Top DC chef will bring indoor-outdoor restaurant to Crystal City

Chef Enrique Limbardo, whose acclaimed D.C. restaurants include Seven Reasons and Imperfecto, has been enlisted by big Crystal City landlord JBG Smith to head a new indoor-outdoor restaurant at a park in Crystal City.

The dining venue will be called Surreal and will transform an existing one-acre park at 2121 Crystal Drive.

The park itself is getting a big makeover as Dining in the Park, and may include herb gardens and outdoor markets. And as a new commercial lifestyle designation, which JBG Smith hopes to secure, diners will be able to walk around the park with their drinks.

Surreal will offer indoor and outdoor seating year-round, with an all day, breakfast, lunch and dinner menu. Surreal will also bring food carts to the surrounding area.

“Surreal’s dining atmosphere aims to excite the existing community and visitors alike to engage and interact with each other. This is a chance for people to slow down and enjoy a one-of-a-kind immersive dining experience,” Limbardo said.

There were no details about the menu.

Renderings of the planned makeover for the one-acre park on Crystal Drive. “Dining in the Park” could include herb gardens and outdoor markets and allow diners to walk around the park with their drinks. (Courtesy JBG Smith)

Construction for Dining in the Park will start early next year. Surreal is expected to open sometime in 2023.

Limbardo is prolific in D.C.’s dining scene. Earlier this month, D.C. museum Planet Word announced Limbardo would open a restaurant named Immigrant Food+ inside the museum at the historic Franklin School. It will be the third location for Immigrant Food, whose other spots are at Union Market and at 1701 Pennsylvania. That one is called Immigrant Food by the White House.

Esquire Magazine ranked the Latin American-inspired Seven Reasons No. 1 on its 2019 list of the Best New Restaurants in America. Limbardo’s Mediterranean-Inspired Imperfecto is in D.C.’s West End.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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