The best new DC restaurants that opened in fall 2021

Keeping tabs on every restaurant and bar opening in Washington is crazy. But keep an eye out for the most worthy? Yeoman’s work, and we’re proud to do it. Thus, we present Table Stakes, a monthly recap of the five (approximately) must-see spots that have opened their doors wide during the thirty (approximately). Let’s eat.

This fall, DC welcomed a slew of new establishments, from a Parisian bistro on the quayside to an outpost of a beloved Lebanese address in New York City. As you browse these establishments, your taste buds will travel from Mexico to Beirut to New Orleans, with special attention not only to the food but to the ambiance.

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You are here because … it’s been far too long since you last visited the French capital, and this Parisian bistro in American capital is the perfect way to scratch the itch. With a cozy interior space inspired by that almost supernatural way bistros make the most of smaller spaces, as well as a huge patio with waterfront views, this all-day-open spot is ideal for lifters. early and night owls.

You dine on … everything from pastries, pastries and desserts from the Mah-Ze-Dahr bakery to traditional bistro options like croque madame, French onion soup and duck confit, cooked to perfection by the former chef of Succotash Prime, Treeven Dove. (Don’t miss the foie gras macarons!) Unsurprisingly, a 60-bottle strong wine list is predominantly French, with champagne cocktails and French aperitifs on top.

99 District Square SO

Octaroni pizza with pomodoro, smoked octopus, Caciocavallo cheese and basil pesto from L'Ardente restaurant in Washington, DC

Pizza Octaroni from L’Ardente with pomodoro, smoked octopus, Caciocavallo cheese and basil pesto

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You are here because … you can’t resist checking out the claims of an Italian spot claiming to mix comfort food and luxurious glamor. Chef David Deshaies takes the titular approach of his Unconventional Diner and applies it to the multiple kitchens of the boot for a restaurant that does more than keep its promise.

You dine on … new versions of Italian classics ranging from “Octaroni” pizza with wood-fired octopus with pesto and caciocavallo cheese to Venetian “risotto” with squid rice and king crab. Vitello tonnato is upside down, with the classic veal in tuna sauce served alongside “tonno vitellato” – ahi tuna and veal. An ultra-instagrammable 40-layer short rib lasagna is the star of the homemade pasta menu; it is served on the side to avoid precariousness. Make sure you save room for the tiramisu, flambéed at the table and topped with the sour punch of passion fruit granita at its heart.

200 Massachusetts Ave. NO

Michele’s “Chips and dip” with smoked trout roe, Bavarian “ranch” and Yukon Gold crisps

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You are here because … you can’t wait to see what happens when you mix the flavors and traditions of New Orleans, Houston and France. Chef / owner Matt Baker’s restaurant bears both his name and his inspiration from his mother raised by NOLA, drawing inspiration from the cuisines of this culinary capital, the chef’s hometown of Houston, and his classic French background. The resulting place is an adorable mashup bastard of a raw omakase bar, all-day cafe, and brasserie inside the trendy Eaton Hotel in downtown DC.

You dine on … expertly executed dishes from extremely diverse backgrounds and ranging from al pastor influenced yellowtail crudo with pineapple, tajin and guajillo to buttery barbecue carrots with all the flavor of NOLA’s favorite shrimp mix without any real shellfish. Of course, seafood is on the menu: real Louisiana crayfish in a silky and buttery linguine dish, while an ironic “chips and dip” features smoked trout caviar and a Bavarian “ranch”. “. Impressive seafood towers and applause-worthy French soufflés in sauce at the edge of the table provide the spectacle required by such a beautiful space.

1201 K Street NO

Avocado tuna tostada, ponzu, ginger, cucumber, spicy mayo, salsa macha from Maïs64 restaurant in Washington, DC

Corn Tostada64 with avocado, ponzu, ginger, cucumber, spicy mayo, macha salsa

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You are here because … you can’t wait to taste the fine mexican cuisine promised by the flowery dining room with corn cobs molded in gold and a communal table made from a parota wood plate. Heirloom corn is the name of the game, here – literally. The “64” refers to the number of corn breeds identified so far as elements of the Mexican soil; four of them are used in the homemade masa at the heart of many dishes on the menu.

You dine on … a Butucopia (sorry) from Oaxacan chief Alam Méndez Florián. Homemade tortillas are cooked on a gas comal surrounded by a six-seat bar, which will soon host a tasting experience at a chef’s table. Whether fixed price or a la carte, tacos, quesadillas and tacos offer a host of exciting toppings and toppings ranging from charred broccoli with a black Oaxacan mole to al pastor octopus with a grilled pineapple relish. crispy pork belly with cacti. Elisa Reyna’s desserts can include churros, chocolate mousse with coffee ganache, or fresas con crema with queso fresco ice cream and strawberries three ways.

1324 14e Street NO

Charred octopus with ajo blanco, batata harra, roasted red pepper from Ilili restaurant in Washington, DC

Charred Ilili octopus with ajo blanco, harra batata, roasted red pepper

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You are here because … you are so ready for Lebanese cuisine from this New York favorite to reach the DC food scene. Chef Philippe Massoud combines the flavors and traditions of his childhood with European influences and modern technique in a room that combines tradition and contemporary, indoor and outdoor. Indeed, the space is a real theater for Massoud’s menu: Inspired by Beirut’s courtyard gardens, ilili DC immerses guests in an open kitchen environment with a high ceiling that plays with colors, materials and life. vegetable for a multi-sensory culinary experience.

You dine on … a menu rich in hot and cold mezze, ranging from homemade hummus to Brussels sprouts with raisins, fig jam and mint yogurt that caused a sensation in New York. The quayside-centric location led Massoud to include a lot of sea-sourced choices, such as charred octopus with ajo blanco and hamachi with nectarine vinaigrette and cardamom oil. Bigger entrees include the braised lamb shank with dirty Lebanese rice or whole baked branzino. Desserts range from a traditional Lebanese panna cotta with orange and pistachio to the ilili “chocolate bar” with caramel fondant and sesame crunch.

100 Southwest District Square


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