Washington, D.C. has undergone a culinary resurgence of late, with dozens of new restaurants opening each month. In 2014 alone, we saw hot spots emerge like acclaimed chef Daniel Boulud’s DBGB Kitchen + Bar, the Del Frisco restaurant group’s Double Eagle Steakhouse and celebrity chef Michael Schlow’s Spanish/Latin spot Tico in Logan Circle. The New Year promises to bring some equally tasty options. Go ahead and plan to cheat on those dieting resolutions now, because here are five D.C. restaurants worth reserving tables at in 2015:
Washington has long starved for a serving of David Chang’s famous Momofuku. Chang, himself a native of Northern Virginia, promises a D.C. location will open in the late spring or early summer of 2015 at CityCenterDC. We know Chang is still nailing down the exact concept — he wants each of his restaurants to have a unique feel. What we’re certain of is that this 4,500-square-foot destination for inventive Asian fare will be his largest outside of Toronto. Additionally, the eatery will provide an outpost of the famous Momofuku Milk Bar, so expect favorites like crack pie and compost cookies to be on the menu.
José Andrés is famous for helping import Europe’s tapas concept to the states, and now has restaurants everywhere from Los Angeles to Miami. Luckily, the celebrated Spanish-American chef-restaurateur has brought his latest idea to his adopted hometown. The January-opened Chinese-Peruvian fusion spot in Penn Quarter shares a block with his popular Oyamel and Jaleo. Rumor has it that deep-fried guinea pig (known as cuy in South America) may be on the menu, but you’ll also find a rotating array of dim sum, including shumai (pork dumplings), as well as causa, a Peruvian favorite made with potato, meat and veggies.
The city’s dining scene lost a shining star when Eric Ziebold’s CityZen at the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Mandarin Oriental, Washington D.C. closed this past December. But we’re excited to know that Ziebold isn’t going away forever. He and his wife, Celia, plan two concepts under a single roof in Penn Quarter, the casual Kinship and a to-be-named luxury spot in the basement below, both expected to open in the fall. Ziebold promises classic dishes and a tasting-room-style menu, tableside preparations and specialty coffee service. We can only hope he revives those much-loved Parker House rolls from his CityZen days as well.
2014 proved that the new CityCenterDC is a scorching destination to open a restaurant. This year brings something even spicier to the area. Mango Tree, which debuted on January 15, is the first U.S. location of the Thai favorite. The company has partnered with Richard Sandoval, the chef/owner behind D.C. favorites such as Zengo and Masa 14, to offer modern takes on standards from Thailand’s four central culinary regions, with dishes like tom yum lobster and red curry with duck breast and apricot stirring the most early excitement. A sure-to-be-buzzy bar scene and rooftop terrace provide ample space for year-round imbibing.
Charlestonians are intimately familiar with chef Jeremiah Langhorne, the former chef du cuisine at beloved McCrady’s. Now, the D.C. native has come home to roost, and he and business partner Alex Zink have chosen Shaw’s Blagden Alley for their first venue, where a 70-seat space will include a massive wood-burning hearth, an outdoor courtyard and open-concept kitchen. No official word yet on what exactly will be served, but we’re expecting at least some dose of Mid-Atlantic farm-to-table flair thanks to the herbs and vegetables that Langhorne plans to grow in the aforementioned courtyard.