By Travis Mitchell
Georgetown often struggles to keep up with the pace of the restaurant boom that’s sweeping across D.C. Much of the attention in 2017 focused on high-profile chefs and openings in neighborhoods like the Wharf and Shaw’s trendy Blagden Alley. That’s not to say that Georgetown was totally left out of the fun. Newcomers like Falafel Inc., Ladurée and Blue Bottle coffee created significant buzz around the city.
As 2018 kicks off, we’re anticipating an exciting year eating and drinking across Georgetown. Here’s what we’re most looking forward to see come to the neighborhood over the next 12 months, from fine dining to casual retreats.
Reverie sets out to become a D.C. dining destination. Johnny Spero, currently executive chef at Columbia Room, is inching closer to opening Reverie, his first solo restaurant. The restaurant at 3210 Grace St. NW should quickly become a white-hot reservation for Washingtonians. Spero has also worked at Minibar, so expect both his a la carte and tasting menus to be packed with creative ingredients and modern twists. If you can’t wait until the late-spring opening, Reverie is hosting a $185 all-inclusive preview dinner at Columbia Room on Jan. 16, including six courses with cocktails.
Pizzeria Paradiso’s new basement bar brings the fun. Pizzeria Paradiso, an M Street institution for more than 15 years, is taking the bar-arcade trend to Georgetown in 2018. Later this month, its basement beer bar will be reborn as a game room with activities like skeeball, pinball and arcade games. Of course, you can still savor the restaurant’s signature pies and peruse its top-notch local beer selection.
Church arrives on M Street as a new go-to watering hole. The Georgetown Park retail complex plans to get a new bar and restaurant this year, featuring pews and other Church-themed décor. Come for beer, food and games along with a coffee menu by day. Church is being developed at 3222 M St. NW by the team behind other D.C. hangouts like Penn Social, Lost & Found and Franklin Hall. There’s no official opening date yet.
Guapo’s brings margaritas and tacos to the waterfront. It’s expected that Georgetown will be the second D.C. location of this area Tex-Mex chain. The plan is for it to slot into the space formerly held by Orange Anchor at 3050 K St. NW. While the food may not be four- star, it’s a tough-to-beat location for sipping tequila or sharing a sizzling plate of fajitas — especially when the summer heat kicks in.
José Andrés re-opens his America Eats Tavern. This one is a bit of wishful thinking. The renowned chef closed the Tysons Corner location of his ode to American cooking in 2016 with the intent of bringing it across the Potomac in 2017. A year has passed with no word on its progress or location, leaving it all a bit of a mystery. Having chef Andrés in the neighborhood would certainly give it a culinary injection. Let’s see if 2018 is the lucky year.