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The Best New Nosh in the Capital

by Debra Bokur

Nov 25, 2019

Rawpixelimages | Dreamstime.com

Destinations / North America

Dining in D.C. is always a great adventure. New and noteworthy in the capital city’s collection of chef-driven restaurants and bars includes the Kingbird restaurant at The Watergate Hotel.


“The Watergate Hotel has such a rich history here in Washington, D.C.,” offers executive chef Sebastien Giannini. “It’s truly a quintessential D.C. destination to visit. At Kingbird, we are excited to be a part of the iconic hotel’s new history in the making. And, I am proud to represent the new generation of French-born chefs in America, just as Jean Louis Palladin once did here at The Watergate 40 years ago.”


The menu at the striking, light-drenched Kingbird (designed by Ron Arad) showcases chef Giannini’s glass container cooking methods with a turkey roulade cooked entirely within a whiskey bottle. The roulade is stuffed with a delectable black truffle mousseline, then aromatized with Japanese Suntory whisky and cooked a la plancha to lend hue to the skin. The final step involves placing the roulade inside the bottle where it’s sealed and steamed.


Visitors and locals more inclined to sandy beaches and tall, cool drinks can banish the chilly winter weather at Tiki TNT, located at The Wharf on the city’s waterfront along the Potomac River just south of the National Mall. The vibe is all sunny Polynesian island energy, and the bar’s signature Mai Tai cocktail was inspired by owner Todd Thrasher’s own past adventures island-hopping around the globe as a scuba instructor. Made with El Dorado 12, Thrasher’s White Rum, Dry Curacao, Orgeat, Lime and Rich Demerara, the Mai Tai is served up to a backdrop of the establishment’s genuine banana leaf wall and a bonafide urban rum distillery.


Potomac Waterfront in Washington D.C. Photo: Avmedved | Dreamstime.com


Brand new, but tricked out to make you think you’ve walked through a door into an era when booths covered in green mohair were the height of interior design (we don’t know what era that is, but would love to sit in one of those booths), Randy’s Prime Seafood & Steaks serves up classics with tasty twists: steak sauces include Great Hill blue cheese butter, and sides to enjoy with your lobster, sea bass or tender Wagyu beef from Snake River Farms include duck fat fries and corn brulée topped with bacon. The restaurant can be found on Leesburg Pike near the Tyson’s Corner shopping center.


Also channeling a different time and place, the dive-y vibe at mixologist Gina Chersevani’s newly opened Last Call Bar in the Union Market neighborhood is the ideal spot to sample a Filthy Martin, Lil Pub Jello-O Shot or an Aperol Schlitz. The bar also serves frozen Irish coffees and Carbonated Old Fashioned on tap, delivered in the establishment’s quirky collection of mismatched glasses. Housed within a converted brick building tucked into a spot that’s home to warehouses and storefronts, the bar is rumored to have been one of the city’s first speakeasies.


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