On Tap: New Notable No Longer: October 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: August 22
Location: Park Potomac
Lowdown: Black Restaurant Group reopened their beloved Addie’s in Park Potomac four years after it closed due to space constraints. The iconic restaurant is named after Jeff Black’s grandmother, and the new location is laid out like a family home, with an elegant dining room, a bustling living room and an intimate den. Subtle nods to the matriarch are seen throughout: each bag of pillowy signature rolls has a cheery school bus illustration (Addie was a kindergarten teacher). The star attraction on the menu is the custom seafood tower, which allows guests to choose from more than 20 seafood dishes, like oysters, ceviche, lobster tail and even a few hot options. My favorite was the seafood toast: Maine lobster, blue crab and gulf shrimp piled onto country bread. The selection of starters is robust enough to make a meal out of, with a rich cacio e pepe, the famous Addie’s mussels and Vietnamese caramel salmon. But leave room for the shareable dinners for two, like the succulent whole roasted Mediterranean bass. 12435 Park Potomac Ave. Potomac, MD; www.addiesrestaurant.com
Open: September 8
Lowdown: Chef David Guas didn’t want his new coffee bar inside the Darcy Hotel to feel like the red-headed stepchild, so he’s been hard at work on the little details that make it a valued member of the family. With baklava croissants, a custom matte black espresso machine and Charm City mead on tap, Guas says Lil’ B is more like Bayou Bakery’s sassy little sister. The compact spot has a polished, urban vibe, but it’s not without Southern charm. The menu is influenced by Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas and of course, Guas’ home state of Louisiana. In the morning, snag a fresh everything croissant filled with whipped chive cream or a classic beignet. For lunch and beyond, there’s Chef D’s muffaletta, a rich seafood gumbo with a Gulf shrimp roll. During the week, score deals during the coffee happy hour from 2-4 p.m. or the mead happy hour from 5-6 p.m. There are also grab-and-go options like pimento cheese or chicken salad, plus retail products including Counter Culture coffee and local honey. 1515 Rhode Island Ave. NW, DC; www.thedarcyhotel.com/restaurant-and-bar/lil-b
Open: August 15
Location: Union Kitchen
Lowdown: Tortilladora, a delivery service operating out of Union Kitchen, wants to make every night Taco Tuesday with their globally-inspired taco kits. Chef Ed McIntosh, formerly the executive chef of Matchbox Food Group, Great American Restaurants and Hillstone Restaurant Group, was drawn to the versatility of tacos for his first solo venture. His recipes feature unique combinations like Chinese five-spice, tamarind pork tacos and miso shrimp tacos. Unlike popular meal kit services, Tortilladora doesn’t require any prep at home because each taco kit comes with fully-prepared elements in separate containers. A kit includes handmade corn tortillas and your choice of filling, garnishes and four salsas; all that’s left to do is reheat. The menu also includes sides and desserts like elote, roasted potato salad, rice and beans, guacamole with a Japanese twist, and tres leches cake. Delivery is available in the city Monday through Friday, 4-10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 12-10 p.m. 1251 9th St. NW, DC; www.myfavoritetaco.com
Open: September 8
Lowdown: Business partners Faris Ghareeb, Jad Bouchebel, Walid Zeytoun and Alex Haje saw the potential in the old Rí Rá building on Wilson Boulevard before they even began construction. After knocking out walls and beams, overhauling the décor and expanding the seating capacity to 300 people, the space is unrecognizable. It’s a sleek, 7,000-square-foot bar and lounge with five distinct areas: an airy dining room, a mezzanine level where a DJ spins on weekends, two patios and an Insta-worthy rooftop. The décor was curated by SWATCHROOM and includes a massive papier-mâché mural over exposed brick, a wall of mirrors and six custom metal chandeliers. The building was inhabited by a hardware store for several decades before it was an Irish pub, so the team decided to pay homage to their early predecessor with Wilson Hardware. Filament lightbulbs, steel beams and playful menu headings like “power tools” (entrées), “hand tools” (sandwiches) and “nuts and bolts” (sides) carry the industrial theme. The cuisine is a mix of upscale bar bites like corn fritters and crab dip, plus a few full-sized dinner offerings such as steak frites and stuffed chicken breast. The bar serves a variety of colorful cocktails, including frozen drinks and cocktails on draft, and they all have punny hardware names – Screw Him, Nailed It, Bright Idea (served in a lightbulb). Beer and wine is also on offer. The modern space is already packed on the weekends, with plenty of opportunity for private parties, special events and live music in the future. 2915 Wilson Blvd. Arlington, VA; www.wilsonhardwareva.com“
Featured photo courtesy of Tortilladora.