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Ripple
Ripple
Photo: R. Lopez

New Chef Heatmap: Restaurants Worth a Return Visit

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Ripple
| Photo: R. Lopez

New restaurants open in D.C. nearly every day, it seems. But sometimes, the addition of a new chef can breathe lots of life and excitement into an existing restaurant as well. Here's a roundup of some notable places that have undergone chef changes in the past six months or so.

Have you sampled the chef's new menu? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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The chef: Jennifer Nguyen
The recent resume: Morimoto, BouchonThe Plan: Nyguen's new menu is already being served at the Donovan House restaurant. Gone: more fusion dishes like the Singapore slaw. In its place: James Bond sushi roles, robata grilled items. Nyguen is already brainstorming for the fall menu, with dishes like an uni risotto to come.

Firefly

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The chef: Todd WissThe recent resume: Radius Pizza, Poste
The Plan: Recent new menu additions from Wiss include a seasonal risotto, cured rockfish carpaccio and fried green tomatoes with pimento cheese and chow chow.

The Pig

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The chef: Michael Bonk
The recent resume: The Queen Vic, Sonoma
The Plan: Bonk will continue The Pig's pork focus, but add some more international flair. He's recently been experimenting with dishes involving tongue.

Bourbon Steak Washington DC

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The Chef: John Critchley
The recent resume: Urbana
Bourbon Steak has kept some of its classic touches, from truffle fries to lobster pot pie, under new chef John Critchley. But the chef adds his own stamp with seasonal dishes like corn soup with crab and bucatini with clams.

Ardeo + Bardeo

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The chef: Matt Kuhn
Recent resume: DC Coast
The plan: Kuhn's experience with seafood means additions like whole roast fish to the menu.

Blue Duck Tavern

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The chef: Pastry chef Naomi Gallego
Recent resume: Amero Foods, Le DiplomateThe plan: Gallego told Tom Sietsema she plans to change up Blue Duck's dessert menu frequently — leaving Le Diplomate means she isn't limited to its French bistro theme anymore.

The chef: Billy Klein
Recent resume: Cafe Saint-Ex
The Plan: Klein is scaling back the size of Pulpo's menu, adding housemade charcuterie and emphasizing the ingredient for which the restaurant is named: octopus.

The chef: Marjorie Meek-Bradley
Recent resume: Graffiato
The plan: Meek-Bradley has continued Ripple's emphasis on seasonal fare, with menu items like pork shoulder with farro and summer vegetable cassoulet.

1905 Restaurant

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The chef: Joel Hatton
The recent resume:Shaw's Tavern, Leopold's KafeThe plan: Hatton's additions include a popular new brunch menu, more bar snacks and a Mussels night.

The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm

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The chef: Tarver King
Recent resume:The Ashby Inn
The plan: It's too early for specifics, as King is finishing out the month at The Ashby Inn, but expect an emphasis on local meats.

8407 Kitchen & Bar

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The chef: Justin Bittner
The recent resume: Bar Pilar
The plan: Bittner's only been in the kitchen for a few days, and will roll out new menus by fall. But the gig will give Bittner the chance to expand beyond bar food and small plates.

Equinox

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The chef: Colin McClimans (chef de cuisine)Recent resume: Gallery Restaurant, EquinoxThe plan: Though it's a chef change, McClimans' promition is actually meant to signal a return to Todd Gray's style of cooking.

The chef: Ethan McKeeThe recent resume: Rock Creek at Mazza, Circle Bistro
The plan: McKee's goal is to lighten up the restaurant's menu a bit.

BRABO Restaurant by Robert Wiedmaier

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The chef: Harper McClure (chef de cuisine)
Recent resume: The Federalist
The plan: McClure, a veteran of Robert Wiedmaier's restaurants, is just rolling out a new menu, which maintains the restaurants' Belgian flair.

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Zentan

The chef: Jennifer Nguyen
The recent resume: Morimoto, BouchonThe Plan: Nyguen's new menu is already being served at the Donovan House restaurant. Gone: more fusion dishes like the Singapore slaw. In its place: James Bond sushi roles, robata grilled items. Nyguen is already brainstorming for the fall menu, with dishes like an uni risotto to come.

Firefly

The chef: Todd WissThe recent resume: Radius Pizza, Poste
The Plan: Recent new menu additions from Wiss include a seasonal risotto, cured rockfish carpaccio and fried green tomatoes with pimento cheese and chow chow.

The Pig

The chef: Michael Bonk
The recent resume: The Queen Vic, Sonoma
The Plan: Bonk will continue The Pig's pork focus, but add some more international flair. He's recently been experimenting with dishes involving tongue.

Bourbon Steak Washington DC

The Chef: John Critchley
The recent resume: Urbana
Bourbon Steak has kept some of its classic touches, from truffle fries to lobster pot pie, under new chef John Critchley. But the chef adds his own stamp with seasonal dishes like corn soup with crab and bucatini with clams.

Ardeo + Bardeo

The chef: Matt Kuhn
Recent resume: DC Coast
The plan: Kuhn's experience with seafood means additions like whole roast fish to the menu.

Blue Duck Tavern

The chef: Pastry chef Naomi Gallego
Recent resume: Amero Foods, Le DiplomateThe plan: Gallego told Tom Sietsema she plans to change up Blue Duck's dessert menu frequently — leaving Le Diplomate means she isn't limited to its French bistro theme anymore.

Pulpo

The chef: Billy Klein
Recent resume: Cafe Saint-Ex
The Plan: Klein is scaling back the size of Pulpo's menu, adding housemade charcuterie and emphasizing the ingredient for which the restaurant is named: octopus.

Ripple

The chef: Marjorie Meek-Bradley
Recent resume: Graffiato
The plan: Meek-Bradley has continued Ripple's emphasis on seasonal fare, with menu items like pork shoulder with farro and summer vegetable cassoulet.

1905 Restaurant

The chef: Joel Hatton
The recent resume:Shaw's Tavern, Leopold's KafeThe plan: Hatton's additions include a popular new brunch menu, more bar snacks and a Mussels night.

The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm

The chef: Tarver King
Recent resume:The Ashby Inn
The plan: It's too early for specifics, as King is finishing out the month at The Ashby Inn, but expect an emphasis on local meats.

8407 Kitchen & Bar

The chef: Justin Bittner
The recent resume: Bar Pilar
The plan: Bittner's only been in the kitchen for a few days, and will roll out new menus by fall. But the gig will give Bittner the chance to expand beyond bar food and small plates.

Equinox

The chef: Colin McClimans (chef de cuisine)Recent resume: Gallery Restaurant, EquinoxThe plan: Though it's a chef change, McClimans' promition is actually meant to signal a return to Todd Gray's style of cooking.

Urbana

The chef: Ethan McKeeThe recent resume: Rock Creek at Mazza, Circle Bistro
The plan: McKee's goal is to lighten up the restaurant's menu a bit.

BRABO Restaurant by Robert Wiedmaier

The chef: Harper McClure (chef de cuisine)
Recent resume: The Federalist
The plan: McClure, a veteran of Robert Wiedmaier's restaurants, is just rolling out a new menu, which maintains the restaurants' Belgian flair.

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