Photo by Sam Vasfi

This fall, D.C.’s dining scene will see the arrival of big-name chefs (Daniel Boulud is coming!) and new projects from well-loved local establishments (cheers to another Chez Billy, above). While there are plenty of other restaurants in the works, here are the five to get most excited about.

El Camino
108 Rhode Island Ave. NW
In October, Hipster Row (the strip of Rhode Island Avenue in Bloomingdale that’s home to Boundary Stone, Grassroots Bakery and Showtime) will add a Mexican restaurant to its offerings. Owned by Tony Lucca and Phil Rodriguez (who also own 1905), El Camino will offer dishes like tostadas, sopes and tacos. “We’re not trying to reinvent anything, but we want to introduce the neighborhood to aspects of Mexican cuisine it may not be familiar with,” Lucca says. Latin American cocktails and tequila will abound.

Washington Firehouse Restaurant
1626 N. Capitol St. NW
This 4,000-square-foot, tri-level firehouse was founded in 1897 and abandoned in the mid-’70s. This month, the restaurant group that owns Shaw’s Tavern plans to reopen the historic space as a modern American steakhouse. Executive chef Peter Prime will serve pizza, lasagna, fried chicken and mussel pots. There will also be a side patio with seating for 80 guests. And no, you can’t use the fire pole, which still remains from the original firehouse.

DBGB Kitchen and Bar
931 H St. NW
In what is perhaps the biggest get for D.C.’s dining scene in recent years, Daniel Boulud will open an outlet of his New York City-based French brasserie later this month. The Michelin-starred and seven-time James Beard Award-winning chef is best known for his contemporary French cooking and his mastery of the baked Alaska, a classic dessert of ice cream encased in browned merengue. In 2015, another high-profile chef, David Chang, will join Boulud at CityCenter when he opens a Momofuku concept and a Milk Bar.

China Chilcano
418 Seventh St. NW
Rumor has it Jose Andres is considering serving deep-fried guinea pig at his forthcoming Penn Quarter restaurant. The dish, known in South America as cuy, would be one of the many eclectic dishes at Andres’ Chinese-Peruvian fusion joint. As for the Chinese offerings, expect a rotating dim sum collection and sumais. There will also be ceviches and causas, a classic Peruvian dish made from potato dumplings, meat and vegetables. When China Chilcano opens in late 2014, it will be the ninth restaurant in Andres’ D.C. empire.

Chez Billy Sud
1039 31st St. NW
You’re not having deja vu: Eric and Ian Hilton are opening a second location of their Petworth-based French bistro. Chef Brendan L’Etoile’s menu will look familiar, though with considerably more seafood. “There are
5 million ways to make a bouillabaisse, and Brendan has made about 4 million of them at this point,” Ian Hilton says. The restaurant will occupy the old Cafe La Ruche spot, and though the team has done quite a bit of reconstruction, there will still be a charming outdoor courtyard, open seasonally.

 

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