After a cold winter spent ordering Chinese food or visiting the Whole Foods hot bar (again), it’s time to explore D.C. and the city’s newest restaurants, with sizzling pizza, tender steaks and artisan breads on the menu.
A slab of quality steak doesn’t normally fit a college student’s budget, but summer nights are for indulgences. Treat yourself at STK, a chic steakhouse that U.K.-based lifestyle company The ONE Group opened April 25 in Dupont Circle.
The space’s club-like atmosphere is no surprise, as its parent company has opened, partnered with or begun constructing 31 luxury restaurants, lounges and casinos worldwide.
STK counteracts the stereotypically masculine vibe of steakhouses with a posh lounge, sleek granite bar and appearances by DJs. ONE describes it as a “fem-friendly” venue.
With offerings like shrimp rice krispies and sea scallops glazed with ginger scallion vinaigrette, as well as classic surf and turf like filet mignon and king crab, it’s hard to see why anybody, regardless of gender, would pass up a night out at STK – if you can afford it.
A 24-ounce porterhouse-cut steak is priced at $45 and the Maine lobster will cost you $72. STK also offers meals that are a little easier on the wallet, like beef short rib and small cuts of steak for about $30.
1250 Connecticut Ave. NW. For reservations: (202) 296-1880
For a foray into upscale European whole-grains and flavors borrowed from the Italian Amalfi Coast, try Bread Furst. The bakery pairs fresh, artfully-crafted bread like baguettes and challah with café essential Madcap Coffee.
Mark Furstenberg, 75, opened the bakery’s doors last week.
Bread Furst is the third bread-based shop Furstenberg has operated in D.C. since 1990.
The menu’s ingredients are as local as its owner. Breakfast options include Carolina grits with locally-made sausage and a whole-wheat empanada stuffed with seasonal vegetables.
The bakery prides itself on its baguettes, which are served no more than four hours after they’re baked.
“I don’t have any plans besides making better what we already have,” Furstenberg said.
Bread Furst serves typical bakery pastries like scones and donuts as well as plates with Mediterranean flair – including chickpea spread, tetrazzini, Greek shepherd’s pie and wheat berry salad. And it’s just a short walk from the Van Ness Metro station.
Furstenberg said bread and cheese are sold by weight, so prices vary.
4434 Connecticut Ave. NW
Heavy Italian cuisine might not be your first choice for a sweltering summer day, but at Campono – the latest endevour by chef Bob Kinkhead – the friendly atmosphere and eclectic menu of saucy specialities work well anytime of the year.
The restaurant in the Watergate Complex has an authenticity rare to D.C., with hand-rolled pizzas cooked in wood fired ovens, gelato made in-house and a variety of sub sandwiches served hot or cold.
Pizzas range from $9 to $15 and toppings like bacon, meatballs or artichokes are $2 each, so the “create your own pie” option could add up quickly. But with choices like pancetta, sopressata and sheep’s milk ricotta, this quality pizza is worth the splurge.
The restaurant offers breakfast until 10 a.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m. on weekends, and options range from $1 biscotti to a $12 fig and gorgonzola pizze.
A trip to Campono may be best suited for a nighttime walk along the Potomac River after a Sicilian sandwich with three flavors of gelati in a sweet brioche bun.
600 New Hampshire Ave. NW. Open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
+ And keep an eye out for Meats & Foods, which hopes to soon open its first retail location at 247 Florida Ave. It specializes in handmade sausages and chili, vending at events like the Sweetlife Festival under the name 13th Street Meats.