August in D.C. can be a quiet time. Vacations draw locals out of town, Congress is in the middle of a lengthy break and colleges are just beginning to start the new school year. But the relative lack of people during the summer doldrums brings plenty of advantages. For one, it makes it a good time to hit some news bars and restaurants without fighting the typical crowds.
Summer is a down time for restaurant openings too, but a few notable spots have opened in recent weeks. Here are five new places to check out if you’re in a rut, including New Orleans sandwiches and vegan eats.
1. Tchoup’s Market
3301 Georgia Ave, NW
Chef Alex McCoy recently closed the book on Alfie’s, his Thai pop up just south of Petworth. In it’s place is Tchoup’s Market, channeling a New Orleans vibe with classic po’boys stuffed with fried catfish or oysters and muffaletta sandwiches. The menu also includes dishes like burgers, New Orleans spicy beef noodle soup, beer and cocktails. It’s a slice of the Crescent City in D.C. And it’s hard to go wrong with that.
2. Vieux Carré
1413 K St., NW
Speaking of New Orleans, D.C. recently welcomed a French Quarter-themed cocktail bar. The Vieux Carré bar opened last month and is meant to be a cozy retreat from the bustle of busy K Street. Expect classic drinks like Hurricanes, French 75s and, of course, Viex Carrés (rye whiskey, Cognac, sweet vermouth, Benedictine and bitters). The menu also has alcoholic and non-alcoholic snow cones, and the kitchen plans to start serving food sometime this fall.
3. Duke’s Counter
3000 Connecticut Ave, NW
Another new sandwich shop opened recently, and while this one’s a sequel it’s no less exciting. The original Duke’s, Duke’s Grocery, is located at 1513 17th street, NW just off Dupont Circle. The London-inspired pub serves up messy burgers, wings and other elevated bar food during brunch, lunch dinner and happy hour. Duke’s Counter is the much-anticipated second location, opening in the old Zoo Bar Cafe space. It’s close to the National Zoo too, and a welcome addition to the Woodley Park restaurant scene.
2505 Wisconsin Ave, NW
Glover Park is not a neighborhood flush with restaurants, so it was a big deal with Chef Michael Schlow – also the chef behind D.C. favorites like Tico, The Riggsby and Alta Strada – announced the opening of Casolare at the renovated Kimpton Glover Park Hotel. The menu is focused on coastal Italian dishes, so it’s heavy on bright, acidic flavors and seafood like swordfish, anchovies, salmon and clams. There are plenty of appetizers, pastas ($17-$19) and entrees ($23-$35). It’s also a fine place to kick back with an Aperol spritz or a glass of Italian wine.
5. Fare Well
406 H St., NE
Vegetarians might just have a new go-to on hand with Fare Well, an all-vegan restaurant and bakery over in the H Street corridor. The dishes focus on fresh ingredients and are creative enough to satisfy most meat-eaters as well. They range from buffalo cauliflower dip to mushroom scampi and cashew-almond burrata. The restaurant also cashew mozzarella on the eggplant Parmesan entree. The burger is made from a mushroom-chickpea patty. The drink selection includes wine, local beer, house-made sodas and milkshakes.