Photo by PoPville flickr user Joe Flood
From a press release:
“Radiator (www.radiatordc.com), a cocktail bar and neighborhood gathering place featuring contemporary American small plates with global influences, will open on April 19 off the 14th Street corridor at 1430 Rhode Island Ave. NW. Radiator nods to the spirit of its surroundings in both its name – a reference to 14th Street’s rich automotive past – and lively, engaging experience. The bar is located adjacent to the new Mason & Rook Hotel.
“We’re embracing the shift toward unpretentious dining, while remaining mindful of quality and craft in both food and drink,” says Lead Bartender Sarah Rosner, who helms the beverage program. “Radiator is first and foremost a hangout spot for the neighborhood where you can grab fun, funky bar snacks or more composed large-format plates alongside your perfectly made cocktail.”
In Your Glass
Keeping a firm grasp on the classics as a foundation, Radiator’s bar program leaves plenty of room to play and experiment. Lead Bartender Sarah Rosner, who comes to Radiator with 15 years of experience at such acclaimed establishments as Copycat Co., Derek Brown’s Eat the Rich and Jack Rose Dining Saloon, has designed a beverage selection that puts an original slant on time-honored cocktails, while highlighting a carefully curated range of whiskeys and off-the-beaten path spirits, as well as a discerning selection of local beers and wines. Her cheeky house creations include the Singani-based Bolivian Sage (muddled strawberry, fresh sage, lemon juice, house-made orgeat and pineapple juice), the Rickey Goes to Hawaii (gin, li hing powder, lime and soda), and the show-stopping Folk Art (muddled lime, mint leaves, Cynar, aged rum, green chartreuse and pineapple juice), all accessibly priced in keeping with the laid-back neighborhood setting.
On Your Plate
Food is central to the Radiator experience, and Executive Chef Jonathan Dearden, formerly of Ardeo + Bardeo, complements the liquid offerings with a menu of soulful, sophisticated dishes. Spanning snacks, sharable plates and large-format items, Radiator’s culinary program presents a global perspective reflecting Dearden’s deep knowledge of Caribbean, Creole, French and Pan-Asian cuisine. Highlights on the ambitious menu include Kimchi Pickles with Cucumber, Mango and Jicama; Bacon Fat Fries with Smoked Sea Salt; Harissa-Roasted Romanesco with Black Bean Hummus and Cilantro Tabouleh; and Lamb Belly Tacos with Curried Chickpeas, Tzatziki, Feta and Mint, an inventive riff on shawarma.
Set in a neighborhood once home to many mid-20th century car dealerships and auto repair shops, Radiator brings a historical point of view to its design with a strong use of industrial elements. The large, 57-seat bar area includes a communal table and is accented with rich woods and leather. A 23-seat lounge and private dining room includes several nooks where small groups can gather. The space is outfitted with playful diversions and games, such as backgammon chess, Jenga, and life-sized Connect Four. During warmer months, guests can enjoy a 50-seat patio featuring a large fire pit and a shuffleboard court under a retractable mesh overhang. Conceived by D.C.’s award-winning GrizForm Design Architects, the space keeps an eye toward craftsmanship, ranging from large checkerboard floors to vintage car parts to displays of rare whiskeys.
About Chef Jonathan Dearden
Jonathan Dearden is executive chef at Radiator, where he brings a global perspective to the culinary bar menu. His background in Caribbean, Creole, French, and Pan-Asian cuisines helps keep Radiator’s ambitious menu on pace with its constantly updated list of seasonal and classic cocktails.He comes to Radiator from Ardeo + Bardeo in Washington, D.C., where he oversaw the kitchen as executive chef. Prior to this he served as executive chef at Andre Balazs properties in New York, executive chef at Jade Mountain Resort in Saint Lucia and chef de cuisine for James Beard Award winning Chef Allen Susser’s in Miami.With Dearden running the kitchen, Jade Mountain was recognized by Travel and Leisure as the top resort in the Caribbean, and number three best resort in the world. During his mentorship with Susser, he attended The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Culinary Management. Dearden grew up in Sterling, Va., where both he and his twin brother first started their culinary journeys while working weekends at local family-owned restaurants.
About Sarah Rosner
Sarah Rosner is lead bartender at Radiator, where she oversees the culinary cocktail bar’s ambitious program of seasonal and classic cocktails. Rosner comes to Radiator from Copycat Co. in Washington, D.C., where she honed her skills and expanded her classics knowledge. Before that, Rosner worked with cocktail luminary Derek Brown at Eat the Rich, his rock and roll Mid-Atlantic oyster bar. Rosner stepped into the craft cocktail world at Jack Rose Dining Saloon, where she gained deep knowledge of cocktail history and the art of working with culinary ingredients. Previous stops include D.C. neighborhood favorites Breadsoda, Marvin, and Townhouse Tavern. Originally from Hawaii, Rosner’s background informs all of her cocktail creations, from a love of tropical ingredients to rigorous standards when it comes to freshness. Rosner is an enthusiastic gardener and sources many of her ingredients from her own backyard.”