Friday, October 10, 2014
Driftwood Kitchen Opens Sunday
I was lucky enough to attend a friends and family soft opening event at Driftwood Kitchen (400 H Street) last night. The space is great, and I was able to sample some of the food and craft cocktails they'll have on the menu. I also was able to chat a bit with owner Eric Toller who explained his vision for the new restaurant.
Driftwood Kitchen will offer New American cuisine with Mediterranean influences, prepared in the French style. They'll be using all fresh ingredients (the bartender even joked that the only thing in their freezers would be ice), that will be locally sourced whenever possible. Toller said he's been spending a lot of time examining produce at farmers markets.
They'll be working a lot with housemade spice blends. They even plan to smoke their own paprika. Toller told me that he buys many of his spices from Blue Nile Botanicals (near Howard) because the selection is amazing and the spices are always fresh. Those spices are not just for the food. Try one of the barrel aged cocktails they plan to introduce, and you might detect something unexpected. I heard about intriguing plans for a barrel aged Mediterranean spiced rum.
Driftwood Kitchen will also sell housemade seasonal craft sodas. Look for hibiscus mint, ginger, and root beer flavors soon. Enjoy these as plain sodas, or add a scoop of homemade ice cream for an extra special float. The bartender can even spike it for you if you so desire.
Feeling like something more conventional to drink? Order one of the 11 seasonal beers they'll have on tap, including local drafts from DC Brau, Atlas, and Heavy Seas (I'm told that one of the "beer" taps will actually be devoted to cider). Wine drinkers will find 14 bottles by the glass, including a prosecco on tap. They will also have a small selection of wines available only by the bottle.
I highly recommend the Hawa (Gordons Gin, egg white, cucumber juice, elderflower, celery bitters) house cocktail.
Seating is heavy on the two tops, but they have tables for larger groups.
They will not have a set kids menu, but will be able to accommodate younger diners. They do have highchairs.
The upstairs space offers fantastic views of H Street and you can even spot the Capitol.
There's a second bar upstairs.
A custom made light fixture of pipes lights the staircase.
There's a terrific outdoor patio on the side.
When they open on Sunday it will only be for dinner, but they plan to serve brunch soon.