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District Dining Reaches New Heights with 5 Hot Spots

If you’re looking for a romantic, culinary escape this spring, travel two and a half hours south to Washington, DC. Yes, the capital city — where laws are made, money is minted and business deals are sealed — is one of the hottest dining destinations in the country right now. Last year, Bon Appetit magazine named Rose’s Luxury in the Barracks Row neighborhood the Best New Restaurant in America. In May 2014, Vikram Sunderam of Indian restaurant Rasika, won the prestigious James Beard Award for Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic. Sunderam is one of many talents inside Washington, DC, kitchens. And this year, five new spots intend to make their mark on this food-focused city.

China Chilcano opened in January. Located in the Penn Quarter neighborhood, it is the sixth downtown offering from José Andrés. Bright and vibrant, the dining room reflects the same colorful creativity that fills the menu. The restaurant focuses on the culinary diversity of Peru. Multiple cultures meet in this one place as the lineup includes native Peruvian Criollo, Chinese Chifa and Japanese Nikkei. The restaurant’s name honors Peru’s well-known fish stew and its national drink: the Chilcano.

Some of the best restaurants are collaborations, so it’s no surprise that one of Washington, DC’s, soon-to-be spots is a hodgepodge of three talented people. Erik Bruner-Yang of the Taiwanese-style ramen shop Toki Underground on H Street NE will be the culinary creator. Will Sharp of clothing label Durkl and coffee roaster Chris Vigilante round out the team. It’s bound to be a dynamite combination when those talents combine to form Maketto, a mixed-use restaurant inspired by Asian night markets.

David Chang of Momofuku, with multiple locations in New York and abroad, plans to open a Momofuku and a Momofuku Milk Bar in Washington, DC, this spring. That’s a mouthful, but it’s sure to be a tasty one. Chang, a native of northern Virginia, is well known worldwide for his creative take on pan-Asian street food and has won multiple James Beard Awards.

New Orleans native David Guas brings the bayou to Washington, DC, this spring with his Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar, & Eatery. The only thing cooler than the food may be the location. The restaurant is housed in a historic carriage house in Capitol Hill, which is located in Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital. Guas has gained national attention through appearances on “The Today Show” and as host of “American Grilled” on the Travel Channel. His Capitol Hill spot will be a laid-back, casual setting offering beverages such as Counter Culture Coffee and Rishi Tea, and New Orleans staples, such as red beans and rice, barbecue shrimp, jambalaya and elegant slices of layer cake.

Jeremiah Langhorne, whose resume includes a stint as chef of Sean Brock’s McCrady’s in Charleston, South Carolina, will open The Dabney in Blagden Alley. The area is already home to culinary standouts Rogue 24, Corduroy and La Colombe. Langhorne is known for his farm-to-table philosophy. The Dabney will seat 70 people at its 9th Street NW spot, which is conveniently located across from the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

Are you ready to indulge your appetite this spring in Washington, DC? To learn more about these five restaurants and more dining destinations, click here.