July 2018

At NoMa's newly opened Bar Eleanor, hostesses Myriah Freeman and Myla Clark greet guests.

Indian Delight
Good news: We’ll soon be able to visit India without enduring jet lag and high airfare. Pappe, an exotically upscale Indian restaurant, is set to open in Logan Circle. Inspired by New Delhi’s colorful fabric shops, Pappe is the creation of chefs Sanjay Mandhaiya and Shankar Puthran and freshman restaurateur Vipul Kapila.

Capturing the look and feel of India’s vibrant open-air markets, designer Melissa Funkey is adding brightness and texture with flowing fabrics and colorful tiles. Ornate mirrors, trays and glassware came from India, while worn-in wooden cabinets, including one behind the bar, were gleaned from Baltimore thrift stores.

While Pappe’s menu is still being finalized, likely offerings include chicken tikka masala, bone-in goat with garlic tomato chutney and red curry, lip-tingling vindaloo and southern Indian seafood dishes. Pappe’s address will be 1317 14th St. NW. Stay tuned. 

Got Milk?
Remember that old advertising slogan? Well, it seems that Logan Circle is getting plenty of dairy products this summer. Christina Tosi’s latest Milk Bar location (her 14th) is the largest outpost in her growing family of toothsome stations. The 2,383-square-foot space (a former auto repair shop), has been converted into a neighborhood gathering place with a walk-up window, bakery and cafe; an outdoor patio with a retractable awning and a private event space for weekly baking classes. Tosi also promises a “dedicated” parking lot.

One significant upgrade: the experimental Milk Bar Lab. Tosi also plans to roll out at least one new cookie, bread and truffle every Wednesday. Initial offerings include strawberry-lemon truffles, cherry pie cookies and strawberry-cream cheese bombs.

The spacious shop carries items found at other Milk Bar stores: gourmet coffee, baked goods, a turkey sausage and egg bagel bomb, blueberry pie shake and a chocolate fudge-filled, cinnamon sugar-dusted waffle cone filled with soft-serve.

Located at 1525 15th St. NW, Milk Bar Logan Circle is open 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 9 a.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday; 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday. Call 202-506-1357 or visit

Hop to It – Italian Style
More news from Logan Circle. Last month, Tosca (the downtown power spot) alumnus Massimo Fabbri unveiled San Lorenzo. The Tuscan-style restaurant retains Tosca’s famous rabbit ragu pappardelle, scented with wine, herbs and olive oil. San Lorenzo’s menu also showcases tuna carpaccio with hearts of palm; roasted squid with shaved Brussels sprouts; squash blossoms with truffled goat cheese; taglierini with morel mushroom ragu; scallops with pureed fava beans and pork ribs with cannellini beans. Open nightly, San Lorenzo is at 1316 Ninth St. NW. Visit 

Another Upscale Grocery
Shaw is getting a new high-end culinary destination just a few months after losing another. Homegrown convenience mart Union Kitchen Grocery is opening a third location, its second in Shaw. Look for it later this summer or fall at 1924 Eighth St. NW, in the space formerly occupied by the uber-pricey Glen’s Garden Market. UKG ‘s original location at 538 Third St. NE debuted in May 2015. A second spinoff, twice the size of the flagship store, landed inside the Walter E. Washington Convention Center last year. Sometime later, look for yet another offshoot in Franklin Square (around 13th and 14th and K streets NW).

Shaw Neighborhood Vibe
A cozy, down-home neighborhood bar, All Souls, has opened at 725 T St. NW. Developed by David Batista (formerly with Jose Andres’ Jaleo and Zatinya), All Souls seats about 40, including 15 perches at the bar. The bar comes from Jaleo, Batista’s old haunt. While the focus is on moderately priced drinks “with neighborhood vibe,” All Souls’ small kitchen will dispense a limited menu of light bar snacks. All Souls is open nightly; call 202-733-5929 or visit

Convivial, the Gallic outpost in Shaw, is well-named, with communal tables and a lively bar scene. Photo: Celeste McCall

Convivial Lunch
Also in Shaw, we’d been hearing good things about Convivial, which opened in November 2015. It was high time we checked it out.

Peter scooped me up after a tedious morning meeting, and we headed for familiar territory for Saturday brunch. Convivial is aptly named. Designed by well-known firm Hapstak/Demetriou, the bright dining area is appointed with communal tables. The bar scene is lively. If the menu – regular and a weekend brunch – seems North African, it’s because owner/chef Cedric Maupillier, who honed his skills with the late Michel Richard, hails from the south of France.

When we chatted with him after lunch, he told us he made his own merguez sausage. The spicy links appear at lunch, perched atop a nest of hummus, wonderfully crispy chickpeas and pickled carrots and cauliflower. The dish tasted as good as it looked. Peter loved his chicken burger, a thick, moist, perfectly cooked and seasoned patty nestled in a bun, along with avocado and bacon, and escorted with a healthful fruit salad. We’ll have to return for dinner and try the escargot and bouillabaisse.

Since we were in the south-of-France mode, I chose a delightful grenache rose from Cote-de-Provence. Lunch for two came to $35, plus a tip for our savvy server, Elvis, who did not leave the building. Located at 801 O St. NW, Convivial is open nightly plus weekend brunch. Call 202-525-2870 or visit

A mini-bowling alley is just one of the lively attractions at NoMa’s The Eleanor.

New in NoMa
Adam Stein’s restaurant/gaming complex The Eleanor Bowling Lounge Bar & Grille has opened at 100 Florida Ave. NE (formerly Union Social). Stein and his team – including general managers Jessica Rockwell and Katie Rockwell – dispense draft beers, nice wines and snazzy cocktails, including a whiskey-cola concoction inspired by Southerners who drop peanuts into their soft drinks. Peter, who grew up in Chattanooga, actually remembers doing this.

Heading the food listing: grilled clams with herb butter; shellfish stew with tarragon broth; Korean-style hotdog with furikake spice and kimchi; fried chicken thighs with Indian-spiced carrot puree. To work off all those calories, Eleanor is installing a mini-bowling and skeet-ball arcade. Eleanor is open for dinner only; lunch should follow shortly. Happy hours run from 4 to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Distinguished Dabney Diner
Yes, that was Michelle Obama dining last month at the Dabney, at 122 Blagden Alley NW. According to Eater DC, it was the former First Lady’s second visit in as many years. No word on what she ordered. Last year, Obama visited the Michelin-starred restaurant with former White House chef Sam Kass, who was executive director for Michelle’s “Let’s Move!” campaign.