One of my dreams for Shaw's main streets is that they will be lined with more great, interesting restaurants like Vegetate, Etete, and Corduroy. In addition to enjoying trying new foods and dining out, I would love to see more restaurants because I think restaurants significantly drive revitalization and give a wonderful buzz to the streetscape. I also think existing restaurants benefit from the addition of new restaurants and the corresponding patrons, attention to the area, and vitality that they bring.
Every time I encounter a charming spot serving up delicious food, I picture where such a restaurant would fit neatly in our neighborhood. For instance, I recently ate at this awesome little cuban restaurant in the East Village called Cantina. I can totally see a Cantina-type restaurant in one of the newly renovated retail spots of the Exchange or across from the Convention Center on lower 7th (wouldn't a great Cuban restaurant be an awesome addition to our food scene?) .
On Friday night, I found another restaurant that I can totally picture on one of our main streets: Cork. If you haven't had the pleasure to check this 14th Street newcomer out, you must. The atmosphere is really neat and the food is spectacular. Among the many stand-out dishes we tried (small, share-able plates seems to be the M.O.) were the duck confit, the potato and leek gratin, and the red wine braised lamb. I've been wishing for a wine bar in central Shaw for a while now, dining at Cork gave clarity to my vision!
1720 14th Street, N.W.