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Food

New restaurants, really old spirits, and a quirky-cool dessert shop.

The Latin market La Cosecha. Rendering courtesy of Edens.

Most Anticipated Shopping Spot

Union Market is getting a Latin sister in June. La Cosecha (1270 Fourth St., NE) will be a 20,000-square-foot retail/restaurant hub for local and Latin American businesses. Look for an outpost of El Cielo, the luxe Colombian restaurant, plus Amparo Fondita, a modern Mexican spot from former Oyamel chef Christian Irabién, and Grand Cata, a wine shop.

Chai-Yo honey toast with strawberries, milky strawberry sauce, and vanilla ice creamChai-Yo honey toast with strawberries, milky strawberry sauce, and vanilla ice cream. Photograph by Scott Suchman

New Favorite Hangout

If you’ve been obsessing over the Asian desserts all over Instagram, head on over to Chai-Yo Dessert (14215 Centreville Sq., Centreville). Sisters Thai owner Tammie Disayawathana’s quirky-cool, book-lined cafe offers a range of sweets, including tricked-out Japanese shaved ice, matcha waffles, and our favorite: thick-cut Thai toast with pandan custard.

Vintage madeira at St. Anselm. Photograph via Facebook

In Our Glasses

Madeira, the Portuguese fortified wine beloved by the Founding Fathers, is having a moment. St. Anselm (1250 Fifth St., NE) offers a variety of styles and vintages, some centuries old. Pours range between $5 and $130. Or you can sample a mortgage-payment-priced $1,720 pour from a circa-1720 bottle at the Jefferson (1200 16th St., NW), which boasts a large collection as well.

Oyster Oyster’s sunchoke-and-potato dumplings.

Restaurant to Watch For

Expect to hear the phrase “vegetable cookery” a lot this year. Former Hazel chef Rob Rubba, who has given up meat, is teaming with Estadio owner Max Kuller—also a vegetarian—and bartender Adam Bernbach to open Oyster Oyster (1440 Eighth St., NW) in Shaw by this summer. The sustainability-minded restaurant will offer a mostly plant-based menu—except for environmentally beneficial bivalves.

Olivia’s burrata.

A Cheese Course You Don’t Want to Skip

Look, we have burrata fatigue, too. It doesn’t seem like there’s a restaurant menu without the creamy Italian cheese these days. Still, the warm bulb on offer at Olivia (800 F St., NW), the new Penn Quarter spot from Ashok Bajaj, is a must-order, thanks to a game-changing accessory: zhug, the herby, spicy Yemeni green sauce.

This article appears in the March 2019 issue of Washingtonian.

Ann Limpert

Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.

Anna Spiegel

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.

Jessica Sidman

Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.