Buzz did a quick roundabout of a couple of two new downtown restaurants that are worth a look. Mind you both are barely a week old, but are a welcome alternative to the overdone pasta palaces and the Cohn’s collection of overpriced themed eateries.
In the space that was LG’s Steakhouse, at the corner of F Street and Sixth Avenue, George Katakalidis owner of Daphne’s Greek Cafe restaurants, created EXY, Chic Greek . If you look closely, you will note that the E could be the Greek letter sigma…so call it sexy (and clever). There is a large comfortable bar area that faces F Street (and Ivy Hotel). The dining room features a well-priced Greek inspired menu with most entrees including braised lamb shank and a pan roasted whole fish in the mid $20 range. The appetizers we tasted at the VIP opening party included grilled lamb chops and flat bread with grilled chicken and Greek cheese, and they were terrfic (and are on the appetizer menu. When the dining room closes, the bar becomes a place for music and late night snacks from the bar menu.
Jade Theater is at the corner of Seventh Avenue and C Street, facing the trolley tracks. There is valet parking for $15. When I peeked in, there were two private parties in the bar area…if you love a noisy bar, this is your place. The restaurant features small bites (Tease Me), starters (Taste Me) and main courses (Eat Me). Taste Me dishes range from $4 to $9-for yellowtail tataki with sake vinaigrette or crab kimchi with fried shiso leaf. Asian fritto misto is $13 in the Taste Me column and a black bean ribeye with tempura vegetables is $39 under the Eat Me list. Buzz didn’t have a chance to eat upstairs in the dining room, which is wonderfully simple in Asian decor and though open to the bar below, there are some areas that are quiet. A server said that coming in early, before 7:30 or so, you’ll find it quieter.