Brasserie Capitale, the downtown restaurant known for its classic renditions of French bistro fare such as cassoulet and steak frites, has a new name, a new menu and a post-COVID rebranding.
Now known as Brasserie du Monde, the restaurant has undergone “a complete menu overhaul,” according to owner Aziz Belarbi-Shah. Changes include the addition of house-made pastas, an in-house baking program, more “vegetable-forward” offerings and a revamped wine list.
“We’re changing the menu both to be more seasonal and to bring a more cosmopolitan perspective,” said Belarbi-Shah. He promised a less strict adherence to the French culinary canon with dishes such as French tacos and spring cassoulet, a lighter version of the old-school winter stew.
New menu items include house-made fromage blanc; grilled octopus; crispy potatoes in bone marrow and butter; Delta asparagus with béarnaise; gnocchi Provençal with tomatoes and garlic; and tagliatelle alla Marseillaise, cuttlefish ink-infused pasta with Gulf shrimp and clams.
The wine list has been tweaked, with slightly less emphasis on French wines and more on local, California and world wines. The cocktail menu will also change in the coming weeks to have a broader, more global perspective, said Belarbi-Shah.
The restaurant celebrated its sixth anniversary earlier this week. “Coming out of the darkest year we’ve ever lived in,” said Belarbi-Shah, “it felt like the time was right to make a change.”
Located at the corner of 12th and K streets, the brasserie is one of the few in the area that remained open throughout the pandemic. “It’s basically been me and Mayahuel out here in the trenches,” Belarbi-Shah said ruefully. He’s looking forward to a downtown renaissance as people get vaccinated and the newly renovated Convention Center opens.
Brasserie du Monde is open 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Monday–Friday, 4–10 p.m. Saturday. 1201 K St.; brasseriedumonde.com