Apr 24, 2024 - News

Exclusive: A festival previewing hot new D.C. bars and restaurants is back

A barbecue sandwich (left) and a breakfast burrito (right)

Photo courtesy Silver and Sons BBQ (left) and Monstera Burrito

A bunch of exciting new restaurants and pop-ups are coming to the D.C. area soon, and you can get the first taste at New Kitchens on the Block.

Why it matters: The pop-up party, now on its 10th run, showcases some of the fastest-rising stars and biggest names in the biz before they launch their bars and restaurants.

Zoom in: Co-founders Al Goldberg of Mess Hall—which hosts the June 1 event — and food writer Nevin Martell curate a lineup that mixes Michelin-level talent with promising pop-ups and fast-casuals.

Axios got an exclusive sneak peek. Here's who's coming, and what they're planning next:

🌯 Monstera Burrito: Lucky Buns chef Alex McCoy is gaining lines for his burrito pop-ups at Sara's Market in Georgetown. He tells Axios that he plans to open a standalone burrito shop/all-day café (hopefully in Gtown) for killer carnitas and West Coast-style eats.

  • This will be his first venture with Incheon's Justin Ahn. Look for more pop-ups soon.

🍹 Providencia: Maketto chef/owner Erik Bruner-Yang is teaming up with longtime employees Pedro Tobar and Danny Gonzalez for a tiny, tucked-away bar on H Street, NE. All immigrants, the place channels Bruner-Yang's Taiwanese and the bar team's Salvadoran roots in both the cocktails and small plates. ETA: June.

🇹🇭 Rimtang: Yume Sushi chef Saran "Peter" Kannasute is tapping his Thai roots for a casual Southeast Asian street food spot in Georgetown. The head chef: his mom. Family-style plates and easy drinks are coming around fall this year.

🥮 A Vietnamese café: Moon Rabbit chefs Kevin Tien and Susan Bae — both up for Beard Awards—are seizing the moment to open a Vietnamese coffee shop and patisserie with sweet and savory creations (location and name TBD).

🌮 Hijos del Maiz: Boogy & Peel sous chef Saul Zelaya is a maize master in his spare time, importing and nixtamalizing Oaxacan corn for tetelas, quesadillas, and more. He hopes to open a tortillería/restaurant in Rockville.

  • In the meantime, the Dupont Circle pizza shop will host Hijos Sunday pop-ups starting in June.

🍗 Silver and Sons BBQ: One of the area's best barbecues is going brick-and-mortar in Bethesda. Chef Jarrad Silver will continue to smoke Mediterranean-influenced meats and dish up sides from his two trucks before opening the counter-order spot with an expanded menu and patio seating. ETA: Fall.

🇧🇷 Bar Cana: The team behind Mercy Me is going Brazilian in Adams Morgan with a vibey listening bar slash restaurant channeling Rio de Janeiro. Think a caipirinha menu and plates from ex-Bourbon Steak chef Robert Curtis. ETA: June.

🔥 Kiln: Alexandria's Hotel Heron, a revamp of a historic 1920s property, will open with this all-day restaurant helmed by a Jean-Georges alum. Expect local Chesapeake-centric cuisine and open-hearth cooking. ETA: May.

If you go: NKOTB is June 1 at Mess Hall. Tickets include food, Right Proper beer, and cocktails from Republic Restoratives for two sessions (12pm - 2pm or 3pm - 5pm) and start at $99 or $139 VIP early bird.

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