31 Aug 2017


First Bite: District Winery

The much-anticipated opening of District Winery is here and I could not be more excited. I love wine and I love good food, but I love them best together and within walking distance of my home.

I did not have reservations at Ana, the restaurant inside District Winery, but decided to try my luck on opening night, and it worked. Don’t count on this for future visits — if the crowd on the opening night is any indication, this place will be consistently packed — but lesson learned: it’s always worth a shot.

My husband’s beef loin was melt-in-your-mouth tasty. My cappelletti was exquisite. The dish is different from the buttery richness of Osteria Morini’s but still fabulous with the lamb sausage. They know that there is no competing with their popular neighbor’s pastas, so they gave the dish its own twist and it worked well– so much so that I am still thinking about it today and wishing for more. I also ordered a side of the Brussels sprouts, which were perfectly roasted and crispy with pumpkin seed brittle.

For the wine, I tried one of the Pinot Noirs made from grapes from Washington State and loved how it paired with my pasta. I also sampled a Chardonnay that was pleasantly smooth and crisp. I generally steer clear of chardonnay — the oaky flavor isn’t for me — but this one was quite good. Their tasting room was, unfortunately, full by the time we finished dinner but I will definitely return to sample more of their offerings.

Everything about the space is what I anticipated: the riverfront views are beautiful, the decor is an impressive mix of modern and rustic, and the top level and its balcony is going to be a very popular event spot.

We were able to chat with the two owners, Brian Leventhal and John Stires — who both moved to Capitol Hill last year to open this, their second urban winery– and Conor McCormack, the head wine maker. Their passion for their product is clear, as is their excitement to be part of the growing community in the Navy Yard neighborhood. They seemed amazed at the crowds for their opening night and were happily giving anyone who asked a tour of the space.

Read more about District Winery:

District Winery is located at 385 Water Street SE, Washington DC 20003.

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