(Photo by Travis Mitchell)
This post originally appeared on DCist.
Local food incubator Mess Hall (703 Edgewood St. NE) hosted its third edition of its popular "New Kitchens On The Block" showcase over the weekend. The afternoon featured 11 of Washington's most anticipated new restaurants, with each serving up bites and cocktails to whet the city's appetite for their eventual openings. The series began in 2016 (it's since expanded to a couple times a year) and has become something of a must-attend afternoon for those wanting to rub elbows with some of the city's top chefs and keep tabs on what's next in D.C. dining before the crowds do.
The restaurants were all at various stages of development. Some, like bowling lounge The Eleanor and the charcuterie-forward Cured DC, are still searching for a location. Others, like Maydan, are awaiting finishing touches in the coming months. Still, launching a restaurant is fraught with many obstacles that can result in even the most well-intentioned estimates to be pushed back (some participants from the spring event, for example, are still in the works).
Here the five of the most important things we learned this time around:
Adams Morgan is getting Lucky
It's not easy to get excited by burger restaurants these days, especially not in a city full of patty-lined grills. Chef Alex McCoy (Alfie's) is hoping to change the narrative with Lucky Buns (2000 18th St. NW), which will find a home in Adams Morgan this fall. Burgers are inspired by McCoy's travels (you'll find flavors from India, Thailand, the U.K., and elswhere) and made with Creekstone beef, housemade pickles and spreads, and locally baked buns. Lucky Buns also recently set up shop in the concessions at Capital One Arena.
A veteran chef makes his solo debut
Chef Haidar Karoum is known around D.C. for helping put Doi Moi, Estadio, and Proof on the map as go-to restaurants before stepping away in the spring of 2016. He's now nearly ready to cut the ribbon on Chloe, his first solo venture. Expect the Navy Yard restaurant to center around Lebanese and Mediterranean dishes with license to deviate to other cuisines as well. On Sunday, Karoum was temping taste buds with a savory mushroom and leek zeppole with whipped yogurt and eggplant agridolce. The staff fully expect to be open by the end of the year.
Travis moved to D.C. in 2007 has written about the city's diverse food scene for a number of outlets over the years, including Eater DC, Washington City Paper, Washingtonian and DCist, where he was formerly the food editor.