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Neighborhood Eats: Chicken and Doughnuts, and Lots of Italian

by Jamie Liu

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This week’s restaurant update is heavy on the Italian, with two Italian restaurant revamps and one new addition coming to town. And get ready to indulge your inner fat kid with two new fried chicken and doughnut joints.

Opening Soon: Daikaya, at 705 6th Street NW, opened the ramen-serving portion of its restaurant in February, and is gearing up to open the upstairs izakaya on the weekend of March 29th. It will serve up small plates of bar food, a variety of Japanese-inspired cocktails, and a wide selection of soju and sake.

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The next few weeks will be big for the combination of fried chicken and doughnuts. Pending inspection, Astro Doughnuts and Fried Chicken at 1308 G Street NW and Golden Brown and Delicious (GBD) from the Neighborhood Restaurant Group at 1323 Connecticut Avenue NW will open soon. At Astro, there will be six everyday doughnut flavors — vanilla glazed, Brooklyn blackout, maple bacon, twink-nut (vanilla cake, buttercream filling, vanilla glaze), PB&J, crème brûlée — and five additional flavors that change each day. At GBD, boozy butterscotch & bacon, Snicker’s, grapefruit-campari old-fashioned, and apple fritter will feature on the menu.

Open… Again: Restaurant Elisir, at 427 11th Street NW, has retooled its menu and decor to become the more casual Osteria Elisir. The original fine dining concept featured multi-course menus with complex dishes, but now has been changed to simpler, less expensive fare such as pastas, meatballs, and charred octopus.

Georgetown’s basement beer bar Birreria Paradiso, below Pizzeria Paradiso, has also reopened at 3282 M Street NW. The recently renovated space is now more open, with communal tables for better socializing.

Opening Eventually: Fiola Chef/Owner Fabio Trabocchi is preparing to open his second restaurant Casa Luca in the old Againn space at 1099 New York Avenue NW. The restaurant will be more casual and rustic than Fiola and the forthcoming Fiola Mare with flatbreads, homemade pastas, roasted and grilled meats, and seafood. The bar will serve red, white, and sparkling wines on tap, 10 red and 10 white wines for $28 a bottle, and a selection of Italian liquors and cocktails.

Restaurateur Paul Ruppert will be opening two restaurants at 828 and 829 Upshur Street NW, according to POPville. The units require renovation and the concepts have not been announced yet. Ruppert has a strong track record of improving spaces, including Room 11 and The Passenger.

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Open… Temporarily: Bistro Vivant Chef Ed Hardy is taking a few days to helm a Swedish pop-up at Hogo at 1017 7th Street NW until March 30. Hardy formerly worked under Swedish celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson. On deck are dishes like pickled herring; Swedish meatballs with potato puree, lingonberry and pickled cucumber; and a BLT with salmon bacon.

Closed: Cafe Assorti in Rosslyn closed this past Sunday. The restaurant served food from Eastern Europe, Russia and Kazakhstan. While the restaurant did not disclose why it was closing, the owners are looking for space in Rockville and hope to reopen there in August.

Events: Celebrate Greek Easter at Zaytinya’s Fifth Annual Greek Easter Festival on March 31-May 5 at 701 9th Street NW. During the festival, the menu will feature special Greek Lenten items like a lemony clam stew with basmati rice and lachanosalata with Brussels sprout leaves, lemon and smoked walnut skordalia. All throughout the festival there will be special dinners and brunches, and an outdoor market (agora) will appear on April 21st and 22nd. For those who can’t make it to the restaurant, José Andrés’ Pepe food truck will be selling the restaurant’s popular Easter lamb pita with tzatziki and pickled onions throughout the festival.

Pork-tastic culinary competition Cochon 555 returns to D.C. on April 7 at the Newseum. The event pits Chefs Kyle Bailey (Birch & Barley), Jeffrey Buben (Vidalia), Mike Isabella (Graffiato/Bandolero), Haidar Karoum (Proof/Estadio), and Bryan Voltaggio (Volt, Range, Family Meal) against each other to prepare the best pork dishes. Wine, beer, hard cider, bourbon and mezcal will be served. Tickets are $125 for general admission, and $200 for VIP early admission tickets.

Jamie R. Liu is a freelance writer, food nerd, and former DCist food and drink editor. She has contributed to Eater, Washington City Paper, the Express, and AskMen.com.

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/neighborhood_eats_chicken_and_doughnuts_and_lots_of_italian/6822

1 Comment

  1. jen a. said at 5:50 pm on Thursday March 21, 2013:

    Good to see you contributing to Urban Turf Jamie!  Great recap..

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