Addis Ethiopian Restaurant (707 H Street) has been under construction for many months, but it is planning on opening next week. A peak inside the window shows that they are putting the final finishing touches on the dining room, and we are told that next week is when they will open.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
400 H Street, NE is arguably one of the most promising locations on all of H Street for a restaurant. Occupying a large corner spot on the west end of H Street, it is within blocks of several major apartment buildings (and many potential customers) on H Street and in NoMa. The space was completely renovated several years ago, transforming it from a falling apart music club into a beautiful two story restaurant with a large sidewalk patio and a two sided open balcony on the second floor overlooking both H and 4th streets. Despite this great setup, Tru Orleans–the original occupants–was unable to survive after two controversial years.
Tru Orleans has largely been erased from the building. Instead meet Driftwood Kitchen from the owners of Darna in Arlington (you may notice similarities between the logos of the two restaurants). They have spent the last several months renovating the building and removing the previous New Orleans architecture. The owners have labeled Driftwood Kitchen’s cuisine American, but it draws inspiration from Middle Eastern cooking (unlike Darna which is more traditional Middle Eastern fare). Even in the first week of service, Driftwood Kitchen appears to have drawn a fairly solid crowd.
We started with a drink off of their craft cocktail list. The Hawa combined an interesting mix of gin, egg white, cucumber juice, and elderflower. While it sounds strange, it worked well, especially with the egg white foam on top. In addition to their eight cocktails, they have several local beers on the eleven draught beer list.
The menu (click here to view it) is divided up into “snacks”–ranging from a few bites to medium appetizers–and “offerings”–mostly small sized entrees. While the portions are on the smaller side, they are also priced fairly reasonably. Some of what we’ve sampled:
Snacks: The hummus guacamole snack combined two favorites from different cuisines into one tasty bowl. The house fries were fairly standard but were served with a spicy dipping sauce that set them apart from regular fries. And the cayenne caramel corn mixed sweet and spicy into a very pleasant bar snack.