Something for the weekend: El Rey and Bidwell

Union Market: Union Market's first full-service restaurant, Bidwell, opened Thursday in Northeast. John Mooney, head chef at the new "roof to table" eatery, plans to grow much of the restaurant's produce on the roof using aeroponic planters.

Located next to home goods store Salt & Sundry, Bidwell felt warm, romantic and inviting, with a refined industrial look that fits with the exposed pipes and metal of Union Market's ceilings and concrete flooring. The menu includes lobster tacos, a spin on deviled eggs, glazed Brussels sprouts, roast chicken and more. Bidwell is open until 10 p.m. Sunday and Tuesday-Thursday, and until 11 p.m. Friday-Saturday. Take a peek inside here:

Bidwell in Union Market (Margaret Ely/The Washington Post).

Bidwell in Union Market (Margaret Ely/The Washington Post).

(Margaret Ely/The Washington Post).

(Margaret Ely/The Washington Post).

U Street: El Rey opens tonight at 919 U St. NW near Dickson Wine Bar, Dodge City, Velvet Lounge and the Brixton. Though cold industrial shipping containers serve as the primary design feature of El Rey, heaters keep things remarkably toasty in the covered outdoor patio that's the heart of the restaurant. (So toasty, in fact, that you could feasibly wear a T-shirt back there in January.) One detail threw us for a loop at this week's soft opening: Thanks to the roof, the restaurant's patio felt like an indoor space, but it isn't, and smokers lit up with abandon.

On the concise menu are tacos, which range from shrimp to mushroom for $3-$4 apiece, a handful of tamales, including a vegetarian chili relleno, and the grilled corn known as elote. But heat seekers will find a special joy in the list of condiments you can order "con chips": tomatillo-avocado, a rich chile de arbol and guajillo-cilantro salsas are just a few you can pick from. Take a peek inside below:

El Rey held a preview earlier this week. (Lavanya Ramanathan/The Washington Post)

El Rey held a preview earlier this week. (Lavanya Ramanathan/The Washington Post)

El Rey held a preview earlier this week. (Lavanya Ramanathan/The Washington Post)

(Lavanya Ramanathan/The Washington Post)

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