2012 Tasted Good: The Best New Restaurants That Opened In Washington DC

December 26, 2012 8:00 AM

(credit: quenchnation.com)

Every year new restaurants open up throughout the nation’s capital. Some succeed, some fail and some go on to become venues that locals adore and flock to for consistently good food and reliable service. Below is a list of five of the most exceptional restaurants that opened in and around D.C. in 2012, all of which have already developed a solid reputation amongst residents of the D.C. area.
(credit: boquerianyc.com)

(credit: boquerianyc.com)

1837 M St. NW
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 558-9545

This new tapas restaurant is always packed, and for good reason. The menu features delicious, classic Spanish small plates such as pan con tomate, which is crusty white bread that is grilled and smothered in tomatoes, garlic and olive oil; tortilla espanola, a traditional Spanish omelete made with eggs, potatoes and onions; and croquettas, small mushrooms that are coated in seasoned bread crumbs and fried. Be sure to order some cava, Spanish sparkling wine, to accompany your meal.

Rasika West End
1190 New Hampshire Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20037
(202) 466-2500

It is no surprise owner Ashok Bajaj decided to open a second Rasika, considering the popularity of the original one. This new Rasika is as elegant, with food that is as sublime. The most popular dishes of Rasika Penn Quarter appear on this menu, but there are plenty of new additions as well. Butternut squash samosas are one of the new dishes, featuring a pastry stuffed with sweet butternut squash, spicy chilies and ginger. Barbequed paneer, which is cottage cheese, is another area favorite, as is a creamy fava bean curry. Making a reservation in advance is essential at Rasika West End; the restaurant is even more booked up than the Penn Quarter location.

Related: 2011 Tasted Good: Best New D.C. Restaurants

(credit: quenchnation.com)

(credit: quenchnation.com)

9712 Traville Gateway Drive
Rockville, MD 20850
(301) 424-8650

Frustrated with the lack of fine dining in his Potomac neighborhood, Michael Holestein decided to take charge and open up an urban restaurant in a suburban neighborhood. With chic décor, craft cocktails and delicious food, Quench has become a popular dining establishment for locals who don’t want to drive all the way to D.C. to have a delicious meal in a modern venue. With a menu that changes with seasons, regulars will never get bored with the food, although Holestein promises favorites such as creamy mac n cheese and crispy potato latkas are here to stay. Also staying is Holestein’s wine wheel, a wheel of fortune-type game in which patrons may spin the wheel to win a discount on a bottle of wine.

12505 Park Potomac Ave.
Potomac, MD 20854
(240) 386-8080

When the team behind Cava was asked to open another one of its popular Greek restaurants, it mixed it up a bit. Instead of opening a fourth Cava, it opened Sugo, a casual Italian small plates restaurant in which patrons may indulge in hearty pastas, decadent pizzas and whimsical desserts. The extensive menu features everything from risotto to meatballs to soups and salads, so even the pickiest diner is bound to be satisfied. Like all three Cavas, Sugo is a great venue for families, groups of friends and anyone who enjoys sharing good food and wine.

Related: Best Italian Food in D.C.

(credit: bistrobohem.com)

(credit: bistrobohem.com)

Bistro Bohem
600 Florida Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 735-5895

This new restaurant is not only a new dining venue in D.C.; it also brings Eastern European fare, a lesser-known cuisine, to the forefront of the D.C. dining scene. With comfort foods such as potato and cheese-filled pierogis, potato pancakes, creamy mushroom risotto and fresh, house-made potato chips, it is no wonder this venue has become a local favorite. Bistro Bohem also offers a tasty brunch, with crepes, potato pancakes eggs benedict, and mimosas made with Eastern European sparkling wine. Early risers may head to the adjoining Kafe Bohem for a cup of Viennese coffee before brunch or for a light breakfast.

Priya Konings is a freelance writer and restaurant critic in Washington D.C. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.

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