La Esquina de Clarendon has three levels, including the main restaurant, Buena Vida, on the second floor.
BY GEORGE! Georgetown is not your father’s ’hood. It’s serving new tastes, with a bevy of eateries settling down in recent years (The Berliner, High Street Cafe). Next: Brasserie Liberté by Hakan Ilhan and CUT by Wolfgang Puck (rosewoodhotels.com).
FOR THE ’GRAM Spots are staging Insta-worthy scenes. Nocturne’s (nocturnebar.com) bar is lit from below. Astoria’s (astoriadc.com) interior is curved, like a luxe railroad car. And Coconut Club (hellococonutclub.com) has cracked social media with its vacation-inspired digs.
MEXICAN MOMENT Let’s taco ’bout it. La Esquina de Clarendon (buenavidaclarendon.com) is a collab between Ivan Iricanin (of Ambar) and concept chef Gerardo Vázquez Lugo, whose Mexico City-based Nicos earned a lifetime achievement award. Cielo Rojo (cielo-rojo.com) is by husband-and-wife David Perez (a Mexico City native) and Carolina McCandless. The tortillas are made with Oaxacan corn from Masienda. Urbano 116 (urbano116.com) has Mexico City chef Alam Mendez, whom managing partner Chad Sparrow discovered on a trip.
VEG OUT Why not take heavy dishes and lighten them? At American Son (americanson1978.com), Tim Ma blends tastes from his immigrant background with U.S. comfort food. The vegetarian tofu gnocchi plates English peas, pea tendrils and morels. Blue Duck Tavern (blueducktavern.com) executive chef Adam Howard has a potpie with a veggie nage of dry mushrooms, absinthe and aromatic produce.