Washington, DC New Menu Report: Week of 02/02/15

Sample pizza and pizzette, stuzzichini, and ramen from some of D.C.’s long-standing restaurants and brand new pop-ups

Steaming ramen can be soul reviving on a dreary winter day.

Bibiana Osteria Enoteca
Bibiana has always been an oasis of style and superb dining, and with new executive chef Jake Addeo in charge, the menus have been reinvented to encourage guests to explore what’s on offer, especially during happy hour. To get guests in the mood, chef Addeo has introduced a new happy hour menu that includes six housemade stuzzichini (small plates similar to tapas) for $3 each, Monday through Friday from 3 to 6 p.m. The new fare includes original Italian choices like tiny sherry vinegar-glazed lamb chops or fried artichokes with parsley and lemon. In addition, mini pizzas ,or “pizzette,” are $5 each and come in choices like wild mushroom with tomato, mozzarella, and basil, or Italian sausage baked with pecorino. For the bevande, you can choose from a glass of red or white wine, Prosecco, well cocktails, or two Italian beers, Peroni or Menabrea, each one just $6.

Never one to succumb to the ordinary, Daikaya has given D.C. diners a new way to travel the world with their stomachs, and the good news is they won’t have to pack one single bag. The restaurant has begun offering a series of pop-ups each Saturday, and for one month they feature a different cuisine from around the world strictly for night owls, as each is open from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. For February, the restaurant is featuring a Filipino street-food menu prepared by Daikaya’s Filipino chefs Nick Casar and Kristian Felix, spearheaded by executive chef Katsuya Fukushima. If you are homesick for the Filipino food found on the streets of Manila or just have a hankering for a favorite island dish, send your idea via social media@Daikayadc. The Daikaya team may just decide to put their twist on the dish and add it to the pop-up menu. The crowds are building, so just be sure to make a reservation because seats go fast.

Mango Tree DC
CityCenterDC’s latest addition, Mango Tree DC, recently launched for dinner, and now they are announcing their new lunch menu. Chef de cuisine Paul Kennedy’s eclectic versions of classic Thai dishes succeed in delivering the Yin and Yang of Thailand’s sacred culinary quartet of sweet, sour, spicy, and savory, and they are doing it Monday through Friday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. À la carte prices per dish range from $6 to $15, and you might want to consider the Chef’s Daily Executive Lunch that includes an appetizer, main, and dessert for $22 or an additional course for $26. Diners can enjoy Mango Tree’s signature stir fried rice noodle with chicken in tamarind sauce, zesty green curry with chicken and eggplant (including an option for a vegetarian version), and a kiss of the tropics for dessert that includes jackfruit with toasted coconut, peanut, sticky rice, brownie crumbs, and caramel sauce.

Mess Hall
If the recent boom in Thai, ramen, and other sizzling Asian-based eateries in D.C. has you jazzed, then you’ll be giddy at the prospect of “Ramen World,” a collaborative culinary event hosted by Mess Hall, D.C.’s latest culinary incubator. The event is being held Sunday, February 8 from 2 to 6 p.m. and will showcase ramen stars like Eric Bruner-Yang from Toki Underground and Katsuya Fukushima from Daikaya, along with tasty tidbits from Donburi, Thip Khao, and PhoWheels. The US Bartenders' Guild will offer handcrafted cocktails and dessert will be provided by Dolcezza and SnoCream Company. The event will include a Mess Hall Market Place featuring Erik Bruner-Yang's Honeycomb Grocery, and several artisan products crafted by Mess Hall members, including MISFIT Juicery's debut, a new product line by Cajun Meets AsianWanderlust Coffee Roaster's single-origin beans, and elixirs by True Tonics. You can purchase your tickets here.

Stella Barra Pizzeria
Last week, our What’s Happening in D.C. story shared a news flash about California chef Jeff Mahin’s foray into the D.C. restaurant scene, and at the beginning of this month, his other project, Stella Barra Pizzeria, is slated to open at Pike & Rose in North Bethesda, Maryland. The restaurant’s modern industrial design combines rustic Italian touches to create a casual relaxed atmosphere. Stella Barra boasts an open pizza kitchen that focuses on artisanal pizzas made with farm-fresh ingredients complemented by a seasonal menu that includes shared small plates, salads, baked goods, and artfully crafted cocktails.  


Summer Whitford is the D.C. City Guide Editor at The Daily Meal and the DC Wine Examiner.You can follow her on Twitter @FoodandWineDiva.