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BRINE is set to open Aug. 17 with a menu full of all the seafood dishes you’d hope to find on a beach vacation, from lobster rolls and fried calamari to oyster po’ boys and crab cakes. It replaces the short-lived bar The Outsider at 1359 H St. NE—no relation to the restaurant also called Brine that closed in Northern Virginia’s Mosaic District in January.
Aaron McGovern and Arturas Vorobjovas of Russia House and Biergarten Haus are behind the new restaurant. McGovern says he’ll be the one doing the cooking. The restaurant is an ode to his favorite destinations on the water, from coastal Georgia to Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
“I love the diversity of the ocean and what it can provide,” McGovern says, adding that he’s paying close attention to sourcing the best seafood. “It’s so simple but it reflects the environment.”
The menu also has a burger, a hanger steak, jerk chicken wings, and a bone-in pork chop. Drinks include wines by the class ($10-$15), draft and can beers ($5-$8), and easy drinking cocktails like a Pimm’s Cup and a mule (both $12). See the full opening menu below. McGovern says it’ll change frequently based on what’s available from his suppliers.
McGovern describes the secret to his lobster roll: He poaches the lobster in wine, salt, herbs, leeks, onions, and peppercorns. Then he slathers the meaty hunks in an aioli made with capers, lemon, garlic, green onion, and celery.
Having been a business owner on H Street NE for a decade, McGovern has watched the neighborhood change and attract growing families. “We were one of the first down here with the beer garden,” he says. Biergarten Haus is located next door to BRINE. “We’ve seen young professionals move in. They’re having kids.” That’s why McGovern wanted to test out a full-service restaurant with a children’s menu containing items like fish sticks made from cod.
BRINE, 1359 H St. NE; (202) 591-1739