DC Restaurant Buzz: New Openings, Wine Dinners, Prix Fixe Feasts, Booze News

New openings. Wine dinners. Multi-course feasts. Seasonal specials. All in another loaded edition of the DC Restaurant Buzz. Check it out.

New Openings

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Granite City Food and Brewery to Open in National Harbor

Granite City Food and Brewery will open its 34th location at the National Harbor. The St. Cloud, Minn.-based restaurant and brew-pub will open on Wednesday, May 6th at 200 American Way.

The 10,881 square foot restaurant will seat approximately 260 patrons in the dining room, 27 at the bar and 64 in the private dining room. It will also feature an outdoor patio with additional seating for 20 to 30 people. The modern-designed space, features, an open kitchen and an on-site brewery, creates an inviting ambiance with its dark wood and granite accents.

Patrons will enjoy a menu with signature dishes such as ponzu salmon, braised bison short ribs, pulled pork waffle sandwich, burgers, flatbreads, salads, steaks and more, as well as a regionally-defined seasonal menu sourced from local food producers.

The brew-pub’s handcrafted beers –also available in growlers – are moderately priced and offer unique styles and flavors not typically produced by major breweries. The patented brewing process, known as Fermentus Interruptus, makes replicating the same great taste simple and efficient throughout all Granite City Food & Brewery restaurants.

Signature brews include The Duke, Pale Ale; The Bennie, a German Altbier; The Northern, an American Golden Ale; The Broad Axe, an Oatmeal Stout and Batch 1000, Double IPA. Seasonal brews are also created onsite and featured throughout the year, in addition to a selection of other locally-produced craft brews.

Visit on opening day, May 6th, and receive a complimentary Brew Rewards membership to collect points on all food and tap beer purchases to be redeemed for discounts on future purchases.

Pennsylvania 6 to Open at McPherson Square

Managing Partner Chris Coco is pleased to announce the late May opening of Pennsylvania 6, the 265-seat contemporary American restaurant located across from McPherson Square at 1350 I (Eye) Street, NW. Coco is a member of the Public House Investments’ management team based in Philadelphia, which operates multiple restaurant concepts including the popular City Tap House in Washington, DC. Pennsylvania 6 will serve lunch, dinner and weekend brunch on both Saturday and Sunday.

Guests can anticipate a regional American menu prepared by Culinary Director Brian Cooke with specialties such as Foie Gras Mousse with apple cider gelee; Hawaiian Spear Fish with avocado, ginger, hearts of palm, citrus and ceviche sauce; Wild Burgundy Snails with Logan Turnpike grits; Roasted Bone Marrow with garlic herb crust; Lobster Roll served on a buttered roll with duck fat fries; Lamb Tenderloin Roulade with Yukon gold potato puree; and the Monkfish Osso Buco.

Butcher selected steaks and chops reminiscent of classic steakhouse fare will also be available along with fresh local oysters, top neck clams, shrimp and crab cocktail, lobster and crudo, available at the six-seat raw bar.

The bar program at Pennsylvania 6 will offer classic libations with a twist. Guests can anticipate a culinary approach to classic mixology incorporating fresh, local, seasonal ingredients found in the homemade syrups and mixers. Each drink will come with its own history and origin. One of the featured cocktails is the Grapes of Wrath, made from a combination of bourbon, muddled grapefruit, brandied grapes, house grapefruit liquor and aromatic bitters.

NEYLA Mediterranean Bistro Relocates to Reston Town Center

Neyla - Len de Pas

NEYLA Mediterranean Bistro will relocate to Reston Town Center, located at 11898 Market Street, Reston, Virginia and open in early May. A favorite in Georgetown for more than 15 years, in Reston it will enjoy a much bigger footprint, bringing a chic bar and lounge, and modern bistro menu to the area, serving lunch, dinner and weekend  brunch.

This new 160-seat Eastern Mediterranean restaurant will feature a large assortment of small plates (mezze) ideal for tasting and sharing, as well as well as a trendy expansive bar menu with creative cocktails and regional wines.

Acclaimed Chef Eric von Gehren has been tapped as the executive chef to design the menu and spearhead the kitchen for the new NEYLA. Souheil Moussadik, the former general manager of NEYLA in Georgetown will bring his charm, excitement and energy from the DC bar and dining scene to NEYLA in Reston.

Guests can anticipate garden fresh vegetables, select cheeses, meats and fish prepared with an Eastern Mediterranean influence, yet each dish will have distinctive flavors that are unique to NEYLA. The menu design will accommodate the health conscience, the adventurous, and those who are looking for their traditional Mediterranean favorites.

Highlights include Roasted Eggplant, Circassian Chicken and Armenian Sausage; Traditional dips such as Baba Ghanoush, NEYLA Hummus and Lebne served with house-made pita cooked in the wood-fired brick oven; Caprese Flatbreads and a Turkish Pita Flatbread with spicy soujouk sausage, kasseri cheese and olive oil; Grilled Halloumi Cheese Spaghetti; Braised Lamb Shank and Fried Calamari. Dishes for the entire table include Salt-Crusted Branzino; Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder, and a Lebanese Couscous.

Lunch will also feature a wide variety of Mediterranean salads that will be available for diners to enjoy at NEYLA or “to-go” for those working in the offices throughout the Reston Town Center. These include traditional Greek and Mediterranean Salads, Tabbouleh Salad, and Turkish Roasted Duck Salad.

New Offers

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Daikaya Offers Shōchū Cocktails For Spring

Daikaya is pleased to unveil a collection of shōchū cocktails crafted by Beverage Director Jamie MacBain. Four springtime libations will be added to the menu beginning April 13th, and they will be available throughout the spring and summer months exclusively in the 90-seat izakaya.

Shōchū is a clear, Japanese spirit distilled from ingredients that contain natural sugars such as barley, sweet potatoes, buckwheat, or rice. In Japan, shōchū is often mixed with hot water, oolong tea and fruit juices such as orange, peach and grapefruit. Health conscious consumers prefer shōchū over other forms of alcohol because it’s low in calories (roughly 15-20 calories per ounce).

New signature shōchū cocktails for spring include the Mothra, with Awamori, Lillet Rose and orange bitters, garnished with an expressed orange zest; Goku, Ichiko, goji berry syrup and lemon juice; Ninkyo Dantai, Mizu, Cocchi Americano Rosa, Gran Classico Bitter and Palo Cortado sherry, garnished with a lemon zest, as well as the Hamani, persimmon-infused green tea shōchū, lemon juice, honey syrup and Lindera Farms persimmon vinegar, topped with a salted cherry blossom foam.

nopa Kitchen + Bar Debuts 2 & 3-Course Prix Fixe Lunch

nopa Kitchen + Bar has added two new fixed price, affordable lunch specials, available Monday-Friday, from 11:30 AM to 3 PM. Newly appointed Executive Chef Matt Kuhn invites guests to choose a soup and sandwich off the featured menu for $17, or those with a little bit more time during lunch can select a soup or salad, entrée and seasonal sorbet for just $32.

Standout soup and sandwich options on the new spring menu include the Fried Skate Sandwich with watermelon radish; Nopa Burger with house-made pimento cheese ” whiz “, Applewood smoked bacon; Portobello Cheesesteak with onion jam and Piquillo peppers; Pulled Pork & Fried Oyster Po’boy with bacon-horseradish aioli, and the Celery Root and Parsnip Soup with poached lobster, smoked olive oil and black truffle.

Entree and salad options available on the three-course lunch menu include Kale-Beef Confit Salad with feta cheese; Shrimp Spinach Salad with black truffle vinaigrette; Chilean Sea Bass with baby bok choy; Beef Coulotte Steak Frites with a smoked blue cheese sauce; Farro & Black Quinoa Risotto with pea shoot pesto; and Beef Short Rib Cassoulet with cranberry beans, pancetta, cipollini onions, potato dumplings and red wine jus.

Nage Debuts Six New Spring Cocktails

Nage Bistro is unveiling a new collection of cocktails for spring, starting April 22nd. Each is made with a different variety of fresh fruit juice and seasonal ingredients, and the cocktails are all named for popular precious and semi-precious stones.

The new handcrafted cocktails include the Stormy Garnet, house-infused strawberry, basil and black peppercorn vodka, ginger beer and cranberry juice, served on the rocks; the Cucumber Zirconia, gin, lime juice, cucumber, cilantro, agave nectar and chilies; the Sapphire, Spray vodka, blueberry reduction, muddled blueberries, sugar and vanilla bean, garnished with a blueberry and cheddar skewer; the Smokey Topaz, a barrel aged Manhattan aged 30 days in-house and garnished with house smoked cherries; the Jasper Moon, bourbon, St. Germain, lemon juice, simple syrup and mint, topped with sparkling wine, as well as the Ruby Slipper, a fresh watermelon juice martini.

Additionally, Nage Bistro will debut a White Peach Sangria for the spring and summer months.

Wine Dinners & Events

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Bastille Hosts Loire Valley Wine Dinner on April 22

Bastille is hosting a multi-course feast with renowned French wine pairings from the Loire Valley. Chefs Christophe and Michelle Poteaux will pair their contemporary French cuisine with biodynamic and organic wines that emanate from well-placed vineyards with microclimates favorable to the region’s iconic grapes, while emphasizing low yields and superior fruit.

Tickets cost $119, or $69 for the six-course meal, including amuse and dessert, without the wine. Call (703) 519-3776 or email reservations@bastillerestaurant.com to reserve.

The menu will include:

  • Terrine de volaille paired with Domaine Pas Saint Martin, “La Vie en Rose”, Rose of Grolleau Gris Methode Ancestrale, Val de Loire, Non-Vintage
  • Bucheron, Anjou pear, mache, hazelnuts paired with Rocher des Violettes, “Touche-Mitaine”, Montlouis-Sur-Loire Sec 2012
  • Razor clams, fava beans, spring peas paired with Chateau du Coing de Saint Fiacre, “Comte de Saint-Hubert”, Muscadet Sevre et Maine 1996
  • Lapin a la rubarbe, tarragon, spring onions, heirloom carrots paired with Guy Allion, “Les Perdriettes”, Gamay Noir de Touraine 2012
  • Chapel Hill Randall Lineback Veal, cherry red wine sauce, spring mushroom ragouts, white polenta paired with Domaine Aux Moines, Anjou-Villages 2012
  • and Hazelnut cake, orange blossom chiboust cream, orange marmelade, honey ice cream paired with Domaine Jo Pithon, “Les Varennes”, Quarts de Chaume 2003

Boss Shepherd’s Hosts Teutonic Wine Dinner on April 30

Boss Shepherd’s and Teutonic Wine Company present beautiful wines from Oregon and Germany focused on a sense of place and a desire to showcase the individuality of grapes both familiar and rare. Executive Chef Jeremy Waybright will serve four courses reminiscent of spring, while winemaker Barnaby Tuttle pours perfectly paired wines for guests to enjoy.

The dinner takes place on Thursday, April 30 at 6:30pm. Tickets cost $79 per person. To reserve call 202-347-2677 or email boss@boss-shepherds.com.

  • 2014 Riesling Brut. Immich-Anker Enkircher. Mosel. Germany
  • Carrot Ravioli with carrot broth, carrot top pesto and dehydrated sweet corn paired with 2014 Riesling. Teutonic. Crow Valley Vineyard. Willamette Valley. Oregon
  • Pork Belly with orange beet marmalade, grilled scallion and toast crumb paired with 2013 Pinot Meunier. Teutonic. Borgo Pass Vineyard. Willamette Valley. Oregon
  • Tea Smoked Duck Breast with shaved foie gras, mint, apricot and ruttabegga paired with 2013 Pinot Noir. Teutonic. Bergspitze. Laurel Vineyard. Chehalem Mountains. Oregon
  • Lavender Panna Cotta with strawberry and basil paired with 1999 Riesling Icewine. Immich-Anker Enkircher. Mosel. Germany

Joe’s Sommelier Series Begins with Burgundy

From Monday, April 20, to Sunday, April 26, Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab will debut Joe’s Sommelier Series, which features rotating world-class wines made available by the glass along with recommended food pairings. This month, Joe’s will explore one of the world’s most celebrated wine regions: Burgundy, France.

Selections include:

  • 2013 Louis Michel & Fils, “Butteaux” Chablis Premier Cru ($9/3oz or $18/6oz) — recommended with oysters on the half shell.
  • 2010 Olivier Leflaive, Meursault ($12/3oz or $24/6oz) — pairs wonderfully with Joe’s tableside Dover sole with brown butter sauce.
  • 2009 Remoissenet,”Robardelles” Volnay Premier Cru ($14/3oz or $28/6oz) — recommended with Joe’s salmon au poivre or double-cut Colorado lamb chops.
  • 1999 Jean-Michel Guillon, “Cuvée Pere Galland”, Gevrey-Chambertin ($18/3oz or $36/6oz) — a perfect pair to Joe’s signature bone-in filet mignon.

Sonoma Turns Into a Wine-Centric Movie Theater on May 4th

Sonoma Restaurant & Wine Bar will show the critically acclaimed documentary Somm on Monday, May 4 at 6pm. Accompanied by a panel of DC wine experts, guests will enjoy a full movie theater experience, with a wine flight tasting and an unlimited popcorn bar featuring fun house made varieties, like Classic Butter, Ranch, Dill Pickle-Spiced and Truffle, for $30 a person.

As Somm follows four sommelier hopefuls on their journey to compete against the best in the business and pass the test to become Masters, Sonoma will be hosting its own local wine tasting competition. Sonoma Beverage Director and sommelier Woong Chang will be joined by sommeliers Elli Benchimol of Range and Andrew Stover of Oya and Sei to conduct a guided wine tasting with guests-and then compete against one another in a blind wine tasting, just as is done in the film.

In addition to the fun popcorn bar, guests can also select from Chef de Cuisine James Marroquin’s a la carte menu house made movie snacks, like Popcorn-Marshmallow clusters, Old Bay-Spiced Candied Nuts, Soft Pretzel Twists with mustard or bacon peanut butter, and Crispy Chickpeas with coriander & cumin.

Space is limited. Visit www.sonomadc.com for more information or call 202.544.8088.

More Special Dinners

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Dino’s 10 Tastes of Duck Dinner on April 30

Visit Dino’s Grotto on Thursday, April 30 for a duck feast, with seatings at 6:30 or 7:30pm, and seating at communal tables. Tickets cost $65. The full menu includes:

  1. Duck Butt & Duck Ciccharones with powdered persian dried lime, aleppo & urfa peppers
  2. Duck Charcuterie Crostini with  confit of pate stuffed duck neck, fegatini, duck neck rillettes
  3. Duck & Asparagus Salad with sherry wine vinaigrette
  4. Stewed Duck Feet
  5. Wild Mushrooms & Duck in cocchi rosa sauce
  6. Matzoh Ball & Duck Soup with farro, duck stock, pea shoots
  7. Deconstructed Duck Ravioli  in thai flavored duck cream
  8. Confit on Salad w/Fried Quail Egg
  9. Roasted Breast Slices on local barley pilaf
  10. Duck Crackling Crema di Ciocolato

Along with your 10 courses of duck, you can pair with an optional Brunello 1997 flight, or other available wine flights. The Brunello di Montalcino 1997 Flight will have 3 Brunello di Montalcino from the five star 1997 vintage for $49. Bring your own wine with a $25 corkage fee.

2941 Restaurant Hosts 7-Course Celebration of Spring Dinner April 26

Visit 2941 Restaurant on Sunday, April 26th, for a 7-course ‘Celebration of Spring’ dinner priced at $75 per person. Guests can also opt for wine pairings hand selected by resident Sommelier Jonathan Schuyler for an additional $75.

Reservations are required with availability from 5 to 8pm. Visit www.2941.com or call (703) 270-1500.

The full menu includes:

  • Sea Scallop Ceviché with Vietnamese chili, plum, sweet peppers, basil or Warm Pea Velouté with sugar snap peas, ramps, Yukon gold potato
  • Jumbo White Asparagus with poached quail egg, morels, mousseline sauce
  • Potato Gnocchi with Spring onion cream, peas, pea tendrils, Evarona cheese or Risotto Paëlla Style with lobster, sepia, shrimp, peas, saffron, mangalica ham
  • Veal Medallion with green almonds, fiddlehead ferns, fresh garbanzo beans, ramps vinaigrette or Roasted Cherry Tomato with baby zucchini carpaccio, feta cheese foam, oregano vinaigrette
  • Local Farm Baby Lamb with wood fire grilled & braised, Greek yogurt, roasted cherry tomato, herbs or Vegetable Lovers with white eggplant, fava beans, roasted heirloom carrots, asparagus, herb salad
  • Rhubarb Vacherin with yogurt sorbet, blood orange coulis, caramel, poached rhubarb
  • Smoked Chocolate Truffle Tart with whipped mascarpone, Virginia strawberries

Bonus Booze News

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Derek Brown Named Chief Spirits Advisor as Part of New Spirited Republic Exhibit

The National Archives Foundation and award-winning bartender Derek Brown announced a new partnership  that will include a series of events at the National Archives as well as engagement with 20 DC-area bars in conjunction with the National Archives Museum’s new exhibit: Spirited Republic: Alcohol in American History.

Brown, the first-ever “Chief Spirits Advisor,” will curate a new History of the Cocktail Series to discuss the role of spirits in U.S. history. In this ten-part series, some of the top writers, bartenders, spirit-makers, and thinkers in spirits and cocktails will discuss various eras in the history of the cocktail, shedding light on our Spirited Republic.

Each event will highlight a period in American drinking from B.C. (before the cocktail) to the Platinum Age (the present age of cocktails), discussing everything from potential evidence for pre-Hispanic distillation to using technology to invent new cocktails. View the events schedule & RSVP here. A full list of participating bars is also available online.

Spirited Republic is free and open to the public, and will be on display in the Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery of the National Archives Museum in Washington, DC, from March 6, 2015, through January 10, 2016.

All Things Beer at Granville Moore’s

Longtime employee Erin Gilbert has been promoted to helm the beverage program at Granville Moore’s. She has reinstated happy hour featuring rotating local beers, brought in hard-to-find brews from around the world, and begun planning a full calendar of events leading into the summer.

Granville Moore’s is honored to once again be a finalist for a RAMMY award in the Beer Program of the Year category. In conjunction with RAMW’s week-long spotlight on beer May 4-8, the restaurant is hosting a series of events for the community to enjoy.

May 4 Granville Moore’s Mad Fox Beer Dinner- 4-Course beer pairing dinner. Tickets cost $45 per person and can be purchased here.

May 5 Look What We Found: Granville Moore’s is unearthing a selection of cellar finds they’ve been hoarding, and adding them to a special reserve list of large format bottles to enjoy in the dining room or at the bar.

May 6 Women in Beer Meet & Greet: Join the women of DC Brau, Denizens Brewing Company and Port City for a special meet & greet upstairs at Granville Moore’s starting at 6pm. The $15 cover gets you a flight of 4 delicious brews.

May 7 Thirsty Firkin Thursday featuring The Truth: Granville Moore’s is tapping a special firkin of Flying Dog’s The Truth Dry-Hopped with Galaxy hops and Pineapple starting at 5pm. They’ll also offer a special Trio of Truth combo that night for $28, while supplies last, which includes two tastings of The Truth – one from the firkin and one on draft – along with a plate of Chef Jeremy’s infamous roasted chicken marinated in The Truth.

A Smith Bowman Distillery Celebrates 80 Years, Unveils New Still “George”

A. Smith Bowman Distillery is celebrating 80 years of crafting fine spirits in Virginia. Standing today as the oldest bourbon distillery in the state, A. Smith Bowman Distillery began making spirits after the repeal of prohibition and has continued that tradition into present day where it is now unveiling a new experimental still.

Local officials, tourism representatives and friends of the A. Smith Bowman Distillery will join Master Distiller Brian Prewitt tonight in cutting the ribbon on the custom-made still, named George after the father of the pioneering Bowman brothers.

The first batch of distillate produced by George, using the original bourbon recipe, will be placed into a barrel and signed by attendees before resting for the next 20 years. It will then be reopened on the Distillery’s 100th anniversary.

George sits next to Mary, the existing whiskey still, and is now officially ready to begin a long life of distilling. Mary is named after Mary Hite Bowman, George’s wife, and the mother of the Bowman brothers. The new 500 gallon hybrid pot still is designed to create more than just whiskey, with unique features that will allow Prewitt the freedom to create new and exciting expressions from start to finish.

Author: Jake Emen

I’m Jake, and I’m your host on this journey. I'm the man doing the eating and the talking around here. I’m a writer based outside of Washington, D.C., and I'm also talking whiskey, local events, travel, and other assorted misadventures. Follow me on the Tweet Machine - @ManTalkFood, or send an email to jake [at] mantalkfood.com.

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