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There’s one dish on the menu that’s dangerous for Chef Haidar Karoum and his team of cooks at Chloe, opening Friday in Navy Yard. It’s the crispy fingerling potatoes with boardwalk malt mayo, Old Bay seasoning, and sea salt. The spuds remind Karoum of childhood trips to Ocean City. “There’s always one or two left in the bowl when they get tossed with seasonings,” Karoum says. “You eat a lot of them if you’re close to the station [where they’re made].”
Vegetables play a leading role on the menu at Karoum’s first solo restaurant. The restaurant shares its name with the Greek goddess of agriculture after all. Dishes include roasted kabocha squash with arugula, pumpkin seeds, parmesan, and walnut vinaigrette ($11), Russet potato gnocchi with smoked king oyster mushrooms, kale, black pepper, and pecorino ($16), and quinoa and chickpeas with grilled vegetables, kale, farm egg, parmesan, and sherry vinaigrette ($12).
“I like to eat vegetables,” Karoum says. “If I’m having Chinese food, I’m ordering the pea shoots. Every time. At the end of the day, the food that I like to eat is what drives the menu.” See the complete menu below, which pulls from cuisines from around the world.
D.C. diners know Karoum from his long stint running a hat trick of Fat Baby Inc. restaurants: Proof, Doi Moi, and Estadio. He says he chose Navy Yard for his debut as a chef/owner because it’s near the water and he likes the energetic vibe of the neighborhood. “It’s laid back, I see more smiles than I’m used to living downtown,” he says.
The best seats in the 105-seat restaurant are at a 14-seat counter looking into the Chloe’s open kitchen. The restaurant is set to open Jan. 5 for dinner with lunch to follow in a couple of weeks. The lunch menu will be significantly paired down to a few sandwiches, like one featuring Persian-style grilled lamb.
Until lunch launches, Chloe will be open Mondays through Saturdays from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. and from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Sundays.
Chloe, 1331 4th Street. SE; restaurantchloe.com