Though the streetcar launch has been postponed, there’s one thing you can depend on while on H Street: delicious food. “The neighborhood is resisting a corporate takeover, so there’s a big mashup” of unique local restaurants, says Devin Gong, who opened a bar named Copycat Co. on H Street in December. If you haven’t been to the neighborhood in some time, here are four eateries (and two pop-ups) that have opened within the past year and are worth checking out.
1324 H St. NE
Peruvian-born chef Carlos Delgado was just 24 when he opened his restaurant five months ago. Dishes mimic the fresh flavors from his home country, as witnessed in the pollo a la brasa, above, and the made-to-order ceviches for which Ocopa has come to be known. “There’s a lot of craft and art to them,” Delgado says. ”You’re not just adding citrus or scooping it out ready-to-go.”
517 H St. NE
This all-American restaurant focuses on home-grown produce and domestic beer, wine and spirits. Few things are more patriotic than its Old Bay fried chicken special, which is available Monday and Tuesday nights and often comes with beer specials, like a can of Natty Boh for $1.
The build-your-own grilled cheese menu and heavy pours of vino keep crowds steady at this wine bar owned by a pair of old buddies. The brunch menu offers fuller plates, like frittatas, shrimp and grits and French toast loaded with bananas and Nutella.
1110 H St. NE
Formerly a bartender at Jose Andres’ acclaimed barmini, Gong has strong opinions about how a cocktail should taste. But at his bilevel bar (that also serves Chinese food), he’s fine with guests playing bartender. The menu suggests spirit alternatives, and you’re encouraged to build your own drink according to your cravings. “I thought it’d be nice to be able to go to a bar and say, ‘I want a margarita, but with rum,’ ” Gong says.
Both businesses within businesses (Bullfrog is situated inside Star & Shamrock, and Vigilante is tucked inside Impala Cantina y Taqueria), these two spots can make mornings bright. Crunchy bagels are made fresh daily, while single-origin coffees from Hawaii, Colombia and Ethiopia provide a perk.
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