Months ago, our talented friend and Aïoli Bodega Español owner, Aziz Bellarbi-Salah, told us of his plans to open his downtown new French restaurant, Brasserie Capitale. Ever since, we have been on a countdown for the restaurant’s opening at 1201 K Street—and after being invited to his recent preview party, the only thing left to do is make reservations!
The eatery, founded by the family behind the classy midtown mainstay Aïoli Bodega Español, began serving lunch and dinner to the public mid-May. Featuring a fresh, modern French-food menu and an eclectic design aesthetic only reflects the perfectionism of Aziz and chef Scott McNamara.
With bartender Roman serving pastis and bubbles and McNamara in the kitchen striking a tasty balance with house-cured salmon and my favorite, petatou—a delicate mashed potato salad containing niçoise olives, thyme and balsamic—your palette is taken on an adventure. Pates, fresh vegetables, tarts and an innovative vegetarian version of plates when asked, kept our party intrigued and more than satisfied.
The artwork, tin ceiling and brasserie lighting alone is worth a visit—especially if you recall the previous occupant, The Broiler. Brasserie even dons the original entry doors of the Broiler, as they share a history and initial “B”. San Francisco designer Sherman Warren is responsible for the look, which is rounded out by plush red velvet banquettes, pewter-topped tables on cast-iron bases and a pewter bar that tells the story of the four seasons of a vineyard on its countertop relief edge.
Café a Côté, took over the original Gallagher’s Bar space next door and serves as a smaller version of the bar and as Brasserie Capitale’s quick-service sister spot, too. The café serves coffee and pastries in the morning and lunch, dinner, wine and cocktails in the afternoon and evening. Cheers Aziz and crew and thank you for our sneak peek—can’t wait to see you bar-side soon!