Boomerang Party Yacht
Party buses are so 2011. 2012 is the year of the party yacht, and the Boomerang Tours folks are leading the charge (barge?). Booze cruise it up on a nighttime sail, a sunset cruise, a day party, or our personal favorite—a brunch cruise. Bloody Marys and mimosas aplenty are crucial to getting the “party” in party yacht started. The Lady Boomerang has a full bar, an upper deck, and a DJ, so no need to pack your own provisions. Post-boating, after-parties are typically held for customers at area bars; the bartenders on board can provide you with the post-party information during your cruise. The Boomerang Yacht usually sells out in advance, so have Jeeves book ahead of time. Embrace your inner one percenter.
Boomerang Party Yacht: For more information, call 202-557-9896 or visit www.ridetheboomerang.com.
Exposed brick, chandeliers, and a large venue that still feels intimate? Yup, the Hilton brothers have definitely been here. The latest in a long line of cozy, upscale joints brought to you by Ian and Eric Hilton—including Marvin, Blackbyrd Warehouse, American Ice Company, and The Gibson—is Chez Billy, their Parisian-inspired Petworth project. French flare is provided via menu items such as the braised beef cheek with picholine olives, skate grenobloise with artichokes barigoule, and moules frites with herbs de Provence. Both the name and the space have cool historical ties—“Billy” comes from the previous tenant, Billy Simpson’s House of Seafood & Steak, and the venue itself was a popular spot for notable African-American entertainers and politicians in the ‘50s and ‘60s. Two adjacent buildings create the large interior, which includes a wooden bar with a long drink rail, a dining room with spacious booths, back nooks with four-top bar tables, an upstairs bar room with couches and the original fireplace, and a second-story back deck nestled over the large outdoor patio. Unlike the owners’ previous places, there will be no dance floor or central DJ booth—but diners can expect to hear plenty of funk and R&B tunes as they nosh. Best of all, happy hour plans are almost finalized.
Chez Billy: 3815 Georgia Ave. NW, DC; 202-506-2080
The Curious Grape Wine,Dine & Shop
One can never have too much wine and cheese. In the spirit of more is more, the team behind the Curious Grape Wine, Dine & Shop store in Shirlington have expanded their venue to include a 95-seat café and restaurant and a 10-seat wine bar; the kitchen is run by Eric McKamey, formerly of PassionFish in Reston. “The new Curious Grape is like a playground for people who like wine and food,” says co-owner Suzanne McGrath. “The addition of a restaurant allows us now to bring each of these items to the table, mixing and matching, pairing, and incorporating them into dishes. The point is not just about abundance, it’s really about pairing and having fun tasting and enjoying lots of different things.” The Curious staff obviously put a lot of effort into the setup of the shop—each department in the new location is run by a particular employee who loves the category, whether it’s cheese, chocolate, beer, or coffee. Half hungry? Try the half portions: half sizes of most menu dishes, including glasses of wines, drafts on tap, and delectable desserts allow guests to graze and try a little bit of everything. Don’t miss the rosemary walnut gouda scones; trust us, half will not be enough.
The Curious Grape Wine, Dine & Shop: 2900 S. Quincy St. Arlington, VA; 703-671-8700; www.curiousgrape.com
Green Pig Bistro
Green Pig hasn’t been open long, but food critics and restaurant-goers alike are dubbing it a hit, with some even going as far to dub it the best restaurant in Clarendon. The offal-centric eatery pushes nose-to-tail cuts in the form of pork tacos, bacon cheeseburgers, rabbit cake, duck confit and pork shank to the Arlington masses. Chef Scot Harlan, formerly of 2941 and Inox, is the man behind the meats, all of which are made in-house. The eats are as awesome as everyone says, but don’t skip the bar—bartender Andrew Shapiro’s concoctions are not to be missed. Canned beers and top-notch wines are available, along with a rotating trio of classic cocktails. The Green Pig is the perfect balance of bitters and bourbon, while the Almost Paradise is a heady mix of parfait amour, gin, and lavender. Let’s discuss décor: a colorful collection of Le Creuset cookware line the interior, while food-related books from Harlan’s personal collection cover the walls—the open kitchen and communal tables in the bar and the dining room are perfect for fostering conversations between like-minded foodies. Pig is only open in the evenings for now, but expect brunch soon.
Green Pig Bistro: 1025 Fillmore St. Arlington, VA; 202-412-6268
The country’s first black theatre, closed for over three decades, is back in business—this time, as a buzzed-about dining destination too. Super-chef Marcus Samuelsson and comprehensive sit-down and stand-up menus give Howard a lot of credibility in the culinary department. “We are really excited about the opportunity to bring something truly different to the dining scene here in Washington,” said Steven Bensusan, president of Blue Note Entertainment, which manages the operation of the theatre, including its food. “Bringing in a world-class chef of Marcus Samuelsson’s caliber already sets us apart; his menu ties in perfectly to both the history and the exciting future of the theatre, to say nothing of events like our weekly Sunday brunch.” Allow us to sing Gospel Brunch’s praise—the Harlem Gospel Choir serenades diners as they enjoy the Southern-style menu stuffed with tasty dishes such as South Carolina grits, cornmeal-crusted catfish, buttermilk biscuits, and fruit cobbler. Hallelujah, indeed. At night, burgers and fried chicken are on hand for hungry audience members; on stage will be the likes of Chaka Khan and Esperanza Spalding, adding their names to a list of luminaries that includes Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, James Brown, the Supremes, and Aretha Franklin. Respect.
Howard Theatre: 620 T. St. NW, DC; 202-588-5595; www.thehowardtheatre.com
The gauntlet has been thrown: Hakan Ilhan, owner of La Forchetta, thinks his pies best those of DC’s most renowned pizza parlor, 2Amys. A top of the line Italian-made dough mixer is purportedly the secret to the light, airy crust. Crusty, cheesy goodness isn’t the only thing on the American University-adjacent spot’s menu. “La Forchetta is bringing Roberto Donna’s amazing pastas, risotto and wood-fired pizza to my neighborhood as I live just a few blocks from my newest restaurant,” says Ilhan. “It is very exciting to have a world class, James Beard award-winning chef creating dishes that are as outstanding as they are wallet-friendly. This to me is a great addition not just to New Mexico Avenue but for the city of DC as a whole.” The beverage list is heavy on wine, but eight drafts are available for pizza-and-beer purists; skip the usual and opt for the Italian Moretti instead.
La Forchetta: 3201 New Mexico Ave. NW, DC; 202-244-2223; www.laforchettadc.com
Rasika West End
Obama aside, you can’t get a bigger name dining in your resto than former Commander-in-Chief Bill Clinton. Restaurateur Ashok Bajaj’s newest spot boasts big flavors as well as big names: “Rasika means flavors and Rasika West End is bringing a whole new sensation of Indian flavors to its neighborhood,” said Bajaj. Executive Chef Vikram Sunderman and newcomer Chef de Cuisine Manish Tyagi—from the luxurious Taj Group of Hotels in India—oversaw the menu, almost half of which is unique from Rasika 1; try the tandoori and dishes prepared on the tawa or “griddle” and sigri or “open barbecue.” Alexander Carlin is the man behind the beverage menu—liquor lovers can anticipate cocktails that incorporate flavorful spice elements and Indian spirits. The lighter, airier, and decidedly more modern interior is a departure from Rasika Penn Quarter’s somewhat oppressive plummy-ness; New York-based designer Martin Vahtra helped create Rasika 2.0. Carriage-like booths lining the windows are the coolest seats we’ve coveted in a while.
Rasika West End: 1177 22nd St. NW, DC; 202-466-2500; www.rasikarestaurant.com
The Society Lounge
Former professional basketball player Jason Miskiri—he played one game for the Charlotte Hornets during the 1999-2000 NBA season—tries his hand again in the restaurant biz. Lounge is Miskiri’s second spot, following Laurel, Maryland’s Island Flavors Restaurant. Keeping with the Caribbean vein, Society classes things up with more upscale dishes like guava barbecue ribs, Black Angus beef sliders, and Irie Island pasta for the vegetarian crowd—the vegan blend of soy chicken, wheat pasta, and vegetables has more oomph than you’d expect. If you don’t do buttoned-up, loosen your collar at Reggae Tuesdays, a weekly celebration of Caribbean music and its culture starting at 8:30 p.m. The Lounge is open Monday-Thursday until midnight, Fridays and Saturdays until 2 a.m. and Sundays until 11 p.m.
The Society Lounge: 8229 Georgia Ave. Silver Spring, MD; 301-565-8864; www.societyss.com
Ice cream sandwiches are your perfect antidote to a sticky hot spring day. The gourmet market offshoot of Connecticut Avenue’s Ripple is a feast for the eyes, with the aforementioned sweet treats stacked alongside sandwiches, pâtés, salads, and Ripple’s signature bacon-roasted pecans. “No one else in the neighborhood is serving these types of sweet and savory gourmet items on the go,” said owner Roger Marmet. Brownies, cookies, and meringues, oh my. Tiffany blue color accents, pig statuettes and light fixtures disguised as beaters amp up the eye candy. Pastry chef Alison Reed churns out six different flavors of ice cream, including the delicious maple bacon concoction—served on a waffle, of course; Ripple’s chef, Logan Cox, assists with the savory items. Sugar Magnolia is adjacent to Ripple and open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Sugar Magnolia: 3417 Connecticut Ave. NW, DC; 202-244-7995; www.rippledc.com
Three Little Pigs
Pig is the new black. Joining Green Pig in the swine-centric restaurant category is this District market from husband-and-wife team Jason Story and Carolina Gomez. Jason serves as TLP’s chef and charcutier, producing cuts solely from locally-sourced whole animals. In addition to hand-rubbed honey cured bacon, citrus smoked salmon, and venison sausage, pickles, condiments, and crackers are made and packaged right at the shop. Don’t worry about your goods spoiling post-shopping spree while you’re out and about—Pigs provides thermal insulated bags to keep your food preserved for up to three hours. Thinking sit-down? Customers can also peruse a daily lunch menu featuring meats from the shop section—the quick-cured Chinese sausage is stellar. Old-fashioned sodas with half the sugar of today’s carbonated sips add a healthy(ish) touch to the Petworth place.
Three Little Pigs: 5111 Georgia Ave. NW, DC; 202-316-0916; www.threelittlepigsdc.com
Roti Mediterranean Grill
The popular Chicago-based Mediterranean Grill, Roti, will be opening at Union Station this summer. In celebration, Roti is offering the chance to win FREE lunch for a year! To be considered, contestants must sign up before store opens. Learn more at www. events.roti.com/UnionStation.
Roti Mediterranean Grill: 50 Massachusetts Ave. NW, DC; www.roti.com
Barcelona Wine Bar: The Connecticut-based chain is eyeing the BodySmith DC space on 14th Street for its first District location. The opening date is as yet unknown.
Barcelona Wine Bar: 1622 14th St. NW, DC
Good Stuff Eatery: Spike Mendelsohn’s burger joint will open its second location in Crystal City this spring.
Good Stuff Eatery: 3291 M St. NW, DC
G Street Food: A second location of the quick eats spot has opened in the former Jonathan’s Gourmet space in south Dupont. Customers can expect the same excellent banh mi and halal lamb platters and tasty breakfasts served at the original venue.
G Street Food: 1706 G St. NW, DC; 202-408-7474; www.gstreetfood.com; 1120 19th St., NW, DC.
Shophouse Southeast Asian Kitchen:
The former Furin’s bakery is set to house the second Shophouse Southeast Asian Kitchen. The Chipotle spin-off’s first location is in Dupont.
Shophouse Southeast Asian Kitchen: 1516 Connecticut Ave. NW, DC; 202-232-4141; www.shophousekitchen.com; 2805 M St. NW, DC
Spirit Room: Look for the ubiquitous Hilton brothers to debut their summer garden, tavern-style eatery under the name Spirit Room.
Spirit Room: 1337 H St. NE, DC
Summer Fancy Food Show: In the mood for classy cuisine? Look for the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade’s Summer Fancy Food Show from June 17- June 19. Visitors can sample some 180,000 products including confections, cheese, coffee, snacks, and spices from 2,400 exhibitors from 80 different countries and regions. Etiquette optional. Summer Fancy Food Show: Walter E. Washington Convention Center, 801 Mount Vernon Pl. NW, DC; www.specialtyfood.com
The Georgetown creperie has closed.
Eagle Restaurant and Sports Bar
The Shaw spot is no longer.
The Columbia Heights java joint has closed.