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Catch These 4 Hot Pop-Ups While You Can

Washington DC Dining DC

Pop-ups allow diners to get sneak peeks at forthcoming restaurants or up-and-coming chefs. The trouble is, they're only temporary. Start 2015 off with a bang by getting these four hot pop-ups on your calendar.


Baba's Dumplings:

Get ready for piping hot bowls of hand-cut noodle soup blasted with warming spices like star anise and Szechuan peppers. EatsPlace, Petworth’s food incubator, will change over to Baba’s Dumplings come Jan. 10. As the name implies, there will be dumplings too. The pop-up is from EatsPlace founder Katy Chang, and is the third residency to utilize the cozy brick row home. “Baba” is what Katy calls her Chinese father. “He taught me as much about life as about food,” she tells us. The residency will be short and sweet—just a month—because Katy manages a list of applicants eager to get their turn. Try it Tues-Thurs 5pm-10pm; Fri 5pm-11pm; Sat 11am-11pm; and Sun 11am-10pm. Jan. 10 will have soft opening hours (6pm-9pm).


Silk Road at Water & Wall:

There’s only one spot in town where beet raviolini, Vietnamese bolognese, potato perogies (we could write a whole article on how everyone spells that word) and mac’n’cheese party on the same menu: Water & Wall. The Arlington restaurant from Chef Tim Ma debuted a three-month Silk Road Noodle Pop-Up this week. Dishes range from $8-$12 and are available Mon-Fri from 11am-2pm.


In addition to dishes from Tim, Silk Road will showcase noodles from a local guest chef each month the pop-up is running. In January, you can try Chef Jonah Kim’s soba noodles bathing in a mushroom dashi with a short rib meatball and bok choy. We recently reported that Jonah’s gearing up to open Yona not too far away from Water & Wall this summer in Ballston. The man knows his way around a mushroom—the broth leaves you sipping straight from the bowl.


Bluebird Bakery:

Experienced pastry chefs Tom Wellings and Camila Arango believe neighborhood spots are the bread and butter of DC. That’s why they’re gearing up to open a boulangerie-style bakery in the Shaw/Logan Circle neighborhood. “Our hope is to have hot bread coming out of the oven at 4 or 5pm for people to pick up on their way home from work,” Tom tells us. It could be a while before the doors open at 11th Street and Rhode Island Avenue NW, because they’re currently raising capital through EquityEats, which we’ve told you about. In the meantime, you can get your first taste of their sweets and savories at a pop-up on Sunday, Jan. 25, from 7:30am-11:30am inside Georgetown’s After Peacock Room. Tom says if all goes well, they’ll turn around and set another pop-up date for February.  


Fishnook at Fishnet:

Some “chef’s tables” require binoculars to see the action, but not at Fishnet, where you couldn’t be any closer. The casual seafood restaurant in Shaw launched a gussied up pop-up towards the end of 2014 that’s still going strong. Monday and Tuesday nights, four guests pull up chairs in chef/owner Ferhat Yalcin’s kitchen, where he prepares a six-course seafood dinner, using techniques he picked up at Corduroy under Tom Power. “I get a lot of good feedback on my soups because I learned from soup master Tom,” he tells us. Other popular dishes include lobster risotto and dorade or bronzino with garlic and eggplant puree that Ferhat’s Turkish mother used to make. Dinner runs from 7:15pm-10pm and costs $55 per person, plus optional wine pairings for $25. Reservations are accepted by emailing