The start of a new year often means a period of change and development, and this is also true in the culinary world. In an area of Northern Virginia that’s full of emerging restaurants, there’s always something new to try and new places to eat. This year will see many new establishments. Here’s a sampling of the places we’d like to try, from authentic homemade pasta to refreshing Peruvian cocktails.
Carbonara: an old-school Italian and wine bar
All fans of The Godfather must look out for the opening of Carbonara: Old School Italian and Wine Bar. The rustic restaurant, which famed chef Mike Cordero says was inspired by food from the cult crime film, is coming to Ballston this summer. Homemade pasta, Sicilian pizza, tiramisu and stuffed cannoli are just a few of the classic dishes on the menu. 3865 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington
Akai Tori Ramen & Yakitori
Akai Tori, opening January 28, will be Vienna’s newest spot for ramen lovers. The 3,000-square-foot restaurant, which translates to “red bird,” will specialize in donburi, yakitori, sushi, katsu rice bowls and, of course, ramen. While many nearby restaurants close early, Akai Tori is open until 11 p.m. on weekends and offers a wide selection of Japanese beers, sake and spirits. 234 Maple Ave. E, Vienna
Costa Verde Grill & Ceviche Bar
Ceviche, a Peruvian dish usually made with fresh raw fish, never disappoints if you’re craving seafood. Luckily, a new restaurant is coming to downtown Sterling that will specialize in tasty variations on ceviche. The restaurant will be prepared by Chef Archie Marquez, owner of Chilcanos Restrobar in Falls Church, who has specialized in Peruvian cuisine for more than 20 years. Intersection of Route 7 and Dranesville Rd., Sterling
Open Road Distilling Company
A new distillery is being built in Reston Town Center by Metropolitan Hospitality Group, the company behind acclaimed restaurants in the region such as Circa, Salt and Trio Grill. The simple-style distillery will join Heirloom Restaurant, which will occupy the former Balducci’s Market space. An indoor and outdoor patio bar, a tasting room with distillery tours and live music are planned, according to The Burn. 1871 Fountain Dr., Reston
Pisco Y Nazca Ceviche Gastrobar
Another restaurant making its way to downtown Reston is the upscale Peruvian restaurant Pisco Y Nazca. This gastrobar, which already has another location in Washington, will take over the former Vapiano restaurant space, according to the Washington Business Journal. Signature dishes include pork tostones and Lomo Saltado. And if you want to sample authentic Peruvian drinks, Pisco Y Nazca offers pisco cocktails. 1875 Explorer St., Reston
The iconic Buffalo wing you fell in love with today was first created at a local restaurant in (you guessed right) Buffalo, New York. That revolutionary restaurant was called Anchor Bar, and Anchor Bar is opening in Leesburg this year. It will be the first establishment in Virginia. While you’ll definitely want to try its famous wings, the menu also includes drunken clams, rockfish chunks and fried pickles. 1609 Village Market Blvd. SE, 105 St. Leesburg
Chefs Michael and Allyson Stebner are opening a farm-to-table restaurant in Sterling’s Cascade Marketplace shopping center. Michael, who has an impressive culinary background, says the restaurant will focus on California and Mediterranean flavors, including fresh pasta and homemade breads. The menu offers a wide variety of nutritious items, including locally caught black sea bass and pickled labneh dip. And don’t miss the lasagna soup. 46286 Cranston Street, Sterling.
The former Aldie Country Store is now the highly anticipated Rubanos restaurant. This restaurant is billed as farm-to-table because two of the owners own a farm several miles away. The former store will be completely renovated. Although the menu has not yet been finalized, the signature dish will be porcini mushroom ravioli, The Burn reports. No opening date has been set, but the owners are looking forward to a grand opening in the spring. 39285 John Mosby Hwy., Aldie
Dallas restaurant Sixty Vines will open this year in Reston Town Center, replacing the former space that was Clyde’s. The Sixty Vines restaurant will be located in downtown Aldie. While Sixty Vines has locations in Texas, Tennessee and Florida, this will be its first location in Virginia. According to its website, the restaurant’s cuisine is inspired by wine country, offers 60 wines on tap and specializes in small cheese and meat dishes. 11905 Market Street, Reston
Beer lovers rejoice, because earlier this year, the “world’s largest taproom,” as the owners describe it, is coming to Tysons Galleria. Yard House, a casual restaurant known for its extensive menu and selection of draft beer, will occupy the site of the former Macy’s store. With more than 100 drinks on tap, a 14,236-square-foot space and an outdoor patio, you can’t ask for much more. Of course, there’s also an excellent selection of appetizers and entrees. 1660M Galleria at Tysons II, McLean.