When it opens next week, Thally will join a growing cadre of restaurants along 9th Street NW, arguably the next big restaurant hub in the District.
Thally, which is named for both the old Tally-Ho stables that still sit in the alley behind the restaurant and partner Sherman Outhuok's daughter, Thalia, is aiming to open Aug. 27. Within a few days, Baby Wale, from Corduroy owner Tom Power, and Burmese spot Mandalay will also open. At least six other restaurants are planning openings in Shaw in the next few months.
"I always liked this spot, along this busy corridor," Outhuok told me as we sat in one of the restaurant's booths amid boxes of glasses and wine in preparation for opening.
It's been the goal of Outhuok and Chef Ron Tanaka to open a restaurant together for awhile, and once they found their space at 1316 9th St. NW — and a third partner in Paolo Sacco — the project was a go.
Tanaka most recently led the kitchen at New Heights restaurant in Woodley Park, but he was also the opening chef of Cork on Logan Circle and worked with Michel Richard at Citronelle. The menu will feature his modern American fare, with appetizers such as grilled peach, prosciutto, spiced cottage cheese and bibb lettuce salad and a carnitas sope and entrees that range in price from $17-24, such as pan-seared rockfish and a pork T-bone.
An item reminiscent of one of Tanaka's favorites at Cork, the avocado bread, will also make an appearance, although it's been updated as an appetizer BLT with bacon, lettuce and tomato.
The bar will feature house-made sodas and Outhuok's own cellos — lemon, orange and even grapefruit liquors made in-house. The design of the 68-seat restaurant is meant to honor the neighborhood, with graphic representations of stables, key street names and historic sites.
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