The split-level restaurant in Mount Pleasant that formerly housed Tonic is undergoing a transformation into Purple Patch. The new restaurant comes from a Tonic alum and will serve classic Philippine dishes alongside American comfort food.
“I have to chose what will work for the neighborhood,” says Patrice Cleary, who expects to open Purple Patch in March with her husband, Drew. “That’s why I’m not opening just a Filipino restaurant.”
The menu is overseen by chef Jason Smith, a veteran of Citronelle, and will include dishes like lumpia (the Philippines’ answer to the egg roll) as well as a 15-ounce bone-in ribeye with a potato cake.
“It’s not hybrid or fusion cuisine,” Smith says. “It’s more of a harmonious dichotomy of flavors.”
Purple Patch marks another new source for Philippine food in the D.C. area, which is shaping up to be one of the hottest new cuisines of 2015: Bad Saint, a Filipino restaurant from Nick Pimentel of Room 11 and Genevieve Villamora, is set to open in winter, and chef Cathal Armstrong of Restaurant Eve recently announced plans to extend his Filipino-inspired tasting menu indefinitely.
“This is the type of food I cook for people who come to my house,” Cleary says. “It’s so comfortable and easy that I don’t think about it as something that’s hot or popular.”
The interior will remain similar to Tonic’s laid-back design, with the addition of bamboo shoots and white-washed bricks.
Fans of the old restaurant may remember Last Exit, Tonic’s speakeasy located to the left of the lower level that shuttered when the restaurant closed last year. Cleary plans to eventually turn the space into a morning cafe that transitions into an evening lounge.