Gone are the hot pink bar stools, lace chandeliers, and bedazzled televisions. Nido, the Mediterranean restaurant taking over the former Woodridge home of Lace, couldn’t look more different from its lesbian bar predecessor.
Nido owners Karlos Leopold and Erin Lingle have removed the drop ceiling, added skylights, and painted the brick walls white to create an airy, bright dining room with baby blue tables, maple floors, and patterned tiles.
“There was part of a feather boa glued onto the high heel that was painted on the wall downstairs,” says Lingle, who designed the new place. That’s gone, too. The downstairs provides more seating and a second bar.
Leopold, an owner of Boundary Road, and Lingle, a former Passenger bartender who also used to work at Boundary Road, plan to open Nido on June 25. When the do, it will be among the only sit-down restaurants in Woodridge, a neighborhood east of Brookland in Northeast D.C. (Zeke’s Coffee is just a few doors down.) The lack of dining options in the area is a big reason why Nido’s owners chose it. Lingle lives in Hyattsville and was constantly driving through the area to get to work: “It just seemed like there really needed to be something here.”
The Mediterranean menu was inspired by time Lingle spent in Italy and Spain. “I just fell in love with that style of eating,” she says. “It’s just simple, fresh food. I just think there’s such a love for ingredient in that part of the world.”
Leading the kitchen is chef Aaron Wright, who previously worked at Pesce, now-closed Butterfield 9, and Tabard Inn. The menu will consist of snacks like grape leaves stuffed with rice and chicken liver, white anchovies, and spiced Macona almonds. Small plates—divided by meats, seafood, and a large section of vegetables—range from baby clams with vermouth to blistered shishito peppers with sherry vinegar and shaved Manchego cheese. There will also be pastas, including cavatelli with chickpeas, squid, and roasted romanesco broccoli, as well as large plates that feed two to four people. (Big plates are the new small plates.) The family-style platters will include a Tuscan-style bone-in sirloin and Basque seafood stew.
The drink menu will center heavily around vermouth with vermouth-heavy classic cocktails and a housemade vermouth on tap. There will also be biodynamic and organic wines, including a lot of “fun and funky” varietals from lesser known regions. “There’s going to be some more unusual stuff that you can’t find everywhere—some cool orange wines by the bottle and Lambruscos,” Lingle says. Beers will be available in cans and from seven draft lines.
Another interesting facet of the restaurant: solar panels and a green roof. Leopold estimates the panels will be able to provide about eight or nine percent of the restaurant’s power.
The restaurant will be open Tuesdays through Sunday for dinner. They’re also thinking about opening for happy hour as early as 3 p.m. some or all days of the week. A month in, they plan to open for weekend brunch.
Take a look at photos of the food and the menu below.
Nido, 2214 Rhode Island Ave. NE; (202) 627-2815; facebook.com/nidodc
Food photos by Bobby Spero. Other photos by Jessica Sidman.