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by Tim Regan — August 28, 2015 at 11:10 am 143 0

Italian restaurant Odeon Cafe (1714 Connecticut Ave. NW) is changing its name and its menu.

Odeon’s general manager, Ben Triano, says the restaurant will become Madrid, a Spanish eatery with tapas, paella and a sangria bar, after the Labor Day holiday.

Last night, the eatery unveiled a portion of its new menu during a tasting party. The menu — which Triano stresses is just a taste of things to come — included fried calamari and paprika aioli, puff pastries stuffed with pepper marmalade and chorizo and a smattering of Spanish wines.

Triano says that the restaurant will be closed during the second week of September to train staffers, switch up the menu and finalize the interior renovations.

“We’re going to close for one week and reveal the final touch-ups,” Triano says. “We’re very excited.”

by Sean Meehan — August 19, 2015 at 3:55 pm 0

La Tomate

La Tomate Italian Bistro in Dupont Circle is celebrating 28 years in business with happy hour and dinner specials until Sept. 17.

The restaurant, located at 1701 Connecticut Ave. NW, has been serving Italian food since 1987.

For the next month, the bistro will host a $10 happy-hour appetizer buffet every day, which includes one drink. Diners will also be able to order a three course dinner for $28.

Jonathan ten Hoopen, who has served as general manager at La Tomate since 1993, says that the restaurant owes its longevity in part to its consistency over the years and its crowd of regulars who live or work in Dupont Circle.

“We’ve had a loyal following since we’ve opened,” he said. “We’ve always been very neighborhood-involved and active in the Dupont community and we’ve kept our price point the same.”

Although La Tomate has focused on consistency over the years, the neighborhood and city around them have changed a lot, especially in recent years.

“The most change has happened in the last five years where development [in the] east has really started to pull away a lot of the business,” ten Hoopen said. “The three big areas for dining and bars used to be Dupont, Georgetown and Cleveland Park, and we’re now three neighborhoods that are suffering a little in that regard due to growth elsewhere.”

As the cost of living in Dupont Circle has gone up, younger customers have moved east, and new restaurants have followed, ten Hoopen says. La Tomate is hoping to bring diners and drinkers back to Dupont with more affordable options and happy hour specials.

Last year, the bistro converted one of its dining rooms into La Tomate Caffe, which serves lighter, more affordable breakfast and lunch options.

“We’ve had a loyal following since we’ve opened, but what we’re looking for now is to create the next group of loyal customers,” he said. “That’s been a challenge because of where the younger generation is living and the number of new options people have.”

While ten Hoopen admits that Dupont is no longer the trendiest restaurant spot in town, he doesn’t worry about La Tomate’s longevity looking forward, describing the restaurant as an “old favorite” that people will always return to.

“There’s no doubt that we’ve felt the shift in the concentration of diners and drinkers because they have so many more options now,” he said. “But we benefit from being a neighborhood bistro for so long. It’s less of a trendy destination and more of a regular, comfortable place to be.”

by Tim Regan — August 12, 2015 at 2:30 pm 256 1 Comment

Atlantic Plumbing building, photo via JGBThe Neighborhood Restaurant Group is one step closer to opening a new restaurant at the Atlantic Plumbing development (2112 8th Street Northwest) near the 9:30 Club and U Street corridor.

A new document from ABRA reveals the restaurant group, which also owns Birch & Barley, ChurchKey and several other local restaurants, has applied for a Class C liquor license for its new restaurant, Hazel.

Neighborhood Restaurant Group’s director of public relations, Megan Bailey, confirmed that the new restaurant will arrive in the “late fall.”

“Hazel will open in the Atlantic Plumbing development in D.C.’s Shaw neighborhood,” she told Borderstan via e-mail.

The restaurant, a concept by former Tallula chef Rob Rubba, will feature a 38-seat dining room, a 38-seat patio and a 16 seat bar connected to the patio.

“Rob’s menu will feature his style of progressive American cuisine, combining flavors from around the world with traditional and contemporary techniques to create dishes that are refined, distinctive and satisfying,” Bailey said. “Complementing the menu will be a beverage program from Greg Engert, Jeff Faile and Brent Kroll.”

Photo via JGB

by Tim Regan — August 7, 2015 at 4:30 pm 535 0

Popular U Street eatery Bistro La Bonne has quietly returned with a new location and a new name.

Though the restaurant reportedly closed its U Street NW location in May, Owner Daniel Labonne says he reopened the restaurant at 2436 14th Street NW under the name La Bonne Bistro in June.

Sudhouse now occupies the bistro’s old space on U Street.

Despite the new location and name, Labonne says the menu, its staff and atmosphere are similar to how they were before.

La Bonne Bistro shares its new space with another former U Street restaurant, Creme.

by Tim Regan — August 6, 2015 at 2:00 pm 212 0

Churchkey, photo via Facebook.com/churchkeydc

Popular Logan Circle beer bar ChurchKey  (1337 14th Street NW) will devote all 55 of its taps to local beers next Thursday at 4 p.m. in celebration of DC Beer Week.

The event represents the “largest single tapping of D.C. craft brews ever,” says ChurchKey.

Greg Engert, beer director at the Neighborhood Restaurant Group, which owns ChurchKey, says the idea to pour 55 local beers had been on his mind for a while.

“The idea for a total tap takeover had been increasingly insistent, and when I started reviewing the releases of the 6 independent D.C. brewers we would come to feature, it all started to become a palpable possibility,” he says.

Engert adds that attendees should expect hard-to-find beers and one-time batches alongside old favorites. “There will be no shortage of rare and special brews on tap,” says Engert.

Among the beers served will be 3 Stars Brewing Company’s wine barrel-aged saison, Harvester of Sorrows, DC Brau’s On the Wings of Armageddon and Right Proper’s botanically-laced farmhouse ales Alice and Diamonds, Fur Coat, Champagne.

Here’s the complete list of all 55 beers being poured:

  • 3 Stars Above the Clouds
  • 3 Stars Citra & Lemon Peel Saison
  • 3 Stars Cognitive Dissonance
  • 3 Stars Desolation
  • 3 Stars Ghost IPA
  • 3 Stars Harvester of Sorrow
  • 3 Stars Peppercorn Saison
  • 3 Stars Peppercorn Saison – Cherries (Cask)
  • 3 Stars Pandemic
  • 3 Stars Southern Belle
  • Atlas District Common
  • Atlas Home Rule
  • Atlas NSFW
  • Atlas Ponzi
  • Atlas Ponzi – Simcoe & Citra (Cask)
  • Atlas Pumpernickel Stout
  • Atlas Rowdy
  • Atlas The 1500 South Cap Lager
  • Bluejacket Forbidden Planet
  • Bluejacket Goldfinch
  • Bluejacket Judge Ruby
  • Bluejacket Lost Weekend
  • Bluejacket Lost Weekend – Citra (Cask)
  • Bluejacket Red Wine Barrel-Aged Swirl
  • Bluejacket Rheinard de Vos
  • Bluejacket Sub Rosa
  • Bluejacket The Jam
  • Bluejacket Triple Smoke Barrel-Aged The Wake
  • Bluejacket Wallflower
  • Bluejacket Whiskey Barrel-Aged Double Mexican Radio
  • DC Brau El Hefe Speaks
  • DC Brau Pils
  • DC Brau Penn Quarter Porter
  • DC Brau Citrocity
  • DC Brau On the Wings of Armageddon
  • DC Brau On the Wings of Armageddon (Cask)
  • DC Brau On the Wings of Armageddon – Apricots & Grapefruit (Cask)
  • DC Brau Solar Abyss
  • DC Brau The Citizen
  • DC Brau The Corruption
  • DC Brau The Corruption (Nitro)
  • DC Brau The Public
  • Hellbender Bare Bones Kolsch
  • Hellbender Chazzwazzer IPA
  • Hellbender DC Solidarity Brew: Red, White & Gluten
  • Hellbender Ella KPA
  • Hellbende Red Line
  • Hellbender Rum Barrel-Aged Red Line
  • Hellbender Southern Torrent Saison
  • Hellbender & Lost Rhino Dunkelweiss
  • Right Proper Alice
  • Right Proper Comrade
  • Right Proper Diamonds Fur Coat Champagne
  • Right Proper Lifehouse
  • Right Proper Lookaftering

Photo via Facebook.com/churchkeydc

by Jared Holt — August 3, 2015 at 12:30 pm 1 Comment

Riggsby lunch salad

(Updated at 6 p.m. to correct misspellings of the restaurant’s name) A new Dupont Circle restaurant has expanded its menu.

The Riggsby, located in the Carlyle Hotel at 1731 New Hampshire Avenue NW, is now serving breakfast and lunch.

Since opening last month, the restaurant has already been awarded high marks from Washington Post food critic Tom Sietsema.

During breakfast service, chefs sling dishes like vanilla-soaked french toast with seasonal berries and a mushroom, asparagus and goat cheese omelet.

The new lunch menu includes dishes such as a chopped house salad with housemade thousand island dressing and crunchy eggplant parmesan with basil marinated tomatoes and frico chips.

Breakfast is served until 10:30 a.m., and lunch is served served 11:30-3 p.m. every day.

Image via Facebook.com/TheRiggsby

by Jared Holt — July 17, 2015 at 3:30 pm 227 0

Sauf Haus

A German beer hall near Dupont Circle will celebrate its one-year anniversary next weekend with giveaways, live music and cheap brews.

Sauf Haus Beir Hall (1216 18th St NW) will open its doors at 12 p.m. next Saturday to celebrate the occasion.

Five bands will perform and bartenders will pour Schofferhofer Grapefruit Radler and Radeberger Pilsner for $1 until the taps run dry. Customers will also be able to enter to win prizes.

The owners of Sauf Haus are donating a percentage of the day’s proceeds to The Yellow Ribbon Fund, which assists injured military service members.

Image via Facebook.com/SaufHausDC

by Tim Regan — July 10, 2015 at 3:30 pm 208 0

The Riggsby, photo via Facebook.com/TheRiggsbyA James Beard Award-winner will soon open a new American restaurant in Dupont.

Chef Michael Schlow’s newest eatery, The Riggsby, is set to open in the newly remodeled Carlyle Hotel at 1731 New Hampshire Avenue NW next Monday.

The restaurant seats 75 people and serves steaks, seafood and “bar snacks,” such as house-made potato chips and green onion dip.

The restaurant also has a lounge area that seats 40, where patrons can order contemporary cocktails and drinks meant to invoke bygone eras alike.

Facebook.com/TheRiggsby

by Jared Holt — July 6, 2015 at 1:00 pm 585 0

The tables at Olivia’s Diner (1120 19th Street NW) are already set for tomorrow’s 11 a.m. soft opening.

A preliminary peek inside the restaurant’s dining room reveals dark wooden tables and a long marble bar. The space also features cocktail seating at the front of the restaurant and a large seating area in the back.

But don’t be fooled by the restaurant’s upscale appearance; as we reported last month, the eatery will serve fried comfort food such as wings, chicken-fried steak and burgers.

“We didn’t want a traditional diner atmosphere, but we did want traditional American food,” part-owner Thomas Marr said.

Marr owns the restaurant with his business partner and childhood friend Tri Nguyen. Both also co-own Pete’s New Haven Style Apizza.

Olivia’s will serve customers from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and until midnight on Friday and Saturday.

But Marr says the goal is to go 24 hours eventually, as long as there’s interest.

by Tim Regan — June 29, 2015 at 11:00 am 154 0

Congratulations to Chef Seng of @thipkhaodc, winner of the annual #AIWF crabcake contest.

A photo posted by Fritz Hahn (@fritzhahn) on

A Columbia Heights restaurant took home a big honor yesterday.

Thip Kao, a Laotian restaurant located at 3462 14th Street NW, won highest honors at yesterday’s American Institute of Wine and Food (AIWF) 10th Annual Crab Cake Competition.

Along with the bragging rights, Thip Kao will receive funds to support a culinary intern in its kitchen.

Thip Kao’s Chef Seng Luangrath’s crab cake was chosen over entries from the likes of Chef Spike Mendelsohn from Bernaise, Chef Joe Palma of Bourbon Steak and other award-winning chefs.

The crab cake competition is a yearly contest aimed at raising money for culinary internships, scholarships and educational programs in D.C. Each year, the contest pits eight local chefs against one another in a showdown to create the perfect crab cake with Maryland blue crab.

by Tim Regan — June 24, 2015 at 4:45 pm 0

Meridian Pint 5 Year PartyIt can be hard to get a craft beer for $5 around here, but that changes at Meridian Pint’s 5-year anniversary celebration next Wednesday.

The Columbia Heights bar,  known for its selection of craft beers and located at 3400 11th Street NW, will pour 24 different drafts for just five dollars per glass starting at 4 p.m.

The bar will also serve food from a special $5-per-item menu that was “created from guest favorites.”

by Tim Regan — June 24, 2015 at 3:00 pm 159 0

Pop's snow conesPopular Adams Morgan hangout Pop’s Sea Bar (1817 Columbia Road NW) will begin serving alcoholic snow cones on July 1.

For $7, patrons can order a color-coded cone in three boozy flavors: Baltimore Lemon Stick, Strawberry and Bing Cherry.

Non-alcoholic versions of the flavors will also be sold for $3.

Between July 1 and 7, $1 from each snow cone sold will be donated to Brainfood, a local nonprofit dedicated to teaching youths food production skills.

Photo via Facebook.com/PopsSeaBar

by Tim Regan — June 9, 2015 at 1:45 pm 0

drink composite

P Street hangouts and EatWellDC restaurants Commissary and Logan Tavern will each sell a Pride-themed cocktail this weekend.

Commissary’s Shut Up and Dance cocktail, a blend of pineapple-infused vodka, sage, mint, ginger, and lime will be sold all weekend for $8. Seven-drink pitchers of the cocktail will also be available for $48.

Logan Tavern will be serving a drink called the Stonewall Strawberry, an amalgam of strawberry infused vodka, mint, simple syrup, St. Germaine and soda. That cocktail will only be available on Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight.

Both Logan Tavern and Commissary are located along this year’s Pride Parade route.

Photos courtesy of Zest PR

by Tim Regan — June 1, 2015 at 4:00 pm 0

D.C. Passport promo photo

D.C. residents can now double-fist drinks for half price at 42 bars across town.

The Passport Program is a national two-for-one drink special program available at bars such as Masa 14, Roofers Union, and Hank’s Oyster Bar.

Here’s how it works: For $20, you get a pocket-sized booklet that lists 42 local bars. Bring that booklet to any one of those bars for a two-for-one drink special. Though the deal can only be used once per bar, the booklet is valid until Sept. 7.

Check out a map of all 42 D.C. locations:

by Borderstan.com — June 28, 2013 at 11:00 am 0

"Rooftops"

Plenty of outdoor options to enjoy the summer nights. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Nothing can be better than enjoying the rooftops in the city. DC has great views that need to be discovered. You can definitely do that at the many bars and restaurants in the city while you enjoy a glass of wine, a drink, a beer or a meal.

Looking for a rooftop bar in the DC area? The Rock The RoofDC guys have a great list of all the rooftop bars and restaurants, with descriptions and calendar of events.

We have covered, reviewed and enjoyed many of our local ones.  But then again here is a list for you to find them all together at once while you are enjoying this Summer.

  • 1905 Bistro, 1905 9th Street NW. This new roof deck is exactly what the restaurant’s name implies; it’s garden-themed. The space makes use of reclaimed wood and old metal sheets, while sporting views of the neighborhood and monuments.
  • Above DC @ Donovan House Hotel, 1155 14th Street NW. Because nothing is better than a rooftop pool and bar. This one is located right in Thomas Circle and comes with great views. Pack your suit!
  • Brixton, 901 U Street NW. This brand new British pub-style bar boasts more than just bangers and mash. Check out the expansive rooftop terrace for terrific views of the Washington Monument.
  • DC9, 1940 9th St. NW. Perfect place to enjoy the music as you sip on that refreshing drink.
  • El Centro DF, 1819 14th Street NW. While it technically opened last summer, the modern taqueria’s rooftop bar is still somewhat new to local residents. A cool breeze up top and an agave cocktail are sure to subdue the heat of the salsas.
  • Jack Rose Dining Saloon, 2007 18th Street NW. If you thought nothing could top barbeque and bourbon, then you were wrong, literally.
  • Lauriol Plaza, 1835 18th Street NW. This 18th and T spot has a large shaded rooftop dining area (great for hot sunny days when you need some shade). You’re right on the cusp of the Dupont, U Street and Adams Morgan hoods.
  • Local 16, 1602 U Street NW. Although it may be too hot to even think about being outside, Local 16 has you covered. The roof deck has water spritzers and fans going constantly to make sure you and your beverage stay at the perfect temperature.
  • Lost Society, 2001 14th Street NW. The chandeliers and décor make it hard to believe that you are outside. Thankfully, the cool breeze, neighborhood views and U Street noise remind you that you are sipping cocktails on a DC roof, and not in a palace!
  • Marvin, 2007 14th Street NW. This is also a great roof spot, perfect for enjoying one of the many beers on tap and some of the best chicken and waffles in town.
  • Masa 14, 1825 14th Street NW. The neighborhood hotspot expanded its space to include a roof deck. Mojitos taste better when sipped in the open, summer air.
  • Nellie’s Sports Bar, 900 U Street NW. Great and breezy rooftop. It has an ample bar covered with a tent and also a nice corner area for smokers. You can always enjoy their popular buckets of beers.
  • Tabaq Bistro, 1336 U Street. Snag one of the best views of the city while getting your workout in! Yes, you will have to climb up several flights of stairs, but the views on a clear night will quickly make you forget your burning thighs.
  • Zabb, 1836 18th Street NW. Modern Asian inspired food and a generous terrace to enjoy the night.

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