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Wednesday, February 21, 2024


On a cold, blustery evening, husband Peter and I enjoyed a warming dinner at Silo restaurant, in the Mount Vernon Triangle/Shaw neighborhood. Atmosphere is rustic/industrial, with exposed brick and pipes overhead.

At Silo, crisply deep-fried calamari is escorted by marinara sauce and a lemon wedge.

Locals love Silo’s “bottomless” weekend brunch. Weekday options encompass a raw bar, “handhelds” (i.e. burgers and sandwiches), fisherman’s stew, spicy PEI mussels, buttermilk fried chicken. Some dishes are sharable, like the crispy Brussels sprouts, so tasty that I experimented at home with a similar recipe.

A hefty portion of deep-fried calamari arrived with standard marinara sauce. The squid was tasty but a tad rubbery in places. The ultimate comfort food is the chipotle-glazed meatloaf – well-seasoned ground beef flanked with zesty, jalapeno-queso mac-and-cheese. A few green spears of asparagus provided a welcome reminder that spring is coming.

Dinner for two with a drink apiece came to around $60, before tax and tip. Silo’s bar, with its lively happy hour, pours umpteen kinds of beer, plus other potables. Located at 919 Fifth St. NW, Silo is open daily. Call 202-290-2233 or visit www.silodc.com.

More Laotian Cuisine
Attention, Laotian food fans! The talented team behind Thip Khao (in Columbia Heights) and Padaek (Falls Church) is set to unveil its third venture, Hanumanh. Named after the Buddhist monkey god, the casual Hanumanh will hunker next to Dacha Beer Garden in Shaw. Chefs Seng Luangrath and Bobby Pradachith (her son) will serve rustic, country-style dishes inspired by their Laotian heritage. The cooking is similar to more familiar Vietnamese, but with its own flair.

The menu will showcase Southeast Asian flavors like lemongrass, ginger, shrimp paste and galangal root. Herb salads are made in a mortar and pestle. Meats and seafoods might be steamed or charcoal grilled. Many dishes can be eaten with the fingers.

Hanumanh will seat about 40; the exposed brick dining area, reminiscent of Laotian alleyways, is anchored by a long bar. A large, vibrant mural depicts the restaurant’s namesake, a Hindu and Buddhist monkey god splashing in a river. Hanumanh will be located at 1604 Seventh St. NW.

More from Shaw
Chef Ryan Ratino, seeking to enhance inventive cooking that garnered a Michelin star within two years of opening Bresca, will unveil a tasting menu restaurant and bar. Where: the renovated second-floor space in his bistro at 1906 14th St. NW.

The 18-seat addition is called Jont, a word-play on “jaunt” in French. The progressive menu of eight to 11 courses will be priced at $84 to $97 per person. Like Bresca, Jont will be carbon-neutral.

For decor, designer Amber Kendrick is collaborating with Ratino. Kendrick has been traveling throughout Europe, studying the design of top restaurants. For updates call 202-518-7926 or visit www.brescadc.com.

Rooftop respite El Techo (located above Rito Loco) now sports a Latin vibe. Moreover, the menu is updated with soups, sizzling platters and hot mezcal cocktails. Until spring – when El Techo’s top comes off – the expanded covered rooftop will be renamed Selva (“jungle” in Spanish). There’s new weatherproof siding, insulated flooring and 40 lanterns from a village outside Mexico City.

Warming cocktails are infused with coffee, tequila, mezcal, cinnamon and cloves. To bring groups together, a five-person tequila cocktail and a sharable sizzling, cast iron skillet features filet tips, shrimp, chicken, peppers, onions and yuca. Another sharable dish is seafood paella with mussels, crab, shrimp, clams and squid. El Techo is located at 606 Florida Ave. NW. Call 202-836-4270 or visit www.ritoloco.com.

And …
Arlington bar owner Scott Parker is opening his first DC restaurant, Roy Boys, serving fried chicken and oysters in the Shaw space vacated by Tasty Burger. In October, Parker revealed his plans to open his 60-seat enterprise in the Atlantic Plumbing building at 2108 Eighth St. NW.

Chef Will Sullivan, formerly with Clarendon’s Green Pig Bistro, will spearhead Roy Boys’ kitchen. Tending bar is Frank Mills, a Jack Rose alum, who will man the bar with Bloody Marys and oyster shooters.

Tasty Burger’s take-out window is revived at Roy Boys, slinging fried chicken sandwiches and buckets until 5 a.m. Eventually, Parker plans to add lunch and brunch. Along with oysters on the half shell, the bivalves will appear in fried oyster sandwiches. Happy hour will run daily from 3 to 7 p.m.

Thompson Hospitality’s Delegate
Yet more from Shaw: family-run Thompson Hospitality, the nation’s largest minority-owned food service, has unveiled another culinary enterprise, The Delegate, near the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. The 200-seat newcomer dispenses “a new American menu with a modern twist.” Among appetizers are black sesame ahi tuna, fried green tomatoes with Firefly goat cheese and jalapeno fig jam; beef short ribs with sweet potato puree and green beans; wild salmon with succotash and crispy lemon pepper chives. Check out the weekend chef’s table brunch buffet.

Connected to the dual-branded Courtyard and Residence Inn Washington Downtown/Convention Center by Marriott, The Delegate is open weekdays for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The 40-seat bar pours local spirts and brews, a 50-bottle wine list and creative twists on classic cocktails. Exposed brick, a three-inch-thick glass countertop and a dynamic abstract sculpture enhance the interior. Come spring, a rooftop lounge.

The Delegate is at 901 L St NW. For more information call 202-567-6645 or visit https://www.thedelegaterestaurant.com/.

Meatball Mania
Logan Circle’s popular New York import, The Meatball Shop DC, has added another winter selection, ramen meatballs, formed with ramen noodles and swimming in a savory broth. While Santa has returned to the North Pole for another year, The Meatball Shop’s holiday grilled cheese balls will be available as a special off-menu item all winter long. These delicious, melt-in-your-mouth morsels are made with three types of cheese, leftover bread (no waste!) and lots of butter, then baked and plopped atop creamy tomato soup. Regular mainstays encompass crabcake balls, veggie balls, sandwiches, sides and, as the piece de resistance, “classic spaghetti ‘n’ meatballs” – three giant meatballs draped with tomato sauce, Parmesan cheese and pesto.

Open daily for lunch and dinner, The Meatball Shop is at 1720 14th St. NW; call 202-684-8564 or visit www.themeatballshop.com.

Winter Restaurant Week
Coming up Jan. 14-20 is Metropolitan Washington’s Winter Restaurant Week, presented by Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW). More than 250 area restaurants will offer multicourse $35 dinners, $22 lunches and $22 brunch menus. For the list of participating restaurants and menus, plus links to book reservations, visit www.rwdmv.com.

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