Restaurant: Opal

Debbie and I went to Opal with Florence and Peter.

Opal is the newest project by restaurateurs Chef Colin McClimans and Danilo Simic. This is the team that opened the restaurant, Nina May.

The restaurant has been open for 6 months.

The floor of the restaurant is elevated 3-4 feet from front to back. The front is the primary entrance and has a ramp. The back entrance has 4 stairs.

There is no railing on the ramp in front, but part of the structure can be used as a railing as one walks up (or is rolled up) the ramp. There is an area with dining tables next to the ramp.

There is seating for 75 to 100 people on the main floor and another 75 people on the second floor. The second-floor seating was not in use on this day.

There is a rack with various decorative items that separates the front of the restaurant from the rest of the restaurant.

On the back side of the rack there is an L-shaped,12-person bar. It turns out that I knew one of the two people seated at the bar.

A container of wood fired bread – olive oil, seasoned butter, was delivered to the table.

Debbie and Florence ordered Opal Sangria – wine, fresh seasonal fruits, ginger ale.

Peter ordered Gin Loves Grapefruit – gin, citrus thyme syrup, fresh grapefruit, lemon.

The menu offers a section of non-alcoholic drinks. I chose the 0% Espresso Martini – cold brew, agave, orange essence.

Our server was Tim. He was particularly friendly. Born in Mongolia, he came to the United States at an early age. He had been working in the restaurant for 2 months. He had been operating some kind of business from home but didn’t enjoy being home all the time with his two dogs.

Florence and Debbie started with clams with saffron spaghetti – garlic, chili flakes, parsley.
Florence followed with baked mid-Atlantic Rockfish with tomato butter shaved fennel and spring onions. Debbie had Steak au poivre, striploin, frites, and salad.

Peter started with gem lettuce salad – focaccia croutons, tete de Maine, anchovy vinaigrette and had the steak au poivre.

I started with Rainbow Carrots – smoked, whipped feta, dill pickles followed by Rockfish like Florence.

Peter and I shared a dessert (Florence and Debbie declined), Tiramisu soft ice cream – vanilla mascarpone, coffee-soaked lady fingers, coco dust.

Once past the seated area of the restaurant there is a long corridor that runs the length of the restaurant, past the kitchen to the back door. That door opens to the alley behind the restaurant across from the parking lot where Debbie parked.

There is no sign on the back door, whereas a number of the backsides of Connecticut avenue stores do have signs.

Near the end of the corridor, there are two gender neutral “Toilettes.”

Each of these “toilettes” is designed to be used by one person at a time.

There is a floor-based white ceramic commode next to a white ceramic wash basin on top of a cabinet with a door handle – headed by a long mirror. Next to it, a waste basket.

There are long tan tiles on the floor and tan walls. There appears to be a window next to the commode with green foliage outside the window, like the large green wall in Nina May.

48 restaurants closed in the District of Columbia in 2022.

5534 Connecticut Avenue NW
Washington DC 20015