The beginning of a new year often marks a period of change and development, and that rings true even in the culinary scene. With the Northern Virginia area saturated with budding restaurants, there’s always something new to try and somewhere new to dine. There are countless new spots opening this year. Here is a sample of places we are excited to try, from authentic homemade pastas to refreshing Peruvian cocktails.
Carbonara: Old School Italian and Wine Bar
Any fans of the movie The Godfather should keep their schedules open for the opening of Carbonara: Old School Italian Wine Bar. The rustic restaurant, which celebrated chef Mike Cordero says is inspired by the food featured in the cult crime film, is coming to Ballston this summer. Homemade pasta, Sicilian pizza, tiramisu, and stuffed cannoli are just a few of the classic dishes highlighted on the menu. 3865 Wilson Blvd., Arlington
Scheduled to open January 28, Akai Tori will become Vienna’s newest spot for ramen lovers. The 3,000-square-foot restaurant, which translates to “red bird,” will specialize in donburi, yakitori, sushi, katsu rice bowls, and of course, ramen. While many neighboring restaurants close earlier, Akai Tori will stay open until 11 p.m. on weekends, offering a wide selection of Japanese beers, sake, and spirits. 234 Maple Ave. E, Vienna
Costa Verde Grill & Ceviche Bar
Ceviche, a Peruvian dish typically made from fresh raw fish, never disappoints when you’re craving seafood. Luckily, a new restaurant coming to the Town Center of Sterling will be specializing in flavorful variations of ceviche. The restaurant was developed by chef Archie Marquez, owner of Chilcanos Restrobar in Falls Church, who has specialized in Peruvian food for over 20 years. Intersection of Route 7 and Dranesville Rd., Sterling
Open Road Distilling Company
A new distillery is coming to the Reston Town Center from the Metropolitan Hospitality Group, the team behind acclaimed restaurants in the region like Circa, Salt, and Trio Grill. The speak-easy style distillery will join a restaurant called Heirloom to take over the former space of Balducci’s Market. According to The Burn, there are plans to include an indoor and an outdoor patio bar, a tasting room with distillery tours, and live music. 1871 Fountain Dr., Reston
Another restaurant making its way to the Reston Town Center is the upscale Peruvian restaurant Pisco Y Nazca. With another location already in DC, this gastrobar will take over the former Vapiano restaurant space, according to the Washington Business Journal. The signature dishes will include pulled pork tostones and Lomo Saltado. And if you’re looking to try authentic Peruvian drinks, Pisco Y Nazca will offer curated pisco cocktails. 1875 Explorer St., Reston
The iconic Buffalo wing you have come to love today was first made at a local restaurant in (you guessed it), Buffalo, New York. This revolutionary restaurant was called Anchor Bar, and this year, an Anchor Bar will open in Leesburg. It will be its first Virginia location. While you will definitely want to try its famous wings, the menu will include drunken mussels, rockfish bites, and fried pickles. 1609 Village Market Blvd. SE, Ste. 105, Leesburg
Chefs Michael and Allyson Stebner will open a farm-to-table restaurant in Sterling’s Cascade Marketplace Shopping Center. Michael, who has an impressive background in the culinary scene, says the restaurant focuses on Californian and Mediterranean flavors, including fresh pastas and homemade bread. The menu features a wide array of nutritious items, including locally caught black bass and the loaded labneh dip. And you definitely don’t want to miss out on the lasagna soup. 46286 Cranston St., Sterling
What used to be the Aldie Country Store will now become the much-anticipated Rubanos restaurant. This restaurant is described as farm-to-table, with two of the owners owning a farm a few miles down the road. The former store will be completely revamped. While the menu isn’t finalized yet, the signature dish will be porcini ravioli, The Burn reports. There is no set opening date, but the owners are looking toward a spring grand opening. 39285 John Mosby Hwy., Aldie
The Dallas-based restaurant named Sixty Vines will open this year in the Reston Town Center, replacing the former space that belonged to Clyde’s. While Sixty Vines has locations in Texas, Tennessee, and Florida, this is its first location in Virginia. According to its website, the restaurant’s cuisine is inspired by wine country, featuring 60 wines on tap, and specializing in small cheese and meat plates. 11905 Market St., Reston
Beer lovers rejoice, because “the world’s greatest tap room,” as described by its owners, is coming to Tysons Galleria early this year. Replacing the former Macy’s store is Yard House, a casual restaurant known for its extensive menu and draft beer lineup. With over 100 drafts on tap, a 14,236-square-foot space, and an outdoor patio, there’s not much more you could ask for. And of course, there is a delicious selection of appetizers and entrees as well. 1660M Galleria at Tysons II, McLean
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