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Crane and Turtle Opens Tuesday – Holy Transformations Vol. 27 – Have a Look inside and at the Menu

by Prince Of Petworth June 22, 2014 at 10:22 pm 84 Comments

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Finishing touches outside of 828 Upshur Street, NW

Whoa! Crane and Turtle turned out even nicer than the renderings. I had to do a quadruple take when I walked inside. I think you’ll do at least a double take next time you pass the little spot between Dannie’s Carryout and Kilroy’s Cleaners on Upshur Street. Until then you can see in the photos below that it is truly a beautiful transformation.

Here’s how the space looked in 2012:

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And they open Tuesday at 5pm!  To start hours will be:
Sun, Tues, Wed, Thurs: 5pm – 10pm
Fri, Sat: 5pm – 11pm
Mon: closed

Check out the menu:

Crane and Turtle Opening Menu (PDF)

More info from a press release:

“CRANE & TURTLE is a chef-driven, neighborhood restaurant that celebrates the marriage of Chef Makoto Hamamura’s great passions—Japanese and French cooking. Located in a cozy commercial building on Upshur Street, NW, the restaurant has been designed by Nick Pimentel to put food and drink at center stage.

Crane & Turtle is a small, intimate space seating 25 inside and 14 outside. The menu features a strong seafood component, marrying ingredients and techniques from Japan and France. The beverage program highlights dynamic offerings from all over the world that pair with the food and celebrate the interplay of cocktails, wine, ciders and craft beer.

Paul W. Ruppert is the operating partner for this new restaurant. Over the course of 20 years, he has created a number of noteworthy restaurants and bars, including Ruppert’s Restaurant, The Passenger & Columbia Room, Room 11, Hogo and Petworth Citizen.

ABOUT THE NAME
Our name—Crane & Turtle—comes from the Japanese fable celebrating friendship, longevity and mutual support. Many years ago during a great flood, water covered the land and the Crane had no place to rest. The Turtle rose from the floodwaters and welcomed the Crane to rest on his back. Years later, there was a terrible drought. Seeing that the Turtle needed help, Crane lifted him up and carried him a long distance to a thriving lake. Wildly different, the Crane and Turtle became mutually supportive and enjoyed a long life as friends.

Chef Hamamura has a personal connection to this classic Japanese story. At birth, his mother was
given the Japanese name Crane and her twin sister became Turtle. Their life-long connection
has influenced his career and encouraged him to look for the harmonies that join disparate things together.”

And here’s a look inside:

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Lots more photos of the small but incredibly beautiful space after the jump.

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The outside should soon look as sweet as the inside:

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  • Pworth

    Looks great, and there’s a bunch of interesting items on the menu. Can’t wait to try it. Also nice to have a neighborhood spot that leans more on its wine selections than beer.

  • neighborly

    Wow!! Thank you Paul Ruppert for making this additional investment on Upshur. I hope it pays off splendidly.

  • Anonymous

    This is amazing. The demand for restaurants in Petworth is reaching critical mass and the hype surrounding C&T has been insane. There are high expectations, but judging by the renovation & menu, we won’t be disappointed. Now if only we can get an ice cream shoppe and/or bakery and a solid sports pub, it’ll be heaven! With Safeway opening, it’s time to fill up Park Place too!

    • Anonymous

      This place looks quite expensive though… I’m not too sure how Chez Billy’s is doing, but I hope that $20 dollar+ plate restaurants aren’t a sign of what’s coming in the future…

      • Agree. I will probably hit this place up once a year, but I can’t say with these prices I’ll be a regular patron. I do hope some more casual/affordable options also come to this stretch of Upshur that I can support more frequently.

        • Anonymous

          I’d like to see a good sushi/ramen restaurant move in… Ramen shouldn’t really cost over 11$ a bowl in my opinion. Also a good Korean BBQ place should also move to petworth!

          20$ dishes are way high, even for this neighborhood. Unless it’s a restaurant like Huston’s or somewhere with a lot more decor, it’s over-reaching for the neighborhood it’s in. I’d only pay those kinds of prices downtown and I consider myself a serious foodie… The real estate doesn’t cost that much.

          • Anonymous

            Did you just say that Houston’s is great and you consider yourself a serious foodie? hmmm.

            Also, you have no idea what they may have paid for the purchase or rental, how much they paid to do the renovation, how much their operating expenses are.

          • Anonymous

            lol

      • I think CB is doing well, or at least each time we have visited it was full.

        I understand the desire for lower prices but I think our neighborhood need more restaurants and choices like this new place and Chez Billy. That has been part of the problem with this area for too long.

        There are several lower priced options just a block or two south of Upshur. Just walk a few yards down to Georgia and turn left…

        Can’t wait to try it and hope many more like this come our way.

        Change is good.

      • Anonymous

        Have you been to Chez Billy lately? Ive had to get a reservation the past several weekend nights. With houses in Petworth selling for $750,000+, I think there is plenty of people that can afford to eat here more than once a year. We need more higher end places to meet the demands of the neighborhood.

      • I don’t agree with this at all. There are plenty of “lower priced” places in this area, and like Frankie said, we have been clamoring for more upscale places for years. I think there is plenty of clientele that can support C&T, I know I will be there!

        • textdoc

          There are a lot of takeout joints, but there’s not a whole lot between that and the Chez Billy price point. I would love to see more places with prices like those of Sala Thai.

          • Don’t they all have seating? That would make them lower priced restaurants.

            Not to mention, walk another 10 minutes or one Metro and your choices double again…

          • textdoc

            Possibly some places have seating, but I thought most of these places were indeed takeout/carryout joints, not actual sit-down restaurants.

      • Anonymous

        For those who want food under $20 for an entree…may I suggest Petworth Citizen, the owner’s OTHER RESTAURANT DIRECTLY ACROSS THE STREET?

        Seriously, people. Diversification of offerings? Paul Ruppert should get a damn statue on Upshur St.

        • Amen

          Amen. Paul Ruppert is an unsung hero, in my book. Petworth Citizen (bar food), this, the bookstore? Plus, he’s one of the owners of the Passenger. He is willing to set up in neighborhoods where others might wait.

          • Anonymous

            I am a person that wants more diversification and development, but absolutely agree Mr Ruppert deserves a statue on Upshur. We are very, very appreciative of his efforts. I think the comments just show the string desire by the residents of Petworth for more restaurants. The demand is really high – obviously.

    • textdoc

      Filling up Park Place apparently depends on an L.A.-based equity partner that’s skeptical of anything that’s not a national chain — see https://www.popville.com/2014/06/crane-and-turtle-petworth-menu-upshur/#comment-794710 .

    • Anonymous

      i haven’t heard the hype.

  • Anonymous

    Mr Ruppert: How about a casual American-style sports bar with food like Nellies, The Brixton or Ventnor next? If you build it, we will come! Thanks for all that you are doing for Petworth!

    • Anonymous

      -1
      How about not adding one more casual American-style burger spot?

      • JD

        While burgers and bar food are plentiful, there is no place to catch a game in Petworth. I too would love a sports bar on or near Upshur.

        • What about DC Reynolds? Simple Bar and Grill (technically Brightwood, but still) is another great option.

          • Technically Parkview, Brightwood is up around Walter Reed.

          • Ooops sorry, I totally read your comment wrong. Simple Bar and Grill is haul. Have you tried it? Is it any good? That corner just seems so inaccessible even though it’s so heavily traveled.

    • Anonymous

      +1 for the Brixton or Nellies!

  • Ed

    Will they be taking reservations?

    • Anonymous

      That would be awesome. Please, for those of us who have kids and need to line up babysitters…at least a few tables by reservation per time slot?

  • TropicBird

    Looks terrific! Walk-to-date-night here we come. Now if we can just get a mini-Hamilton Live and a place like the new Brookland’s Finest (family friendly) over here in Petworth I’ll never have to go downtown after work is done again! With the new Safeway opening, Instacart, the farmer’s market, Jazz at the park, all the new playground and spray park renovations – finding a lot to love about living in the city right now.

    • +1 to Instacart. I just tried it for the first time last week and was blown away at how fast they were. I cant wait to try it for Costco!

  • Sarah

    wow. that looks incredible. just gorgeous. can’t wait to get over there.

    • Sarah

      Also, awesome selection of local ciders and Japanese whiskey!!!

  • Anonymous

    Eventually 14th St will reach capacity either by way of exorbitant rent or squeezing out the neighborhood joints. Neighborhoods like Petworth will only benefit. The amount of your families in the neighborhood it so amazing. There is a real sense of community. We just need a few more neighborhood, family places. Crane & Turtle is going to be a huge jolt to Upshur and will hopefully lead to further development. Agree 100% with the commenter who said the neighborhood needs a sports oriented pub like the Brixton. Cheers Petworth!

    • Anonymous

      Isn’t Petworth already where the overflow from Columbia Heights is going?

    • textdoc

      The Brixton is sports-oriented?? Really?
      .
      The Blue Banana (located just south of Petworth, at the very northern end of Park View) was specifically a sports bar, and it apparently didn’t succeed in that format. Maybe there just isn’t the market for a sports-oriented bar in the area. (And as someone who’s NOT sports-oriented, I’d rather have more regular bars that happen to have TVs, like D.C. Reynolds.)

      • Anonymous

        “The Brixton is sports-oriented?? Really?”
        .
        Last night it sure was. But generally I agree. It’s maybe sports-friendly, but not sports-oriented.

      • Anonymous

        Disagree Re. Blue bananna. It was a “sports and rock lounge” which identifies why it failed. It tried to do it all, but did none of it well. Several times I went to watch a game, only to have the DJ pump up the music videos to an incredible level. Or the band struck up. Blue banana is not an indication of how a true sports bar would fare in Petworth.

        The first floor of the Murrell building would be a perfect sports bar. If it became one, I guarnatee it would be filled nightly.

      • Anonymous

        STRONGLY DISAGREE. The Blue Banana didn’t know what the heck it was… Some nights they tried to be a live music venue… Then they also advertised as a sports bar. The biggest thing that killed the Blue Banana (besides the name!) was that they did not have a full service kitchen. You could even order any food. They may have had like frozen pizzas, but thats it. Any “sports bar” without a full kitchen will not make it… We already have plenty of bars already.

      • textdoc

        Anonymi, thanks for the additional perspectives on the Blue Banana. Because it billed itself as a sports bar, I’d never set foot in there, as I have no interest in sports. (So I didn’t realize that it was also trying to be a DJ/live-music venue.)

        • Accountering

          It was horrible. I was in there one time watching a Capitals Penguins game, and they proceeded to let the band start warming up mid-way through the second period. Everyone in there was watching the game.

          Oh, and the bartender/owner who proceeded to make out with (and then take to the basement) a friend/customer on the couches in front of the bar was a nice touch. Was happy to see them go. DC Reynolds is the move for watching sports as it stands. A new sports bar I think could do very well — perhaps the Murrell building would work.

        • Anonymous

          Speaking of Blue Banana… does anyone go to Petworth Patio? The couple of times I’ve stopped by it’s been completely deserted (and DC Reynolds next door was packed to overflowing). Seems like a nice enough place, but I wonder if there’s some kind of jinx on that location. Or maybe I haven’t been there on the right night.

          • textdoc

            I think they actually named themselves Park View Patio, following a kerfuffle about the name. :)
            .
            I haven’t been there yet — I need to go check it out and try to ensure it doesn’t suffer the same fate as the Blue Banana. Anonymous 11:42 pm, what’s it like?

          • Anonymous

            We call it the Wooden Banana here.

            I talked to the guys from Milk Cult Sanctuary (who were running a morning breakfast taco pop / coffee up there in the AMs) about the Banana and its issues. I’ll echo the compliants of the others – it just didn’t know what it was trying to be…and the things it tried to do, DC Reynolds did better (actual food menu, much better beer list, good cocktails, better patio).

            BB was always too loud, too well lit. The only compelling reasons for me to go were were a good beer special on Thursday nights, and Big Buck Hunter (which broke).

            I think there is a definitely a market for the Wooden Banana to re-open, but it needs a better sense of purpose. If it were me, I’d probably choose a liquor speciality and focus around that (bourbon? whiskey? vodka?), with a solid beer menu as well (fewer macros, unless they’re dirt cheap).

  • Anonymous

    Kudos to Paul Ruppert for his investment in our neighborhood! It’s nice to see quality eateries opening that can benefit the residents of Petworth. Shame on the landlord of diner (by Willow) on Upshur St who recently leased his building to a caterer that will cook food and ship it to other neighborhoods. We need property owners who give back to the community. Not those that seek businesses that don’t benefit any of the residents. I will happily be visiting Crane & Turtle this week!

    • Anonymous

      I’m not so sure I’d shame the owner of someone who chooses to put his business in our neighborhood. A caterer is still a neighborhood resource.

      • Catering is one industry that offers good (though hard) entry level work to unskilled people (willing to work very hard) at a decent starting wage with the chance to learn and move up fairly quickly based entirely on competence and drive.

        So sure, you can look at a downside like a storefront not attracting customer street traffic, but a catering business is absolutely a benefit to residents.

        • Anonymous

          I highly doubt the caterer will be hiring from the community. Did he sign a commitment to do so? A caterer would hardly have more employees than full service restaurant or bar. The owner has a responsibility to the neighborhood and it sounds like he didn’t try to hard to find a business that benefits the neighborhood on multiple fronts.

          • Accountering

            No… He does not have any sort of responsibility to the neighborhood. I am always happy to see new businesses opening in Petworth. Sure, not all of the jobs will be held by local residents, but if they are hiring, and someone who lives nearby shows up and wants to work, why would he not give them a shot?

          • Anonymous

            I really don’t agree. I think the owner has few responsibilities to the neighborhood, personally. His only real ones are to pays his taxes, take out his trash, and keep his building neat and well maintained. Anything beyond that is great, but certainly not required. I’ll take a caterer there that contributes to the tax base over one of the semi-permanently shuttered businesses or near-blighted properties.

          • Anonymous

            Agreed with Anonymous 12:13 pm. I understand the OP’s disappointment that the space is going to become a caterer rather than a restaurant, but unless the landlord lives in the neighborhood and wants a restaurant there for his/her own benefit, it isn’t really going to make any difference to him/her.
            .
            And I can think of landlords who can’t even bother to keep their buildings neat and well-maintained, like the carryout joint next to what used to be Capitol Locksmith.

    • Anonymous

      Are you talking about the open kitchen diner? Why the shame? seems to me that people passed that by for fancier fare and are modifying their business plan to allow them to stay in the ‘hood. Were you a patron?

    • Anonymous

      Wow, your sense of entitlement is astounding. You’re seriously shaming a catering business? WTF.

      • dat

        Agreed. I’m happy to have businesses that fill up (and maintain) previously vacant storefronts. There’s still plenty of real estate on Upshur and nearby.

        • Anonymous

          Exactly. There’s tons of empty stores real estate on Upshur and Georgia Ave. A caterer is better than nothing and adds to the hum & tax base of the neighborhood. In fact, if the caterer is successful, it will probably encourage them to eventually open a proper restaurant if they know they have the local community’s support!
          .
          Just because the OP bought a house in the ‘hood doesn’t automatically mean they are entitled to small plates and an Insta-Bo-Bo lifestyle.

  • Oh_Sweet_Thing

    Ahhh it is so refreshing to see a place with real taste!! There is way too much “rustic elegance” happening lately. I will make the trip to Petworth just to see this in person!

  • Anonymous

    Looking forward to trying this place out. Interior space look really nice, but consider losing the greenery on the light fixture. Outdoor seating?

    • Anonymous

      What’s wrong with the greenery? I like it – it’s a unique look, and seems to compliment the other plants on the walls, etc.

    • Sarah

      really? I love that. so much thought put into this design.

      • Anonymous

        Totally agree. Succulents!

  • Anonymous

    Speaking of opening Tuesday, what about Safeway? No soft opening photos? Isn’t it opening this week?

    • textdoc

      The signs (“so close, you can almost taste it”) that I’ve been seeing say it’s opening the 27th, which is this Friday.

      • Anonymous

        Yay! Thanks!

      • Anonymous

        And the countdown sign read 4 today! :)

  • Anonymous

    So. Effing. Excited!

  • Beth

    Looks awesome. I almost never go to Petworth these days but will make a special trip for this!

    • Anonymous

      Exactly why Petworth needs more higher end, quality options. We can begin to make Petworth a destination for people to come to… With its easy access via metro and bus plus easily drivable, there is no reason this can’t happen. Great work Paul Ruppert!

      • Anon_y_mous

        I have trouble understanding this logic. I live in Petworth, and can’t afford this by a long shot. I know many others who can’t, either. So who is this “we”?? There are lots of these places, on 14th St, 11th St, and basically anywhere else you look. And as a resident, I (we) would like a greater selection of affordable places – what I don’t want to see happen is a neighborhood that doesn’t cater to a good chunk of its inhabitants. Because that doesn’t make sense.

        • Anonymous

          I understand that you live in Petworth and can’t afford this by a long shot. A lot of us can, and will, and have been wanting an option for us. There are PLENTY of places in the neighborhood that don’t cater to me (looking at you, myraid Caribbean joints and extremely questionable “Chinese/subs/pizza/seafood/chicken” restaurants). Sorry this one doesn’t cater to you. It may not cater to a “good chunk” but it caters to a different (and expanding) “good chunk.”

          • Anonymous

            Agree. Petworth has an abundance of “carry out” places with cheap prices. These places outnumber the up scaled places 10-1. News flash: This isn’t the 80’s and Petworth is changing. Houses are selling for almost $800,000. There are actually young professionals and families moving in… The good news is that there is space for everyone, but Petworth ain’t getting any cheaper – especially with all the recent development. It’s only going to get more expensive.

          • anon

            Wrong!!

  • Anonymous

    Looks nice, but sorry, rent’s too high, can’t afford $20+ entrees.

    • Anonymous

      +1

    • Anonymous

      Check out Petworth Citizen across the street. It’s more affordable.

  • Anonymous

    Wow, beautiful. I want an arm chair and ottoman upholstered with that fabric!
    TBH, this looks nicer than every place on 14th Street.

  • textdoc

    The menu looks rather pricey, but the place looks great in the interior photos!

  • Anonymous

    Add me to the supporters of a sports bar with a full kitchen and strong food program. I also liked the whiskey focus idea! Petworth has untapped potential, but people shouldn’t take that to mean the neighborhood will accept any mediocre place that comes along (ie Blue Bannan). It has, however, shown the ability to patronize and support local businesses that provide quality food and environment. And it’s certainly cheaper rent than Logan Circle or H Street!

  • Anon_y_mous

    So… another unaffordable place for those without significant disposable income. To whom is this catering? The prevalence of these places (which I had thought mainly restricted to 14h Street) rings pretty tone deaf to me.

    • Anonymous

      if by “tone deaf” you mean “meeting demand” then you’re right on.

    • Anonymous

      May I recommend Dannie’s carryout next door?

    • Anonymous

      There are plenty of cheap places in Brightwood. Petworth is only going to get more expensive. Welcome to reality.

    • Anonymous

      Take a look at the recent home sale prices in a 5 block radius and you’ll find your answer as to whom this is catering.

  • Anonymous

    just had dinner here. place is great. the food is really delicious. will say tho, kind of on the pricy side, but well worth it if you are down to splurge.

    the pork ramen appetizer is delicious. My wife had the halibut which was super tasty and I had the duck which was extremely flavorful. Their beer list is pretty limited (only two types, one faceplant ipa and an avery white), but both were tasty.

    I think this is a great compliment to the neighborhood. I understand what folks are saying regarding the affordability of a place like this, but the city, for better or for worse (i think better) is changing. Like a previous poster said, if you want cheaper grub, dannys carryout is right next door and cuzzins is right across the street.

  • We were there

    By chance, we were the first family to be seated on opening day. Wow! Great food. Great service! Loved it! More please!

  • Beth

    We tried it tonight and just _loved_ it. It’s a darling, thoughtful little place with delicious and inventive food and we can’t wait to go back. It’s definitely pricey, but well worth it for a special occasion / splurge.

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