A new Israeli restaurant, the return of one of the area's most venerable dive bars and a vegetable-focused concept from lauded Philadelphia chefs lead the list of March's biggest restaurant openings.
Quarry House Tavern: The beloved Silver Spring dive bar reopened to the public after damage from a fire and a flood kept it shuttered for almost three years. Thankfully, it's still a haven for cold beer, baskets of tater tots and Tom Waits tunes on the jukebox. 8401 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring.
Players Club: The latest concept from serial bar owners Eric and Ian Hilton is a subterranean 1970s-inspired rec room with retro video games, vintage board games, pinball, pool tables and comfortable couches. The Logan Circle bar serves craft beers and original cocktails. You can also order burgers from the Shake Shack upstairs. 1400 14th St. NW.
Minnie: A “collaboration” between Ice Cream Jubilee and Mason Dixie Biscuit Co. finds hot fried chicken and breakfast egg biscuit sandwiches every day between 8 a.m. at 2 p.m. at Ice Cream Jubilee's shop in the Yards. Minnie, which opened a week after Mason Dixie closed their Bladensburg Road drive-through, will run through June 1. 301 Water St. SE.
The Pug: The gritty H Street bar — please don't call it a dive — unveiled a new menu featuring steamed fried chicken buns, lumpia and watermelon radish crudo created by upstairs neighbors Toki Underground. It's a long way from the days when the Pug's bartenders made hot dogs on a George Foreman grill. 1234 H St. NE.
Sababa: That was fast: Less than three weeks after closing Cleveland Park fixture Ardeo, restaurateur Ashok Bajaj opened Sababa, a modern Israeli restaurant under the direction of Minibar veteran Ryan Moore. 3311 Connecticut Ave. NW.
Cortez: St. Patrick's Day weekend brought the opening of Cortez, a casual Mexican eatery in the former 1905 space in Shaw. The menu doesn't go much beyond tacos and elote, but the margaritas are tasty, the interior is bright and cheery, and there's a rooftop deck with views of the Washington Monument. 1905 Ninth St. NW.
Fancy Radish: Chefs Richard Landau and Kate Jacoby, the husband-and-wife team behind Philadelphia's acclaimed vegetarian restaurant Vedge and more casual offshoots V Street and Wiz Kid, have opened their first D.C. location. “We don't really want to be seen as a vegan restaurant,” Landau said. “We want to be seen as a restaurant that serves vegetables.” 600 H St. NE.
Taqueria Local: A downtown fast-casual taco spot from the owners of popular nightclubs Echostage, Soundcheck and Decades, Taqueria Local is helmed by Barcode chef Giovanni Orellana. Look for elote, tortilla soup and rice bowls as well as “artisanal” tacos. Wash lunch down with margaritas, sangria and Mexican beers. 1627 K St. NW.
Kaliwa: Restaurant Eve chef Cathal Armstrong is behind this new arrival to the Wharf, which focuses on seafood dishes from the Philippines, Thailand and Korea. The restaurant opened Wednesday and will begin taking reservations in early April. 751 Wharf St. SW.
Spoken English: The second eatery in Adams Morgan's Line Hotel from chef Erik Bruner-Yang made its debut on March 30. The standing-room-only space, which Bruner-Yang has described as a “restaurant speakeasy,” offers Asian street food and sake. 1770 Euclid St. NW.
Church Hall: The team behind Penn Social, Franklin Hall and the Big Chief turned an empty space on the lower level of the Georgetown Park mall into a modern beer hall. What could have been a cave-like room is broken into multiple zones, including areas with couches and fireplaces and a mezzanine bar stocked with board games. The menu is stocked with bar snacks — tacos, tots, Frito pie — and craft beer. 1070 Wisconsin Ave. NW.
Mason Dixie Biscuit Co.: After less than a year on Bladensburg Road NE, the founders of the Southern biscuit shop announced on March 4 that they are moving to an undisclosed location in Northwest D.C. In the meantime, they're popping up at Ice Cream Jubilee at the Navy Yard. (See Minnie, above.)
Las Canteras: The Peruvian restaurant ended a 10-year run in Adams Morgan.
Del Campo: Chef Victor Albisu is splitting his Penn Quarter restaurant into two concepts: A branch of his popular Falls Church taqueria Taco Bamba, and a new modern Mexican restaurant called Poca Madre. Del Campo closed March 24, but fans of grilled South American meat shouldn't worry: Albisu is looking for another space downtown for Del Campo. “It’s not goodbye, it’s a ‘see you soon’ kind of thing,” he told Washingtonian.
Mad Fox Tap Room: The first outpost for Falls Church's award-winning Mad Fox Brewery closed March 27 after two-and-a-half years in Glover Park. (It was under construction for two years before that.) “It was a tough decision with our team having poured their hearts into making it happen,” Mad Fox wrote on Instagram. “We just could not make it work, unfortunately.”