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Danny Wells, Republic


Republic in Takoma Park is gearing up for their one-year anniversary this December. The Black Restaurant Group locale is helmed by Chef Danny Wells, who grew up down the street. Obviously, oysters are popular, but Danny’s paid some extra TLC to two things: spirited vegetarian options, and a standout late night menu. He’s especially proud of his quinoa risotto with mushrooms, English peas, mascarpone, and carrot-saffron puree. “A vegetarian entrée shouldn’t just be a default,” he tells us. “Meat eaters order it all of the time.” Come 10pm at Republic, you can still eat great. “This is DC where people work 12 hour days,” he says. “People who arrive 30 minutes after dinner’s over shouldn’t just eat snacks.” Last meal in prison: His dad's crab soup with smoked bacon, gumbo file, and veggies.