House and Capitol Hill’s Della Barba Pizza (in takeout-only mode for now).

New to the list: Chang Chang, for bold Sichuan cooking in Dupont; Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse, for a sprawling surf-and-surf showpiece in Reston; Opal, for a dreamy wood-fired kitchen in upper Northwest; Puzukan Tan Korean Grill, for charcoal-fueled meats in Falls Church; Joy by Seven Reasons, for a wonderland of South American flavors in Chevy Chase; and Pendry Washington DC, for glam rooftop sushi at the Wharf.

Leaving the list: Mi Vida 14th Street, Brennan’s, Han Palace, In Bocca al Lupo, and Tigerella

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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

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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

Davio's Northern Italian Steakhouse

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Boston-based restaurateur Steve DiFillippo just made a Mid-Atlantic debut in Reston this month. The 13,000-square-foot restaurant with a plentiful raw bar specializes in homemade pastas, hot and cold seafood towers, tableside Caesar salads for two, braised beef short ribs, and a medley of dry-aged steaks. Starters like American Kobe beef meatballs and oven-baked crab cakes with whole grain mustard join mains like Georges Bank sea scallops, hand-rolled potato gnocchi, and tagliatelle Bolognese.

Filet mignon tartare at Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse.
Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse

La Tejana

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D.C.’s wildly popular breakfast taco pop-up La Tejana opened its first standalone store in August, bringing the upper Northwest neighborhood a true taste of the tiny taquerias its co-founder Ana-Maria Jaramillo frequented growing up in Texas. La Tejana honors Rio Grande Valley’s beloved border cuisine with five opening tacos — all served on homemade flour tortillas — like the “956” with eggs, bacon, potatoes, refried beans, queso, and cilantro ($4.50 each; three for $13; or six for $24). Open Wednesday to Sunday, 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., with drip and cold brew coffee too. 

La Tejana’s opening lineup.
Jason Garza

Nama Ko

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In September, Boston-based celebrity chef Michael Schlow replaced his Latin standby Tico with a polished, sushi-centric destination for high-quality fish, creative hot and cold plates, sake, and private omakase experiences. Schlow tapped James Beard Award-winning restaurateur Stephen Starr’s star Morimoto chef in Philly to lead Nama Ko’s kitchen in D.C. Derek Watson’s opening menu includes hamachi sashimi dressed with ponzu, serrano chiles and cilantro, koji-aged pork chops, and honey miso black truffle ice cream with chocolate toffee from Schlow’s top pastry chef Alex Levin. A 12-seat sushi bar joins a reconfigured 80-seat dining room and 15-seat bar that’s big on sakes and Japanese whiskeys. //3877 put together the new look.

Smoked roe punches up a plate of roasted mushrooms over Japanese custard and soy caramel. 
Nama Ko

Ghostburger

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The pandemic-era ghost kitchen proved to be so popular for smash burgers, Philly-style sandwiches, and to-go mezcal cocktails, Ghostburger permanently replaced Shaw’s Mexican mainstay Espita Mezcaleria in September. Chefs Robert Aikens and Ben Tenner revive cult pop-up orders like its “Ghostburger” (American cheese, red onions, homemade pickles, “spooky sauce”) and “A Real Cheesesteak” (shaved ribeye, caramelized onions, homemade whiz). Whimsical desserts like marshmallow fluff-stuffed oatmeal raisin cookies fit nicely in a hot-pink setting filled with cartoonish ghosts and polka-dotted decor.

Ghostburger’s top-selling cheesesteaks helped it win the 2021 Rammy for “Outstanding Ghost Kitchen or Pop-Up.”
Josh Phillips

Causa named for Peru’s iconic national dish, sailed into Blagden Alley in August with an ambitious, prix-fixe format that aims to capture the bounty of the South American country in one sitting. The anticipated fine-dining venture makes a fashionably late appearance behind Amazonia, its color-soaked, more casual counterpart that debuted one level above in May. At Causa, six-course menus ($85) send diners on a seafaring voyage along the Peruvian coastline and into the Andes Mountains. The intimate space with just 22 seats lends itself to an immersive, personalized experience led by Peruvian-born chef and co-owner Carlos Delgado.

Causa’s menu is big on Peruvian peppers and its potato-based namesake.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Chang Chang

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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 last month. 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

Grazie Nonna

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Partners Gerald Addison (Bammy’s) and Casey Patten (Grazie Grazie) brought hand-tossed pies and nostalgic Italian fare to Midtown Center with the September opening of Grazie Nonna. The red-sauced tribute to Patten’s nonna and her many Sunday suppers centers around pizzas, antipasti dishes like calamari, burrata, and arancini balls, and hearty bowls of pasta. A dreamy bar lined with family photos sends out Italian wines, elderflower spritzes, and Negronis three ways. The restaurant seats about 80, in addition to an outdoor bar geared towards downtown’s 9-to-5 happy hour set.

The Drunken Love pizza is finished with a swirl of vodka sauce.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Irregardless

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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

Bar Spero

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Michelin-starred chef Johnny Spero (Reverie) brings a slice of Spain’s buzzy Basque country to D.C.’s Capitol Crossing complex with the splashy September debut of seafood-heavy Bar Spero. Spero makes good use of a fire-fed grill to prepare everything from elegant Spanish turbot to meaty pork from the Shenandoah Valley. A sleek, neon-lit bar serving cocktails, wines, and regional beers on tap joins a soaring, blue-toned dining room filled with wooden four-tops and built-in booths. Reserve a table online.

On the sweets front, torrijas (Spanish-style French toast) joins ice cream in smoked labneh or burnt cheesecake flavors.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Seamore's Arlington

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The Montauk-obsessed seafood chain’s first outpost outside of New York City just arrived in the overhauled Crossing Clarendon complex with a menu full of Chesapeake Bay oysters and fish. The 2,600-square-foot corner restaurant replaces a Baja Fresh with lots of nautical-chic touches and a big blackboard depicting daily catches. Lobster rolls, monkfish, scallops, steelhead trout, seared tuna, fisherman’s stew, and Virginia littleneck clams sauteed in DC Brau beer join chicken tinga tacos, kale and avocado salad, and churro ice cream sandwiches. Restaurateurs Jay Wainwright and Topher Bertone-Ledford tapped Truluck’s alum Laurence Cohen to spearhead the menu.

The “Reel Deal” entree option at Seamore’s lets diners pick a seafood and sauce.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Pendry Washington DC - The Wharf

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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); 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 the fast-casual import Gordon Ramsay Fish & Chips.

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

Puzukan Tan Korean Grill

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Brothers Sunghoon and Kibum Kim bring Falls Church a taste of their native Seoul with the October opening of their very own Korean BBQ restaurant. Puzukan Tan, which translates to “butcher shop” and “charcoal” in Korean, equips tabletop grills with both gas and charcoal for a smokier effect. Ready-to-cook meats like pork belly, brisket, and marinated short rib (galbi) join rotating wagyu specials and dry-aged ribeye. An offbeat omakase option ($59) features a big one-the-bone galbi, hash browns with kimchi mayo, and bulgogi “sushi” stretching a foot long. Wrap up the meal with bingsoo (Korean shaved ice).

Virginia's Darling

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Chef Nicole Jones just debuted a new American restaurant next to her all-day Mae’s Market and Cafe. Virginia’s Darling swings into Old Town with a large cellar full of women-owned wines, hearth-baked breads, duck confit, and lots of love for local farmers from Virginia’s Northern Neck peninsula to Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Playful pairings include steak tartare with a bag of Lay’s potato chips, plus cheffed-up snacks like charred dates drizzled in California olive oil and marinated olives with fennel pollen.

A ricotta salad pumped up with parsnips, fennel, and baby sweet potatoes screams fall. 
Virginia’s Darling

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

Davio's Northern Italian Steakhouse

Boston-based restaurateur Steve DiFillippo just made a Mid-Atlantic debut in Reston this month. The 13,000-square-foot restaurant with a plentiful raw bar specializes in homemade pastas, hot and cold seafood towers, tableside Caesar salads for two, braised beef short ribs, and a medley of dry-aged steaks. Starters like American Kobe beef meatballs and oven-baked crab cakes with whole grain mustard join mains like Georges Bank sea scallops, hand-rolled potato gnocchi, and tagliatelle Bolognese.

Filet mignon tartare at Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse.
Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse

La Tejana

D.C.’s wildly popular breakfast taco pop-up La Tejana opened its first standalone store in August, bringing the upper Northwest neighborhood a true taste of the tiny taquerias its co-founder Ana-Maria Jaramillo frequented growing up in Texas. La Tejana honors Rio Grande Valley’s beloved border cuisine with five opening tacos — all served on homemade flour tortillas — like the “956” with eggs, bacon, potatoes, refried beans, queso, and cilantro ($4.50 each; three for $13; or six for $24). Open Wednesday to Sunday, 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., with drip and cold brew coffee too. 

La Tejana’s opening lineup.
Jason Garza

Nama Ko

In September, Boston-based celebrity chef Michael Schlow replaced his Latin standby Tico with a polished, sushi-centric destination for high-quality fish, creative hot and cold plates, sake, and private omakase experiences. Schlow tapped James Beard Award-winning restaurateur Stephen Starr’s star Morimoto chef in Philly to lead Nama Ko’s kitchen in D.C. Derek Watson’s opening menu includes hamachi sashimi dressed with ponzu, serrano chiles and cilantro, koji-aged pork chops, and honey miso black truffle ice cream with chocolate toffee from Schlow’s top pastry chef Alex Levin. A 12-seat sushi bar joins a reconfigured 80-seat dining room and 15-seat bar that’s big on sakes and Japanese whiskeys. //3877 put together the new look.

Smoked roe punches up a plate of roasted mushrooms over Japanese custard and soy caramel. 
Nama Ko

Ghostburger

The pandemic-era ghost kitchen proved to be so popular for smash burgers, Philly-style sandwiches, and to-go mezcal cocktails, Ghostburger permanently replaced Shaw’s Mexican mainstay Espita Mezcaleria in September. Chefs Robert Aikens and Ben Tenner revive cult pop-up orders like its “Ghostburger” (American cheese, red onions, homemade pickles, “spooky sauce”) and “A Real Cheesesteak” (shaved ribeye, caramelized onions, homemade whiz). Whimsical desserts like marshmallow fluff-stuffed oatmeal raisin cookies fit nicely in a hot-pink setting filled with cartoonish ghosts and polka-dotted decor.

Ghostburger’s top-selling cheesesteaks helped it win the 2021 Rammy for “Outstanding Ghost Kitchen or Pop-Up.”
Josh Phillips

Causa

Causa named for Peru’s iconic national dish, sailed into Blagden Alley in August with an ambitious, prix-fixe format that aims to capture the bounty of the South American country in one sitting. The anticipated fine-dining venture makes a fashionably late appearance behind Amazonia, its color-soaked, more casual counterpart that debuted one level above in May. At Causa, six-course menus ($85) send diners on a seafaring voyage along the Peruvian coastline and into the Andes Mountains. The intimate space with just 22 seats lends itself to an immersive, personalized experience led by Peruvian-born chef and co-owner Carlos Delgado.

Causa’s menu is big on Peruvian peppers and its potato-based namesake.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

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 last month. 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

Grazie Nonna

Partners Gerald Addison (Bammy’s) and Casey Patten (Grazie Grazie) brought hand-tossed pies and nostalgic Italian fare to Midtown Center with the September opening of Grazie Nonna. The red-sauced tribute to Patten’s nonna and her many Sunday suppers centers around pizzas, antipasti dishes like calamari, burrata, and arancini balls, and hearty bowls of pasta. A dreamy bar lined with family photos sends out Italian wines, elderflower spritzes, and Negronis three ways. The restaurant seats about 80, in addition to an outdoor bar geared towards downtown’s 9-to-5 happy hour set.

The Drunken Love pizza is finished with a swirl of vodka sauce.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

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

Bar Spero

Michelin-starred chef Johnny Spero (Reverie) brings a slice of Spain’s buzzy Basque country to D.C.’s Capitol Crossing complex with the splashy September debut of seafood-heavy Bar Spero. Spero makes good use of a fire-fed grill to prepare everything from elegant Spanish turbot to meaty pork from the Shenandoah Valley. A sleek, neon-lit bar serving cocktails, wines, and regional beers on tap joins a soaring, blue-toned dining room filled with wooden four-tops and built-in booths. Reserve a table online.

On the sweets front, torrijas (Spanish-style French toast) joins ice cream in smoked labneh or burnt cheesecake flavors.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Seamore's Arlington

The Montauk-obsessed seafood chain’s first outpost outside of New York City just arrived in the overhauled Crossing Clarendon complex with a menu full of Chesapeake Bay oysters and fish. The 2,600-square-foot corner restaurant replaces a Baja Fresh with lots of nautical-chic touches and a big blackboard depicting daily catches. Lobster rolls, monkfish, scallops, steelhead trout, seared tuna, fisherman’s stew, and Virginia littleneck clams sauteed in DC Brau beer join chicken tinga tacos, kale and avocado salad, and churro ice cream sandwiches. Restaurateurs Jay Wainwright and Topher Bertone-Ledford tapped Truluck’s alum Laurence Cohen to spearhead the menu.

The “Reel Deal” entree option at Seamore’s lets diners pick a seafood and sauce.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

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); 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 the fast-casual import Gordon Ramsay Fish & Chips.

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

Puzukan Tan Korean Grill

Brothers Sunghoon and Kibum Kim bring Falls Church a taste of their native Seoul with the October opening of their very own Korean BBQ restaurant. Puzukan Tan, which translates to “butcher shop” and “charcoal” in Korean, equips tabletop grills with both gas and charcoal for a smokier effect. Ready-to-cook meats like pork belly, brisket, and marinated short rib (galbi) join rotating wagyu specials and dry-aged ribeye. An offbeat omakase option ($59) features a big one-the-bone galbi, hash browns with kimchi mayo, and bulgogi “sushi” stretching a foot long. Wrap up the meal with bingsoo (Korean shaved ice).

Virginia's Darling

Chef Nicole Jones just debuted a new American restaurant next to her all-day Mae’s Market and Cafe. Virginia’s Darling swings into Old Town with a large cellar full of women-owned wines, hearth-baked breads, duck confit, and lots of love for local farmers from Virginia’s Northern Neck peninsula to Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Playful pairings include steak tartare with a bag of Lay’s potato chips, plus cheffed-up snacks like charred dates drizzled in California olive oil and marinated olives with fennel pollen.

A ricotta salad pumped up with parsnips, fennel, and baby sweet potatoes screams fall. 
Virginia’s Darling

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