Update – 9/27/20

Image: Champs Elysees, Paris on a warm Easter Sunday, April 03, 1934.

After a bit of a hiatus for the last month or so, we are back. There is a lot of news in the D.C. dining world, much of it grim. We have updated our list of recommended restaurants, mostly to note closings or desperate attempts of shifting format to hang on. There are a couple additions coming soon. Here are the big shifts.

Updates to the the Recommended Restaurant List:


Obelisk – Re-opened to do prix-fixe take-out menu.

Doi Moi – Re-opened with a shift to a more Vietnamese focus/

Taim opened a second location in Dupont.


Emilie’s – The briefly reigning golden child of the D.C. scene imploded in spectacular fashion.

Mola – The sunny Spanish spot is doing a joint effort with Green Almond Pantry for its take-out program.


Granville Moore’s

Acqua al 2 – The standout Tuscan steak spot has shuttered. Rumors are that the upstairs cocktail bar Harold Black will seek refugee status in Annapolis.


Poca Madre – In the surreal world of this year’s Rammy’s we learned that it was the best upscale casual spot in D.C. and that it was closing for good at the same time. The attached Taco Bamba is also closing, though suburban locations remain open.

Nazca Mochica – The underrated Peruvian spot on P in Dupont flew under the radar, to include quietly closing up shop and taking down the signage.

Pizzeria Paradiso – Old Town has been shut down after lease negotiations failed. There will be a farewell event slated for Sunday, October 4, with free T-shirts and pies.

Volt – we never made it to legend of Frederick, but its passing should be noted.


The Hilton Brothers announced that a large chunk of their empire will close after Halloween: American Ice Company, The Brixton, Echo Park, El Rey, The Gibson, Marvin, and Players Club.

Ari Gjedenson dissolved his restaurant group and turned over operations to the individual shop owners. He says this means the payroll goes from 200 to 50, but maybe keeps them alive to come back. Ghibellina, formerly of 14th Street will be in Ivy City with a second location in Annapolis, where Harold Black will co-locate in the basement.

Twins Jazz closed. Combined with the loss of Bohemian Caverns a few years ago and the pending closing of Marvin, this leaves JoJo’s as the only club for live jazz on U Street.

Eater DC, with Hunger Games announcer-like enthusiasm notes several new places opening in October to “get excited” about. It is nearly impossible to explain the economics of the scene at this moment with several well-funded places going under while investors dump money into new places that face the same challenges. We wish them all luck and hope they all make it for the year that will be necessary to get back to normal.

In a sign of resilience, Mandu has given its menu a refresh.

The Washington Post goes walking through the graveyard of downtown.

As always, if you read this far you know you want to keep going to check out the rest of the site.  We will keep updating our dining guide so you can track who is open, closed and doing what. We have over 300 restaurants in D.C. listed (although a chunk of them are now closed to one degree or another). You can search by LIST or MAP.  And you can sort by status, neighborhood, and/or cuisine.

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