Wheaton’s District Bistro Shines Bright at #14 on Tom Sietsema’s Best New Restaurants Roundup

The area’s restaurant scene continues to attract local and national acclaim for its exceptional quality and diverse culinary offerings.

District Bistro, a recent addition to Wheaton’s dining scene, has claimed the #14 spot on Washington Post food critic Tom Sietsema’s list of the 26 best new restaurants in the D.C. area.

Sietsema’s list features “a bevy of Mexican options, plant-based fine dining, beautiful burgers and more.”

You can’t take a wrong turn at this location, where veteran chef Pedro Matamoros offers two ways to eat under one roof: Frank’s Burger Place, featuring a hamburger named after the chef’s stepfather, and District Bistro, a more elevated but still casual source for American comfort foods. “Think simple roast chicken,” says Matamoros. His past kitchen stints have included Barrel and Crow in Bethesda, Tabard Inn in Washington, and the late 8407 Kitchen Bar in Silver Spring, whose popular lavender chicken recipe is revived on the menu at the bistro, introduced last fall.

The dining room, which includes a rear bar, is awash in the owner’s favorite color: The menu, booths and ceiling are all blue. A little lounge off the entrance is a nook made cozy with armchairs and wallpaper that lets you pretend you’re peering into the woods.

There’s probably nothing on the menu a chowhound needs to Google. Cubes of tuna tartare top a base of avocado, a familiar appetizer served with splotches of lively yuzu and sriracha sauces. The salads are built for two, and the pastas include homemade fettuccine with lamb Bolognese, lit with harissa, and agnolotti fat with braised short rib, sparked with olives and lapped with winey beef jus. Sauteed fluke and buttery mashed potatoes are a nice match, and so are the burger and fries — the same sandwich sold at Frank’s and fashioned from a palooza of meat: chuck and brisket, plus the ends of New York strip, tenderloin and rib-eye. The lot is formed into a patty, gains crust from the grill and gets packed into a pleasantly sweet brioche bun. A mountain of skin-on, twice-fried potatoes shows the same care as the burger.

Despite the fact that Matamoros says he “told my sons not to go into the restaurant business,” one manages Frank’s and the other manages the bistro, whose name shines a light on Wheaton’s business district, not Washington. The chef, a native of Nicaragua, has been cooking for three decades and turned 55 in April. Still, he says, “I’m happy in the kitchen.”

When he’s happy, so are diners.

District Bistro, which opened last November and shares its location with sister restaurant Frank’s Burger Place, is located at 11230 Grandview Ave. in Wheaton.

Graphic Courtesy of District Bistro

Read More:
Bump 'n Grind Reaches Fundraising Goal for Downtown Silver Spring Community Hub
Your Mastodon Instance