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Tuesday, April 23, 2024
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Dining Notes

Tibetan pop-up Dorjee Momo , currently packing in diners at 317 Seventh St. SE near Eastern Market, is getting a permanent roost. You’ll find it this fall at 1300-1302 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, ensconced in a former Chinese carryout. Besides savoring breakfast, lunch, and dinner, guests may spend the night in cozy ai‌r‌b‌n‌b‌s upstairs above the dining area. (Created by Dorjee and Amberjade Tsering, the pop-up Momo opened in January upstairs from Bullfrog Bagels.)

Customers relax at Dorjee Momo’s temporary pop-up upstairs from Bullfrog Bagels. The popular Tibetan restaurant will move to permanent digs later this fall.

For breakfast, the future enterprise will serve Chinese-style noodle soup, steamed buns, and Sri Lanken red rice congee. Lunch will be carry-out only. Customers order ahead; when they pick up their food, they may watch cooks pulling noodles and folding dumplings. Heading the ala carte dinner menu will be favorites like spinach/tofu-filled sunflower buns, pan-fried lamb (or chicken) dumplings, coconut beef curry and Momo’s signature hot pot ($140 for table of four, reservations required). Until the permanent restaurant opens, Dorjee Momo will continue to operate the Seventh street pop-up. For updates visit www.dorjeemomo.com.

Italian Market Coming Soon
Officina, Nicholas Stefanelli’s Italian-style food hall, is due to open any day now at the District Wharf. Stefanelli also operates the Michelin-starred Masseria near Union Market.

Designing the three-story, chartreuse-accented venture is Washington DC architecture firm Grupo-7, which also created Atlas District’s colorful Fare Well and Dolcezza City Center. You’ll see blue tiling splashed across walls, wood accents, exposed ceilings, soft lighting, and black-and-white flooring. The cavernous first-floor level will serve as an early morning coffee shop, dispensing pastries and egg sandwiches. All day “street food” will include Roman-style pizzas, sandwiches, cakes, and a gelato bar. An in-house butcher will provide meats.

Officina’s market component, tentatively expected to operate from 9 a.m to 7 p.m., will provide to-go items like breads, cheeses, dried pasta, and anchovies. Customers arriving from the Wharf’s street or from their boats docked nearby, can procure a bottle of Italian vino.

Jimi Yui, who helped with Eataly in New York, has designed Officina’s multi-purpose space to flow efficiently. Monthly wine dinners will highlight different parts of Italy with featured wines available for purchase.

For now, the 60-seat rooftop is serving only drinks, with light cocktail fare coming soon. Garage doors open up to a 12-seat bar, lined with a glitzy champagne display case. The rooftop will probably operate all day on Saturday and Sunday, and for happy hour and dinner daily.

Officina’s sit-down restaurant is inspired by similar trattorias in Puglia, in Italy’s southern region. On the ala carte menu are grilled fish and octopus, myriad pastas, and “big cuts of meat” like steak Florentine and rack of lamb, cured meat boards and mozzarella. Officina rounds out the Wharf’s first phase, which also includes the forthcoming rum-focused Potomac Distilling Company and Rappahannock Oyster Bar.

Watch this Space
Brick Lane, planning to dish out American comfort food, is coming to 517 Eighth St. SE. The long-vacant Barracks Row spot was formerly occupied by Las Placitas. (The popular Salvadoran eatery moved down the street to 1100 Eighth.) This will be Brick Lane’s second enterprise; the two-year old original is in Dupont Circle. The Barracks Row offshoot will probably have a similar menu with agave glazed salmon, mussels, lemon/rosemary chicken, hanger steak. For updates visit www.bricklane-restaurant-dc.com.

At Trickling Springs Creamery, a recent arrival at 700 Pennsylvania, Jessica Burdge offers a yummy chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream cone.

Growing and Growing
Near Eastern Market, our local outpost of Trickling Springs Creamery opened August 3 in the sprawling 700 Pennsylvania complex. The spiffy newcomer carries everything bovine but the moo: all kinds of milk (in glass bottles), cheeses, yogurt (including Icelandic-style Skyr), and yes—16 flavors of yummy ice cream. Prices are moderate. Cones come in small, medium and large ($5.50 for the biggest) with tantalizing flavors like peaches ‘n cream, chocolate chip cookie dough (our favorite), and vanilla bean. You can also buy ice cream in pint and half gallon containers. There are eggs, Natalie’s lemonade, Compass coffee, root beer and even jars of sauerkraut. Open Monday through Saturday from 9 to 9; closed Sunday, Trickling Springs is at 720 C St. SE. Call 202-313-7178 or visit www.tricklingspringscreamery.com.

And, it looks like we might get a restaurant modeled after Austrian-themed Kafe Leopold, in Georgetown’s Cady’s Alley…Also expressing interest in the neighborhood is Andy Shallal. His popular Busboys and Poets restaurant/bookstore group is looking to expand. Wishful thinking?

Something Fishy at Union Station
Legal Sea Foods’ new concept, Legal Sea Bar, has rolled into Union Station. You’ll find the 71-seat newcomer on the station’s mezzanine level. The “scaled” back version of Legal Sea Foods’ regular all day menu’ offers New England clam chowder, jumbo lump crab cakes, lobster roll, tuna burgers, blackened salmon Reuben, roasted cod (recommended), orange chipotle chicken. The full bar pours a wide range of cocktails, beer and wine. Located at 50 Massachusetts Ave. NE, Legal Sea Bar is open daily. Call 202-864-0401 or visit www.legalseafoods.com.

Fall Festival
Coming up September 29: The annual Barracks Row Fall Festival, featuring food and fun for the whole family. For updates visitwww.barracksrow.org.

Bubbly Time
Congrats to DCanter. The nifty Barracks Row wine shop celebrated its fifth anniversary–with champagne tastings, of course. Located at 545 Eighth St. SE, DCanter is closed Monday. Call 202-817-3803 or visit www.dcanterwines.com.

Anh-Dao, the homey little Vietnamese café at 1123 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, has departed. We will miss the pleasant owners and their tummy warming pho. Frager’s Hardware is expected to develop that space sometime next year.

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