On Tap Magazine: New & Notable: November 2019

From On Tap Magazine’s November Issue by Lani Furbank:

“On Tap keeps locals in the know about the hottest new food and drink spots around town and the top culinary happenings of the month. Read on to get the inside scoop on what’s new and notable in the DC area.


Corner Office
Open: September 17
Location: Downtown
Lowdown: The W Hotel’s $50 million renovation brought with it brand new dining concepts, including a convivial pizza and beer garden. Corner Office, so named for its prime location on the corner of 15th and Pennsylvania Avenue, has a spacious outdoor patio with large communal tables and a trendy underground bar indoors. The menu is overseen by chef de cuisine William Morris, who sweats the details of his pies – like the perfect dough recipe and the highest quality ingredients. There are eight different pizzas, each charred in wood-fired ovens. The combinations range from the classic artisan pepperoni to the luxe truffle hunter with buffalo mozzarella, black truffle puree and shaved truffles. The pies are the perfect companion for the extensive beer selection of nearly 50 drafts. In the warmer months, the garden is home to bocce courts and umbrellas. As the temperatures drop, the courts will turn into curling rinks and heat lamps will keep things nice and toasty. A nod to the hotel’s motto of “crossing the party line,” the patio features a mural of an elephant and a donkey enjoying pizzas and beer with their critter friends. 515 15th St. NW, DC; www.marriott.com/hotels/hotel-information/restaurant/waswh-w-washington-dct

Open: October 11
Location: Navy Yard
Lowdown: When the Daikaya Group plans a new concept, they begin with a narrative. At Hatoba, their third Sapporo-style ramen shop, that narrative is one inspired by Kappabashi, a street in Tokyo overflowing with specialty restaurant supply stores. Picture a ship arriving from Japan and setting up a restaurant supply showroom inside the old navy boilermaker building – that’s Hatoba. (The owner is also an avid baseball fan, of both the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters and of course, the neighboring Nationals.) Soup bowls, bento boxes, sake carafes and paper lanterns line the walls and front windows, and the bathrooms broadcast the audio from Japanese baseball games. The menu is depicted in shokuhin sampuru – Japanese food models – and it’s distinct from both Daikaya and Haikan. After an intensive R&D trip in Sapporo, where there are more than 1,000 ramen shops, the team decided they wanted to showcase the breadth of the regional cuisine, while remaining true to tradition and carrying on their characteristic obsession with details. Befitting the location and the restaurant’s name (meaning dock or wharf), there are two seafood-forward bowls: the red miso clam and the spicy red miso. Along with the more common shio (with a hint of yuzu) and garlic shoyu, there is a unique vegan offering: the tomato curry. The can-centric beverage program is a playful nod to the nearby baseball stadium, offering local and Japanese beers, sake, cocktails, wine, coffees, teas and sodas. 300 Tingey St. #170, SE, DC; www.hatobadc.com

PLNT Burger
Open: September 12
Location: Silver Spring
Lowdown: “Eat the change you wish to see in the world” is printed on signs, food wrappers and menus in the Whole Foods restaurant kiosk that houses PLNT Burger. This phrase embodies the ethos of the plant-based fast casual concept by celebrity chef Spike Mendelsohn and his partners, Julie Farkas and Benjamin Kaplan. They’re endeavoring to democratize the plant-based movement by making meatless burgers available to diners from any background. The food is kosher and the prices start at $6.95 for a burger. The team is passionate about plants because of their potential to feed people in an energy-efficient manner that’s better for people and the environment. But beyond that, their goal is to make indulgent, craveable satisfying burgers – without meat, and without sacrificing flavor. The menu is succinct, with four burgers starring hand-formed patties made from Beyond Meat. One of the most popular selections is a mushroom bacon BBQ burger, stacked with vegan cheddar, mushroom “bacon,” bloomies and house BBQ sauce. The bloomies are one of the side options – incredibly addictive miniature fried onion blooms – along with herbed fries and sweet potato crinkle fries. A burger and fries isn’t complete without ice cream, so don’t skip the oat milk soft serve made exclusively for PLNT Burger by Dolcezza Gelato. 833 Wayne Ave. Silver Spring, MD; www.plntburger.com

Sunday Morning Bakehouse
Open: October 1
Location: North Bethesda
Lowdown: Though she loved to bake from a young age, Caroline Yi had always written off the idea of owning a bakery as a pipe dream. She never expected to be baking around the clock to keep up with demand at her first business. Sunday Morning Bakehouse is truly a family operation, owned by Yi and her sister Alex, with help from their parents and other relatives. Yi recalls learning to bake with her aunt, and says it feels like things have come full circle for her family, as her grandfather owned a bakery where her aunt and uncle worked long before she was born. She’s named her bakery after her favorite day of the week growing up – the day when her father, a business owner, was home for breakfast and her family would spend time together. Now it’s her busiest workday. Her journey in baking has been primarily self-taught, though she also did stints at A Baked Joint and bakeries in New York before opening a farmers market stall that would routinely sell out of fan favorites like croissants with the perfect honeycomb structure. She seems to have found a recipe for success with her warm and minimalist storefront, filled with natural light, neutral hues and light wood. The menu offers breakfast all day, with sandwiches, toasts and assorted pastries paired with Ceremony Coffee. In the coming weeks, Yi plans to keep the shop open later and transition into a wine bar in the evenings, with pizzas and baguettes to accompany cheese and charcuterie boards. 11869 Grand Park Ave. North Bethesda, MD; www.sundaymorningbakehouse.com

Featured courtesy of Sunday Morning Bakehouse.

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