Welcome to the first in a series of Q&As with foodies across the country who reveal their favorite food spots in their hometowns.
Today we feature Amanda McClements, food writer and owner of Salt & Sundry, a soon-to-open home boutique in the Union Market district of Washington, DC, offering a personally curated selection of tableware, barware, linens and vintage finds.
Little Serow (1511 17th St. NW; no phone)
I’m crazy about the searing, spicy Thai cooking at Johnny Monis’ tiny Little Serow. He serves a $45 set menu of communal dishes for walk-ins only. Some past favorites: fried pork skins, still crackling from the fryer, dipped in nam prik num sauce, spicy cucumber salad with dried shrimp, and Mekong whiskey short ribs.
Toki Underground (1234 H St. NE; tel: 202-388-3086)
Located on the funky H Street NE corridor, Toki Underground is my go-to for steaming bowls of ramen and dumplings in a super cool setting. Chef Erik Bruner-Yang has a cult following so be prepared to wait for a coveted stool.
Graffiato (707 Sixth St. NW; tel: 202-289-3600)
When I’m craving pizza and a rockin’ scene, I hit chef Mike Isabella’s Graffiato. The Jersey native’s Italian-inspired fare includes excellent wood-fired pizzas, house-made pastas and thoughtful vegetable dishes.
Estadio (1520 14th St. NW; tel: 202-319-1404)
I like to call Estadio’s bar my second office. Meetings are just better with the excellent Old Raj gin and house-made tonic or a “slushito,” boozy frozen slushies that change flavors to suit the season. The Spanish menu’s highlights include blistered shishito peppers, garlic shrimp, and roasted baby chorizos with house-made potato chips.
Columbia Room (1021 Seventh St. NW; tel: 202-393-0220)
If it’s seriously good cocktails you’re after, make a beeline for the 10-seat Columbia Room. Drinks are crafted from top quality spirits and house-made ingredients including cordials, bitters and customized mineral water. Co-owner Derek Brown’s thermometer-precise martinis are out this world.
Amanda’s store is coming soon to http://www.shopsaltandsundry.com/
Check out her food blog and more at http://www.amandamcclements.com/
Photo credit: Stacey Vaeth