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French Bistro from Stephen Starr and Keith McNally, “Pastis DC to open tomorrow, January 25, in Union Market District”


photo by Rey Lopez

From a press release:

“Washington diners will finally be able to land a table at Pastis, the chic, perennially packed New York Parisian bistro, when James Beard Award-winning restaurateurs Stephen Starr and Keith McNally open their DC location in Union Market District on January 25. Pastis occupies a former warehouse at 1323 4th St. NE, featuring 250 seats, an outdoor dining chalet, and more.


photo by Rey Lopez

Pastis DC will feature the staples that have made the restaurant a legendary dining destination, from the decadent, soul-warming onion soup and rave-worthy Spaghetti Limone to Duck Confit. Homey, warming Bouillabaisse, the seafood stew abundant with shrimp, snapper, and more, reclaims its place on the daily menu, while Lobster Frites, roasted and redolent of garlic butter, will arrive tableside just as Eater NY once described the dish: “like a sweetened version of the Atlantic Ocean.” Pastis DC’s menu will also feature new items available only in the capital city, including tender poached Veal Tongue served with crispy potatoes, a classic Wiener Schnitzel, a staple of breaded veal served simply with Persian cucumbers and potato salad, and a Roast Chicken for two, served with gem lettuce and pear salad, pommes Lyonnaise and gravy. In addition to classic French bistro offerings, diners in the District can expect European culinary influences on the menu such as Potato Pierogies, Chicken Kiev and Fish and Chips among others.

To drink, Pastis will feature a cocktail menu replete with Parisian-inspired classics and easy-drinking spritzes such as the Spritz Royale, aperol, grapefruit cordial, lemon and sparkling water. The drink flavors run the gamut: Monsieur Marmalade mixes Cazadores tequila blanco, french amer, blood orange marmalade and lime; while Le Petite Pickle combines Grey Goose vodka, house pickle brine and “pickled things”. The wine list, meanwhile, will include offerings from the benchmark producers of France’s myriad winemaking regions as well as selections from the nation’s trailblazing new producers – bottles for every palate and every occasion.

Pastis’s legendary history in New York stretches back more than 20 years, when the original bistro opened in 1999 in the then-nascent Meatpacking District and all but transformed how New Yorkers dined out. Classic French fare with a modern and unexpected twist was served well into the early morning hours, as champagne flowed, models and celebrities held court, and its casually chic way of dining quickly took hold at restaurants across the city. Pastis DC will be the third incarnation of the theatrical French bistro, following closely on the heels of the opening of Pastis in Miami’s art-filled Wynwood district.

DC’s Pastis would not be complete without the restaurant’s trademark look. The original Pastis was a luxe magnet that set a new gold standard for restaurant design, inspired by cafes and brasseries from Paris but uniquely modern. Ian McPheely, director of Paisley Design NYC, imbued the new DC location with the spirit of Pastis, just as he did in New York and Miami, mixing high and low with golden-hued lighting and distressed, hand-painted mirrors created by designer Robert Padilla (who fabricated the original mirrors in Pastis New York). The DC bistro will also house the same curved red banquettes, crisp white subway tile, artfully mismatched chairs, tin ceilings, beautiful and well-considered bijoux for which Pastis is renowned.

“Part of Pastis’s charm in New York was that it stood out from its gritty, industrial backdrop; it was a warm and unforgettably welcoming place to see and be seen,” says Stephen Starr, founder and CEO of STARR Restaurants. “It’s no mistake that Pastis in DC is also situated in a former warehouse, in Washington’s Union Market. I know that like the original, it’s going to be a destination restaurant with an escapist feel as well as a place neighbors will want to spend each and every night.”

Pastis will open for dinner service on January 25 with lunch and brunch to follow. Hours of operation: Sunday – Wednesday, 5pm to 10pm, Thursday – Saturday, 5pm to 11pm.”

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