- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 24, 2007

It finally looks like spring and feels like spring, and Washington restaurants are getting their outdoor patios ready for diners. Down in Penn Quarter, 701 (701 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, 202/393-0701) has 14 tables next to the bubbling Navy Memorial fountain. Not far away, tapas and summery cocktails can be enjoyed on the sidewalk cafes of Jaleo (480 Seventh St. NW, 202/628-7949) and Zaytinya (701 Ninth St. NW, 202/638-0800).

Near the White House, the Bombay Club (815 Connecticut Ave. NW, 202/659-3727) can seat 35 persons outdoors for Indian lunch, dinner or Sunday brunch. Beginning May 5 and then on May 19 and through the summer, the Bombay Club’s culinary team will open the restaurant’s kitchen the first and third Saturday of each month to eight guests for an 11 a.m. cooking class, followed by a seated lunch. Cost of the Indian cuisine class and lunch is $60 per person.

Across the street from the Bombay Club at the Oval Room (800 Connecticut Ave. NW, 202/463-8700), chef Tony Conte’s delicious dishes can be enjoyed on that restaurant’s large terrace.

Around Dupont Circle, Jack’s Restaurant & Bar (1527 17th St. NW, 202/332-6767) is opening its large patio for lunch and dinner; nearby, diners can enjoy chef Jamie Leeds’ lobster po’ boy and her hanky-panky cocktail (lemoncello and prosecco) al fresco at Hank’s Oyster Bar (1624 Q St. NW, 202/462-8888).

The pretty, flower-bedecked patio at La Tomate (1701 Connecticut Ave. NW, 202/667-5505) was open during the few days when we had springlike weather a few weeks ago and will be open for the warm season.

At the recently reopened Occidental (1475 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, 202/783-1475), the large outdoor cafe overlooking Pershing Park is open for lunch and dinner. Executive Chef Rodney Scruggs has brought back the Maine lobster roll to the menu, which includes such specialties as roasted West Coast halibut, English pea risotto and white asparagus soup.

The return of the outdoors is welcomed by executive chef Bryan Moscatello’s introduction of buckets of fresh seafood as a sharable fare on the deck of Indigo Landing (1 Marina Drive, Alexandria, 703/548-0001). In May, the buckets will be filled with such items as warm hush puppies, oysters, fried clams, grilled mussels and shrimp corn dogs.

Chef James Phillips at Juniper in the Fairmont Hotel (2401 M St. NW, 202/457-5020) is offering a new spring menu that includes spring garden crab risotto, smoked salmon corn cakes, shrimp ravioli and bananas Foster on a Belgian waffle with bourbon ice cream.

For visitors who would like to enjoy events at the Navy Memorial plaza and in Penn Quarter, chef-owners Francesco Ricchi and Enzo Febbraro of D’Acqua (801 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, 202/783-7717) have created an $8 box lunch that includes a panini of prosciutto, mozzarella and arugula with house-made potato chips and fruit. For $9.50, a seasonal dessert can be included. The boxed lunches will also be available during special events on the Navy Memorial Plaza and during Tuesday-evening Concerts on the Avenue, beginning May 29.

Ceiba (701 14th St. NW, 202/393-3983) celebrates Cinco de Mayo from Monday through May 5 with a special menu featuring trios of oysters, salsas and rice puddings honoring the three virtues symbolized by the Mexican flag: hope, purity and union. Each four-course dinner special is $35.

Ceiba’s three-course pretheater menu, inspired by the cuisine of Latin America, is available for $29 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Cinco de Mayo will also be celebrated at Cafe Atlantico (405 Eighth St. NW, 202/393-0812), where chef Katsuya Fukushima will feature authentic Hass avocados from Mexico in many of his dishes. May 2, in anticipation of Cinco de Mayo, Cafe Atlantico will host a free demonstration on how to prepare guacamole, followed by a free tasting.

Speaking of pretheater fare, items such as a half-pound cheeseburger, steamed mussels or cheese quesadilla can be ordered at the bar from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Monday to Friday and 10:30 to 11:30 p.m. Monday to Thursday for $1.95 at McCormick & Schmick’s (901 F St. NW, 202/639-9330). For $3.95, shrimp in a spicy garlic sauce, a fried-fish sandwich or a crab and artichoke dip are available at the bar during the same hours on the same days.

Tomorrow, McCormick & Schmick’s will serve a free entree and beverage to any child lunching with a parent or adult in support of the Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day.

Beginning May 6, Charlie Palmer Steak (101 Constitution Ave. NW, 202/547-8100) will offer Sunday brunch from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The $36 brunch will feature many ingredients exclusive to the mid-Atlantic and Chesapeake region, such as ramps, morels and East Coast oysters.

May 13 is Mother’s Day, and the Roof Terrace Restaurant at Kennedy Center (2700 F St. NW, 202/416-8555) will host a special brunch. There will be three seatings: 10 to 11 a.m., 12:15 to 1:15 p.m., and 2:30 to 3 p.m. The brunch is priced at $39.95 for adults and $20 for children age 12 and under and will include prime rib, freshly shucked clams and oysters, gourmet salads and made-to-order omelets.

Throughout May, Mie N Yu (3125 M St. NW, 202/333-6122) celebrates Japanese culture even though the cherry blossoms are gone with a Japanese-influenced tasting menu incorporating Japanese ingredients and cooking techniques. The six-course menu — $55 per person — includes ginger beef tataki, green tea soba noodles, blue crab, yuzu and coffee Long Island duck, and Okinawa sweet potato cheese cake.

On May 19, White House executive chef Cristeta Comerford and TenPenh chef de cuisine Cliff Wharton will celebrate the Philippine Harvest Festival with a cooking demonstration from noon to 2 p.m. at TenPenh (1001 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, 202/393-4500). The event is co-sponsored by the Philippine Embassy. Philippine specials will be on the menu May 21-26.

In support of the national charity Share Our Strength, aimed at ending childhood hunger in America, the Capital Grille (601 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, 202/737-6200) will be mixing $1,000 cherry blossom martinis May 4 through June. Each drink will be adorned with a silver-link pearl necklace from designer Steven Lagos and $500 from each martini will be donated to Share Our Strength.


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