A recent Friday night at Momofuku in DC
UrbanTurf usually stays away from publishing rankings or lists…except at the end of the year when we look back at the best that DC’s residential real estate scene had to offer during the previous 12 months. So, this week we are looking at not only the best but the most intriguing and peculiar things that came across our radar over the course of 2015. Enjoy.
On a recent Saturday night, I dined at David Chang’s new and much-talked-about Momofuku CCDC. The scene upon arrival was what would be expected of a restaurant that many DC residents have been waiting years for: diners thronged the front door as two hosts juggled new arrivals and the non-stop inquiries coming in on the phone.
Inside, a square bar full of people sipping cocktails gave way to a busy 200-person dining room featuring Momofuku’s trademark minimalist wood and glass interiors. In the back of the restaurant, a raised, glass-encompassed private room was full of patrons.
Among the dishes making their way across the dining room were many of the hits from Chang’s Momofuku Noodle Bar in New York: ginger scallion noodles, pork buns, and the crowd favorite Momofuku ramen—served with a flavorful broth and topped by pork belly, pork shoulder and a perfectly poached egg.
Getting a quick table here on a Saturday night is not luck; it requires a reservation well in advance, thanks to the almost two-year buzz that preceded Momofuku’s opening this October.
Washingtonians had long speculated that David Chang’s growing empire would eventually come to the area. Chang is a Vienna, Virginia, native who endears himself to the DC crowd not only with his food, which he describes as unpretentious and simple, but also with his distain for Washington football team owner Dan Snyder. (He proposed a Kickstarter to raise $6 billion to buy the team away from Snyder.) Chang is also the former mentor of Aaron Silverman, who made his own splash on the DC food scene when he opened Rose’s Luxury in 2013.
Rumors about a Momofuku outpost in DC reached a fever pitch in April 2014 when Nycci Nellis, of TheListAreYouOnIt.com, tweeted that Chang would open at City Center. The tweet sent locals into a social media frenzy and garnered a flurry of headlines in the Washington Business Journal, the Washingtonian, the Washington Post, and Eater.
Since then, every scrap of news—from the announcement that Momofuku CCDC is hiring to details about both table and fried chicken reservations—have been greedily digested by DC residents. When David Chang announced without warning on an October Saturday via Instagram that the restaurant, as well as sister bakery Milk Bar, would open its doors at 5pm that day, Washingtonians descended, forming long lines outside both establishments that have yet to die down.
As of early December, reservable tables are still booked solid a month in advance, which is exactly as far in advance as anyone can book a table at Momofuku CCDC. So if you’d like to finally taste what all the fuss is about, you’d better plan well or be prepared to wait. I can attest that the food is worth the hassle.
Meriah Burke-Raines is a DC-based freelance writer whose subjects range from local art and amenity-packed condominiums to world-traveling doctors, start-up entrepreneurs and other people, places and things. Meriah is also a creative writer and 7th generation Washingtonian. She has soft spot for all things DC.
This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/the_most_buzzed_about_restaurant_arrival_of_2015_momofuku/10661
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