From Rachel Nania. Check out her blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir. Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT]borderstan.com
Satellite Room, the latest dining addition to the U Street area, is now up and running, giving concert go-ers a reason to show up before the 9:30 Club’s doors open.
The new restaurant (located directly behind the 9:30 Club) has a menu bursting with diner-style food (think burgers, tacos, meatloaf and pancakes) and even serves booze-laden milkshakes. The decor also sticks with the diner theme, only a bit more rock-and-roll than ’50s prep. Some pictures from Urban Daddy give us a peak at the red booths and the exposed brick.
Satellite Room is at 2047 9th Street NW.
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Borderstan welcomes a new food writer to the team, Kim Vu. A DC resident since 2005, he works in international development by day. He also has his own food blog, DC Wrapped Dates. Follow him at@dcwrappeddates or email him at kim[AT]borderstan.com.
My roommate and I are notoriously bad at making decisions on where to eat dinner. And for the last seven years or so, we’ve gone through the same process each time. We’ll play the game of seeing who can say, “I made the decision last time” first (no matter who actually did), then we’ll start throwing out things we don’t want (“dude, we ate Chinese last week”), until one of us gets hungry enough to break the Mexican standoff and just goes with the time-tested “let’s walk until we see something.”
This would be fine if the indecision didn’t predominantly end in us scarfing down an embarrassingly large bag of McDoubles and twenty-piece chicken nuggets.
So when we moved with a third friend into a house in Borderstan last year, I set out to make our lives (and heart health) a little bit easier. Needing a project, I decided to make a handmade poster-sized map of the area’s restaurant corridors. Sure, there’s always Google Maps. But it never shows every restaurant, except for when you zoom in to myopic levels, and it probably forgets all of the hole-in-the-wall pizza shops and takeout places.
And what better way to celebrate my arrival in the neighborhood than getting to know its food? My inner 5th Grade art teacher even took over with flashes of interesting albeit difficult-to-implement ideas: “Ooh, all of the restaurant’s should be logos from their business cards! I can fill the residential space with pictures from the neighborhood! This is gonna be great!”
• • • • • • • • • • • •
“This was a terrible idea,” I say to my other roommate. She gives me a mixed smile, half bemusement, half why-are-you-taking-up-half-the-dining-room-table. “There are just so many.” Sitting there, I realize I have bitten off more than I can chew. In my mind’s eye, I had only imagined 50, maybe 60 stops, but the actual number was in the hundreds. Everyone can rattle off the big ticket restaurants on 17th Street: Komi, Little Serow, Annie’s, Level One… but what about the tucked away Chinese carryout place that my friend Mike swears by? Hell, what about McDonalds?
But perhaps more problematically, I have essentially signed up to map the unmappable; by the time I finish the map, like some sort of food hydra, restaurants will shutter and debut, making my creation instantly passe. Indeed, the moment I finish collecting 14th Street is the weekend Pearl Dive Oyster Palace finally opens. The physical act of walking through all that Borderstan has to offer makes this effort like the scene in Vegas Vacation where Chevy Chase tries to plug all the holes in the dam wall; I literally just can’t keep up.
• • • • • • • • • • • •
Months have gone by and the map sits on the table, taunting me with its incompleteness. I’ve visited basement bars and Thai restaurants and ice cream shops; one manager at an unnamed lounge actually interrogates me as to why I want their business card. I’m forlornly updating the map when my roommate finds me, and peers over my shoulder at the map. “Oh, hey,” he says, pointing at a spot, “I didn’t know there was a restaurant there.” “Oh yeah, it opened like a couple months ago. It’s got this really cool setup…” And I decide, at that moment, it doesn’t really matter if it remains unfinished. It matters that in the last few months, I’ve walked all over this area I call home, learning all the ins and outs and exploring all the nooks and crannies of Borderstan.
“Screw it,” I say to my roommate, “You want to go to Taylor for a sandwich?”
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The bi-annual DC Restaurant Week has arrived. It begins today, January 9, and runs through Sunday the 15th. You can get the complete list at the Restaurant Week website (yes, some are even in the suburbs).
Here’s how the pricing works: Lunch is $20.12 for a three-course fixed-price meal while dinner is $35.12 for a three-course fixed-price meal. Beverages, gratuity and tax are not included.
If you want to stay in the neighborhood, below are 35 restaurants in the Dupont-Logan-U Street area that are part of Restaurant Week.
Reservations can be made through OpenTable for many participating restaurants, but not all. Note that some of the restaurants in the Metro area are only offering lunch while others may offer only dinner as part of the special.
Navigating Restaurant Week: Read Alejandra’s Restaurant Week: Love It… or Hate It.
17th Street NW
- Agora, 1527 17th Street NW
- Floriana, 1602 17th Street NW (dinner only)
- Level One, 1639 17th Street NW (dinner only)
- Sushi Taro, 1503 17th Street NW
Dupont Circle Area
- 2100 Prime in the Fairfax Hotel, 2100 Massachusetts Avenue NW
- Bistro Bistro, 1727 Connecticut Avenue NW
- Casa Nonna, 1250 Connecticut Avenue NW
- Cafe Dupont, 1500 New Hampshire Avenue NW
- Darlington House, 1610 20th Street NW
- Dirty Martini, 1223 Connecticut Avenue NW
- Ezme, 2016 P Street NW
- Firefly, 1310 New Hampshire Avenue NW
- Grillfish, 1200 New Hampshire Avenue NW
- Ristorante i Ricchi, 1220 19th Street NW
- Odeon Cafe, 1714 Connecticut Avenue NW
- La Tomate, 1701 Connecticut Avenue NW
- Levante, 1320 19th Street NW
- Marrakesh, 2147 P Street NW
- Palm, 1225 19th Street NW
- Ruth’s Chris Steak House, 1801 Connecticut Avenue NW
- Urbana Restaurant, Hotel Palomar, 2121 P Street NW
- Vento Restaurant, 2120 P Street NW
Logan Circle / 14th Street NW
- El Centro D.F., 1819 14th Street NW
- Birch and Barley, 1337 14th Street NW (dinner only)
- Logan Tavern, 1423 P Street NW
- Masa 14, 1825 14th Street NW (dinner only)
- Policy, 1904 14th Street NW (dinner only)
Thomas Circle and Scott Circle
- Beacon Bar & Grill, Beacon Hotel & Corporate Quarters, 1615 Rhode Island Avenue NW
- Nage Bistro, 1600 Rhode Island Avenue NW
- Zentan, Donovan House Hotel, 1155 14th Street NW
U Street Corridor
From Alejandra Owens. You can find her on Twitter at @frijolita and her food blog One Bite At A Time.
Check out Alejandra’s pre-opening profile of Lost Society.
Name: Joseph Evans, chef at Lost Society
Hometown: Houston, Texas
Current Residence (neighborhood): Arlington
Tattoo Count: 0
Borderstan: What brought you do D.C?
Evans: An executive chef position with Smith and Wolensky.
Borderstan: Lots of chefs have a cause or nonprofit they support-what’s yours?
Evans: For now, it’s paying off my ridiculous student loans.
Borderstan: Favorite dish on your menu?
Evans: Dry aged rib eye topped with Gruyere cream.