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Bayou Bakery is rolling out expanded dinner service at its Capitol Hill location

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Beginning Friday, David Guas is rolling out a new dinner menu at the Capitol Hill location of Bayou Bakery, his casual Southern eatery.

Like its Arlington sibling, the Hill's Bayou Bakery previously only offered one supper plate special each evening, along with some of the cafe menu. "People didn’t know what we were in the evening," Guas said. "We felt like people wanted to see more of a dinner menu."

With a full kitchen at the D.C. location, there was no reason he and his team couldn't do more composed entrees, the chef said. The expanded menu won't be offered in Arlington, where Guas was limited in the types of equipment he could install that would allow for a similar expansion. Arlington diners also seem to be happy with the menu as it is, he said.

Each evening, the Louisiana-inspired restaurant will feature four to five starters, a minimum of four main dishes and four to five sides. The a la carte offerings ($12 to $20) may include items such as fried chicken livers, seared Cajun pork belly, smothered pork rib chop, buttermilk fried chicken and blue crab fritters. Guas said chalkboard specials may feature crossovers from the daytime menu, such as the "muff-a-lotta" or grilled pimento cheese sandwiches. Dressed-up deviled eggs will likely make an appearance as well, along with slightly more elaborately plated versions of the cafe's desserts. (And, yes, there will be beignets.)

Guas said the overall goal is to maintain Bayou's casual vibe but with a more elevated feeling. To help accomplish that, he purchased new china, stemware and flatware. Also, dinner dishes will be brought to tables by runners, rather than picked up at the counter.

"It’s going to feel a little more like a restaurant at night," he said.

Bayou Bakery, 901 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. 202-664-5307. Dinner 5 to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

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