Downtowner Ins and Outs

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Spicy Fried Chicken Sandwich. | Courtesy Pineapples and Pearls.

OUT – Sona Creamery

Sona Creamery opened three years ago and was D.C.’s first commercial cheese creamery. They were also the first to bring raw milk into the District since 1952. Sona Creamery won the 2015 Slow Food Award and was the runner up for best new restaurant and business on the Hill in 2014. They offered a wine bar, as well as classes and tastings, but closed April 11.

“We are grateful for the memories and wonderful people we met along this journey. Thank you for all of your support,” said a note on their website.

OUT – Dinner Lab

Dinner Lab, a members-only supper club from New Orleans that opened a location in D.C. has abruptly closed. According to an article from the Washingtonian, Dinner Lab members paid $175 per membership in addition to their meal and drinks, but membership fees were later dropped. Club members were notified in an email of the shutdown, which has also been displayed on the restaurant’s website.

“Three-and-a half years ago a few of us came up with a novel idea; bring together random people, in an unconventional location, and give an up-and-coming chef a chance,” the message says on their website. “It is with a very heavy heart that we have to tell you, but effective immediately, Dinner Lab will be suspending operations and halting events.”

IN – Starbucks Now Serving Alcohol

Beginning April 12, five Starbucks locations in D.C. began serving alcohol after 2 p.m. The “Evenings” menu includes wine, craft beer and several sharable-sized dishes like mac ’n’ cheese, flatbreads and chicken skewers. The locations, which can serve alcohol until 11 p.m., include Wisconsin and Idaho Avenues NW, the Grand Hyatt at 1000 H St. NW, 237 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, 1801 Columbia Road NW and 815 O St. NW. The Seattle-based coffee chain is making an effort to keep their coffee shops open after traditional hours.

OUT – Poste

Poste Moderne Brasserie first opened in the Hotel Monaco in 2002. The restaurant was one of D.C.’s favorite outdoor hangout spots, where customers were lured by their fire-pit-equipped courtyard. The patio is closing on April 25 and Poste will end their restaurant service on May 31. The closing is planned in order to make room for a new restaurant. The patio will also get renovations to increase seating for the new eatery.

IN – Pineapples and Pearls

Pineapples and Pearls, located on Capitol Hill, serves dinners at a fixed price of $250 per person. Chef Aaron Silverman’s new restaurant is the latest line in his resume, after stints at David Chang’s Momofuku Noodle Bar in New York City and Sean Brock’s McCrady’s in Charleston, South Carolina. Half of the $250 price tag is charged during your reservation, 48 hours before the dining experience. The restaurant brings diners a 10- to 14-course tasting-menu and is served with drinks both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. The name, Pineapples and Pearls, is meant to describe the restaurant’s warm and modern feel. Pineapples are a symbol of hospitality in the South, and pearls are a symbol of elegance.

IN – Alta Strada

Restaurateur Michael Schlow established himself in D.C. with two popular restaurants, Tico and Riggsby. Now he’s come with his newest location, Alta Strada, at 475 K St. NW. The restaurant is a casual Italian-style eatery seating up to 75 diners. Alta Strada’s dishes are described as “unfussy” and draw their inspiration from regions of Italy, such as Piedmont and Campania. Wine drinkers can find a list that exclusively comes from Italy.

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