new dining dc

New & Notable in Dining December 2015

On Tap scouts out the restaurants, bars and clubs that are new to the scene or shaking things up.

7 Locks Brewing
Suds. Rockville is getting lively with the arrival of a neighborhood brewery; the taproom features a rotating selection of low-ABV beers and will fill growlers. No food is served, but customers are welcome to bring their own (or order from one of the food trucks frequently parked outside). 7 Locks Brewing: 12227 Wilkins Ave., Rockville, MD; 301-841-7123;

 “Farm to Taco.” Bettina Stern and Suzanne Simon have tapped into America’s burgeoning passion for veggies with their expertly assembled vegetarian tacos, and are now moving up from farmers markets to a Georgetown storefront – and it is guaranteed they will bring their long lines of ravenous fans with them. Go now, before it looks like Georgetown Cupcake. If you need protein, you can add an egg. Chaia: 3207 Grace St. NW, DC; 202-333-5222;

Cloak & Dagger
Order: 21st Amendment (champagne, honey liquor, simple syrup). The ground floor is designated as a speakeasy – and the cocktail menu is solid – but go upstairs for a par- tay destination with top-notch DJs. Cloak & Dagger: 1359 U St. NW, DC; 202-234-2501;

 Japanese Cocktail (cognac, orgeat, bitters). Love Mintwood Place? Then you’ll adore its new sibling, which delves into French cuisine and adds a twist – think fried coq au vin, scallop sausages, or duck egg beignets. Convivial: 801 O St. NW, DC; 202-525-2870;

The Dabney
Order: The Homestead (Redemption rye, The Dabney Virginia pecan Madeira, angostura bitters). Gordon Ramsey called it “a really cool spot,” and we agree. Helmed by Jeremiah Langhorne (chef de cuisine, McCrady’s in Charleston), The Dabney is setting an agenda of Mid-Atlantic cuisine, featuring not only local ingredients but also local recipes and preparations. The Dabney: 122 Blagden Alley NW, DC; 202-450-1015;

Hula Girl Bar & Grill
Never Below 75 (Black sesame infused bourbon, honey-ponzu, burnt orange). Yet another popular food truck makes the transition off wheels, this time to a space in Shirlington. We’re most excited about the addition of an island cocktail menu. Hula Girl Bar & Grill: 4044 Campbell Ave., Arlington, VA; 703-998-4852;

Marble & Rye
The Black Heart (Bulleit bourbon, fig, maple syrup, orange juice). The folks behind Red Rocks debut a wood fire kitchen and a well-stocked whiskey bar. Go on Whiskey Wednesdays to chat with their whiskey experts and assemble tasting flights from their collection. Marble & Rye: 2501 Columbia Pike, Arlington, VA; 703-920-0706;

matchbox American Kitchen + Spirit
The future. A new generation of matchboxes arises; this incarnation (which includes “female-friendly” salads) represents the next step in the beloved DC group’s expansion – specifically, 48 restaurants nationwide by 2020. Go now and witness the future. matchbox American Kitchen + Spirit: 20626 East Hampton Plaza, Loudoun, VA; 844-712-0369;

Momofuku CCDC
Order: Raman. First came dessert (Milk Bar), now comes the main course from this much-anticipated expansion from New York. Though pricier than other (excellent) DC raman joints, foodies are lining up to pay for the cachet of David Chang as much as for the rich broth that made him famous. Go ahead – there’s no shame in joining the queue. Momofuku CCDC: 1090 I St. NW, DC; 202-602-1832;

Pennsylvania 6 DC
Order: Belgian Mule (white whiskey, ginger beer, strawberry Lambic, lime). This “upscale” newcomer promises the “most extensive raw bar in DC.” True? We don’t know, but it’s hard to beat dollar oysters for happy hour, and we like the cocktail menu.  Pennsylvania 6 DC: 1350 I St., NW, DC; 202-796-1600;

Red White and Basil
 Prix-Fixe. Salad, carefully cooked house-made pasta (pick your sauce!) and cannoli – $16 prix fixe ($20 if you add meat) has arrived in AdMo at this sibling to L’Enfant Café. A la carte is available as well. We love that there are vegan and gluten-free options.  Red White and Basil: 1781 Florida Ave. NW, DC; 202-518-7021;

Secret Chopsticks
 Drinks. Dining room is tasting menu only (with emphasis on ‘taste’), lounge is a la carte menu only. The dark horse winner here is the cocktail menu.  Secret Chopsticks: 1850 Fort Myer Dr., Arlington, VA; 703-812-8888;

Tadich Grill
Order: Bloody Mary. California’s oldest – and probably the country’s third oldest continuously run – restaurant (166 years and counting!) opens its second location. Sourdough bread is flown in from San Fran, and their famous Bloody Mary mix is pre-bottled. Tadich Grill: 1001 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, DC; 202-638-1849;

Raman. Mike Isabella joins the raman stampede in partnership with Jonah Kim (PABU Baltimore). This is Isabella’s third restaurant in Ballston (after Pepita and Kapnos Taverna), which should make him the area’s unofficial mayor.  Yona: 4000 Wilson Blvd., Suite C, Arlington, VA (entrance on N. Quincy St.); 202-234-5000;

Brew LoCo 

Why: Retailer of the Year, Loudoun County
Coffee shop meets homebrew supply store at Lansdowne Town Center, and the Loudoun Chamber of Commerce is impressed with their creativity and customer service. In addition to their local Virginia beers and ciders on tap (and they’ll fill growlers), you can order cold brew coffee on nitro, which gives the coffee a Guinness-like quality.  Brew LoCo: 19382 Diamond Lake Dr., Leesburg, VA;

Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
Coming Soon
Hardywood Park Craft Brewery broke ground in November on its new home in Goochland County, Va. The epic destination will feature 27,500 sq. ft. of brewing and packaging facilities, a 7,150 sq. ft. taproom and music venue, a private event loft, food truck plaza, bocce courts, a natural amphitheater and walking paths connecting to a planned creekside trail system. We can’t wait for its scheduled opening in spring 2017. Hardywood Park Craft Brewery: Goochland County, VA;

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