It’s summer in D.C. and it’s time to make up for lost time. Make plans with the help of this summer dining and drinking bucket list that takes you to the city’s breweries and brewpubs by bike, across the Bay Bridge with your four-legged friend for some fried scallops, and to some of the newest ice cream scoopers in the District.
Stroll by Happy Gyro for a Scoop of Ben Brunner’s Ice Cream
Komi transitioned to a more casual restaurant during the pandemic specializing in vegetarian gyros, pizza, and ice cream. Previously you could only order it by the pint ($15 each), but Happy Gyro debuted an ice cream cart that will be parked in front of the restaurant at 1509 17th St. NW. Get a scoop Tuesday through Saturday evenings and Saturday afternoons when the weather is behaving. Don’t miss flavors like strawberry-buttermilk with polenta crumble and key lime pie frozen yogurt with graham cracker crumble.
Plan Out a Bike Route to D.C. Brewpubs and Breweries
A number of breweries and brewpubs have opened in D.C. in recent years that are begging to be stops on a bike-and-beer trail because they’re positioned loosely along the Metropolitan Branch Trail. Start your afternoon at Red Bear Brewing Co. (209 M St. NE) for some beers and a light lunch to fuel your journey. The NoMa brewpub opens at 11:30 a.m. daily. Then board the MBT and follow it up to the District’s newest brewery—City-State Brewing. It opens at 10 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays and 3 p.m. on weekdays. If you’re biking on the weekend, cap off your adventure at Right Proper Brewing Co.’s Brookland Production House & Tasting Room at 920 Girard St. NE. They’re open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays at noon. Score a picnic table and work your way through a tasting flight.
Play a Round of Golf That Comes With Air Conditioning and Food Hall Fare
Perhaps recognizing that Washingtonians are wound a little tight, a London company picked D.C. for its first outpost in the U.S. Swingers opened June 18 in the former Buffalo Billiards and Front Page spaces in Dupont Circle at 1330 Connecticut Ave. NW. Try playing two nine-hole courses with tricks that require some putting skills. A round costs between $19 and $24. There’s a lengthy cocktail list with something for everyone and a food hall-like dining setup with crowd-pleasers such as pizza, burgers, fried chicken sandwiches, and tacos from the restaurant group behind Succotash and Mi Vida. Sink a hole-in-one on the last hole and win a prize.
Sip a Milkshake from Mélange
Chef Elias Taddesse debuted a line of ice creams during the pandemic and now that it’s sweltering he’s adding milkshakes into the mix. The coffee cardamom comes with a jolt and the PBJ + Toast flavor tastes like school lunch. For the latter, Taddesse folds strawberry jam, peanut butter, and sweet toast crumbles into his toast ice cream. There is a vegan one available—tropically inspired coconut pineapple—made with sorbet and coconut milk. The 16 oz. shakes debuted June 21 and cost $7 each. Mélange is located at 449 K St. NW.
Rent an Electric Picnic Boat and Get Out on the Potomac
Entrepreneur Lavert Phillips gifted the District with a good time when he brought a small fleet of electric Scandavian picnic boats to the Southwest Waterfront. Book one and you’ll board at The Wharf near the Maine Avenue Fish Market. Whoever is the captain of your group doesn’t have to have a boater’s license, but they do need a valid driver’s license and must be 21 years of age or older. Floats are for one hour ($150), two hours ($300), or three hours ($400) and run Mondays through Sundays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. There are other ways to get out on the water without knowing someone with a boat.
Road Trip With Your Pup to a Dog Beach With a Killer Crab Shack Nearby
The first town across the Bay Bridge on Kent Island boasts a beach where dogs are welcome year-round. When you turn into the Matapeake Clubhouse and Beach in Stevensville, Maryland, follow the signs to the dog beach down a wooded trail. When you’re ready for lunch visit the Stevensville Crab Shack (116 Pier 1 Road). The carryout with a smattering of picnic tables has been around since 1998 and serves everything from buckets of crabs for cracking to fried seafood platters all paired with some cold beer. Note that the crab shack is closed Sundays.
Splurge on a “Micro-Seasonal” Meal at Oyster Oyster
If you truly want to savor the season, make a reservation at Oyster Oyster from Chef Rob Rubba and restaurateur and sommelier Max Kuller. The plant-based project finally opened as intended this month serving a tasting menu that changes way more than four times a year. Trust Rubba to work his magic with the finest summer produce knowing that the restaurant operates with sustainability in mind. The six-course opening menu will be available for about a month and a half and costs $70 per person. Look forward to poached kohlrabi with summer squash, chanterelles, and fresh cheese in addition to peas with new potatoes, peanuts, and sugar kelp. Find Oyster Oyster in Shaw at 1440 8th St. NW.
—Laura Hayes (tips? firstname.lastname@example.org)
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