What’s Happening in Washington, DC: January 4, 2016

This week in the District, Tokyo fried chicken and chicken ramen are coming to town, two restaurant weeks are on the horizon, an

Farrah Skeiky

The team behind Daikaya will be opening a second ramen shop this spring.

Whether you’re in the pro or con column for restaurant week, its arrival, like the cold of winter is inevitable each January. This week there are two to find out about, in addition to the opening of a new Sapporo-style ramen joint, a Japanese fried chicken place, and a birthday party for a local distiller celebrating one year. There are too many things to include here, so we highlighted what we thought were the most interesting and tasty in the District.

Alexandria Restaurant Week Dates Announced
Alexandria Winter Restaurant Week is coming and will run for 10 days and two weekends from Friday, January 29 to Sunday, February 7, 2016. This year, the special event includes more than 60 Alexandria restaurants that will offer a $35 three-course dinner OR a $35 dinner for two. In addition, more than two dozen restaurants are also offering lunch deals at $10, $15 or $20 per person in addition to the dinner specials. Look for restaurants in neighborhoods throughout the city, including Old Town, Del Ray and the West End.

Daikaya Partners Announce Two New Restaurant Openings Slated for Spring 2016
If you don’t want to wait in line to get the best ramen in town, heads up! The guys behind Daikaya, Daisuke Utagawa, Chef Katsuya Fukushima, and Yama Jewayni, are opening two new ramen restaurants this spring.

Bantam King
Bantam King is homage to the wildly popular chicken ramen and fried chicken shops popping up all over Tokyo—and now in California. They may not have caught on big on the East Coast yet, but they will. Daisuke was so blown away by the fantastic chicken he tasted the last time he was in Japan he knew D.C. diners would love it too. Now he’s bringing his own chicken place to our neck of the woods and it’s called Bantam King. The new spot will be located at 700 Fifth Street NW, just around the corner from Daikaya ramen and izakaya. It will feature chicken ramen and Japanese fried chicken, called karaage in Japan, and the restaurant is scheduled to open shortly after Haikan - also in spring 2016.

The folks behind Daikaya are certainly busy and will open a second Sapporo-style ramen shop at JBG Companies Atlantic Plumbing building in Shaw. The new eatery, called Haikan, is slated to open in spring 2016 and the 2,120-square foot space will offer 55 seats indoors, and 30 seats outdoors, including an intimate bar area with seating for up to 10. The exciting new menu will feature Sapporo ramen that’s entirely different from Daikaya and also include small plates priced $8-10 each. Some standouts from this fun menu include Japanese ‘Beef & Broccoli’ with fried broccoli, gomae sauce, and teriyaki beef jerky, garlic and soy flavored pork dumplings; and Japanese cucumber and pickle salad with yogurt, shiso, and yuzu. 

Metropolitan Washington Restaurant Week 2016
This year, the winter version of the Metropolitan Washington Restaurant Week runs from Monday, January 25 to Sunday, January 31, 2016 and the slogan on everyone’s lips is, “DINE OUT. EAT UP. WIN BIG.” This year, more than 250 restaurants are offering  three-course lunches for $22 and three-course dinners for $35, but the diner rewards program also offers more chances to win great prizes that include:

  • A Weekend Getaway in DC, VA or MD
  • Restaurant Week Diner Reward Card - Dine out at participating Restaurant Week restaurants for a year 
  • Tickets to local food-related events
  • Restaurant gift cards

Check the schedule and make your reservations before there aren’t any seats left. Bon appétit!

One Eight Distilling Turns One Year Old On Friday
D.C. has now become a tiny incubator for big spirits and on Friday, January 8, from 6 to 10:00 p.m. One Eight Distilling is throwing a huge birthday bash at the distiller to celebrate being one year old. The fun will include music, biscuit sandwiches from Mason Dixie Biscuit Co., steamed buns from Ekiben,  and a special ice cream from Milk Cult made with One Eight whiskey. Special drinks using One Eight will be prepared by guest bartenders Christine Kim from Tico and The Rigsby and Caroline Blundell from Ripple.  During the party, One Eight will unveil Untitled No. 6, a nine-year-old bourbon with a triple cask finish. Tickets are $20 per person online and include free food and three tastings.

Summer Whitford is the D.C. Editor and a food, drink and travel writer at The Daily Meal. In addition to lifestyle topics, Summer also writes about culture and the arts at Woman Around Town. You can follow her on Twitter @FoodandWineDiva and on Instagram at thefoodandwinediva.


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