Neigborhood Eats: The Penn Quarter Edition

by Rebecca Cooper

You may be eyeing a great deal in an up-and-coming neighborhood, or finally committing to your dream house, but you still need to know where you can go grab a bite when you are no longer unpacking, right? Neighborhood Eats, UrbanTurf’s newest feature, will keep tabs on restaurant news and happenings all around the DC area.

This week, we focus on new establishments in Penn Quarter, where the scene is heating up at about the same pace as summer.

Inside at Luke’s Lobster

Opened: 901 Restaurant and Bar (901 9th Street NW) opened for business on Friday, May 27. The opening was announced via the restaurant’s Facebook page in time for those not braving the Memorial Day traffic to make happy hour plans. The restaurant features a hefty craft beer list (one of owner David Von Storch’s other ventures is Capitol City Brewing Co.), which includes five beers brewed at Cap City for 901. The menu is focused on small plates, and includes options such as lump crab pinchos, albondigas with roasted garlic tomato sauce, roasted duck quesadilla, and Thai rice paper rolls.

Beating 901 by just one day was Luke’s Lobster. The New York-based lobster roll chain opened its first DC location at 624 E Street NW on May 26. The fast-casual joint serves lobster rolls daily from 11am to 10pm out of the mock roadside stand constructed inside the restaurant. If you’re not willing to spring for the $15 lobster roll, they have more affordable shrimp and crab varieties, as well as seafood soups (crab and sweet potato bisque, anyone?) in bread bowls.

Open for Happy Hour: Zola’s (800 F Street NW) happy hour deal is back for the summer. The restaurant in the Spy Museum is now offering $5 martinis and other mixed drinks (including the “strawberry blon” with cachaça and house made strawberry-thyme syrup), $4 beers, and snacks such as $5 sherry-glazed sweetbreads and crab cakes, and 3-for-$7 carnitas tacos.

901 Restaurant and Bar

Closing/Opening: DC celebrity chef José Andrés is temporarily shutting down his Mexican-themed Café Atlántico (405 8th Street NW) — and its restaurant within a restaurant, minibar — to make room for America Eats Tavern. The new restaurant will be a collaboration between Andres and the National Archives, celebrating classic American cuisine during the Archives exhibit: “What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam? The Government’s Effect on the American Diet.” The restaurant will “celebrate native ingredients and some long forgotten dishes, from burgoo to oysters Rockefeller,” according to a statement from Andres’ company, ThinkFoodGroup. Both Cafe Atlántico and minibar will close June 12, and America Eats will open July 4. minibar will also reopen July 4 after the Atlántico-America Eats switcheroo.

Luke’s Lobster

Restaurant news outside the Penn Quarter universe:

  • Jack Rose, the newest watering hole/dining saloon coming to Adams Morgan courtesy of the owners of Bourbon, will open its rooftop bar this Friday and hopes to have its ground floor open by June 14, UrbanTurf has learned. The much-anticipated establishment plans to feature more than 1,000 kinds of Scotch and bourbon and a lengthy beer list, including 10 taps that will rotate weekly. The three-level space on 18th Street just north of Florida Avenue will offer a number of different areas for discriminating drinkers on a strip that’s known more for shot specials and jumbo slices than single-malts.
  • In related news, Bourbon in Glover Park is shaking up its menu, literally and figuratively. The restaurant tapped Bourbon Steak mixologist J.P. Caceres to re-invent their cocktail menu. (No, the restaurants are not related.) Caceres is putting together a menu that will feature cocktail flavors including ginger, pineapple, rose, and berries, as well as classics including the Hemingway and the Pimm’s Cup.

Rebecca Cooper is a freelance journalist and avid eater that has contributed to TBD, DCist, and Washingtonian.

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/neigborhood_eats_the_penn_quarter_edition/3577

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