DC-area restaurants highlighted in TV series ‘Signature Dish’

WTOP's Jason Fraley previews 'Signature Dish' (Part 1)

Public television is about to shine a spotlight on the best restaurants in the D.C. area.

The semiweekly series “Signature Dish” premieres on WETA on Monday night.

“The D.C. area is rich with wonderful restaurants,” producer and host Seth Tillman told WTOP. “There’s just so many great places. Most people love food, I’m certainly one of them, but food is also an entry way to learn about the great people, communities, people from different countries and regions who make up this area and this tapestry of food.”

Episode 1 is called “Cooking with Fire,” airing March 28 at 9:30 p.m.

“We’re kicking it off at a great pizzeria in Kensington, Maryland called Frankly Pizza; their signature dish is the Hot Mess,” Tillman said. “Then we’re gonna go to Maydan, a very popular restaurant in D.C., Middle Eastern [with] incredible spiced lamb shoulder. … We’ll finish off in Riverdale Park … with the best BBQ you’ll find in the D.C. area at 2 [Texas] Fifty BBQ.”

Episode 2 is called “Southeast Asian Specialties,” airing April 11 at 9 p.m.

“We start at Thamee, a terrific restaurant on H Street, Northeast; it unfortunately closed after we wrapped production,” Tillman said. “From there we go up to Rockville to Kuya Ja’s Lechon Belly, which has a phenomenal roasted pork belly dish from the Philippines. … We finish in Centreville, Virginia at … a Malaysian restaurant [with] a fish-head curry.”

Episode 3 is called “Caribbean Favorites,” airing April 18 at 9 p.m.

“We start in Brightwood Park at Andrene’s Caribbean & Soul Food, some authentic Jamaican jerk chicken wings,” Tillman said. “After that, we head to La Famosa in the Navy Yard, a Puerto Rican restaurant where the signature dish is a deep-fried pork chop. … We finish at Cane, a Trinidadian restaurant on H Street. Their signature dish is a beef roti.”

Episode 4 is called “Masters of Spice,” airing April 25 at 9 p.m.

“We start at Thip Khao, we have muu som, a fermented pork belly sautéed with Thai chili peppers,” Tillman said. “From there, we travel to Pappe, an Indian restaurant on 14th Street in Logan Circle. We’re trying junglee laal maas, a spicy red goat curry dish. … We finish at Q by Peter Chang in Bethesda [with] steamed fish fermented with chili paste.”

Finally, Episode 5 is called “West African Cuisine” on May 2 at 9 p.m.

“We’re going to Mansa Kunda, a Gambian restaurant in Takoma Park [with] Ebbeh, a seafood dish heavy on palm oil,” Tillman said. “We’re going to Appioo, a Ghanaian restaurant [with] egusi stew, a spinach dish made with ground melon seeds. … The other restaurant is Chez Dior, a Senegalese restaurant in Hyattsville [with] Yassa chicken.”

The series will resume in the fall with seven more episodes.

WTOP's Jason Fraley previews 'Signature Dish' (Part 2)

Listen to our full conversation here.

Jason Fraley

Hailed by The Washington Post for “his savantlike ability to name every Best Picture winner in history," Jason Fraley began at WTOP as Morning Drive Writer in 2008, film critic in 2011 and Entertainment Editor in 2014, providing daily arts coverage on-air and online.

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