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DC Harvest Debuts Late Night Happy Hour

19 Nov

DC Harvest (517 H Street, NE) is debuting a late night happy hour that will run from 11 pm to 1 am on Friday and Saturday nights.  All draft beers and wines by the glass will be $5 and specialty cocktails will be $6.  They will also have happy hour food specials including lamb sausage sliders for $3, an arugula and grilled radicchio salad for $4, and a local cheese plate for $4.

*This post is revised from an earlier version because there was a last minute menu change due to the availability of certain ingredients.

Ocopa’s Peruvian Ceviches and Chicken Satisfy All Tastes

19 Nov
Classico (Mahi Mahi) Ceviche at Ocopa

Clasico (Mahi Mahi) Ceviche at Ocopa

When we first learned about Ocopa (1324 H Street, NE) several years ago, we heard that it would be a Peruvian rotisserie chicken place called Chicken Tortilla by the owners of a restaurant by the same name on Barracks Row.  Over time the plans changed and when Ocopa opened earlier this year, Chef Carlos Delgado debuted a Peruvian menu featuring a variety of ceviches, chicken dishes, and other Peruvian dishes.  Delgado’s diverse creations assure that everyone in your party will be able to find something that they like.

Open Kitchen at Ocopa

Open Kitchen at Ocopa

Our favorite is the Clasico Ceviche, featuring a fish of the day with a pool of leche de tigre (literally tiger’s milk but really a fruit juice marinade) and diced sweet potato.  If Mahi Mahi is the fresh fish of the day, consider yourself especially lucky.  The ceviche is prepared fresh in front of you if you are sitting at the bar and contains a citrus tangy taste that perfectly compliments the tender fish.  If you want to try a variety of seafood, check out the Mixto Ceviche that has calamari, crab, shrimp, and octopus.  Delgado also serves a variety of tiradito and Peruvian maki on his menu.

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Pursuit Wine Bar Debuts Pasta

10 Nov

Two weeks ago, Pursuit Wine Bar (1421 H Street, NE) debuted housemade pasta on its menu.  Initially, they offered fettucini with lamb and pork ragu and have since added both butternut squash and goat cheese ravioli and rabbit sugo pappardelle.  The owners tell us that the pasta dishes will be a permanent feature on the menu and that they plan on adding an additional pasta dish every week or two.

Sixth and H Bar and Grill Aims to Be Sports Bar and Neighborhood Hangout

4 Nov
Future Home of Sixth and H Bar and Grill

Future Home of Sixth and H Bar and Grill

We had previously reported that Sixth and H Bar and Grill would be coming to the corner of 6th and H Streets (523 H Street, NE), but details were sparse.  Two of the owners of the restaurant presented at the ANC 6C Alcoholic Beverage Licensing Committee meeting Monday night to provide some more details.  Sixth and H Bar and Grill is owned by three members of the Defour family who also own the building.  According to Leslie Defour, the family has owned the building for awhile and has been considering what to do with it to make it a positive addition to the neighborhood.  They settled on opening a sports bar that would be a “nice and happy place” for neighbors to hangout.  They plan on serving a mix of light snacks and bar food that will include sliders, salads, and a variety of appetizers like spinach artichoke dip.  On the drink side, there will be a mix of different beers, wines, and mixed drinks.  The inside of the building has several TVs for sports, and they will also have a (planned) twenty two person patio.  The restaurant will also have free WiFi for people who want to do work there.  Sixth and H Bar and Grill will serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner, although they have not applied for a liquor license before noon, so it appears unlikely that they will serve alcohol for brunch service.

The Alcoholic Licensing Committee was appreciative that the owners came before the Committee and were amenable to working with the Committee to address any potential concerns.  The main concern was that the owners had applied for a liquor license that would enable them to operate the outdoor patio well past midnight.  The owners agreed to end outdoor service on the patio at 10 pm both during the week and on weekends.  Initially, there had been plans for a rooftop deck; however, the owners were unable to get building permits for that part of the renovation.

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The Spot Deli: A Casual Deli and Bakery Opens on H Street

29 Oct

Approximately two months ago, The Spot Deli opened at 701 H Street after significant renovations were conducted to what had been Heaven & H Deli.  While The Spot Deli has mostly flown under the radar for the past couple of weeks, its owners have grand plans for the neighborhood.  The owners of the Deli are planning a second location (The Spot on H) several blocks east on H Street.  That location has been undergoing a complete reconstruction for well over a year now.  Once open, The Spot on H will have several bars and will serve “American cuisine with international flair.”  As they wait for construction to wrap up there, the owners of the two restaurants–including Chef Troy Williams, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and a veteran of several restaurants around D.C.–hope to begin ingraining themselves in the neighborhood with The Spot Deli.  We had an opportunity last week to sit down with Basia Davis, Manager of The Spot Deli, to talk about the opening and the plans for the future.

Basia is a native of D.C. who graduated top of her class and then went to culinary school at Johnson & Wales (she laughs that there is a friendly alma mater rivalry between her and owner Troy Williams, who graduated from Culinary Institute of America).  She first met Williams through the Careers Through Culinary Arts Program (CCAP) that Williams is very involved with in D.C.  The program provides public school students across the country with opportunities for education, training, and employment in the culinary world.  She stayed in touch with Williams after culinary school and became Manager of The Spot Deli a few weeks ago.

The location for The Spot Deli was acquired from the folks behind Heaven & H, which had been open on and off for several months.  After taking over the building, renovations were conducted both inside of the building and outside prior to the opening, including a new coat of paint for the exterior.  The setup of the Deli encourages takeout business, but they plan on adding some additional tables soon.  The Deli serves breakfast all day as well as lunch that includes a variety of Mexican dishes and more traditional deli items (sandwiches, salads).  As they gain more experience with the neighborhood, they are adding new items and have specials almost everyday (recent ones include beef stew and Creole shrimp).  Frequently, The Spot Deli has a rush of breakfast business around 8:30 am followed by a rush of lunch business right before the noon hour. Continue reading

DC Harvest: Our New Favorite H Street Restaurant

23 Oct
First Floor at DC Harvest

First Floor at DC Harvest

Phrases such as “seasonal,” “local,” and “farm-to-table” have become so overused in restaurants across the country that they have begun to lack meaning and simply induce eye-rolling amongst diners.  Seemingly anyone can throw a few “local” or “seasonal” vegetables on a plate and claim their restaurant fits this bill.  While such restaurants are a dime a dozen at this point, restaurants that truly embrace local, seasonal sourcing through close relationships with farmers and suppliers and combine it with superior culinary skills in the kitchen, warm service in the front of the house, and a focus on their neighborhood are truly rare.  DC Harvest is such a place and has quickly become our favorite restaurant on H Street.

Zatar Seasoned Turkey at DC Harvest

Zatar Seasoned Turkey at DC Harvest

Brothers Arthur and Jared Ringel bring decades of experience to the front and back of the house at DC Harvest.  Arthur’s resume includes graduation from the Culinary Institute of America in New York along with stints at D.C. culinary destinations BLT Steak, Vermillion, Vidalia, and Hank’s Oyster Bar, where he became head chef.  Jared’s restaurant management experience spans over a dozen years around the D.C. area, including being both a general manager and a franchisee for several concepts.  Their experience shines through in both the food and the service. Continue reading

H Street’s Horizon: What’s Coming Soon (Fall 2014)

22 Oct

Last winter, we looked at the new restaurants and bars that were coming to H Street.  Now that several months have gone by, we wanted to take a look at what restaurants have opened, what ones have made construction progress, and what new restaurant concepts have been announced recently.  For each of these categories we list the establishments in order of going west-east down H Street.  If we’ve missed a place, please let us know in the comment section.  You can see previous versions of H Street’s Horizons here, here, and here.

Opened this Spring and Summer

  • Driftwood Kitchen (400 H Street)–new Mediterranean restaurant that replaced the controversial Tru Orleans restaurant that closed a year ago.  Our coverage here.
  • Micho’s Grill (500 H Street)–in the summer, Micho’s Grill brought fast casual style Lebanese food to the western end of H Street.  Our coverage here.
  • DC Harvest (517 H Street)–in late summer, DC Harvest opened for dinner and brunch.  The new American restaurant has a seasonal menu that changes based upon what is in season.  They focus on locally sourcing as many of their ingredients as possible, both for food and for drinks.  Arthur Ringel, the head chef, was previously head chef at Hank’s Oyster Bar.  Our coverage here.
  • The Spot Deli (701 H Street)–breakfast and lunch spot that replaced Heaven & H after renovations.  From the same owners as The Spot that has not yet opened further east on H Street.
  • Po Boy Jim (709 H Street)–after many months of construction, Po Boy Jim opened for lunch and dinner in late June.  The restaurant has an extensive menu of cajun po boys as well as po boys that are influenced from cuisines around the globe.  Our coverage here.
  • Kitty’s Saloon (1208 H Street)–country-western restaurant and whiskey bar that replaced the long closed Souk restaurant.  Our coverage here.
  • Pizza Parts and Service (1320 H Street)–this space owned by Taylor Gourmet was previously Taylor Charles Steak and Ice and served cheesesteaks.  That concept closed down late last year (you can now get cheesesteaks at all of Taylor Gourmet’s locations) and reopened as Pizza Parts and Service, which serves pizzas by the pie or the slice.  They also deliver.  Website here.
  • Ocopa (previously Chicken Tortilla) (1324 H Street)–the Peruvian restaurant opened this summer and serves both dinner and lunch.  They offer Peruvian chicken, many types of ceviche, and several other Peruvian dishes.  Website here and early Washington Post review here.
  • Bullfrog Bagels (1341 H Street)–previously a pop-up bagel place around town, Bullfrog opened its permanent location in part of the space that Star and Shamrock has occupied for years.  Our coverage here.
  • Impala Cantina y Taqueria (1358 H Street)–originally a pop-up taco window several years ago, H Street residents have been waiting years for Impala to open its permanent brick and mortar location.  They opened earlier this year with a very cool first floor that opens up into a large courtyard for outdoor eating.  Website here.
  • Pursuit Wine Bar (1421 H Street)–wine bar and grilled cheese restaurant opened at the far east end of H Street.  Our coverage here.

New Concepts Announced in the Middle of 2014

  • Sticky Fingers Bakery (406 H Street)–Vegan bakery with existing location in Columbia Heights.  Space is currently undergoing major renovations.
  • Nando’s (411 H Street)–South African (with major Portuguese influence) chicken chain will open a location on the eastern end of H Street sometime next year.  The space must undergo major renovations before Nando’s can open.

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