Ninnella becoming Lincoln Park Kitchen & Wine Bar in 3 Weeks – Check Out Their Menu

2015-09-20 19.32.05

A reader reports:

Ninella‘s (formerly Park Cafe) near 13th St, SE, and East Capitol St appears to be closed and the Lincoln Park Kitchen & Wine Bar will be taking it’s place. “Coming soon” banner and menu attached.”

You can see their menu in PDF here – LINCOLN PARK KITCHEN & WINE BAR (PDF). Their twitter page says they’ll be opening in 3 weeks. Barred in DC reports:

“The new spot comes from Howsoon Cham, former chef and owner of short-lived Newtown Kitchen, a lounge that closed earlier this year on U street in the old Tabaq space.”

Ed. Note: Photos of the menu are a bit difficult to read but posting after the jump.



29 Comment

  • That location seems to be where restaurants go to die. Ninella’s and Park Cafe never had any customers. I lived around the corner for 10+ years and can never think of a time that I saw more then 1 or 2 customers. Most of the time it was completely empty. It seems like it would be a great location if someone could figure out what to do with the space.

    • I don’t know about that. The restaurant that was before Ninella’s was there for many, many years – though it didn’t seem all that different than the place that was there before. I think the owner was even the same though I don’t know that for certain. If it was, I think part of the problem is that they seemed to be running this as one run at the capricious whim of the owner or as a bit of a vanity project – but that is just my opinion. I also thought that it may have been a bit too fancy and frankly a bit unwelcoming and that was under either name. I wonder if a much more casual and open place trying to draw in a broader audience would be more successful. I am not sure this new concept is going to be any more successful.

      • I went to Ninnella once with my wife. We split an appetizer, each got pasta, and each had a glass of house wine. The bill came out to just over $100. Bonkers.

        • justinbc

          Their appetizers were around $10-12 and entrees between $16-20, so you guys must have had some expensive glasses of wine.

          • Even a cursory review of their still-active website shows that the prices were higher unless you ordered only the cheapest items on the menu.

          • justinbc

            Appetizer prices from the posted menu: 10.95 / 12 / 12 / 12 / 14
            Pasta prices (poster said they both got pasta): 17.95 / 18.95 / 18.95 / 18.95 / 20.95 / 22.95
            Next time maybe do more than a “cursory review”.

  • Blithe

    Shrimp and grits with lobster sauce sounds awesomely yummy.

  • $10 for bottomless mimosa/bloody mary is cheap!

  • Did they sell the building or is it the same owner? If it is the same owner, the place will fail too. He is terrible, owns a big scary dog that terrorizes the the neighbourhood and the he himself never looks pleasant or nice as he patrols the restaurant scaring the costumers away.

  • Whhhyy can’t these people turn this in to a casual café? It wouldn’t occur to me to come to this location for a fancy dinner, but I would definitely grab a sandwich or coffee to take to the park.

  • I don’t know about Park Cafe, but we had a laughably bad experience at Ninnella. I didn’t Yelp it because everyone was extremely nice, save some gruffness after we’d ordered and appetizer and waited 20 minutes for it to come, only to be told they “weren’t going to make anymore” of them and that was pretty much that… the entrees were under seasoned. We never went back. Way too expensive for the quality. With Acqua Al 2 nearby, they had to step up their game. I’m excited about a fresh start there.

  • Agreed on the prices. We went to Ninella, sat at the bar, each had pasta, a glass of house wine and salads and I remember, after tip, the bill was $117.

    Why can’t someone create an accessible space, sort of like Big Bear Cafe, with simple, reasonably priced meals and wine and beer? It would be even more fantastic if there was a morning offering too, some coffee and pastries. This is not a ‘destination’ spot. People aren’t going to Uber to go to a restaurant on 13th and East Cap, so why not make it a beloved neighborhood cafe? The go-to after work spot that isn’t fussy.

    • This is one of the few instances where a boilerplate Xavier Cervera restaurant would be perfect.

    • +1 I live three blocks away and would love it if something exactly like what you described moved into that space. It would foster a greater sense of community in the neighborhood where residents could meet/talk to each other instead of hiding behind nasty comments on the local listserv.

    • This is exactly right. I would go here multiple times a week if it was casual and reasonably good.

      • I’ve lived around the corner from this for seven years, and have been wishing for this to be a neighborhood spot for 6.5 years. My wife and I tried it (park cafe at that point) in our first few months, and it was awful and overpriced. Apparently the owner also owns the building so his overhead is lower then many other restaurateurs and he can afford to keep opening lousy places.

        • I have lived about 2.5 blocks away for about 15 years and have only gone to that place once. I never even consider it because I am usually eating by myself and that place has always seemed like a couple/group kind of “nice” place. I would love a good place not on 8th/Penn for no other reason than it was more convenient and not a crazy on the weekends in particular. I hope for the best on this.

  • justinbc

    Well that sucks, we really liked Ninella, but like others I rarely ever saw it busy. Whenever we would go by we would make a point to look for customers, but it seemed like they only ever had them during nice 70-80 degree days when people would sit on the 6 or 8 patio seats. Not looking forward to something from someone who’s already flamed out once already, but at least they’re not calling it a “concept”.

  • Am I the only one who thought Ninnella smelled like urine? My husband and I went a few months ago and could barely eat the smell was so overpowering… Got particularly strong when I went to the basement to use the restroom.

  • This will be either the fourth or fifth restaurant that I’ve seen come to this location. From what I understand, there have been some very fishy things on the business end–involving the same owner/manager/landlord/something–that have plagued all the restaurants over the years. Not to mention the high prices and mediocre food. So frankly I don’t care much about this new place. I want to know who owns it, who is running it, and whether the same shady actors are playing a part.

  • Park Cafe was bad. Ninella wasn’t much better. Both were way over priced for a neighborhood restaurant. If that old creepy owner is involved, this will be terrible too.

  • If this place had a cheap kid-friendly brunch and a good beer list w a neighborhood vibe it would make a killing.

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