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5 Key Changes at Minibar; Inside a New 24-Hour Diner

This week's top dish from Eater DC, Curbed's restaurant, bar, and nightlife blog...

PENN QUARTER—The reservation line is officially open for José Andrés' acclaimed Minibar, which will launch seatings at its new Penn Quarter space on November 2. Beyond the new digs, there are five other key changes at Minibar — including a much heftier price tag.

COLUMBIA HEIGHTS—In a big coup for Columbia Heights, 24-hour diner The Coupe is now operating at limited hours on 11th Street. From the folks behind Tryst, The Diner and Open City, this new restaurant is set in a huge and very linear space. Eater has a look inside and notes that it should be open 24 hours a day starting Tuesday evening.

AWARDS SEASONEsquire magazine released its annual list of best restaurants of 2012 and reveals that it has named longtime DC chef Roberto Donna — currently working at Al Dente near American University — as Chef of the Year.

EVERYWHERE—This week saw an update to the Eater DC Heatmap, your guide to the "it" places of the moment.

OPENING REPORT—Chains expanded all over the place this week, with new locations opening for Cava Grill, California Tortilla and Leesburg's popular Döner Bistro — while Denver-based Smashburger made its first entry into the DC market.

CLARENDON—Passion Food Hospitality's latest concept Fuego Cocina y Tequileria debuted in Clarendon's former Harry's Tap Room/Market Tavern space offering more than 100 tequila, a 50-foot wraparound bar, linear fireplace and more.

EVERYWHERE—The first presidential debate is over, but there are still more to come. Eater conveniently has a map of restaurants and bars offering specials to help you get drunk while you watch.

14TH STREET—The ever-expanding Sweetgreen is expanding once again with a new location at 14 and W streets NW — plus their very first New York City location is on the way.

NATIONAL MALL—The National Gallery of Art debuted the new concept in its café space — the Garden Café Americana from Cathal Armstrong. The acclaimed Restaurant Eve chef explains to Eater how he came to be involved in the project and what the menu looks like.

DUPONT CIRCLE—The Mayflower Hotel has finally named the restaurant and bar concept that will replace the shuttered Town & Country and Cafe Promenade: Edgar Bar + Kitchen. Check out an early rendering of the space and some details on what to expect.

DUPONT CIRCLE—After a decade in DC, Firefly has undergone a major renovation that includes, among other things, 100 percent more swings. Take a look inside the new space with its new bar program already in place.

SHAW—On the heels of the news that Birch & Barley is opening a fried chicken and doughnuts concept in Dupont, Seasonal Pantry owner Dan O'Brien talks to Eater about how he has plans for the concept, too, and is kind of pissed that the Neighborhood Restaurant Group got to it first.