DC Restaurant Openings

La Famosa at Navy Yard in Washington, DC unveiled

Batido, cafe frio, piña colada and more fun drinks headline beverage menu

La Famosa Puerto Rican restaurant opened in Navy Yard this week. Owner and chef, Joancarlo Parkhurst is ready to get business going at the new eatery that seeks to bring the flavors of the Caribbean island to the heart of the Riverfront.
La Famosa arrives at Navy Yard with an eclectic menu, including tasty pastelillos. Photo by Scott Suchman.

La Famosa restaurant opened in Navy Yard this week for all-day feasting. Its owner and chef, Joancarlo Parkhurst, is bringing the flavors of Puerto Rico to the heart of the Capitol Riverfront. The restaurant’s name pays tribute to the canning company Parkhurst’s family founded in 1921.

Menu: variety and tradition

A tropical escape for Washington area visitors and residents, La Famosa will indulge guests in an eclectic menu of dishes that hearken back to the island’s history. It’s all here, from small bites to large plates, and traditional Puerto Rican preparations:

  • Pastelillos –savory and sweet fried turnovers
  • Bacalaito – a salt cod fritter served with salsa verde
  • Tripleta – a sandwich made with roast pork, beef and ham; and Jibarito, a sandwich served on flattened plantains instead of bread
  • Arroz con Pollo – chicken and rice served with beans
  • Chuleta Kan-Kan – a pork chop served with tostones (plantains) or rice and beans
  • Mofongo – a quintessential Puerto Rican meal of mashed fried plantains, served with a choice of pork, salt cod, shrimp or vegetarian picadillo
  • Chillo Frito – whole crispy snapper served with coconut rice and spicy slaw
  • Yuca En Escabeche – pickled yuca
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The restaurant’s dishes bring nostalgia and joy to Parkhurst, who spent much of his childhood cooking in his grandmother’s kitchen.

The drink menu at La Famosa includes batidos—tropical fruit blended with milk, sugar and ice—and a coffee program, comprising espresso drinks and iced coffees, headlined by ‘Café Frio’ cold brew and Coco Shakerato, made from locally-roasted Ceremony Coffee.

La Famosa Puerto Rican restaurant opened in Navy Yard this week. Owner and chef, Joancarlo Parkhurst is ready to get business going at the new eatery that seeks to bring the flavors of the Caribbean...delicious cocktails include the Guava Smash.
La Famosa’s cocktail menu includes the Guava Smash. Photo by Scott Suchman.

La Famosa’s libations lean heavily on rum. The cocktail menu includes Guava Smash, Rum Negroni and, of course, the Piña Colada. A selection of white, red and rosé wines as well as draft, bottle and canned beer are also available. The diverse bar menu includes alcohol-free drinks as well.

Concept: ‘Not your mama’s mofongo’

The 60-seat restaurant was conceptualized by GrizForm Design Architects. Energetic colors such as kiwi green and coral pink can be found across the 2,300 square-foot space, ’juxtaposed with a Caribbean-flavored wall covering above,” according to an announcement.

General Design Co. took point on branding, punctuating the design with a color palette, halftone images of pineapples and palm trees, and illustrations which were inspired by fruit stickers. Taglines that appear inside, including “not your mama’s mofongo” and “mi batido brings all the gente to the Yards” reflect La Famosa’s offbeat, playful feel.

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La Famosa operates from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Social distancing and reduced capacity during the pandemic will keep patrons safe. Outside, a 58-seat patio will be very much in demand while temperate weather holds. DoorDash and Uber Eats will fulfill delivery orders.

La Famosa, 1300 4th Street Southeast, Washington, DC 20003

Photo credit: Scott Suchman for La Famosa (preview, inline images)

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