Meet the Chefs Dishing Up Queer Hospitality st MeMe's Diner
1. Second State1831 M St NW, Washington
2. Chez Billy Sud1039 31st St NW, Washington
3. Etto1541 14th St NW, Washington
4. Ping Pong Dim Sum in Dupont1 Dupont Circle NW, washington
5. Cashion's Eat Place1819 Columbia Rd NW, Washington
6. DC Harvest517 H St NE, Washington
7. Mama Rouge3000 K Street NW, Washington
This Pennsylvania-focused restaurant in the former Mighty Pint space offers a rye-driven cocktail menu, including the Second Statement (with Wigle rye, PA raw honey, Absinthe, and aromatic bitters served on fancy ice). What you won’t find on the menu is beer produced anywhere but Pennsylvania. They’re not kidding about this theme. Bites include a foie gras-topped burger with caramelized onions and banana jam (available at lunch), cheddar pierogies, and a coffee-cocoa-rubbed venison chop. Also heed the sign posted in the bar: Enjoy your food, not your phone.
The Georgetown offshoot of Petworth's Chez Billy has the kind of South of France charm you should save for a wine n' dine kind of date. Serving brunch, lunch, and dinner, Chez Billy Sud puts an upscale and elegant spin on Gallic classics like duck confit, steak frites, and beef bourguignon. Splurge on a bottle of wine, or go for one of the thematically-named cocktails (Champs-Elysees, anyone?).
From the folks behind 2 Amys and Standard, this pizza place is old-fashioned in more than just its name -- Etto is using old-school tools, including a giant, wooden flour mill, to churn out delicious pizzas, breads, and pies. Freshly ground flour really has the effect of making an insanely good crust, slightly sweet and slightly charred. There are usually around 10 pizzas on the menu, but don’t even bother looking at it. They're great, but the pro move here is to go straight for the Daily Special pizza, whatever it is. Designed to highlight local, seasonal produce, the pies feature the freshest ingredients in amazing flavor combinations.
By far the most ping-pongingest restaurant to open in The Circle, the hip dim sum spot's second location has added an outdoor alfresco dining area for 90, and a group-seating small-plates bar serving up classics like char siu buns (honey-roasted barbecue pork) and black prawn dumplings in squid ink pastry, as well as a late-night/weekend bar menu called "Ping Pong After Dark", aka an HBO series that makes the tricks on Cathouse look tame.
Located in Adams Morgan, Cashion's churns out inventive a local dishes from a menu that changes daily. Be sure to check out their Craft Beer Brunch, available at the bar.
For a brunch that's on the healthy-side, check out DC Harvest's scrambles made with organic eggs and either spicy lamb sausage, seasonal mushrooms, or smoked bacon. Also try spelt buttermilk pancakes with a seasonal fruit compote and sorghum syrup.
Mama Rouge is a Southeast Asian Bistro in Georgetown that adds in a dash of classic French fare in a classic bistro environment. The most important thing on Chef/Owner Aulie Bunyarataphan's menu? The croissant brisket bánh mì -- loaded up with layers of smoky, moist meat and veggies that provide the prescribed amount of acidity and crunch. If brisket doesn’t rev your engine, try it with coconut shrimp, crispy pork belly, spicy chicken sausage, or lemongrass pork -- all for less than $10.