The white marble is out and lumber is in: Penn Quarter’s Oya reopened last week as a new restaurant called Boe. The Montana lodge look is complete with a stone fireplace, leather tabletops, and mounted moose skull—about as opposite as can be from the former Asian-French fusion lounge.
Sushi, as you might guess, is no longer on the menu. But “balls on fire Rocky Mountain oysters” are. (The crispy bull testicles come with chili and a blue cheese dressing.) Other potentially questionable combinations include truffle fries with strawberry ketchup and kimchi aioli as well as adobo fried chicken with a maple kimchi doughnut.
The “refined American comfort fare” menu is broken down by “snack & share” dishes, like mac and cheese bites and black-eyed pea hummus, plus entree-sized plates including shrimp and grits and bourbon-glazed duck confit. Lunch will launch on Jan. 25 with to-go boxes for around $10.
The drink menu includes five cocktails served in bottles as well as some alcoholic shakes, including a boozy chocolate chip root beer float. Wines are listed on the menu with the number of miles from the producer to the restaurant. There’s happy hour at the bar from 4 to 7 p.m. and again at 10 p.m. The late-night specials include punch bowls, with approximately 15 servings, for $55.
Co-owner Nancy Koide says it was time for a change after nine years, and they wanted something that felt a little more homey and casual. “Sometimes people thought Oya was too fine dining, even though it really wasn’t,” she explains.
Like Oya before it, the name Boe has no particular origin story. “All of our restaurants, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, have three letters,” says Koide, who also owns Sax and Sei. “They really don’t mean anything.”
Boe, 777 9th St. NW; (202) 393-1400; boewdc.com
Photos by Jessica Sidman