Photo courtesy of Gypsy Kitchen.
Covid has temporarily put a pause on travel for many, but restaurants are looking to fill the gap with transporting menus and experiences. Forthcoming 14th Street arrival Gypsy Kitchen is one, joining a host of other restaurants in the neighborhood like Tico and Compass Rose that offer globe-trotting tapas. The restaurant is slated to open by the end of August and will serve Mediterranean and Middle Eastern small plates in the former Masa 14 space.
The restaurant concept is a Georgia export with one other location in Atlanta. The DC branch is helmed by a collection of José Andrés alums. Managing partner Andres Sweeks met beverage director Giovanni Maramis at Oyamel, and executive chef Eric Milton previously worked as a sous chef at Zaytinya.
Milton will continue to craft Mediterranean small plates on 14th Street, adapting and integrating traditional flavors from Greece, Morocco, Spain, and the Middle East. Take a dish of roasted branzino seasoned with Turkish spices over a Valencian-style saffron rice studded with mussels, scallops, and shrimp. You’ll also find crispy Greek tirokoketes (cheese balls) and Levantine beef kibbeh.
The wine list also traverses the Mediterranean, including a selection of bottles from Israel and Morocco. Beer offerings are more of a staycation and highlight the District’s robust brewery scene. Sweeks cites DC’s creative beverage programs—Columbia Room and the Green Zone, specifically—as inspiration for Gypsy Kitchen’s cocktail experimentation. The concoctions get pretty inventive, such as the “Achilles Leg Day” with Greek yoghurt and Cognac infused via sous vide with dates.
The team has transformed the former industrial-chic look of Masa 14 into a vibe that’s more transportive. The street-level space houses a Spanish-style tiled bar and casual lounge furniture on tapestry rugs. (Pending regulations at the time of opening, patrons will be allowed to dine indoors). Emerging onto the rooftop patio is like entering a different restaurant, Sweeks says, with lush greenery and a retractable awning for year-round, al fresco dining.
Gypsy Kitchen. 1825 14th St., NW