The restaurants were all at various stages of development. Some, like bowling lounge The Eleanor and the charcuterie-forward Cured DC, are still searching for a location. Others, like Maydan, are awaiting finishing touches in the coming months. Still, launching a restaurant is fraught with many obstacles that can result in even the most well-intentioned estimates to be pushed back (some participants from the spring event, for example, are still in the works).
Here the five of the most important things we learned this time around:
Adams Morgan is getting Lucky
It’s not easy to get excited by burger restaurants these days, especially not in a city full of patty-lined grills. Chef Alex McCoy (Alfie’s) is hoping to change the narrative with Lucky Buns(2000 18th St. NW), which will find a home in Adams Morgan this fall. Burgers are inspired by McCoy’s travels (you’ll find flavors from India, Thailand, the U.K., and elswhere) and made with Creekstone beef, housemade pickles and spreads, and locally baked buns. Lucky Buns also recently set up shop in the concessions at Capital One Arena.
A veteran chef makes his solo debut
Chef Haidar Karoum is known around D.C. for helping put Doi Moi, Estadio, and Proof on the map as go-to restaurants before stepping away in the spring of 2016. He’s now nearly ready to cut the ribbon on Chloe, his first solo venture. Expect the Navy Yard restaurant to center around Lebanese and Mediterranean dishes with license to deviate to other cuisines as well. On Sunday, Karoum was temping taste buds with a savory mushrom and leek zeppole with whipped yogurt and eggplant agridolce. The staff fully expect to be open by the end of the year.
More momo, please.
Dumplings have been steadily on the rise in D.C., and Dorjee Momo is angling to be a new heavyweight. Chef Dorjee Tsering’s menu of Tibetan “nomad style” dumplings and Himalayan street snacks are filled with savory meat like chicken and lamb and popping with layers of Southeast Asian spice. For now, follow along on Facebook to find them at pop-up events around town or contact them about private dinners and catering. A more permanent location is hopefully in the works down the line.
Erik Bruner-Yang wants to make The Line hotel a hangout
The Line Hotel (1770 Euclid St. NW) remains under construction, but the hope is that it will finally open this winter, albeit several months behind schedule. Erik Bruner-Yang (Paper Horse, Toki Underground, Maketto) will be front and center when it does. He’s planning two concepts for the space. One, the American- and Asian-fused Brothers and Sisters, will anchor the lobby. He teased guests with a potato roti with creme fraiche and caviar. His other spot, Broken English, will be a small tasting-style restaurant within the kitchen.
Island time is coming to NoMa
It might not be labeled as a full-fledged Tiki bar, but all signs point to Adam Greenberg’s forthcoming Coconut Club (540 Penn St. NE) making good on its breezy name. Colorful decor, warm-weather food like salmon poke, and a signature cocktail of gin, grapefruit soda, and walnut bitters make for an escape from D.C. to somewhere far more tropical (let’s forget that it was 80 degrees and humid in October). Don’t count on taking refuge there this winter though—Greenberg says he’s targeting a spring or summer 2018 opening.