Explore some of the top venues in the District for warm-weather dining.
Where The Alfresco Party Never Stops
The rooftop bars at the Brixton are bustling year-round.
Up to 200 patrons can pack onto Brixton (901 U St. NW; 202-560-5045), a year-round roof deck with two bars and a booming DJ booth. The British accented bistro-bar offers views of the buzzy U Street corridor and Washington Monument. Executive Chef Wylie Ballinger serves continental classics—cheddar-topped burgers and beer-battered fried haddock—and Middle Eastern–minded sandwiches of freshly sliced lamb or piquillo pepper hummus. “In London, there are vans that go to club areas late at night selling pita sandwiches,” Ballinger explains, “so we thought we’d emulate that.”
The Bustle of Barracks Row
Whether seated on the roof or at a sidewalk table, CavaMezze (527 8th St. SE, 202-543-9090) offers a vantage point of Barracks Row. “After my shift I head outside to have a drink, talk to customers, and unwind,” says chef and cofounderDimitriMoshovitis, who serves up summery Grecian classics, such as a colorful mélange of watermelon, cantaloupe, and feta, and a crimson and yellow beet salad with slices of fennel and an ouzo dressing.
Sunlight streams into Fiola Mare.
Scoring a spot at Fiola Mare (3050 K St. NW, 202-628-0065), the hottest new restaurant in Georgetown, is easier in the summer because there are more than 90 extra seats outside, all of which overlook the Potomac. “For two minutes every day, I stop to enjoy the view,” says chef-owner Fabio Trabocchi, who also helms Fiola (601 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, 202-628-2888) and Casa Luca (1099 New York Ave. NW, 202-628-1099). “Then everything makes sense, and I go back to work.” Fresh seasonal fare includes lobster rolls, shucked oysters, and frittomisto.
New Menu in the Sky
The draw to the rooftop at Jack Rose Saloon (2007 18th St. NW, 202-588-7388) is threefold: an open-air terrace, tiki bar, and private dining room. Guests can partake in a terrace menu from recently installed Executive Chef Russell Jones, an alum of Restaurant Eve (110 S. Pitt St., Alexandria, 703-706-0450) and Vinoteca (1940 11th St. NW, 202-332-9463). Most of the cooking is done on an oakand hickory-fired grill. “It’s the food you crave in the summertime,” says Jones.
Sweeping Views of the District
Enjoy a new perspective at P.O.V. Roof Terrace.
Perched atop the W hotel, the 120-seat P.O.V. Roof Terrace (515 15th St. NW, 202-661-2400) affords glimpses of the White House and the Washington Monument. Guests seated at low-slung tables enjoy panglobal favorites—rice-cracker-crusted tuna, tempura-battered sea bass, and chili-rubbed beef skewers. “We wanted light, small plates that are easy to share,” says Executive Chef Philippe Reininger. For something heartier, try the pizzas, truffled grilled cheese sandwich, or blue ribbon cheeseburger.