5 of the biggest stories in the 2022 D.C. food and drink scene

Is dining in DC back? The city has had a very dynamic year, hit by several high-profile restaurant closures but fueled by exciting new openings. An unordered and highly subjective list of importance, these are his five biggest stories for the Blade community in DC’s food and drink scene.

The As You Are Bar Saga

The opening of As You Are Bar has been a long time coming. De facto launched in 2019, his AYA (unofficially known) finally opened to the public in early 2022. Owners Jo McDaniel and Rachel Pike, a duo who have jointly served her more than 20 years in the industry, are spaces that serve her LGBTQ community in DC, and all parts of that community. They say You Are exists to preserve and foster a safe and festive space for the LGBTQ community. Cafe during the day and bar & dance lounge As You Are welcomes you at night. Its food offerings also reflect its mantra. There are plenty of vegan and vegetarian options for lunch and dinner, and plenty of non-alcoholic drinks at the bar.

However, opening a business was not easy. His AYA, which first applied for a liquor license in November 2021, has been unable to operate for months after facing construction delays and fierce resistance from some neighbors and local ANCs concerned about noise and trash. was. Unexpectedly, the two launched a campaign of support with friends and other neighbors, and today it’s a staple in a neighborhood that once had several LGBTQ bars. Only AYA today. Pete and Chasten Buttigieg are counted as customers (they also live nearby). Last month, the Human Rights Campaign awarded As You Are her $10,000 grant from the “Queer to Stay” Small Business Campaign. This is the impact of AYA as a bar with a mission.

Peruvian in Blagden Alley

Blagden Alley is a hotbed of innovative cuisine, and the new Causa is no exception. The chef, co-owner, and native of Peru, opened his two-story restaurant in Bragden as a tribute to his home country. Service Bar is also co-owned by Glendon Hartley and Chad Spangler. Upstairs, Amazonia is a casual, à la carte restaurant that opened in April in a relaxed, leafy setting. Downstairs is an airy, minimalist set menu space that opened in September. It has received local and national acclaim. The Washington Post’s Tom Sietzema lists Kausa on his list of his 7 favorite restaurants for November 2022, and Eater His National is his one of the best new restaurants in the country for 2022. I mentioned it as one.

Causa seats just over 20 and spans 6 courses, covering a wide swath of the country, from the Pacific coast to the Andean highlands. The dish of the same name (causa) is made from potatoes (native to the Andean region). In contrast to the formal seafood-forward dinners downstairs, the upstairs is a riot of colors and sounds, offering shareable and street food like friend’s plantains with chunks of pork. The massive Pisco list is impressive, and Pisco sours are a frothy delight among the many cocktails Hartley pours.

Enrique Rimaldo’s Growing Empire

Limardo has been bringing decadence to the DC dining scene for years. With the opening of Joy, his success continues. Joy is located in Chevy Chase and opened in October. Born in Caracas, Venezuela, chef Enrique Rimaldo came to DC after cooking in Baltimore to open his Seven Reasons on 14th Street. The restaurant was voted #1 Best New Restaurant in America in his November 2019 restaurant issue of Esquire and named #1 restaurant in Washington DC by The Washington Post. Tom Siessema. He also runs his new Imperfecto, a Mediterranean-Latin blend, and is Culinary Director of Chick + Whiskey, a fast-food with a cause his casual, dedicated to America and the immigrants who have made and remade America and its food. He runs his restaurant, Immigrant Food. Joy is a relaxed version of the upscale Seven His Reasons, offering a more affordable take on Rimaldo’s Latin creations. Limardo isn’t finished yet. His restaurant His group has new openings scheduled for 2023 and beyond.

Beyond vodka soda: this is an espresso martini

Beyond the best meme adaptation of the infamous “Champagne-dipped Negroni Suvariato,” the espresso martini truly dominates cocktail chatter. Ranked in the top 10 drinks ordered. Coffee, booze and nostalgia come together to create one of the most zeitgeist cocktails. An espresso martini, which is a mixture of vodka, coffee his liqueur, and espresso (or variations thereof), most often arrives in a Martini his glass. Espresso martinis are now in can form, placed on his table at brunch and ordered at last call, with interesting alternatives such as whiskey and tequila instead of vodka. The 7 Reasons above even have their own riffs with Crème Decacao.

Ukrainian meal

In such a politically oriented city, it’s no surprise that the restaurant industry has taken action to support the Ukrainian cause after the unilateral Russian invasion earlier this year. , World Central Kitchen by DC’s own Jose Andres. WCK began preparing meals for Polish refugees within days and is still doing large scale operations both inside and outside Ukraine. DC-based Paola Velez launched the Bake for Ukraine campaign in support of WCK and other nonprofits (she also started Bakers against racism). On Ukraine’s Independence Day in August, restaurants and bars resurfaced with classrooms and fundraisers. Dacha, a German beer garden run by Russian-Americans, held a big fundraiser in April. ) Spicy Zelensky and many more businesses have announced fundraising and donations to benefit various Ukrainian causes. Ukrainian cafe D Light Bakery in Adams Morgan received a lot of support. With the invasion nearly a year away, DC has shown how they can stand together in solidarity.

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