Creative, daring, experimental and energetic chefs elevate the DC culinary scene and keep the foodie crowd on their toes. Unexpected approaches in the kitchen keep the culinary world fresh and exciting. These chefs distinguish themselves through their bold flavors, daring mix of tastes and unexpected styles. With a blend of well-established and up-and-coming restaurants in the District, these chefs are heating up the culinary scene with their flare for creativity and commitment to fresh ingredients.
8407 Kitchen Bar
8407 Ramsey Ave
Silver Spring, MD 20901
Eclectic cooking is chef Pedro Matamoros’ calling at downtown Silver Spring’s 8407 Kitchen Bar. His kitchen features a seasonally-changing dinner menu. At one time last year, Matamoros offered a delicious homemade pasta marinated in squid ink and topped with a seafood medley of fish, scallops and mussels in a decadent alfredo-wine-butter sauce. Frequently on the menu is the seafood bouillabaisse with chunks of scallops and fish in a bright and refreshing tomato sauce. Chef Matamoros spoils his patrons with a standard menu featuring housemade charcuterie, cheeses, salads, sandwiches and burgers, as well as a raw bar. He teases your senses with temporary offerings of seasonal goodness, then quickly changes the menu so every diner is provided with a unique experience. Matamoros’ commitment to seasonal freshness and taste experimentation makes 8407 Kitchen Bar one of DC’s hottest kitchens for charcuterie, seafood and small plates.
320 Massachusetts Ave NE
Washington, DC 20002
Chef Kemal Degar brings a new twist to the traditional French bistro with Bistro Cacao in Capitol Hill. Distinctly French and yet boldly modern, Degar’s unique treatment of food is a delight for the senses. One of his signature dishes that you don’t see at just any restaurant is the rack of venison. Flavored with herbs, caramelized pears and paired with polenta in a ginger-cherry sauce, this dish is a sensuous treat for the experimental foodie. Chef Degar’s traditional French training comes through in every bite — each dish is perfectly balanced, exceptionally seasoned and treated with the freshest ingredients. Degar’s style is desirable for anyone seeking a delicious meal in the Capitol Hill area at any time of day with brunch, lunch, dinner, dessert and catering options.
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822 E St NW
Washington, DC 20004
Reinventing country-style cuisine with an updated contemporary approach, chef Aaron McCloud challenges your conventional expectations of hearty country fare. No stranger to the successful kitchen, McCloud brings his world-renowned expertise to the Cedar kitchen in Penn Quarter. Cedar’s distinctly unique rural-urban combination provides McCloud with the creative arena necessary to bridge the gap between simple country dishes and fine contemporary dining. One of the most distinct dishes on the Cedar menu is the braised Texas wild boar. Wild boar is not common on even the most distinguished menus in the District, but chef McCloud provides this rarity with ease. Perfectly seasoned and accompanied with a cardamon and carrot puree, toasted farro and maple jus, the boar is a savory and bold dish. Chef McCloud’s distinct style brings the DC culinary scene into the national arena with unexpected taste pairings and an expansive flavor profile.
1238 H St NE
Washington, DC 20002
Chef Teddy Folkman skillfully mixes the finest of gourmet cooking and drinking at Granville Moore’s. Named after a late DC philanthropic doctor, Granville Moore’s brings a Belgian gastropub to H Street. With global flavors like the classic moules-and-frittes combination, chef Folkman brings finesse and artistry to this popular Belgian comfort food. Folkman demonstrates that Granville Moore’s dining experience is simply all about the food and drink. Elevating the standards of bar food, Folkman introduces exquisite ingredients usually typical fare. The blue mussels dish is a decadent mix of blue cheese, pork belly, shallots, spinach, white wine, lemon and giant mussels. Served family-style, chef Folkman’s moules and frittes easily upgrades the bar dining experience. A great place to unwind with friends for a long night out, it is easy to sample the entire menu of mussels and fries in one sitting. Folkman’s dedication to food and drink makes Granville Moore’s a delicious low-key spot for District foodies.
1904 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20009
Executive chef Jordan Davidowitz is mixing global inspirations in the kitchen at Policy in the U Street Corridor. Brilliantly inventing one-of-a-kind dishes, chef Davidowitz is bringing the fun back to small-plate dining. Drawing from a variety of global flavors, Davidowitz creates mouth-watering dishes like duck confit spring rolls, sweet chili-glazed pork belly and Madras curry lamb sliders. Policy is a hedonist’s dream with great music, a luxurious atmosphere and a full bar with a dance floor on the upper level. Chef Davidowitz and staff are committed to providing an entertaining meal where you can fill your ears with classic rock and indie playlists, feast your eyes on the extravagant decor and enjoy some of the most delicious small plates in DC. The philosophy is simple at Policy: great food and drink should be affordable and fun.
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Kayleigh Bryant is a D.C. native, traveler, foodie, artist and frequent museum visitor. Her lifelong fascination with art has moved her to explore the themes, techniques and media artists have employed to express their ideas. Kayleigh has earned a Master of Arts degree in Museum Studies and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.