D.C. hot spots

AGAINN, pronounced ‘aguinn,’ opened just under a month ago and has been seeing a steady growth in customers ever since.

Known as a “gastropub,” the restaurant brings British Isle cuisine together with a more modern, open pub atmosphere.

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The menu is not long, but offers several items you have come to expect from a pub including fish and chips and shepherd’s pie.

They also have various raw bar items, and a happy hour menu that offers various “Pub Grub” items for only $5. To top it all off, despite their relatively short life on New York Avenue, they have developed a reputation of having some of the best sticky toffee pudding in the entire city, as well as many other delectable traditional British Isle desserts.

What draws many customers in, and a key reason they are quickly becoming one of the city’s newest hotspots is the extensive alcohol list they offer, including a large number of single-malt whiskeys and other spirits from across the globe. No matter your tastes, there is no doubt you will be able to find a drink to suit you here. For this reason, there is never an empty seat at the bar, no matter what night of the week.

As their success continues, AGAINN has begun to expand already. While they originally served dinner in their opening week, they have now added a lunch menu, as well as a Sunday brunch option.

— Samantha Guthrie


Zola

Zola is a whimsical restaurant serving serious food. Catering to the working lunch crowd, tourists, and evening dinner crowd alike, Zola is one of downtown’s hotspots.

 Located next to the Spy Museum, the restaurant has plenty of spy elements, including a circular hole cut through the walls of the booths, allowing you to peer all the way through down the entire span of the restaurant. Also, at each booth are small windows allowing you to take a peek into the kitchen, and chefs can make sure you are enjoying your meal.

 The TV dinner served harkens back to the “Mad Men” era, served on a tray with individual compartments for your Salisbury steak, risotto, roasted vegetables and a red velvet cupcake with a scarlet “Z” on top for dessert. Noteworthy lunch selections include the entrée salads, where you can choose your topper, including salami, shrimp, tuna, chicken, steak or scallops.

 If you have to use the bathroom, see if you can find the restaurant’s spy-related trick inside.

— Kate Oczypok


BGR - The Burger Joint

The Washington Post-rated “Best Burger” has finally made its way into the D.C. city limits.

The ever popular BGR has recently opened up in Dupont Circle, and has had a line ever since.

Due to their reputation they have quickly climbed to the top of the list as one of the city’s hotspot fast-lunch locations. Whether you need your food on the go or have time for a longer meal, you’ll find yourself impressed with BGR.

Combining the speed of fast food with the attention of a sitdown restaurant, BGR offers customers everything they could possibly want. Whether you are a vegetarian or a meat connoisseur there is an option for you. 

Unlike most quick burger options, BGR allows you to have your burger cooked to order and still in a timely fashion. These burgers are not cooked on a stainless steel top like at many other restaurants, but grilled on an open flame, reminding us of a homemade barbeque burger. They offer several specialty burgers including the Wellington, the Southwestern, the Greek, and Ahi Tuna, each with their own mouth-watering toppings.

However, their burgers aren’t their only specialty. They also offer large portions of regular french fries, sweet potato fries, thick cut onion rings, and seasoned asparagus fries for the healthy ones among us. To finish the meal they offer thick milkshakes in the traditional flavors, as well as root beer or Coke floats. They also have cookies and brownies.

For those interested in after-work drinks, BGR has an alternating beer and wine menu available.

— Samantha Guthrie