Bresca Brings Modern Bistro Fare to DC

Chef Ryan Ratino announced the anticipated fall opening of his neo-bistro concept restaurant, Bresca. The restaurant is slated to open on Friday, September 22 at 1906 14th St, NW. The intimate 60-seat restaurant takes inspiration on the Parisian movement of “modern bistros” or “bistronomy," (a combination of the words Bistro and Gastronomy). The trend is characterized by a more vibrant, experimental and informal approach to cooking than traditional French cuisine with keen focus on the food, its bold flavors and the feelings that these combinations evoke. Bresca is meant to be a moving combination of thoughtfully classic French technique and sensibility combined with outstanding quality ingredients and casual informality.

“I am thrilled to bring to life this concept that sums up some of my key personal and culinary experiences in a modern bistro setting,” says Ratino. “The fact that bistronomy is making a revolutionary food movement in France and now spreading to other parts of the world is a signal of the great influence French cooking has had in food history. My hope is that Bresca’s menu, décor and ambiance is embraced by Washingtonians and becomes proof that a small piece of France’s culinary influence is very much alive, blooming, and living on D.C.’s 14th Street corridor.”

Working together with Chef de Cuisine and Partner, Jose Arguelles, Ratino has developed a versatile a la carte menu featuring seasonal dishes that combine haute cuisine technique with regional culinary traditions and the smart fun twists of the chef’s personality. Ordinary ingredients like beets and tomatoes hold the same value as truffles and caviar in this modern-bistro menu. Examples include Turnip Crudite, prepared with seaweed brown butter, fleur de sel, and green goddess dressing; Siberian Sturgeon Caviar, served on a chive doughnut, with crème fraiche, and roe; Chestnut Agnolotti, a tender rabbit accompanied with sunchoke pears and mustard seeds. For the parties that like to share, a couple of large format dishes will also be available such as Whole Roasted Chicken, served with a side of herb roasted maitake mushrooms, cauliflower Swiss chard and cream of corn gnocchi; and Old A** Entrecote, a 65-day aged premium cut of beef grilled on a Japanese bichotan grill served with a wedge, a stack of potato pave, chanterelle mushrooms and braised onions. Price range for dishes is between $7 and $24 except for the sharable large plates which are priced between $56 and $68.

Receiving the same laser-like attention as the food, is the beverage program. Guests can expect classic and unique creations such as Bee’s Knees, honey gin, Manuka honey, lemon and Osmanthus; Black Tahini Fizz, dark rum, coconut cordial, black tahini, vanilla cream-citrus; Pollination, honey vodka, organge blossom honey, lemon juice, yuzu, chamomile cordial. Price range for cocktails is between $12.00 and $16.00.

For the traditional wine crusaders, Bresca’s wine list will feature a small but carefully curated list of versatile, fun, and approachable selections that pair beautifully with the myriad of dishes and palette of flavors in the menu. The price point for wine bottles is between $45.00 and $70.00 with a handful of special occasion selections which are priced between $110 and $150. Ratino is also working on making his own in-house Meade—quite possibly the oldest alcoholic drink in history and a preferred drink of ancient and modern royalty. Meade is made by fermenting three basic ingredients: honey, water and yeast. Bresca, which in Spanish means honeycomb, pays homage to one of nature’s most ubiquitous shapes, the hexagon.

From the biggest planets to the most microscopic organisms, the entire universe is composed of hexagonal galleries. The shape is a symbol of strength, efficiency, harmony and a bit of mystery—embodying this new restaurant concept.

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