White table cloths, a rarity in our increasingly casual dining world, are a feature at dinner service at Elisir, one of four brand new restaurants to try. (By Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post)

The Hamilton

The Clyde’s Restaurant Group’s massive new downtown restaurant, which opened on Dec. 19, features live music and an eclectic menu. Looking for something to do late-night? It’s open 24 hours.


Noted local chef Enzo Fargione opened this ode to modern Italian fine dining this month, and early critical reactions have been good. Don’t want to break the bank on dinner? Elisir offers a more budget-friendly lunch that doesn’t sacrifice style or quality (lunch service resumes on Dec. 27). If you visit for a midday meal, try the spaghetti carbonara, which features a poached duck egg and peppery cheese fondue, or the skirt steak finished with a Gorgonzola-pistachio sauce.

Tortilla Coast

The Capitol Hill standby’s second location, which opened on Dec. 19, focuses a bit more on traditional Mexican than it does on Tex-Mex. That means tortas for lunch and adobo-marinated grilled pork tenderloin with Oaxacan mole sauce for dinner.

Great Wall

Another Dec. 19 opening, or in this case reveal, is the expanded dining room at this 14th Street restaurant, no longer a hole in the wall. Owners May Kuang and Yuan Chen replaced drywall and dingy black-and-white floor tiles with exposed brick, polished wood and seating for about 20 guests. You can also look forward to an expanded menu that to further the restaurant’s celebrated ma la Szechuan cooking.