Image: Jean Gabin and Alain Delon
Since the nearly full reopening of restaurants a couple months ago, we have made headway in scouting out new places and checking in on a few favorites. We remain cautiously optimistic that the vast majority of places that have made it this far will manage to keep going, but this week we saw that in so many ways our community has frayed and it will take time to fully repair. As hinted at in our art post yesterday, we will be taking a few days off, so less activity and no Week in Review next week. So enjoy this one!
Updates to Recommended Restaurant List
La Famosa – There were so many places that opened just before the pandemic or were forced to open in the middle of it. Many of these places reflected a personal approach and found fertile ground in the Navy Yard area. La Famosa is one of these places. The bright space tucked into a back corner of Navy Yard serves up Puerto Rican comfort food.
Henry’s Soul Cafe – This inconspicuous spot on U Street is not new and shiny, but it is charming in its own way. It does soul food classics and famous sweet potato pie. It closes early, so pick up on the way home.
Menomale – We updated the entry to reflect that the NoMa location is doing a special Roman style pizza in addition to the beloved Neapolitan versions.
Update to Neighborhood Wine Shop List – We missed that Cordial no longer is holding down the wine shop spot in Union Market. It is now Vitis, which seems to be carrying forward the Cordial approach. Cordial opened a second shop at the Wharf and then sold it.
Streateries will remain a possibility through Feb. 22.
Another pandemic feature – delivery apps – are also under scrutiny. Laura Hayes goes deep on the looming battle to permanently cap the fees. Just throwing this out there: If it were possible, a way to drive down the costs to restaurants is to shift who makes the payment. If consumers had to pay the delivery fee instead of restaurants, then there might actually be a competitive market for delivery. But that is just wishful thinking that capitalists would embrace a free market instead of a clear and possibly unreasonable restraint of trade.
It was a horrific week of violence on 14th Street. But as many pointed out, and as highlighted in a Post story, there are parts of the city where that is every week. We have no hot take, but do hope that whatever is driving this will be stymied or subside.
Local businesses are growing into the burbs – Chaia announced a Bethesda location, and Lucky Danger opened in Arlington. In that story, Gabe Hiatt breaks news that Tim Ma is looking to convert the old Prather’s location he has been working out of into a dim sum place with French cocktails.
A national Eater story, that includes Ian Boden of The Shack in Staunton, Va. makes clear that far from being out of the woods, many places are still in survival mode. Meanwhile some customers revert to worst behavior, and Yelp continues to be an anti-restaurant platform. Related, Mellow Mushroom in Adams Morgan is closing, and Elle got knocked out of commission for a few days with a gas leak.
Shout out to Raman Santra, the man behind Barred in DC (linked above), who celebrated his birthday as expected. And for those of you not closely following DC going out twitter, a recent transplant continues to have a great time here, reminding us of some the reasons we love this city.
That’s it for this week. Remember (and if you have read this far you probably know what is coming) we like to think of our site as the best way to find a great place to eat in D.C. Our dining guide has 300 plus recommended restaurants. You can sort by cuisine, neighborhood, and current operating status (dine-in and/or take-out, etc.) in either LIST or MAP format.
Stay cool, stay safe. Tip big and don’t be a jerk to the staff.