Johnny Spero’s Dream: Reverie on Grace Street

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Jessica Sands Glass of Basil Street Management, which has brought several eateries to 3210 Grace St. NW, and chef Johnny Spero. Photo by Robert Devaney.

While Tony and Joe’s remains a big part of Washington Harbour’s see-and-be-seen scene, the upcoming Reverie restaurant by chef Johnny Spero will be very different.

With the Drink Company’s help, it will be Spero’s first solo restaurant. In an alley at 3210 Grace St. NW, Reverie should become a white-hot reservation for Washingtonians. At the same address are Sundavitch, South Block Juice Co., Grace Street Coffee and Neopol Savory Smokery. Nearby is Dog Tag Bakery and Chaia tacos.

Spero has worked at Minibar, so expect both his a la carte menus to be packed with creative ingredients and modern twists. His job interview with Jose Andres for Minibar was “less about my resume and more about what I was as a person,” Spero says. And, yes, Andres did ask him: “Are you a dreamer?”

Working at stellar European spots like Mugaritz and Noma, Spero learned to experiment and create exceptional culinary experiences. Some of his Reverie dishes — “something simple with special touches” — are be previewed at Shaw’s Columbia Room. Right now, Spero and his “amazing team” are going through a beverage list — and lots of other details — for the 60-seat Reverie. Construction has moved along, too.

Why Georgetown in the first place? “It’s the most iconic D.C. neighborhood,” says Spero, who hails from Baltimore and has lived in Rosslyn. “It stands the test of time. It’s a place with a lot of history and will always be the way it is, which is great. We loved walking down the alley — and fell in love with the space.”

At the same time, Spero says he wants his new place to be “transportative — you could be anything, New York or Copenhagen. You are with us.”

Opening date? “Hoping for late summer,” he says.

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