10 Hot New Restaurants To Try Around DC This Winter

Honeymoon Chicken opens in Petworth. Photograph courtesy of Honeymoon Chicken.

honeymoon chicken
4201 Georgia Avenue, NW
Federalist Pig chef Rob Sonderman transforms his barbeque skills into deep frying at this all-day dining Petworth restaurant in the former Slim’s Diner space. There’s a little fried something for everyone: brined chicken buckets and sandwiches, a kids’ menu, vegetarian options (crispy mushrooms!) and po’ boys, plus indulgences like champagne and well-stocked sundaes. At the moment it’s all indoor dining and takeout/delivery, but look for a large patio in the spring.

The flowered patio of the Duck Duck Goose Dupont (with retractable windows in hot weather). Photo courtesy of Duck Duck Goose.

Duck Duck Goose Dupont
2100 P Street, NW
There are dining rooms that just say date night. Take in the flower-filled walled patio and candlelit interior of chef Ashish Alfred’s latest brasserie. The French menu also seems quite dreamy, with winter plates like roasted bone marrow, steak with duck fat fries, and bucatini with foie gras butter. If you’re dodging the goose – and meats in general – there are some great vegetarian options, plus a range of zero-proof cocktails.

Paella with squid ink and squid at El Mercat. Photograph by Rey Lopez, courtesy of LeadingDC.

The Mercat
101 Gibbs Street, Rockville
Former Tico and Boqueria chef George Rodrigues recently opened his first solo business in Rockville Town Square. Aceitunas don’t fall far from the tree – familiar tapas like pan con tomate, croquetas and prawns al ajillo dot the menu, alongside house favorites like cider-glazed St. Louis pork chops and paella pans to share. The Spanish drinks menu is equally extensive, as is a generous selection of food, cocktails, and pitchers of sangria for happy hour.

wild himalayan yak
22885 Brambleton Plaza, Ashburn
The former partners of one of our favorite Nepalese restaurants, Royal Nepal of Alexandria, have branched out with their own restaurant in downtown Brambleton in Ashburn. True to its name, diners will find the mountain animal on the menu – grilled, stuffed in momo dumplings or simmered for 18 hours in a curry – alongside a variety of meat and vegetarian dishes. Wash it down with Himalayan yak butter tea or Kingfisher beer.

Momo dumplings can be stuffed with a variety of fillings, including wild yak. Photo courtesy of Himalayan Wild Yak.

Comfort Brew
71 Potomac Ave, SE
Solace Brewing, based in Northern Virginia, has expanded its popular brand to DC for the first time with a huge, hoppy, chic bar in Navy Yard’s Dock 79 development (neighbors include Salt Line, All-Purpose and Nationals Park). Spring will bring a spacious patio overlooking the Anacostia River. For now, drinkers can sample chilled ales like a ‘Quand à Rome’ Italian pilsner and a ‘Bing Bang Boom’ sour – all produced at the Sterling and Falls Church breweries – while sampling pub fare and dressed sausages from the Georgetown butcher at Stachowski. We’ve got our eye on the half-smoked with pickled Asian vegetables, Fresno peppers, cilantro and a sweet-spicy sauce.

1100 15th St., NW
It’s been a while since DC made its foodie debut like this recent arrival from star chef Nicholas Stefanelli. Masseria and Officina owner focuses on the Hellenic side of his Greek/Italian heritage in the stylish Midtown Center spot, which serves prix-fixe menus (starting at $108 per person) that can be accompanied of a wide range of Greek wines. Diners can create their own tasting menus with dishes from four categories – pasta, vegetables, meat and seafood – and yes, you can order three pastas or wood-fired protein if the mood strikes.

Gourmet Greek restaurant Philotimo opens in downtown DC. Photograph by Deb Lindsey, courtesy of Philotimo

social inca Arlington
1776 Wilson Blvd Unit #1, Arlington
A Rosslyn spin-off from Vienna’s Peruvian restaurant brings a host of new options to the neighborhood in a bigger, colorful space. Highlights include an indoor ceviche and sushi bar, a large patio and outdoor bar, and daily deals like $2 margaritas for the ladies on Thursdays (sorry, guys, it’ll be $5). In addition to a long menu of dishes filled with Peruvian classics and a weekend brunch, there’s a take-out-only ghost kitchen serving Latin meals for four from $60 (limited delivery available).

Magpie and the Tiger
828 Upshur Street, NW
Chef Kevin Tien made a national name for himself at the Petworth Himitsu restaurant (now closed). Years later, he’s back in the same small space of this defunct restaurant with former sous chef Caleb Jang, who now runs the kitchen. Don’t expect a knock-off revival – Jang’s creative vision is inspired by his Korean-American heritage, and the menu is take-out only for now due to Covid. On our to-do list: vegetable stuffed buns, sweet and sour fried chicken and jajyangmeon (noodles with black bean sauce).

Noodles with black bean sauce. Photo courtesy of Magpie and the Tiger.

1819 14th St., NW
The folks behind rowdy Mexican spots Mission Dupont and Navy Yard are back with another smooth margarita hangout on 14th Street. There’s a lot going on here for the young and the young-at-liver: four bars, a bottomless margarita brunch, a daily happy hour, dance parties with basement DJs, and a rooftop game where patrons are cheered on. to drink tequila from an ice shot glass and toss it over a bell.

Sugar & Spice
5557 Baltimore Ave, Suite 100, Hyattsville
Chef Jeffeary Miskiri, the restaurateur behind Po’ Boy Jim and Creole on 14th, is behind this Hyattsville newcomer who pays homage to his family’s Louisiana and Caribbean roots. It’s comfort food to the max – think Hawaiian buns stuffed with braised oxtails and served with spicy broth for dipping, jerk catfish and crab grits, and banana pudding for dessert.

food editor

Anna Spiegel covers the restaurant and bar scene in her native DC. Before joining Washingtonian in 2010, she completed the MFA program at the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in New York and St. John, in the US Virgin Islands.

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