Chef David Conn’s path to becoming head chef at Kitty’s Saloon (1208 H Street, NE) has not been the most traditional. Initially a music professor at Cornell University, Conn decided that he was tired of academia and was ready to pursue his passion for the restaurant industry. After several years of culinary training in Savannah, he spent the next 14 years in the Nashville restaurant scene where he developed his own spin on country and western cuisines. Next he spent time in the New York City area where he opened additional restaurants before being attracted to the D.C. area.
Chef David Conn of Kitty’s Saloon
In the coming weeks, Kitty’s Saloon will replace the long closed Souk on H Street. The interior and exterior of the restaurant have been completely redesigned. Much of the wood on the inside of the restaurant came from an 1870s barn and has been restored for use in the space. Currently, the restaurant only occupies the ground floor, but the owners of Kitty’s are working with the landlord to buy the upstairs and expand the restaurant (and possibly create an outdoor deck in the coming months). Prior to opening, we caught up with Chef David Conn to discuss his plans and vision for Kitty’s.
After one trip to H Street, Conn was sold on the area. He says that one trip to the Pug and a taste of Toki Underground’s ramen were enough to convince him that the neighborhood was the place to be. He hopes that Kitty’s Saloon will become a neighborhood hangout that will add a unique element to H Street but that will become fully engrained in the neighborhood. For Conn, having a strong connection to the neighborhood and a good relationship with the neighbors is essential for success.
Initially, Kitty’s Saloon was advertised as “contemporary redneck cuisine,” but Conn sees it as a blend of country and western cuisines. The menu will feature around ten small plates at any one time as well as several larger entree plates. Look for it to rotate significantly by season. Conn considers his spice rack and the different blending of spices to be essential to his style. He joked to us that his spice rack is so large that it takes up half of his storage space. Slow braising and other styles of cooking that develop a deep spice and flavor profile are key to the dishes he makes. Continue reading
Table at DC Harvest
DC Harvest (517 H Street, NE) will officially open next Tuesday (September 2nd) for dinner. You can check out our detailed preview here. The following week they will open for brunch on the weekends.
We got a sneak peak of the tentative brunch menu when we came to take pictures of the space. It will be arguably the most impressive brunch menu in the H Street Corridor.
Bar at DC Harvest
A few brunch dishes to look forward to:
-three different egg scrambles: one with housemade spicy lamb sausage, one with a mushroom mix, and one with Maryland blue crab
-turkey hash made with their freshly roasted turkey
-steak and eggs
-oysters on the half shell
-a traditional greens salad and an heirloom tomato salad
-fruit and granola
We also learned that instead of a traditional bread plate at the beginning of dinner service that the restaurant will instead offer roasted butternut squash chips. And to conclude dinner, all diners will receive several housemade marshmallows with their check. Continue reading
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