According to a revised version of ANC 6A Alcoholic Beverage Licensing Committee’s agenda for next week, the Committee will be hearing from representatives of Quara Ethiopian Fusion that will be coming soon to 818 H Street, NE (next door to Mythology). District Cuisine had heard for some time that an Ethiopian restaurant had leased the space but had been unable to confirm details until now. Quara currently operates an Ethiopian restaurant on 18th Street (website and menu here), and this location is from the same owners (ownership of the 18th Street location matches a contact person for building permits at 818 H Street). The building is currently undergoing a major renovation but still has a long way to go. Quara will be joining two current Ethiopian restaurants on the H Street Corridor (Ethiopic and Addis). More details as we get them.
Big news for the H Street Corridor this weekend. First, tomorrow (Friday) Sospeso will be opening its doors for the first time at 1344 H Street, NE. You can check out our preview of the restaurant here.
Second, on Saturday Turning Natural, a local juice bar, will be opening at 1380 H Street, NE. You can check out our initial preview of Turning Natural here.
Last week District Cuisine sat down with Sospeso co-owners Michael and Hatice Rosato to preview the new restaurant coming soon to 1344 H Street, NE. Michael has extensive experience from around the District’s restaurant scene ranging from Zaytinya to Palena to Granville Moore’s to Toki Underground and most recently Ghibellina and Sotto on 14th Street. Hatice runs a women’s clothing import business and designed the interior of the restaurant. When we spoke, they hoped to open the restaurant in late January but have now moved the opening back to late February (likely by the end of February). As we mentioned in our earlier preview piece, Sospeso will be Mediterranean inspired and will be open for dine in and takeout for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late night.
The interior of the restaurant–previously a real estate office–has been completely redone and looks beautiful. The Rosatos, who live within walking distance of the restaurant, are hoping that neighbors will view the restaurant as a cool place to hang out and to do work in during the day.
The first floor will be a bar in the front (coffee and alcohol) and tables in the back that are slightly elevated above the bar area. The first floor has extensive and intricate tiling all along the bar area.
Upstairs will feature additional dine in seating as well as a balcony that overlooks H Street. The upstairs has a nice mix of two and four top tables as well as a table that can accommodate bigger parties. Above the second floor is a loft-style floor that will be a wine cellar for the restaurant. There will be wifi available in the restaurant, enabling patrons to work during the day.
Sospeso will initially open for breakfast/lunch and then will open for dinner after a few days of service. In the near future, they will be launching a brunch menu as well as happy hour (both drinks and food). We’ll be previewing a sample of their opening menu in a post tomorrow.
Sospeso, a Mediterranean restaurant that will serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner at 1344 H Street, NE will open in late January, District Cuisine has learned. According to the owners, the interior renovation is all done, and they are waiting on final inspection from the District government. If everything goes according to plan, they should be open before the end of January. District Cuisine previewed Sospeso, including a sample menu, several months ago (check out our post here).
News came late last year that a new Mediterranean restaurant concept called Sospeso would be opening at 1344 H Street, NE in what had previously been a real estate office. While information has been sparse since then, recently District Cuisine caught up with Sospeso’s owner Michael Rosato to learn more details. You can visit Sospeso’s website here and you can check out a sneak peak of their menu down below!
Sospeso’s name originated from Caffe Sospeso which translates to “suspended coffee” and “is a Neapolitan practice of someone anonymously paying for a coffee ahead for someone else in need.” According to Sospeso’s website, the restaurant will be “inspired by the recipes of our grandparents and great-grandparents, as well as the sun-drenched countries and seas of Southern Europe, the Eastern Mediterranean, and North Africa.” They will be focusing on high quality and locally sourced ingredients.
The owners hope to open before Thanksgiving and construction is well underway. Sospeso’s hours, once open, will be Sunday-Thursday from 7 am until 2 am and Friday-Saturday until 3 am. They will serve coffee and pastries in the morning, sandwiches and salads in the afternoon, and full dinner in the evening. Appetizers will range from $6-13 and entrees from $16-30. Dinner service will also include house made focaccia and a beverage program that focuses on Mediterranean wines and house infused vermouth and cocktails.
Sospeso will be a mom and pop operation run by Michael and his wife Hatice. Michael has extensive restaurant experience from various roles at Tryst, Zaytinya, Palena, Granville Moore’s, Toki Underground, Ghibellina, and Sotto. Most recently Michael has been running the wine program at Ghibellina and Sotto on 14th Street as well as booking music for Sotto. Hatice runs a women’s clothing import business and designed the interior of the restaurant. She will also be in charge of the restaurant’s forthcoming website, branding, and social media. As a native of Turkey, Hatice will have a big influence on the menu.
Michael says that he has always enjoyed H Street since moving to DC back in 2003. He liked the community feel so much that he moved to Trinidad in 2011, very close to where Sospeso will open up.
Sample Sospeso menu:
Bottarga Nuts-peanuts, Sicilian spices, bottarga
Cabbage Salad-savoy cabbage, roasted squash, fennel, onion
Butter Lettuce Salad-lettuce, shaved beet and carrot, lemon-cardamom dressing
Imam Bayildi-roasted eggplant, onion, tomato, garlic
Mercimekli Kofte-lentil and bulghur ‘fingerlings,’ lettuce, lemon
Hummus-chickpea puree, pita
Add roasted lamb
Salty Fritters-anchovy stuffed fried dough, gremolata
Piyaz-giant beans, baked in tomato, garlic, and lemon
Grilled Octopus-giant beans
Gnocchi-wild mushrooms, garlic, rosemary, Grana Padano
Tagliatelli Carbonara-pancetta, onion, egg, Grana Padano
Porchetta Sandwich-roast pork, vegetable relish, cracklins, pickled veggies
Vegetable Bouillabaisse-charred vegetables, aioli crostini
Moussaka-ground beef, potato, eggplant, bechamel
Roasted Fish-clam broth
Hanger Steak-rosemary roasted potatoes, balsamic reduction
Bruschetta Dolce-rosemary rhortbread, tomato jam, mint
Zabaione-marsala custard, biscotti
Almond Cake-mascarpone cream