Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Good Eatin': 14th Street About To Be Un-Corked

There have been a number of new additions to the neighborhood dining scene recentlyVeranda on P St. opened to rave reviews, Marvin brought the ESL guys out to 14th and U to offer their pricey mixed drinks and $15 burgers, and Vinoteca Wine Bar (not to be confused as I did with Veritas, over in Dupont) uncorked their first bottle over at 11th and U St. Soon, however, an unprecedented second wine bar, Cork, will be opening up at the former location of Sparky's Espresso, near 14th and S.

A recent walk-by of the place still showed the brown Cork-logoed paper still covering the windows, but a sign promising an opening soon. Unfortunately, the proprietors of the establishment, two Logan Circle residents, didn't respond to my email to them asking for additional details about their opening and offerings. Their website promises a wine selection "from unexplored regions of the world" along with "simple, local food." I know that a lot of people were upset at the closing of Sparky's (many also noted that its demise had, in fact, occurred long before it finally shut its doors), but my initial impression of Cork seems to be one of a couple of neighborhood residents who are striving to create an accessible place with a true community feel. With price points and food offerings not yet announced, it's unclear exactly how many of Cork's offerings will be accessible to those throughout the neighborhood (Marvin's aforementioned $15 hamburger drew much scorn, for instance), but it's certainly a place we're looking forward to trying.

In other gastronomical-related news . . . Logan Tavern on P St. is in the process of a build-out on an addition to their existing space. No news on when it might be completed.

Just in time for the chilly fall weather, Mar Del Plata (near 14th and Rhode Island) is making use of their recently granted sidewalk permit and have added a couple of tables outside. Good for them.

Still no word on the "tapas-style" eatery that was to open in the space formerly occupied by the 100% Mexico store. I've been unable to find anything about this, so I suspect that the project was hung-up during the alcohol license application process (which would be shocking), or the owners have had trouble raising sufficient capital to open the place.

Finally, in the midst of pushing all of the newcomers to the neighborhood, I'd be remiss if I didn't also put in a good word for our favorite Ethiopian restaurant, Lalibela. The wonderful food (the Lalibela tibs and vegetable sampler are our favorites -- better than Dukem, we think) and an unbelievably friendly staff make it perhaps our favorite comfort food in the District. (The Saturday night musical entertainment is also frequently unintentionally comical.) Sometimes, in the midst of all of the new places popping up, it's easy to lose track of some old favorites, so don't forget about all of the places that were around the 14th-U corridor before 14th and U was "it". And, seriously, try the tibs at Lalibela. They're spectacular.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

The restaurant planned for the 100% Mexico space on 14th Street is moving forward. The final upstairs tenant is moving out this month, with the restaurant build-out to follow.

hoogrrl said...

Marvin is my new favorite place in the neighborhood! It's been open only a couple weeks and I already feel loved and welcome there. Though pricey, the food is delicious (coconut curry mussels!). And, of course, the music is stellar.

Anonymous said...

There is actually another wine bar in the neighborhood that just opened a week or so ago. It's called Vinoteca (http://www.vinotecadc.com/) and is located on 11th St off U-next door to Solly's.

Mr. 14th & You said...

D'oh. Vinoteca is what I *meant* to include. Looks like some of the wine has gone to my head...

Anon 8:52--thanks for the info. That's good to hear--where did you find out about it?

Anonymous said...

RE: 100% Mexico space: The owner of Sonoma Restaurant gave me the update. It's the two guys from Sonoma and Mendocino Grille. For more info: sonomadc.com

Dancer in DC said...

Thanks for the heads-up, I'll be curious to try this place out. I really like trying new wine bars - Sonoma is great, Proof isn't bad, either.

Kelly Mahoney said...

I'm going to have to check this out, thanks for the tips.