New Restaurants Opening as Restrictions Relax

Capitol Cuisine

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A lobster tail is perched atop a USDA prime steak at the Lewes Delaware Harvest Tide Steakhouse; a spinoff is due to open on Capitol Hill. Photo courtesy of Harvest Tide Steakhouse.

On May 10, Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) announced that most restrictions in the District would be lifted on May 21. Those include capacity limits for restaurants both indoor and outdoor dining. For now, you’ll still be wearing your mask inside. But there’s going to be a few more dining rooms –and patios –you might want to try.

Steak in the Community

Chef Danio Somoza chats with customers at the Lewes, Delaware Harvest Tide Steakhouse. A spinoff is due to open soon on Capitol Hill. Courtesy: Coastline Restaurant Group

The Hill is getting a new steakhouse: Harvest Tide. You’ll find it later this year at 212 Seventh St. SE, where Aqua al 2 used to be. Emerging from chef/owner Danio Somoza’s kitchen will be dry-aged USDA prime steaks, crab cakes and grilled salmon. Sides and salads will be fashioned from seasonal produce. The family-owned enterprise also operates another Harvest Tide in Lewes, Delaware and Zoca (Mexican Modern Cuisine), nearby in Bethany Beach. Another Harvest Tide is set to open in that same Eastern Shore beach resort. Get the full story here; for updates visit www.harvesttidecapitolhill.com.

Food Fight
Local chefs are stepping up to the plate—literally—to help combat hate crimes against Asians and Pacific Islanders. Supporting the AAPI community and businesses is Chefs Stopping AAPI Hate.

Co-founded by executive chef Kevin Tien of Moon Rabbit (Intercontinental Hotel, District Wharf) and Chef Tim Ma of Lucky Danger (Mount Vernon Triangle),  Chefs Stopping AAPI Hate is a series of Sunday Suppers to help raise funds. Also preparing suppers are about 45 other chefs. Tagged at $150, the dinners feed two. Participating chefs have come up with intriguing menus. Also helping out is Mayor Muriel Bowser, whose office has donated $10,000 to the AAPI effort. For more information or to order a supper visit www.chefsstoppingaapihate.com.

In the spirit of solidarity, (we also love the cooking!), Peter and I returned to Maketto, in the Atlas District. Operated by Erik Brunner-Yang, who also has ABC Pony (Capitol Riverfront) and Yoko and Kota (The Roost), Maketto showcases the exotic flavors of Cambodia and Taiwan. Chef Brunner-Yang was born in Taiwan and raised in the United States.

On our first visit to Maketto, the café was upstairs; the shop and bar on the main level. The café is now a record shop and bar. We sat downstairs. Emerging from the kitchen are small, medium and large plates. From the first list we shared crystal shrimp dumplings, a trio of gossamer light pillows scented with cilantro and red peppers.  Peter’s Cambodian-style pho—laced with white and dark chicken meat—was scented with lemongrass, cilantro, ginger and jalapeno slices. Generous enough to feed two, the savory soup arrived with a dough stick—sort of an Asian-style beignet. An accompanying dish of red chili oil/sriracha delivered just enough heat for dipping.

Maketto’s Cambodian-style pho is laced with chicken, noodles, lemongrass, cilantro, ginger and jalapeno slices. Photo: Celeste McCall

Other menu options include veggie spring rolls, crispy chicken wings, roast duck, drunken shrimp-fried rice. Heading the dessert list are egg custard tarts and pastries (also available for breakfast). Plus coffee, tea, cocktails, wine and beer. A pleasant Argentine vino blanco complemented my meal.

Lunch for two—including a 20 percent service charge–came to $61.58. Located at 1351 H St. NE, Maketto is open 6 days for breakfast, lunch and dinner, closed Sunday. Call 202-838-9972 or visit www.maketto1351.com.

Coming Soon
….to Barracks Row: Bodega Spanish Tapas, 515 Eighth St. SE, a spinoff of the excellent Georgetown restaurant (www.bodegadc.com), and Classy Corks, a wine and liquor store at 801 Virginia Ave. SE (Eighth and L). For updates visit www.classycorksdc.com

Meanwhile, good things are happening in Capitol Riverfront, but we’ll have to wait awhile.  Chicken + Whiskey is unveiling a spinoff at 70 N St. SE, in Jair Lynch’s new condo building. The future restaurant will be an offshoot of Star Restaurant Group’s Logan Circle rotisserie/whiskey bar. For his future enterprise, Latin chef Enrique Limardo (Seven Reasons, Immigrant Food, Imperfecto)  will brine chickens for 12 hours, slow-roast them and then serve the birds with Venezuelan arepas. Unlike the narrow layout Logan Circle’s original Chicken + Whiskey—with the poultry out front and the bar in back — Navy Yard’s version will position its two components side-by-side. A patio on N Street will seat 33, more during Nationals games. Look for Chicken + Whiskey by year’s end.

At Maketto, (Atlas District), crystal shrimp dumplings practically fly out of chef Erik Brunner-Yang’s kitchen. Photo: Celeste McCall

And….
Nats Park is getting yet another new neighbor: The venerable Maryland-based chain Silver Diner will unveil its first outpost in the District—this one with a second story bar—at Half and N streets SE, next to the ballpark. Again, don’t rush over there right away; the 8,000 square foot transplant won’t open until next spring.

Plans include an outdoor terrace overlooking the stadium. The upstairs area, dubbed Bar Silver, will sell drinks and small plates. The lower level will look more familiar, serving Silver Diner’s hits from executive chef and “Chopped” winner Ype Von Hengst.

Founded in 1989, the Rockville-based company operates 18 eateries in Maryland, Virginia, and New Jersey. Although DC doesn’t have a Silver Diner, the company operates Silver — its upscale, brasserie-style spinoff — in Northwest’s Cathedral Heights neighborhood.

Still more….The long-awaited Knead Hospitality+ Design’s Gatsby is finally opened at 1201 Half St. SE, across the street from Nats Park. The kitchen will showcase updated diner classics including an In-N-Out-inspired burger, vegan Caesar salads, and elegant cakes, pies and retro cocktails. (In-N-Out refers to a 73-year-old California-based chain featuring “freshly-made” burgers.) For now, Gatsby is open daily, with weekday happy hour and weekend brunch. Coming soon: lunch.

Knead Hospitality + Design also operates The Grill and Mi Vida at the District Wharf, and other upbeat area restaurants. For updates call 202-817-3005 or visit www.gatsbyrestaurant.com.

Get the Point
Fish & Fire Food Group, which brought us Tony and Joe’s  (Georgetown’s Washington Harbour)  and the Tavern at Ivy City Smokehouse are unveiling The Point, near DC United’s Audi Field. Located at 2100 Second St. SW, The Point is part of the ambitious waterfront development which will eventually connect the District Wharf to Capitol Riverfront.

Helming the kitchen will be Executive Chef Benjamin Lambert, a Restaurant Nora alum who also cooked at District Winery.  He’ll work with partner and culinary director Ron Goodman and founder Greg Casten, who also owns sustainable seafood purveyor ProFish.

The hospitality group is also adding a boardwalk-type market called Beside the Point, which will hawk soft-serve ice cream, calamari cones, lobster rolls, fries, sushi, bagels and Ivy City Smokehouse products.