After the whirlwind Wharf grand opening at the beginning of October, residents of the DMV (D.C.-Md.-Va.) area finally have an opportunity to experience the unique offerings of this three-year, multibillion dollar development project. Now, three weeks later, as crowds of visitors begin to subside, restaurateurs may also be turning their attention to their core market: residents of the Wharf’s residential properties and surrounding neighborhoods. Among the many diverse dining options present across the 24 acres of newly-redeveloped land that is the Wharf D.C., here is a profile of some restaurants and bars that have been gaining attention:
Kith and Kin
In a highly-anticipated comeback, Top Chef alumna Kwame Onwuachi’s second restaurant in the area opened in late-October in the new InterContinental Hotel. Paying homage to Onwuachi’s African, Caribbean, and Creole roots, the 96-seat restaurant showcases cuisine from these regions of the world in dishes such as tuna kitfu, honeynut squash veloute, and jollof rice. Kith and Kin is treating patrons to a unique atmosphere to go along with its one-of-a-kind menu, with sweeping views of the waterfront visible from nearly all corners of the restaurant. Those looking to host events will also be able to do so courtesy of the 30-seat private dining room or one of the many event spaces vailable in the hotel. Kith and Kin is open weekdays from 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. and weekends from 6:30 a.m. until 11 p.m.
Fabio and Maria Trabocchi are no strangers to D.C. fine dining. The talented couple behind the hugely popular local eateries, Casa Luca, Fiola, and Fiola Mare, are adding to their collection of prime eats in prime locations with Del Mar, the newest upscale Spanish eatery to hit the Wharf. The restaurant is currently open for full service, but as an incentive to new customers, is offering 10% off bills until November 5 while its kitchen and waitstaff are fully trained. To keep things interesting, Del Mar offers a “sunset menu” from 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday, that features an assortment of cocktails, tapas, and everyone’s favorite, paella. Other highlights from the menu include a housemade chorizo burger topped with crispy calamari and spicy aioli, the “Maria,” a three-course, low-calorie tasting adventure, and a Fall chestnut soup with jumbo lump crab and a sherry cappuccino.
The latest jewel by renowned D.C. restaurateur,Mike Isabella, and famed executive chef, Michael Rafidi, opened in late-October and is bringing visitors impressive and recognizable French dishes—such as tuna tartare, foie gras, and bouillabaisse—only this time, completely revamped to offer incredible flavor profiles and experiences. Take, for example, the lobster thermidor. Substituting brandied créme fraîche for the traditional heavy cream and coral beurre blanc for the melted butter topping, the dish becomes a flavor bombshell, reimagined by Rafidi’s mastermind in a way you never thought possible. Adding to the restaurant’s impressiveness is the fact that it is the only stand-alone establishment on the Wharf development. Local residents of the Incanto and The Channel apartments will want to come back year-round to hang out at the 40-
seat waterfront patio that will open in the spring.Until then, they can pass away the cool months to come in front of the sprawling public fire pit with hot cocktails on the upcoming menu.
As the first rooftop bar to hit the Wharf, Whiskey Charlie will offer cocktails with a view for customers that are willing to wait until doors open in November. The bar will be located on the roof of the brand new 10-story Canopy by Hilton and boast over 2,000 square feet of intimate luxury. Featuring an interior lounge with porcelain and metallic tile finishes, an expansive fire pit with comfy seating, and 360-degree views of the surrounding area, Whiskey Charlie aims to be everyone’s new favorite hangout spot. Aiming for an opening November 17, the bar will keep eager patrons updated on its website and Facebook page.
Photo credit: Whiskey Charlie