On Tap: New Notable No Longer: June 2017
“On Tap keeps locals in the know about the hottest new food and drink spots around town, the top culinary news of the month and recent closings. Read on to get the inside scoop on what’s new, notable and no longer in the DC area.
Open: May 15
Lowdown: It’s slightly surprising that an international beer brand would set up the first ever U.S. outpost in Leesburg, Va. But for owner and manager Curtis Allred, his beer-loving community is a uniquely perfect location for Delirium Café, which he has been trying to bring stateside ever since his first visit to the Brussels original. As a native of Northern Virginia, I’m certainly not complaining. The café is in good company in Loudoun County, which has more than 20 breweries now, with new ones on the way. Fans of the pink elephant theme have already begun to flock to the building, which is more than 200 years old. Walking into the bar and dining room feels like entering someone’s home (mind you, someone with an affinity for Belgium). The beverage program stars the Delirium product line from Huyghe Brewery, as well as more than 250 beers, most of them Belgian. Trust the knowledgeable servers to guide you toward something you’ll enjoy. The brasserie-style menu is heavy on seasoned frites and mussels cooked in Delirium beer. 101 South King St. Leesburg, VA; www.deliriumcafe.us
Siren by Robert Wiedmaier
Open: April 25
Lowdown: This luxurious shrine to seafood calls diners like the song of its mythical namesake. Robert Wiedmaier and his partner Brian McBride have tapped a nautical-minded chef, John Critchley, to helm the kitchen. The menu casts a wide net, from raw seafood platters and Sasanian caviar to crudo, filets and whole fish. Though many of the marine delicacies sit high on the ocean food chain, sustainability is top of mind for the team. They keep the menu small and flexible to accommodate shifts in availability of product from around the world, and from the waters in our backyard. During a recent gathering at Siren, I ate more seafood in one sitting than I did in the weeks prior, but it never felt monotonous, thanks to uncharted preparations like blue crab custard with Japanese sea urchin and caviar sandwiched in a white chocolate macaron. The deep blue dining room is graced by mermaid visitors and coastal flair throughout. 1515 Rhode Island Ave. NW, DC; www.sirenbyrw.com
Open: May 8
Location: Tysons Corner
Lowdown: Tuyet Nhi Le – one of the team of seven behind the playful Happy Endings Hospitality restaurant group – says she found inspiration for their newest concept, a fusion tea house, from her travels on the West Coast and in Asia, where boba tea reigns supreme. Teas’n You isn’t just about tea, though. In addition to specialty tea and coffee drinks, the succinct menu offers creative takes on macarons and pastries, along with light savory bites like Taiwanese-style popcorn chicken. Many of the menu items lean trendy, with unicorn and breakfast cereal macarons brushed with gold strokes, white rose cream tea and a doughssant (their version of a cronut). This doesn’t mean the kitchen sacrifices quality for whimsy. They use top-notch ingredients like premium loose leaf tea, fresh fruits and flowers, and European butter. I could spend all day in the serene café, which looks like it was designed by the tea goddess who is featured in the shop’s logo. The light wood walls are draped with handmade origami and floral art by the visual designer for Anthropologie. 8032 Leesburg Pike, Tysons Corner, VA; www.teasnyou.com
Open: May 2
Lowdown: Though not an inn at all, the Truxton Inn is modeled after a sumptuous hotel bar, with shadowy lighting, antique couches and shelves filled with books and eye-catching trinkets. The intimate neighborhood cocktail bar pays homage to classic cocktails with true-to-form renditions of daiquiris and Manhattans, but it also riffs on each classic by swapping out staple ingredients for unexpected ones. I loved the no sé-groni, which puts mezcal center stage. Brian Nixon of McClellan’s Retreat is curating the cocktail program, which will change every other month. Food is not the focus, but there will be a few small snacks like Republic Kolaches, charcuterie, cheese and seasoned popcorn. 251 Florida Ave. NW, DC; www.truxtoninndc.com“
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Featured photo by Rey Lopez.