Heavy Seas Alehouse in Rosslyn
For many years Rosslyn has been defined primarily as a large office area without any real population after 5pm. Its dining scene was similarly defined: many takeout lunch spots that were open for breakfast and lunch but closed around 3pm. Over the last year or two, that image has begun to change with the announcements and openings of several new restaurants in the area. We caught up with Mary-Claire Burick, President of Rosslyn BID, recently to discuss those changes and to look ahead towards the future of Rosslyn’s dining scene.
Mary-Claire Burick, President of Rosslyn BID
Ms. Burick came to Rosslyn BID last fall and says that when she took over Rosslyn’s dining scene was on the brink of emerging. While she agreed with our assessment that Rosslyn has long been known primarily for all of its office buildings, she pointed to ten different restaurant openings in the last year as a sign that change is on the way. The primary driver of this change is the growing residential population—now at 11,000 residents—with many more buildings scheduled to break ground in the coming years. As more people begin to live in the Rosslyn area, they are demanding dining options that stay open past 5pm and that are open on the weekend.
Rosslyn has many features that should attract both additional residents and new restaurants. Burick described it as a “premiere urban center” with easy access to downtown D.C. and all areas of Northern Virginia. She said that one of the greatest strengths of the area is that the major developers who are opening or planning buildings in Rosslyn are completely dedicated to investing in the neighborhood and creating a real community feel. The BID is working to develop the community by planning neighborhood events ranging from the existing outdoor movies to a jazz festival to fashion trucks to other popup events that will incorporate food.
She pointed to the success of Baltimore based Heavy Seas Alehouse, which opened last year in the upper section of Rosslyn, as a prime example of how a full service restaurant can thrive in Rosslyn. Heavy Seas has “surpassed all expectations” and has helped to create energy on its street that is helping to attract other restaurants to the area. In the past couple of months, Sip Wine Tasting and Tapas, Secret Chopsticks, and SpinFire Pizza have all announced that they will be opening locations in Rosslyn. Even restaurants that are typically viewed as lunch spots, such as the Capriotti’s that will open soon on Wilson Boulevard, are working to attract an evening crowd as well by offering drinks as well as food. Burick told us that an exciting new concept from North Carolina is planning on opening in Rosslyn and is in the final stages of negotiations.
Chilled Avocado Soup with Pickled Shrimp at DC Harvest
DC Harvest, a New American restaurant specializing in fresh and local ingredients, is hoping to open by the end of August at 517 H Street, NE. Brothers Arthur Ringel (head chef) and Jared Ringel (General Manager) plan to have a seasonally rotating menu that will focus on ingredients from the Chesapeake Watershed Region (you can read more on the Ringel brothers’ impressive culinary backgrounds from our friends at the Washington City Paper). They are currently in the finishing stages of a complete renovation of the space and hope to pass final inspection and begin staff training in the coming weeks for a grand opening towards the end of August. In the coming days, the exterior of the restaurant will get a completely new paint job in addition to a brand new sign for the restaurant.
District Cuisine was lucky to get a sneak preview of the menu. A few of the items that you can look forward to trying on the opening day menu:
Appetizer – Chilled Avocado Soup with pickled shrimp. Garnished with micro cilantro and fresh radish (see picture above).
Pasta – Fresh Homemade Kale/Whole wheat Agnolotti filled with homemade Ricotta served with yellow tomato confit, eggplant and fresh marjoram.
Entree – Zatar seasoned Turkey Breast with kamut, shitake mushrooms, swiss chard, pan jus and garnished with crispy turkey skin cracklings.
Additionally, we were told that everything will be made in house and from scratch and that homemade pastas will be a staple of the menu. They chose the turkey breast as opposed to chicken because it was a healthier protein that they knew they could source locally. DC Harvest will feature several local DC brews and will be giving each DC brewery a selection on tap.
We’re very excited for DC Harvest to open up on the Western end of H Street. In the meantime, you can track their progress on their website, Facebook, and Twitter
OhZone Lounge will replace Ohio Restaurant at 1380 H Street. Ohio Restaurant–abandoned and deteriorating for years–has quite a history (including being owned by a drug-dealer turned FBI informant who was tragically murdered in Alexandria). The new owners are planning a bar that will have a patio and eventually a rooftop area. It will feature jazz nights as well as karaoke on certain nights. The owner told us that he plans on opening in October after renovations. His wife is working on the menu that will have a wide range of food. They hope that OhZone Lounge will be welcoming to everyone and will become a neighborhood hangout. It appears that they are working on a website that you can view here.
Several weeks ago, a sign went up in the window of the space at 1360 H Street, NE that had previously housed Pho Bar and Grill. The sign said that Thai cuisine was coming soon but did not offer details. We can now confirm that IMM Thai, which currently has a location in Annandale, Virginia, will be coming to the space. IMM Thai’s website is currently under construction, but the menu on GrubHub looks quite good and the restaurant is well reviewed on Yelp.
The past couple of days have been busy for H Street restaurant news:
- Frozen Tropics reported that BAB Korean Fusion by the owners of Tony’s Breakfast will go in on the Eastern end of H Street. Details here.
- The Washington Business Journal revealed that Troy Williams will be opening two restaurants on H Street: one will be a casual deli in the middle of the Corridor and one will be a fancier restaurant on the Eastern end (this one was previously known about). Details here.
- H Street Great Street posted that a Thai restaurant will be going into the building where Pho Bar and Grill used to be located on the Eastern end. Details here.
- The Washington City Paper’s Jessica Sidman tweeted that Ocopa Peruvian Restaurant will open on August 5th. Details here.
Kitty’s Saloon Coming Soon to H Street
Souk, a Moroccan place located at 1208 H Street NE, closed several years ago for “renovations” and never reopened. Many of us wondered about the status of the restaurant that had been promising while it was open. Apparently, for at least awhile, the restaurant was owned by the same owners as Nomad Hookah Lounge (previously Sahra Hookah). Several months ago, extensive renovations began on the building and it became clear that something else was going in there. Signage went up this week for “Kitty’s Saloon.” While details are sparse, according to its website (very barebones), Kitty’s Saloon will serve “contemporary redneck cuisine.” A Food Service Monthly article from last year provides some additional details:
“That Atlas District continues to grow. Miss Kitty’s Saloon is slated to open the end of August at 1208 H St. NE. The managing operator and executive chef is Scott Webster, a CIA grad who worked for Clyde’s Restaurant Group for 16 years, including executive chef at Clyde’s in Tysons Corner. The rustic mid-western saloon will be on two floors. Second floor expected to open in the fall, featuring a bourbon/whiskey bar.”
More details as we are able to get them.
Outside of Micho’s Lebanese Grill
In the coming weeks, Micho’s Lebanese Grill (500 H Street, NE) will bring a taste of Lebanon to the western end of H Street in a fast casual format. The restaurant is going into an end unit space that had previously been a florist and will have a nice patio area on the side for diners to enjoy good weather. When it opens in mid-July, Micho’s will offer both lunch and dinner service every night, in addition to having late night hours on the weekends. You can see the menu here.
Window Seating at Micho’s Lebanese Grill
It will have takeout service, and the owners are currently considering delivery service as well. In addition to having Lebanese cuisine, it will also feature several different types of beer in addition to sangria and margaritas. It will also have a weekday happy hour.
Counter at Micho’s Lebanese Grill
Micho’s Lebanese Grill comes from three Lebanese friends who have spent their careers in the restaurant industry. Micho, the chef, is currently the head chef at Darna in Arlington and received his culinary training in Lebanon. Jad started his restaurant career at age 17 working as a busboy at PF Chang’s and has worked his way up through the industry ever since. And Fady has owned and run a restaurant in Springfield since 2006. Continue reading
Catfish Po Boy at Po Boy Jim
After years of waiting, Po Boy Jim on H Street (709 H Street, NE) finally opened its doors this week and based upon our initial experience it was worth the wait (you can read our first preview post from September, 2012 here). The restaurant is a family business that has several family members working throughout the restaurant. The staff was very friendly and seemed to take pride in the restaurant and its food. The first day of service was this Thursday, and after they have a couple of days of operations under their belts, the owners plan on having it open from lunch through dinner and late night.
Tables on Second Floor Overlooking Patio at Po Boy Jim
It will open at 11am for lunch and stay open until 3am on weeknights (earlier during the week). The restaurant offers full dining service as well as takeout and bar service. The food is cajun inspired but has different influences from around the world throughout its menu (which you can view here).
Bar at Po Boy Jim
Po Boy Jim’s interior was completely renovated and the space is quite large. The downstairs area has several tables, a somewhat open kitchen, and a place where you can wait for takeout. There is a fairly large patio with several picnic tables and a large wall mural featuring the forthcoming (we hope) H Street streetcar. The upstairs has a large bar as well as tables that overlook H Street down below.
Po Boy Jim Ceiling
The ceiling has been decorated with large and multicolored window shutters to create a very interesting vibe. When you walk past the bar on the upper level, there are two separate additional dining areas towards the back of the restaurant. The second of the two back dining areas has glass doors with a railing that overlook the patio that will be opened once the patio is complete (it is still under construction) whenever the weather is nice. On the night that we were in there, jazz was being played throughout the restaurant to give it an authentic New Orleans feel. Continue reading