loading...

From Himalayan to Serbian, DC’s Restaurant Options Expand

by Rebecca Cooper

image
Grilled stuffed prunes at Ambar. (Photo: Cinnamon Production)

Pockets of the DC area have long been known for restaurants touting authentic fare from various parts of the world: Little Ethiopia radiates out from 9th and U streets NW, Annandale is the go-to area for Korean barbecue, and if it’s dim sum you’re after, head to Wheaton, Md. But lately, budding restaurateurs are expanding the horizons of the area’s dining scene to even further corners of the world.

Restaurants featuring cuisine that ranges from Serbian to Himalayan to Burmese are now opening or have plans to open in the DC area. Here is a quick look at some of the restaurants bringing new tastes to the region.


Mad Momos: Sam Huang and Wanchuk Topden, the partners behind this two-level Columbia Heights restaurant and beer deck at 3605 14th Street NW, love the traditional dumplings from the Himalayas so much, they named their restaurant after them.

image
Mad Momo’s second floor.

Mad Momos menu features traditional demazong dumplings served in Himalayan regions such as Topden’s native Sikkim in India. The dumplings are stuffed with ground beef and sweet onions, and served with a sauce of roasted tomatoes, cilantro and green chiles. They’ve gone over so well, Huang said, one guest who grew up eating them said she’s planning to bring her mom back to try them. “That’s how you know you’re doing well — the mom test,” Huang says.

They’ve been a little playful with the other momo options, creating one stuffed with seafood, another with pork and apple — an homage to Huang’s favorite diner meal growing up in New York City, pork chops with applesauce — and a vegan option. They’re also working on a chicken dumpling, a “spudnik” dumpling that may resemble a pierogi, and other options such as a Peking duck momo that could be a daily special.

image
Dumplings at Mad Momos

Rus Uz: The owners of Rus Uz in Ballston know what it is to be good neighbors: the Rakhmatullaev family shares their space with Ballston Art & Framing. They also serve the cuisines of neighboring countries Russia and Uzbekistan, which have a lot of crossover in their cuisine, but also many distinct dishes.

The menu at Rus Uz includes traditional Uzbek dishes such as manti dumplings with lamb, a soup known as lagmon and plov, a rice entree with lamb or beef which is the national dish of Uzbekistan. But there are also Russian dishes including “fish under a fur coat” — herring mixed with potatoes, carrots, beets and mayonnaise — borsch, stuffed cabbage leaves called goluptsi and blini. Rus Uz, which was formerly a catering company based in Alexandria, opened at 1000 N. Randolph Street in mid-December.

image
Rus Uz dining room.

Mari Vanna: Speaking of Russian restaurants, newcomer Mari Vanna is another eatery making sure that Dupont Circle’s Russia House isn’t the only game in DC. The bar and restaurant in the former office space at 1141 Connecticut Avenue NW unveiled its bar earlier this month, and plans to officially open the restaurant on January 17, according to the Washington Post.

The menu hasn’t been posted yet, but the chain’s other locations in New York and L.A. list Russian classics such as pelmeni (veal dumplings), stroganoff (chicken in a creamy mushroom sauce), the aforementioned “herring under a fur coat” salad and blinis (crepes) with caviar. Mari Vanna has two levels, including a lounge, and has already been visited by the one and only Alexander Ovechkin, according to his Twitter feed.

image
Mari Vanna interior. (Courtesy of Mari Vanna).

Ambar: This restaurant featuring Serbian and other Balkan cuisines from Richard Sandoval protegé Ivan Iricanin has been a much anticipated addition on Capitol Hill. The two-level space at 523 8th Street SE includes a bar featuring menu items from Serbia and other parts of the Balkan region “with a modern” twist, according to Iricanin. The bar menu follows suit, with a wine list featuring many choices from Bosnia, Serbia, and Macedonia, as well as 30 varieties of rakia, a liquor produced by fermentation of fruit.

The menu includes small plates such as stuffed prunes, a beet and goat cheese Napoleon and Serbian doughnuts smeared with kajmak, a sort of Balkan hybrid of cream and cheese which appears with many items. Ambar is set to open for dinner next week, and will open for lunch beginning in February.


The restaurants listed above are not the only ones bringing new international concepts to the region. Mandalay, the Burmese favorite in Silver Spring is still working to get its Shaw location open, and Victor Albisu is planning to open Del Campo, a restaurant that combines the Peruvian and Cuban foods he grew up with, in Chinatown.

Readers, what other international cuisines would you like to see open in or around the District?

See other articles related to: neighborhood eats

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/from_himalayan_to_serbian_dcs_restaurant_options_expand/6502

0 Comments — Be the First!

Join the discussion

UrbanTurf now requires registration in order to post comments. Register here, or login below if you are already registered.

Click here if you forgot your password.



DC Real Estate Guides

Short guides to navigating the DC-area real estate market

We've collected all our helpful guides for buying, selling and renting in and around Washington, DC in one place. Visit guides.urbanturf.com or start browsing below!

Northern Virginia

Profiles of 14 neighborhoods across Northern Virginia

Ballston
Looking to Give People A Reason to Stay Past 6pm
Clarendon
Happily Straddling the Line Between City and Suburb
Columbia Pike
Arlington’s Neglected Stepchild is Getting a Makeover
Crystal City
Turning Lemons into Lemonade
Lyon Village
Developing An Air of Exclusivity?
Rosslyn
Hitting Its Growth Spurt
Shirlington
An Urban Village Hitting Its Stride
Del Ray
Virginia’s Small Town Near the Big City
Eisenhower Avenue
The Vibrancy Might Take a Few Years
Huntington
The Quiet Neighborhood By the Beltway
Old Town
Mayberry By The Potomac
Parkfairfax
132 Commerical-Free Acres
Downtown Falls Church
Staying the Same in the Midst of Change
Tysons Corner
Radical Change Could Be On The Way

See more Northern Virginia »

Maryland

Profiles of 14 neighborhoods in suburban Maryland

Annapolis
Small-Town Living in the State Capital
Bethesda
Bedroom Community Gets Buzzing Cache
Cabin John
In With The New While Maintaining the Old
Chevy Chase
Affluence, Green Lawns and Pricey Homes
Downtown Silver Spring
Experiencing a Resurgence After a Bumpy History
Potomac
A Suburb on Steroids
Rockville Town Square
Despite the Dynamism, Still Somewhat Generic
Takoma Park
More Than a Little Bit Quirky
Wheaton
A Foodie Magnet on the Verge of Change
Capitol Heights
Kudzu, Front Porches and Crime
Hyattsville
Glass Half Full or Half Empty?
Mount Rainier
Artists, Affordable Homes and A Silo Full of Corn
National Harbor
A Development Rises Next to the Potomac
Riverdale Park
A Town Looking For Its Identity

See more Maryland »

Northwest DC

30+ neighborhood profiles for the city's biggest quadrant

16th Street Heights
DC's Sleeper Neighborhood
Bloomingdale
Where (Almost) Everyone Knows Your Name
AU Park
One of DC’s Last Frontiers Before the Suburbs
Brightwood
DC’s Northern Neighborhood on the Cusp
Burleith
DC’s 535 House Neighborhood
Cathedral Heights
Do You Know Where That Is?
Chevy Chase DC
Not to Be Confused With the Other Chevy Chase
Cleveland Park
Coming Back After A Rough Year
Columbia Heights
DC’s Most Diverse Neighborhood, But For How Long?
Crestwood
An Island of Serenity East of the Park
Dupont Circle
The Best of DC (For a Price)
Foggy Bottom & West End
Where the Institutional Meets the International
Forest Hills
Ambassadors and Adventurous Architecture
Fort Totten
Five Years Could Make a Big Difference
Foxhall Village
350 Homes Just West of Georgetown
Friendship Heights
A Shopping Mecca With a Few Places to Live
Georgetown
History, Hoyas and H&M
Glover Park
One of DC’s Preppier and More Family-Friendly Neighborhoods
Kalorama
A Posh View From Embassy Row
LeDroit Park
A Quiet Enclave in the Middle of the City
Logan Circle
Trendy Now, But Not By Accident
Mount Pleasant
Sought-After Homes Surround Main Street in Transition
Mount Vernon Triangle
From Seedy to Sought-After
Palisades
The Long, Skinny Neighborhood at the City’s Northwest Edge
Park View
It’s Not Petworth
Penn Quarter/Chinatown
DC’s Go-Go-Go Neighborhood
Petworth
Getting a Vibrancy of Its Own
Shaw
The Duke’s Former Stomping Ground
Shepherd Park
DC’s Garden of Diversity
Spring Valley
A Suburb With a DC Zip Code
Takoma
Not To Be Confused With Takoma Park
Tenleytown
Not Quite Like Its Neighbors
U Street Corridor
The Difference a Decade Makes
Woodley Park
Deceptively Residential
Adams Morgan
No Longer DC’s Hippest Neighborhood, But Still Loved by Residents

See more Northwest DC »

Southwest DC

The little quadrant that could

Southwest Waterfront
A Neighborhood Where A Change Is Gonna Come

See more Southwest DC »

Northeast DC

Profiles of 10 neighborhoods in NE

Brookland
New Development Could Shake Up Pastoral Peace
Deanwood
A Little Bit of Country Just Inside the District’s Borders
Eckington
Not to Be Confused With Bloomingdale
H Street
A Place To Party, and To Settle Down
Langdon
The Northeast Neighborhood That Few Know About
Michigan Park
A Newsletter-On-Your-Doorstep Community
NoMa
Evolving from a Brand to a Neighborhood
Rosedale
Ripe for Investment Right About Now
Trinidad
The Difference 5 Years Makes
Woodridge
Big Houses, A Dusty Commercial Strip and Potential

See more Northeast DC »

Southeast DC

6 neighborhoods from Capitol Hill to East of the River

Capitol Riverfront
Still Growing
Hill East
Capitol Hill’s Lesser Known Neighbor
Congress Heights
Gradually Rising
Hillcrest
Notable for Its Neighborliness
Historic Anacostia
Future Promise Breeds Cautious Optimism
Eastern Market
A More European Way of Living

See more Southeast DC »

Upcoming Seminars ▾