Photos: John Robinson Photography and courtesy of Dolci Gelati

New, Notable, No Longer: July 2016

On Tap keeps locals in the know about the latest and greatest food and drink hotspots around town, plus our top foodie picks for the month.


Bantam King
Order: Chicken ramen
The masterminds behind the ever-popular Daikaya are forging a new path with chicken ramen. And fried chicken. And chicken dumplings. All they need is chicken sake. In the meantime, this cheerful Chinatown chicken shop does offer Japanese beer and sake to help celebrate this new alternative when Daikaya is impossibly crowded. The noodles here are also flown straight from Daikaya’s supplier in Japan. Bantam King: 501 G St. NW, DC;

Greenhouse Bistro & Tea Lounge
Pisco Sage Punch (pisco, muddled red grapes, sage syrup, pineapple juice and lemon)
When club kids finally grow up, they start gardening. Masoud Aboughaddareh (Lima, Barcode) has opened a restaurant with an indoor garden wall – literally, wall-to-table dining since it supplies the kitchen with its fresh herbs. But we were most intrigued by the “Tea and Food Pairings” menu. Lamb prosciutto, goat cheese mousse and baklava, paired with Lapsang Souchong tea? Yes, please. Greenhouse Bistro & Tea Lounge:2070 Chain Bridge Rd. Tysons Corner, VA;

 Crispy “chick’n” ranch sandwich
I remember the vegan restaurant my mother frequented when I was a child: the food was strange and dense, and everyone seemed to be angry (probably from indigestion) or high. The world has changed, my friends. Cheerful young professionals are lining up for plant-based fast food from the masterminds behind Philly vegan powerhouse restaurant (yes, it’s a thing) Charlie Was a Sinner. The chick’n makes veganism seem worth contemplating, and sweet potato fries are now mainstream. They even have milkshakes that taste real! Yes, we live in the future, and it is delicious. HipCityVeg:712 7th St. NW, DC;

You’re Daisy If You Do… (Catoctin Creek Mosby’s Spirit, strawberry and black pepper, lemon, and sparkling water)
Anchored by superstar distillery Catoctin Creek, Purcellville has evolved into a noteworthy drinking destination. The bar in WK Hearth memorializes pioneering cocktail author Hugo R. Ensslin with its menu of classics, and modernizes it by featuring local producers. Hugo: 130 Purcellville Gateway Dr. Purcellville, VA;

Ivy Room
Order:  Blackberry Sour (Civic Vodka, lemon and fresh blackberries)
This is the gorgeous new bar inside Republic Restoratives. Hard to get to? Yes. A concentrated sense of reward for the effort? Absolutely. The corner space is industrial chic meets greenhouse; the floor-to-ceiling windows (which swing open like garage doors) currently suffuse happy hour with summer light, and its being located in the distillery makes one feel a part of something epic. The cocktails feature Civic Vodka, the distillery’s current flagship product, and the cocktail program is helmed by David Strauss (formerly of Philly’s legendary Ranstead Room, and later, The Sheppard and Le Diplomate). The fact that Republic Restoratives is a woman-owned, crowd-sourced adventure is the triumphantly trendy cherry in a deliciously modern cocktail. Ivy Room: 1369 New York Ave. NE, DC;

Junction Bakery & Bistro
 Chocolate hazelnut cake
The croissants are buttery, the industrial oven is straight from Italy, the coffee is from Commonwealth Joe, and there’s wine and beer. A bistro menu is available for lunch and dinner. This is a fantastic successor to Mancini’s, the well-loved (but faded) neighborhood institution it succeeds, and gives us another reason to visit Del Ray, one of the cutest, almost Metro accessible neighborhoods in the DMV. Junction Bakery & Bistro: 1508 Mt. Vernon Ave. Alexandria, VA;

Oklahoma Joe’s Bar-B-Que
er: BarbeQulossal “The Q” (sliced brisket, smoked provolone and two onion rings, all on a Kaiser bun)
This small but popular OKC chain underwent a corporate reorg a couple years ago, and is now bent on world domination. Given that its smoky ribs are a noted favorite of President Obama, their dreams might not be far-fetched. Their first DC location has landed next to the Dunn Loring Metro station. Oklahoma Joe’s Bar-B-Que: 2670 Avenir Pl. Fairfax, VA;

Tysons Biergarten
Enjoy a large selection of German and Belgian beers alongside 100+ American craft brews located only steps from the Greensboro Metro station. The silver line commute just got more interesting. Tysons Biergarten: 8346 Leesburg Pike, Tysons Corner, VA;

World of Beer
With 500 bottles and 50 rotating taps, it’s like visiting a new bar every time. The beautiful thing about the WOB franchise is that each location incorporates local producers into the menu, and Rockville will feature Denizens Brewing Co. (Silver Spring), Jailbreak Brewing Co. (Laurel) and others. World of Beer: 196 E. Montgomery Ave. Rockville, MD;


Dolci Gelati
 Saffron, pistachio-candied, lemon peel gelato
Local darling Dolci received the “Technical Jury Award” from the Gelato World Tour Competition in Chicago for its time-intensive flavor (the saffron steeps in the gelato mixture for 24 hours). And the “gelato genius” behind Dolci, Gianluigi Dellaccio, will go on to compete in the global grand finale in Rimini, Italy next year. Dolci Gelati Café (three locations): 1420 8th St. NW, DC; 7000 Carroll Ave. Takoma Park, MD; and 107 N. Fairfax St. Alexandria, VA;

Swing’s Coffee Roasters
100 years
Swing’s has been caffeinating DC since 1916. The G Street location (made famous by The West Wing) is under renovation, so visit the gorgeously industrial Del Ray location, which offers public cuppings in its tasting room on Fridays at 10 a.m. Go forth and learn. Swing’s Coffee Roasters: 501 E. Monroe Ave. Alexandria, VA;


– Atlas Room
– Austin Grill (Penn Quarter)
– BakeHouse
– Food Wine & Co.
– Habit
– Nana Thai
– Olivia’s Diner

2016 RAMMY Winners
In June, the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington gave out its 34th annual RAMMY awards to some of the area’s best food and beverage joints. We’d like to congratulate all of the winners, and give a few special shout-outs to spots recently featured in On Tap. For a full list of the 2016 winners, visit

Beer Program of the Year
Right Proper: 624 T St. NW, DC;

Cocktail Program of the Year
2 Birds 1 Stone:
 1800 14th St. NW, DC;

New Restaurant of the Year
Maketto: 1351 H St. NE, DC;

Upscale Casual Brunch
Blue Duck Tavern:
 1201 24th St. NW, DC;

Upscale Casual Restaurant of the Year
Le Diplomate:
 1601 14th St. NW, DC;

Photos: John Robinson Photography and courtesy of Dolci Gelati