Spend the rest of the summer at DC’s best new restaurants

Keeping tabs on every DC restaurant and bar opening is madness. But keep an eye out for the most deserving? Yeoman’s work, and we are proud to do it. So, we bring you Table Stakes, a monthly recap of the five (or more) must-watch spots that have opened in the past 30 (or more). Let’s eat.

We will have to forgive ourselves, because this month, in addition to our new openings, we are highlighting some equally commendable addresses whose openings had escaped us a little earlier this summer. Forgive us – we promise they’re worth including, because DC is now the proud home of new spots for international cuisine from as far away as Mexico, Thailand and the Caribbean.

Spread of St James

Deb Lindsay

U Street Corridor

You are here because… You’ve been eagerly awaiting the arrival of this much teased sister to Cane for what seems like years. Jeanine Prime has tapped veteran Cane chef Emma Hernandez and chef Alfredo Romero Contreras (ex-Fiola Mare) to lead the Caribbean kitchen.

You dine on… a panoply of dishes reflecting the diversity of Caribbean cuisine, where European, Asian and African flavors mingle and blend. A play on the traditional oil fuzz includes breadfruit, yams, taro and pork in a coconut sauce, while the pepper prawns are zesty and savory with their scotch bonnet peppers. The Paratha platter is perfect for sharing, with an assortment of curries accompanied by paratha flatbread. Desserts from fellow Trinidadian Winnette McIntosh Ambrose, owner of Capitol Hill’s award-winning bakery The Sweet Lobby and Souk, include ginger-infused chocolate mousse or tropical fruit-flavored profiteroles, while the cocktail list may include the Pineapple Chow with Trinidadian rum and black pepper, or the West Indian Old Fashioned infused with curry and chai.

2017 14e Street, NW

Variety of tacos from Rebel Tacos

Variety of tacos from Rebel Taco

Rebel tacos

Mount Vernon Triangle

You are here because… you’re already a fan of the bold, innovative flavors of other Rebel Taco outposts, so you’re excited to check out this brand new address, complete with an outdoor margarita garden and a tequila “library” full of picky eaters. à – find bottles to accompany the creative tacos. The soft openings in July pave the way for the restaurant’s true grand opening on August 16th.

You dine on… Mexican classics like guacamole, fajitas and homemade queso blanco, but also some more modern variations. The “Shrimp Gone Wild” sees shrimp breaded in a cornflake crust and served with cilantro coleslaw and a secret sauce, while the “Buffalo Soldier” pairs crispy chicken with homemade buffalo sauce and blue cheese crumbs. And for bigger appetites, carne asada fries or birria quesadillas made with braised brisket and served with beef broth for dipping will ensure you won’t go hungry.

508 K St. N.W.

Vermilion Carpaccio

Vermilion Carpaccio

LeadingDC

Alexandria

You are here because… you lamented the loss of this neighborhood restaurant at the start of the pandemic, so you’re glad to see it return after extensive renovations. The iconic and lively bar offers a varied drinks program: wines suitable for the cuisine join seasonal cocktails, a selection of local craft beers and a list of 75 bottles of whiskey. It’s the perfect place to hone your palate for the specialties that come out of the kitchen.

You dine on… Chef Ben Pflaumer’s incisive explorations of premium local ingredients, where even everyday produce is elevated to luxury caviar and oysters. A mix of large and small plates offer a wide variety of options: a mushroom steak can be served with black soy and bordelaise sauce, while beef carpaccio is topped with watercress and celery. Add fried chicken, homemade pasta and more, and you have the makings of a great local.

1120 King Street

Entrance to Sura Thai

Entrance to Sura Thai

thai surah

Dupont

You are here because… You’re a big fan of Thai food, especially when the Fat Nomads team is behind the stove. Sura Thai is a permanent pop-up offering the Fat Nomads Ghost Kitchen a physical location.

You dine on… dishes inspired by Bangkok Chinatown’s night market: think quail egg wontons with house-made pickles or Thai fries and dip game with rice crackers and coconut curry dip with ground pork. The menu changes regularly, but the duck larb is a mainstay (and a total crowd pleaser), as is the spicy shrimp crudo with garlic-scented chili sauce. There are also plenty of meatless options, including a crispy tofu tempura. Pair it with your choice of cocktails from Andy Thammasathiti of Baltimore’s Mayuree Thai Tavern, such as a Lychee Collins or a passion fruit daiquiri.

2016, rue P N.-O.

Churros de Mi Vida

Churros de Mi Vida

Mi Vida

14e Street

You are here because… Authentic Mexican fare is on the menu, so you’re sure to be on the front line at this new KNEAD Hospitality + Design venue, with a kitchen helmed by Mexico City native chef Roberto Santibañez.

You dine on… dishes inspired by traditional and contemporary Mexican cuisine. The guacamole is a no-brainer and the tacos are phenomenal, but also be sure to dig into some less familiar dishes: whole roast fish is served butterfly-wrapped with two adobos, while zarape de pato sees slow-braised duck between tortillas. corn and topped with spicy roast. habanero cream. The salmon is served in a swoon-worthy ancho-pineapple sauce with pico d’pineapple, and don’t forget the citrus tres leches for dessert.

1901 14th Street NW

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