Hungry to taste some new local food? Season 2 of WETA’s ‘Signature Dish’ airs Monday night

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

Are you looking for some great new restaurants to discover in our area? Season 2 of “Signature Dish” premieres on WETA Monday night at 9 p.m.

“We had a great first season. We went to 36 restaurants all across the DMV, and got a lot of great feedback,” producer and host Seth Tillman told WTOP. “We also heard from a lot of viewers who said, ‘Hey, you should check out this place I love.’ So we got a lot of suggestions and tips of places we should go. We knew there were so many awesome great dishes out there still worth exploring, so here we are — back for 36 more restaurants again.”

Each half-hour episode visits a trio of restaurants and samples their signature dishes.

The season two premiere, titled “Comfort Food,” airs on Monday, Sept. 25.

“Who doesn’t love comfort food?” Tillman said. “We’re actually starting in Annapolis and going to a wonderful restaurant called Preserve where the signature dish is fish and chips made with blue catfish. It is an invasive species to the Chesapeake Bay but it’s also delicious. … We’re also going to Cielo Rojo, a Mexican restaurant in Takoma Park, Maryland, for some pozole, then to Caruso’s Grocery in Capitol Hill East for some chicken parmesan.”

The second mouthwatering episode, “Pizza Perfection,” will air on Monday, Oct. 2.

“We’re trying three great pizzas, and they’re all very different,” Tillman said. “The first is actually called a ‘pinsa.’ It’s a newer, Roman-style pizza at La Casina in Eastern Market. Then, we’re off to Motown Square in Shaw, where they make Detroit-style square pies [where] cheese drips down the edges to make a nice, crispy crust. Then, we finish things off in Mount Pleasant at the restaurant Martha Dear, where they make Greek-influenced sourdough pizzas.”

Are you salivating yet? The third episode, “Mediterranean Magic,” airs on Monday, Oct. 9.

“Great dishes from across the Mediterranean,” Tillman said. “We have a pretty interesting egg sandwich at a great Mediterranean cafe called Green Almond Pantry in Georgetown. Then, we’re off to Cedars of Lebanon, a family-run Lebanese restaurant in Greenbelt for an eggplant dish called fatteh bethengien. Then, we finish at Melina for a really wild dish called the lamb-neck kleftiko — lamb neck that’s been slow cooked for 24 hours in parchment paper.”

For bolder palettes, the fourth episode is titled “Crossover Cuisine,” and airs on Monday, Oct. 23.

“These are fusion mashups,” Tillman said. “We start off in the west end of D.C. at Imperfecto, which is Latin-Mediterranean fusion. Then, we’re off to Oakton, Virginia, to visit Mama Tigre, which is Indian-influenced Mexican cuisine, so we’re having a masala burrito. We finish things off with a spicy fried-chicken sandwich from the restaurant Wooboi, combining flavors from all over the world — from Japan to Nashville to South Carolina.”

If you have a sweet tooth, the fifth episode, airing Monday, Oct. 30. is titled “Just Desserts.”

“Starting at the French neo-bistro Lutece in Georgetown, a honeycomb semifreddo,” Tillman said. “Then, we’re off to Mr. Bake in Riverdale Park, Maryland, a dessert shop doing a sweet potato cupcake from an old family recipe. Then, we finish off at a restaurant in Leesburg called The Conche — everything is chocolate themed, including their signature dish, The Entreme, which is chocolate cake in a chocolate sphere that is lit on fire to reveal the cake.”

Finally, the fall season wraps with an episode titled “Best of Breakfast” on Monday, Nov. 6.

“We’re starting out in Mount Pleasant, D.C., at La Tejana, which is real, authentic South Texas, Rio Grande Valley-style breakfast tacos,” Tillman said. “Then, we’re off to Poolesville in Montgomery County at the restaurant Locals Farm Market. Then, we’re finishing in the Navy Yard for a breakfast sandwich at Any Day Now. The twist is a breakfast sandwich full of great flavors, including a scallion pancake that wraps the whole thing.”

After a midseason winter break, six more episodes will air begin in February 2024.

You can watch the show on TV, or stream it on both the PBS app and YouTube.

WTOP's Jason Fraley previews 'Signature Dish' on WETA (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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