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L&W Oyster Co.: Serving a Great Bottomless Brunch

L&W Oyster Co.: Serving a Great Bottomless Brunch



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The casual and fun restaurant is a great place to while away a weekend afternoon

Dan Myers

Don't miss the homemade oyster crackers and Goldfish.

“Bottomless brunch” is a term that conjures up some negative connotations, but at L&W Oyster Co., the quirky, narrow oyster bar just north of Madison Square in New York City that’s run by the same team as the nearby Almond, it’s fun, spirited, and complemented by some fantastic food. We had the opportunity to dine there recently at the invitation of the restaurant, and it should be on the radar of anyone looking for a seafood-inspired brunch destination.

The $29 brunch comes with bottomless Bloody Marys and mimosas for two hours, and main course options include surf and turf Benedict with Colorado lamb bacon and lobster roe hollandaise, duck confit hash, shrimp and grits, “angry” crab benedict with a spicy avocado crabcake, bay shrimp omelette with avocado and fontina, blackberry French toast, and a veggie omelette. The shrimp and grits were creamy and the shrimp was perfectly cooked, the hash was brimming with crispy duck confit, and the crabcakes in the benedict were at least 90 percent crab. While they’re not included, you should spring for the house-made “Goldfish” crackers — they’re much better than the original. And make sure to sample some oysters; there are usually about six different varieties on offer and they’re certainly not your usual Blue Points.

The servers are attentive and in good spirits, and they make sure to keep the glasses full. As for the space, it’s very narrow — and the booths seat four even though they really only fit two comfortably — but that just adds to the rustic charm of the restaurant. There are a lot of brunch options around, but L&W is bright, lively, the food is great, and you can’t beat unlimited Bloodys and mimosas.


By Dannah Strauss

We’ve been hearing about farm-to-table for many years now, but what does it really mean? Farm to table is when a restaurant emphasizes locally grown produce or curated goods and try to eliminate intermediaries. Some of the best D.C. restaurants have jumped on this bandwagon, allowing them to provide higher quality goods with financial and environmental benefits. Nina May, a restaurant that’s taken on the somewhat unlucky space on the corner of O st. and 11th st. (where the late Frenchy’s and The Bird used to reside), is using ingredients that come from just a stone’s throw away.

The atmosphere is serene and filled with light, even on a gloomy day. It’s a spot where we can’t decide if we want to curl up with a cup of coffee or perk up with a zippy cocktail. Indecisiveness has never stopped us before. Why not both? The cocktails at Nina May follow the same seasonal approach as the food: accessible, local, and thoughtful. The classic brunch mimosa has a winter pear purée and the gin cocktail blends in earthy, beet juice. Both had vibrant flavors that were smooth to sip.

The menu isn’t massive, but deciding between incredible combinations that tap into every winter craving was a serious feat. To start, we ordered the pancakes, tater tots, quiche, and focaccia.

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The pancakes were thin, simple, textured cinnamon circles. The toasted sage added a distinct savory flavor, complimented by sweet, stewed fruit. The combination was delicious and memorable!

The tots were crispy fried potato with a creamy, garlicky aioli. While this combination is a Southern fried dream, they were more like fritters or hushpuppies than crispy tater tots, and they didn’t pack much flavor. We missed some salt, pepper, and acid.

The quiche had a crust too thick for enjoyment and an egg mixture that was overcooked and under creamy. We wanted that melt-in-your-mouth buttery egg situation.

I’m a sucker for focaccia. This focaccia had a sweet flavor and fluffy chew, maybe too fluffy. Its stature made it a bit hard to eat. The thick-cut slice of bread was topped with a tomato sauce, herbs, eggs, and pickled onions. I would have loved to see this thicker bread sliced longways and eaten sandwich-style because it became rather difficult to approach this tower of dough the formation begged for a saucy bath for the bread to absorb.

For our mains, we added the pork belly hash, fried oysters, and fried chicken sandwich. The pork belly hash was our favorite thing on the table by far. The perfectly crispy, lean pork rested on top of roasted veggies, squash purée, and dollops of tangy, hydrated mustard seeds. The aromatics, well-cooked earthy ingredients, and billowy protein made for the ultimate entrée.

We always try (and so should you) to opt for a recommendation by our server. When he suggested the fried oysters, we were hesitant to begin the day with such an acquired flavor profile. We went for it, and we were glad we did. The breaded and juicy, saline brine offered rich natural flavor supported by brothy rice, bok choy, a poached egg, and basil buds. This dish is one to be celebrated at any Nina May brunch party: it’s a well-composed melting pot of Mid-Atlantic flavors.

D.C. puts its best foot forward to capture the essence of Southern comfort foods. The fried chicken sandwich is a solid rendition of the Southern classic, served on a massive, fluffy biscuit. This dish is definitely splittable – with a heaping serving of moist chicken. We must, however, add this disclaimer: the coating didn’t have that peppery, smokey crunch and heat that you might expect from a typical Southern fried chicken sandwich. But the biscuit was delicious, and we found ourselves attacking this dish with a tear-and-swipe technique rather than an elbows-out, big-bite approach.

The Bitches say: four Champagne flutes

Nina May is a great brunch spot for a group. It’s calm, refreshing, and seasonal.


Where to Go for Bottomless Brunch in Denver If You Want Mimosas

If Denver, Colorado is known for one meal, it is brunch. Denverites brunch real hard. But in order to truly experience a Denver brunch, bottomless mimosas are a necessity. So whether you are a Colorado native or you are just visiting, here is a list of every place in Denver that offers a bottomless brunch.

Asbury Provisions

Photo courtesy of @asburyprovisions on Instagram

Asbury Provisions is a gastropub that is not only a great spot for craft beers and hand-crafted cocktails but is the perfect place for a nice brunch complemented by bottomless mimosas from 11 am to 2 pm.

Barricuda’s

Photo courtesy of @welcome_to_gatesville on Instagram

Barricuda’s is a bar and restaurant packed with fun deals and events. Whether you are stopping by for their 80s-themed karaoke night or to play free pool, make sure you order a meal to get the $10 bottomless mimosas.

The Berkshire

Photo courtesy of @cantbrunchwithus on Instagram

The Berkshire delivers delicious meals that are centered around two things — pork and bacon. Yum. Straight up, their cuisine is American-heavy-on-the-pig. As long as you are not keeping kosher, you must check out the Berkshire brunch. Not only will you be given more bacon than you could ever imagine, but you can also indulge in their $10.50 bottomless mimosas.

La Biblioteca

Photo courtesy of @labibliotecadenver on Instagram

This trendy Mexican restaurant is named La Biblioteca after the New York City concept “The Library of Tequila.” If that does not sound appealing to you, then maybe this will — a $39 bottomless brunch. That includes endless small plates and free-flowing brunch cocktails. That means you can have mimosas, Bloody Marys, sangria, margaritas, and more for the same set price.

Black Pearl

Photo courtesy of @cpham522 on Instagram

Black Pearl is the perfect start to a day on one of Denver’s most chic neighborhoods — Pearl St. With a purchase of a meal, you can enjoy $10 bottomless mimosas. Then after one or five hours of drinking those mimosas, you can stroll down the block to shop at some of Denver’s best boutiques.

Breakfast on Broadway Cafe

Photo courtesy of @natesu on Instagram

Breakfast on Broadway is a classic and cozy breakfast joint with delectable pancakes and weekly live music. They also happen to have bottomless mimosas every day of the week for the reasonable price of $8.50.

The Corner Office

Photo courtesy of @tcodenver on Instagram

On Sundays from 7 am to 3 pm, The Corner Office offers a “Disco Brunch.” This outstanding meal features some groovy menu items like the Soul Train Benny and the Far-Out Corn Crepe, and $10 “Boogie Oogie Woogie Bottomless Mimosas.” You may want to bring your dancing shoes for this feast.

DazzleJazz Lounge

Photo courtesy of @shimelburger on Instagram

DazzleJazz Lounge allows you to enjoy delicious food and drinks to the smooth sounds of jazz. Your meal is billed as an “urban brunch,” supplying you with a buffet for $22 and never-ending mimosas and Bloody Marys for an extra $11.

Gary Lee’s Motor Club & Grub

Photo courtesy of @tan_man on Instagram

It may seem as if owning a motorcycle is a requirement for this barbecue joint, but that is most definitely incorrect. Gary Lee’s Motor Club and Grub started out as a carriage repair shop (as in, horse and carriage), which then became an auto repair shop, which was finally renovated to the neighborhood eatery and watering hole that it is today. The spot has a subtle car theme, filled with various art made from auto parts. This rich history and overall vibe will make you feel like a badass as you sip on their $9 bottomless mimosas.

The spot has a subtle car theme, filled with various art made from auto parts. This rich history and overall vibe will make you feel like a badass as you sip on their $9 bottomless mimosas.

Highland Tavern

Photo courtesy of @milehighgotham on Instagram

Highland Tavern, featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, is a fun bar/pub that will feed you more fried deliciousness that your belly can take. On the weekends, you can complement your pork rinds and tavern tots with their $12 bottomless mimosas.

Irish Snug

Photoc courtesy of @kellywoood on Instagram

Hit up the best Irish pub in Denver for some rich biscuits and gravy, corned beef hash, and $9 bottomless mimosas.

Jelly U Cafe

Photo courtesy of @jellycafe on Instagram

Right on the University of Denver’s campus, Jelly U Cafe will supply you with some of the best damn little donuts you have ever tasted… and of course, some house-made bottomless mimosas. You can only get the bottomless deals on weekdays, though, so we advise you to stop by for a lunch break on a hard day of class/work.

Jezebel’s

Photo courtesy of @ktjarjar on Instagram

Jezebel’s is a southern bistro and bar that is sure to give you food and drinks that will fuel your soul. Order some Chicken & Waffles and their $10 bottomless mimosas for your soul to be completely fueled up and warm to the core.

Lala’s Wine Bar

Photo courtesy of @mekialaya on Instagram

Although this Italian restaurant is known for its delicious thin crust pizzas and selection of over 60 wines by the glass, their brunch is also a must. Good Italian food is often hard to find in Denver, so we highly recommend you visit this spot, order a Breakfast Stromboli or a Frittata di Giardino, and, of course, have the $12 bottomless mimosas.

Linger

Photo courtesy of @lingerdenver on Instagram

Linger is located in one of the most poppin’ areas of Denver. They are known to have one of the best and unique brunches in the city, with a menu that gives customers street food from around the world. On top of that, you can order classic bottomless mimosas for $13 or blood orange bottomless mimosas for $15.

The Lobby American Grille

Photo courtesy of @taraconlin on Instagram

The Lobby was voted Best Bottomless Mimosa Deal in 2015 by Westword Magazine for a reason. You can get their regular bottomless for $10 and Kombucha bottomless mimosas for $16. What makes this experience special? You can pour yourself the mimosas with some kind of test tube looking thingamajig. If you can’t make it to The Lobby, no worries. You can make your own kombucha cocktails at home.

Maddie’s Restaurant

Photo courtesy of @ariiimorgan on Instagram

A family-run, cozy, and adorable cafe, Maddie’s Restaurant is for the indecisive. For only $12, you can choose from bottomless pineapple, cranberry, or orange mimosas, passionfruit or peach bellinis, or Bloody Marys. If you get tired of the bottomless drink that you choose, you can switch it up for another drink.

Max Gill and Grill

Photo courtesy of @pjotawntawn on Instagram

Max specializes in having the freshest and most delicious seafood in the city of Denver. It is the perfect place to go if you are feeling some Northeast vibes and if you desire a surf n’ turf or some raw oysters. All that, and they have an $8.50 bottomless mimosa brunch deal. Nothing fishy about that… get it?

Old Major

Photo courtesy on @oldmajordenver on Instagram

Old Major defines food as contemporary farmhouse cuisine, or, deformalized fine dining. We are pretty sure that a bottomless mimosa deal is the poster child for those exact terms. Order some $15 bottomless mimosas along with your freshly butchered, farm fresh breakfast burger, and you are set for success.

Photo courtesy of @brandy_303 on Instagram

P17 brings you a western brunch with an Asian twist. Another twist: not only do they have $10 bottomless mimosas, but they also have $12 bottomless sangria and you only have to pay $12 for access to their bottomless vodka bar.

Panzano

Photo courtesy of @trainer_pelle on Instagram

Panzano hosts a classic Italian feel with a little bit of modern flare. Their motto is “Those who eat well, live well.” Well, we can assure you that you will eat and live extraordinarily with their $9 bottomless bellini deal. Choose from a wide range of flavors like peach, pear, cranberry, and grapefruit.

Racca’s Pizzeria Napoletana

Photo courtesy of @a1exandralauren on Instagram

Pizza and mimosas? I think yes. Racca’s Neapolitan pizzas are made with imported Italian ingredients and love. On top of that, you can get their $10 bottomless mimosas.

Redfords

Photo courtesy of @spoon_denver on Instagram

Although Redfords may not be known for their food, as a college bar, they know how to provide their customers with some boozy fun. On weekends, you can purchase their bottomless mimosas for $10.50.

Rialto Cafe

Photo courtesy of @deemoneyilikeit on Instagram

On a long day of shopping at the 16th Street Mall, take a break and hit up Rialto Cafe. You can get everything you want and more at Rialto, from Stacked Huevos to The Hangover Burger. And then, of course, there is a $13 bottomless mimosa brunch deal.

Root Down

Photo courtesy of @rootdownden on Instagram

Root Down’s goal is to connect the neighborhood to a dining experience in the same way ingredients are connected to food. We can assure you that nothing will make you feel more connected to the food and the neighborhood than their bottomless mimosas. Their “classic” bottomless mimosas go for $14 and the blood orange mimosas for $16. There is even a Root Down at the Denver airport, so make sure to check that one out for one heck of an interesting flight.

Second Home Kitchen + Bar

Photo courtesy of @secondhomedenver

Second Home is a chic and well-loved restaurant located in Cherry Creek. On Sundays, make sure to visit Second Home for their “Pajama Brunch.” There, you can have some of the best brunch dishes you have ever tasted and $14 bottomless mimosas and a DIY Bloody Mary bar.

TAG Burger Bar

Photo courtesy of @riosphoto on Instagram

Not only does TAG Burger Bar, with locations in the Highlands and Congress Park, serve gourmet burgers (a burger with sliced prime rib, pepper jack, fried avocado, grilled onion, fried egg, applewood-smoked bacon, mushrooms, served with a side of porcini parmesan-dusted fries, anyone?) and an extensive beer list, but the Burger Bar also offers $12 bottomless mimosas during brunch hours. Seriously, there is no better combination than burgers and bottomless.

Tamayo

Photo courtesy of @mademoiselle_sy on Instagram

Okay, so maybe Tamayo is not the place to get bottomless mimosas, but guess what you can get? Bottomless margaritas. Yep, this modern Mexican kitchen and taqueria offers a bottomless margarita brunch for $39. This includes unlimited small plates and free-flowing brunch cocktails. This spot is right in the center of downtown in Larimer Square, so brunch there would be perfect for any sort of celebration or treat-yo-self day.

Tavern Uptown

Photo courtesy of @uptown_tavern on Instagram

Tavern Uptown is a great sports bar stocked with televisions, a fireplace, and a large patio. When you are watching that big Sunday football game, you can sip on some bottomless mimosas for $10.50.

Zengo

Photo courtesy of @spei29 on Instagram

This unique restaurant hosts a menu of Latin-Asian fusion style dishes. On Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 2:30 pm, you can hit up Zengo for a completely bottomless brunch. This means unlimited small plates and unlimited brunch cocktails. You can get all this for only $39.


Dock's Oyster House is offering Takeout during our closure

In 1897, Harry "call me Dock" Dougherty believed there was a great opportunity in Atlantic City to open a restaurant that would serve the finest seafood available in a clean, comfortable and friendly atmosphere. And so he opened Dock's Oyster House, with 60 seats, no liquor license and very high standards. Dock's quickly became a favorite of locals and tourists alike, with lines often forming out the door on Atlantic Avenue (and at the back door for those in the know).

Harry's vision has been carried on by four generations of Dougherty's who share his commitment to quality and service. That commitment sustained Dock's through two World Wars, the Great Depression, and the decline and rebirth of Atlantic City (a few times), and in 1997, the entire community celebrated the centennial anniversary of Dock's Oyster House.

Of course, you don't survive in Atlantic City for nearly 120 years without keeping up with the times, including some major renovations every few decades or so. In 1945, the second generation of Dougherty's enlarged the restaurant to 80 seats. . Continue Reading

Fifteen years later, the third generation purchased a liquor license for the first time, expanded the dining room again, and installed a completely modern kitchen. After another decade passed, a small cocktail lounge was added, and in 2001 a team of third and fourth generation Dougherty's revamped the dining room and bar, adding a raw bar that quickly became a local hot spot

In 2015, the fourth generation decided it was time to give our loyal customers what they have been requesting for years—more space--by taking over a portion of the parking lot for a 3-story addition. The existing dining room was gutted to make way for a much larger bar which of course includes the raw bar and beloved piano bar. Dinner seating capacity doubled with dining on two floors, including a private dining room on the second level. The project also provided what our chef has been asking for—a new, much larger, and thoroughly modern kitchen!

The restaurant continues to blend the classic oyster bar feel with the upscale dining and maritime touches that Dock's fans have enjoyed over the years. And all of your favorite dishes remain on the menu, from Dock's Classics such as the Crab Au Gratin and Seafood Fry to perennial favorites Pecan Crusted Salmon and Crispy Wasabi Tuna, as well as, naturally, a large selection of oysters and lobster in all sizes! Despite its larger size, guests at Dock's are still welcomed into the warm, friendly environment that has established this family owned restaurant as a local institution.


Brunch at 8Arm now includes a whole new menu created by chef Maricela Vega. Expect dishes such as huevos rancheros, red grits, and Sea Island peas, a sausage croissant with soft scrambled eggs, ricotta, aioli, and arugula, and even a plate of assorted cheeses, nuts, and vegetables with a five-minute egg and grit sourdough bread for sopping. Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Buena Vida Tapas now includes weekend brunch on the Eastside Beltline, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Look for a meat-free breakfast plate with vegan sausage and eggs, potatoes, kale, mushrooms, and tomatoes, an open-faced pimenton-spiced fried chicken biscuit, and an Andalusian breakfast platter served with grilled Spanish sausages, potatoes, and sofrito and tomato braised judion beans topped with fried eggs and pan con tomate on the brunch menu.


4. Neptune Oyster, Boston, MA

Neptune Oyster is a quaint and coveted venue showcasing the most refined seafood in the Boston area. The nautical shades of blue and white adorn the decor with mirror accents throughout the restaurant. Neptune’s signature warm buttered lobster rolls and popular cornmeal johnnycakes immersed in honey butter and adorned with bluefish and sturgeon caviar have earned national recognition. The menu is comprised of local seafood dishes made from the freshest Atlantic seafood. The wait to get a seat at Neptune Oyster might be long but the high-quality food and service from the friendliest staff make it all worth it.

63 Salem St, Boston, MA 02113, Phone: 617-742-3474

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Houdini Kitchen Laboratory

Bellwether brunch photo by Molly Tavoletti.

Aaron Hutcherson is an editor for the MICHELIN Guide Digital Platform. An accomplished cook, Aaron can most often be found creating dishes in his own kitchen or exploring new restaurants in search of a great meal.


You're more than welcome to serve a full-fledged breakfast, lunch, or dinner at your bridal shower, but by no means are you obligated to (and if you do want to, it's worth considering a restaurant venue). Instead, you can make like many hosts and provide an assortment of appetizers, desserts, and drinks for your guests to enjoy as they celebrate the bride-to-be. Finger foods are a staple at these events because they're easy to eat while mingling and participating in other activities, like games. They're also less expensive than a formal meal, and they're usually easier to DIY.

There are tons of small, simple, and creative options for bridal shower fare. You can settle on comfort food, offer refined, tea party-worthy treats, give your cuisine a cultural spin, or whatever else you (and the bride) want. For a truly unique carte du jour, provide a variety of refreshments (this also makes your party friendlier to different palates, diets, and allergies).

As you plan your event's selection, consider the circumstances. What's the theme? What time of day is the shower being held? Where are you having it? The following ideas cover all of the bases, whether you're throwing a casual morning affair, a fun afternoon fête, or an elegant evening soirée. If you're having everyone over, there are snacks that you can make yourself. If you're going somewhere else, there are bites that are easy to transport. For those of you hiring a caterer, you can pass your favorites along to them. You can also pick the dishes you desire, then ask bridesmaids or other guests to volunteer to bring them.


Here's where to take mom for Mother's Day Brunch in Fayetteville

A handful of Fayetteville restaurants are known for tasty brunch and the spread will be extra special on Mother's Day.

If you're going to treat her (and you better), you can't go wrong with a brunch at Haymount's Hilltop House or Circa 1800 downtown.

Hilltop, whose brunches rival Charleston and other tourist destinations, has offerings highlighted by a Belgian waffle station, omelettes to order, prime rib and a cold seafood buffet with oysters, crab legs and shrimp.

You can also savor the flavor of bananas foster French toast, classic shrimp and grits, deviled eggs and a homemade dessert station.

The brunch beverage staples of mimosa, sangria and bloody Mary will be on the menu, along with the popular choice of wine by the glass.

Chef Beth Shearin-Smith cites venue and food quality as appealing draws to the two-story renovated home restaurant on Hay Street.

"Most of these recipes are from my grandmother," she says before sharing the keys to a nice corn pudding dish. "It's just good."

For traditional dishes plus twists, how does blueberry lavender French toast garnished with Fruity Pebbles sound?

"When you put those blueberry and lavender flavors together with citrus, it tastes like Fruity Pebbles," Circa 1800 owner Brandy Puczylowski says.

Her culinary team uses special occasions to introduce new menu items. Besides the French toast (a take on Circa's Fruity Pebbles cheesecake flavors), a Fayetteville hot chicken and waffle will make its debut.

Sounds great to me saves the step of dipping into hot sauce. And it comes with sweet tea syrup. Yum.

One constant is Circa's shrimp and grits. It's been on the menu since the restaurant opened and the recipe — which includes bacon, sauteed onions, cheese, heavy cream and blackening seasoning over creamy, stone-ground grits — hasn't changed.

The Mother's Day menu also features a cinnamon bun burger, roasted chicken with biscuits and gravy, a spring omelet, croque madame and vineyard salad.

The usual mimosa bar has been upgraded to "Mom mosa" flights of four different juices with fresh fruit and prosecco, which Circa now has on tap.

Around the corner on Gillespie Street, Sherefe will serve its Mediterranean menu for mom from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

"We always do seafood on Mother's Day," said Erin Somar, who runs the restaurant.

Her all-new menu features pan-seared halibut served over risotto and topped with a pomegranate, citrus salad. It was inspired by her own mother's favorite seafood dish.

A baby bella bisque and smoked seafood salad of salmon, shrimp and scallops over mixed greens will also be available, along with grilled prawns.


The April Hit List: Rooster & Owl, 2Fifty, Ivy and Coney, Oyster Oyster, and More

Just over a year has passed since initial pandemic lockdowns. Vaccinations are in full swing, the curfew on alcohol consumption has been pushed back to midnight, the weather is already teasing summertime temperatures suddenly staying in for a tray-bake dinner feels untenable.

So opt for afternoon margaritas and croquetas at Serenata, and perhaps foie gras terrine and shiitake larb for your tasting menu at Rooster & Owl. Or maybe Flintstones-sized barbecued beef ribs from 2Fifty are more your speed. And celebratory Detroit pizzas over at Ivy and Coney’s rooftop — with digestif Malort shots to usher in the better days to come — seems very necessary. All this, and more, on your April Hit List.

Party Size

1. Oyster Oyster

Between his Copenhagen research trip to Noma, his years cooking nouvelle cuisine under chef Guy Savoy, and taking notes from his wife’s past down traditional Korean recipes, Rob Rubba has applied all his experience to capturing the deepest flavors and unexpected new textures in the bivalve and plant-based cuisine of Oyster Oyster. Recent dishes have included lion’s-mane Salisbury “steak” with matsutake mushroom-potato purée and creamed totsoi, best enjoyed with a selection from their concise list of sustainably farmed, low-intervention wines. (Think brambly old-vine mencia from Adega Sernande, or botrytized Willamette Valley riesling aged under flor from Teutonic Wine Co.). Also keep an eye out for Pizza Night — one of the most singular and satisfying pies in the city right now, made in a style that somehow channels both Alice Waters and Papa John’s.

Dining status: Patio dining with heaters are open for reservations. Carryout is also available.

2. Ivy and Coney

With its breezy roofdeck, classic pizza parlor and ballpark fare, and broadcasts of seasonal Great Lakes regional sportsball, there’s no place like Ivy an Coney. Their Detroit-style pan pizzas are faithfully executed, with copious amounts of Wisconsin brick cheese, red sauce and peps (or try it with their shaved Italian beef and giardiniera). Chicago hot dogs are also a must — dressed with neon relish, mustard, onion, pickle spear, sport peppers, and celery salt. And their District (local microbrews) or High Life (as in Miller) combos, with a shot of Old Grand Dad bourbon, are an enduring and much appreciated deal that won’t make you dip into that stimulus check to enjoy a night out.

Dining status: Heated rooftop seating (with retractable roof for inclement weather) is available for reservations. Carryout is also available.

3. ALA

For eclectic Levantine small plates and bottomless brunch, Ala in Dupont is a must. Start off with a spread of house specialties like duck prosciutto rubbed with orange and Turkish coffee, smoked and cured mackerel with sumac cream, and fried halloumi drizzled with pine honey. Hot off the mangal, favorites include the dukkah spiced chicken, with Medjool dates and zhoug. For brunch (offered as bottomless food and drinks!), trust on the lahmacun, a Turkish rolled pizza of sorts, and the dukkah Benedict, made with tarragon and slow-cooked short ribs, and if Bloodys and mimosas aren’t your thing, draft beer, spirits, and house wine are also bottomless.

Dining status: Patio dining with available heaters and limited indoor dining are open for reservations. Carryout and delivery are also available.

4. Copycat Co.

Since 2014, Minibar alumnus Devin Gong’s Copycat Co. on H Street has been among the premiere cocktail bars in the city, but perhaps no other (save for their sister bar Astoria) can also boast a menu of delectable Sichuan street food. Think chili wontons, pork cheek skewers, salt & pepper shrimp, and dan dan noodles. Beyond their seasonal drinks menu, rest assured their martinis are served at sub-zero temperatures, daiquiris are vibrant and perfectly aerated, and mai tais achieve harmonic balance. Or their expert staff can improvise most anything in between.

Dining status: Patio and limited indoor seating is available for reservations. Bottled cocktails, food and bar supplies are also available for carryout. Open seven nights a week.

5. Maydan

Trust Rose Previte and gang to convert Maydan’s vacant industrial alley into a bohemian streetery, festooned with Persian rugs and string lights for the pandemic era — and to offer their current Table menu to go, as well, should you want a spring picnic plan. The menu spans the cuisines of North Africa, the Middle East, and the Caucasus, all cooked over a massive wooden hearth. Choose an assemblage of spreads, accoutrements, salads and kebabs, and a center plate, all to share — perhaps starting with beet borani and pita bread hot off the the fire followed with by a ground-lamb Aleppo kebab, plus a cabbage salad accented with lemon, saffron and pickled sumac then to grilled, butterflied bronzini, with toum and chermoula.

Dining status: Order here for the menu to go Limited dining available indoors and outdoors call 202-370-3696 for more info.

6. Serenata

When you’re feeling stir-crazy cooped up at home, but a vacation to the tropics is not in the cards, head to Serenata for their transportive Latin cocktails and snacks from the team behind Colada Shop. Beverage director, Andra ‘AJ’ Johnson has curated a program that spans the range of all-too-rare classics like the Hotel Nacional, to the frozen caipirinha/mango-colada flavors of their Nova Bossa, and even more innovative drinks, like the Toucan Play That Game, made with Jamaican rum, Campari, fino sherry, guava, banana-coconut cream foam, activated charcoal, and a Midori reduction. (It works, trust us.) Alongside drinks, their esquite empanadas, chicken croquetas, or pandebono — made with cassava, smoked queso fresco and black truffle — are a must.

Dining status: Limited indoor dining is open for reservations, and available first-come-first-serve tables on the La Cosecha heated patio. Carryout is also available.

7. 2Fifty

Word of co-owners Debby Portillo and Fernando Gonzalez’s stellar Texas barbeque traveled fast, and once they were crowned as the No. 1 barbeque destination in the DMV, to no one’s surprise, long lines ensued and demand outpaced supply. Fortunately their custom built 1000-gallon smoker has arrived, and with available online pre-ordering, there’s a lot less FOMO, and a lot more buttery wagyu smoked brisket to be had. Jalapeño and cheese-laced smoked sausage links are also a must, and the smoked turkey is the sleeper hit. And beyond the standard barbeque sides, we’re especially keen on those rooted in Debby & Fernando’s El Salvadoran heritage, including their caramelized pineapple and smoked meat pupusas.

Dining Status: Open for carryout. More info here, or call 240-764-8763

8. Rooster & Owl

With the spring thaw, Rooster & Owl has reopened for dining, and chef-owner Yuan Tang (by way of Rogue 24 and Jean Georges) has channeled influences, from Lowcountry to Mexican, French, Lao and Japanese, all into his build-your-own four-course tasting menu. You might start with kampachi tataki with green mango serrano and leche de tigre, followed by chawanmushi with asparagus, razor clam, and salmon roe. Finally a Wellington of deboned quail, wrapped in a scallion pancake within a duck-fat shortcrust pastry, and served with a curry gravy. And that still leaves dessert by pastry sous chef Tori Potter consider the yuzu panna cotta with basil geleé and lychee to complete your meal on a sharp and refreshed note, or perhaps the Brie custard pie with Ritz shortbread crust and honey walnuts for a more decadent finish.

Dining Status: Patio and limited indoor dining are open for reservations.

9. Menya Hosaki

The inevitable April showers have us craving ramen, and Menya Hosaki has proven to be among the most formidable practitioners in town. Chef-owner Eric Yoo, a financial consultant turned ramen chef (after extensive training with Keizo Shimamoto at Ramen Shack in New York and the Rajuku ramen academy in Japan) is not only making superlative broths and dashis, but also fresh ramen noodles in-house. Go for the classic shoyu for a more delicate and understated chicken chitan & dashi broth, or go full-power with the spicy tonkotsu ramen, made from creamy pork paitan broth. All served with their succulent pork chashu, which gets a final sear before plating.

Dining Status: Outdoor and and limited indoor dining is available first-come-first-served. More info here. Carryout is also available.

10. Big Bear Cafe

Big Bear’s ivy and pergola covered patio is once more illuminated into the night, and the air is filled with aromas of roasted meats and pizza from their new wood-burning oven. By day, Big Bear runs as a neighborhood coffee shop, serving everything from breakfast burritos to gazpacho. On weekend nights, enjoy wood-fired pizzas, as well as three course dinners for two — think slow roasted harissa spiced lamb and Appalachian cheddar focaccia, with tabbouleh and circus-tent carrot cake. Plus available add-ons like red-snapper ceviche and Florida gulf pink shrimp cocktail.

Dining status: Cafe hours are morning to afternoon, 7 days a week. Weekend dinners are available and Thursday through Saturday evenings for carryout with open seating on their patio. More info here, or call 202-643-9222


Watch the video: The RIGHT Way to Eat Oysters. FRESH SHUCKED OYSTER BAR (August 2022).