Food Frenzy: Try 11 New Restaurants Before They Open

This article first appeared in Washington City Paper on September 6th, 2017

Whet your appetite for 11 forthcoming restaurants at Mess Hall’s third installment of New Kitchens on the Block on Sunday, Oct. 8. It’s the largest class of coming attractions the recurring event has featured to date. The first one, held at Mess Hall in Aug. 2016, highlighted seven new restaurants.

Attendees bounce from station to station trying bites and sips from each new restaurant’s chef at the Northeast D.C. food incubator. Tickets are now on sale for two separate two-hour sessions, beginning at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. General admission tickets cost $65 and VIP tickets, which come with a gift bag, are $105. These events typically sell out.

Highlights include:

Spoken English and Brothers & Sisters 

Both of these Erik Bruner-Yang restaurants are bound for the LINE DC Hotel. Diners can expect Spoken English to feel like a lively Japanese “tachinomiya” or standing restaurant common in Tokyo. Only 14 diners can fit at a time and the food will consist of yakitori, tempura, noodles, Peking duck, and more. His other restaurant, Brothers & Sisters, will feature Taiwanese and Japanese twists on American classics.

Lucky Buns

Chef Alex McCoy of Alfie’s is readying to open his burger joint in Adams Morgan. The patties are inspired by his world travels. “Whether I’m in Bangkok, South America, or London, I have to find the best burger shops,” he says.

Maydan 

This next restaurant from the Compass Rose team pulls inspiration from Eastern Europe including the Caucasus, as well as North Africa and the Middle East. Executive Chefs Gerald Addison and Chris Morgan will be doing a majority of the cooking over open flames at the restaurant going into the Manhattan Laundry Building just off the 14th Street corridor.

Coconut Club

Chef Adam Greenberg is bringing a little aloha spirit to the Union Market district with his restaurant Coconut Club, set to open in 2018. Some of his favorite things to make are island-inspired including poke, Spam fried rice, and jerk chicken. Greenberg formerly worked at Barcelona Wine Bar.

Pluma by Bluebird 

Pluma is also headed to the Union Market district. Married pastry chefs Tom Welling and Camila Arango are opening a bakery and cafe that will serve breakfast pastries, salads, sandwiches, Roman-style pizza, dessert, coffee, beer, and wine. Because Bluebird Bakery sells to many coffee shops around town, you may have already tried their food.

Chloe

Chef Haidar Karoum is opening his first solo restaurant in Navy Yard. It’s named for his niece and the ancient Greek goddess of agriculture, Chloe. He previously ran the kitchens at Estadio, Doi Moi, and Proof. Karoum will focus on cuisine inspired by his Lebanese roots, his love of cooking Southeast Asian cuisine, and his travels around the Mediterranean.

Other participants include:

Bindaas (Foggy Bottom): A second location of Ashok Bajaj’s Indian street food restaurant.

Manna: Chef Todd Gray, the longtime chef/owner of Equinox is opening an Israeli food restaurant inside the future Museum of the Bible.

The Eleanor: Chef Adam Douglas Stein, formerly of Red’s Table, is bringing a restaurant and bowling lounge to Ivy City.

Dorjee Momo: Try Tibetan dumplings and other dishes from Tibetan refugee Lobsang Dorjee Tsering. His meals are currently available through meal delivery service Foodhini.

Cured: Chris Johnson and James Brosch are partners in all things charcuterie. Expect them to serve slices of duck prosciutto, Tuscan-style pork liver mousse, and a rillette.

In addition to food, many of the restaurants will serve cocktails with spirits from New Columbia Distillers, Catoctin Creek Distillery, and One Eight Distilling. Also look for local illustrator Samyuktha Krishna, who will sell food-focused artwork during the event.

Mess Hall, 703 Edgewood St. NE; eventbrite.com/e/mess-hall-presents-nkotb-30-tickets-37632647261

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