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Best Washington Dc Restaurants

author
Maria Johnson
• Tuesday, 17 November, 2020
• 12 min read

No longer: in recent years, the nation's capital has transformed into a bona fide dining destination, moving beyond its beloved steakhouses and power lunch spots (though there are still great versions of those) with a new wave of terrific restaurants popping up in neighborhoods all over the city. And while the city has attracted some marquee names known for their restaurants elsewhere (José Andrés, Michael Mind), most often its home-grown talent overseeing Washington's hottest tables.

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(Source: www.pinterest.com)

Contents

Favorites here include bistro dishes like the seafood plateau, house cheeseburger, steak writes, pricey Dover sole meunière (available on Thursdays), and trout Amandine. Bad Saint, a no-reservations hot spot in Columbia Heights that always draws a line, is tiny, with only 24 seats crammed into every last millimeter of available square footage.

The list changes frequently, but past favorites have included UK, a fritter with shrimp and sweet potato, and adobe with turmeric, chicken, and burnt coconut. Here, that translates to succulent braised oxtail, buttery plates of shrimp and rice, tamarind-accented Jamaican jerk chicken, and monkish with West African staples like FFU and melon seeds.

The fine dining restaurant, located near the White House, has been around for more than 20 years, and restaurateur Ashok Bajaj has built it up as a major power-player spot. Chef Nicholas Stephane, who worked with Fabio Trabocchi (of Viola Mare and Del Mar) at Maestro back in the day, has created a modern Ugliest menu that includes everything from pasta to seafood to burrito.

Langhorne, who worked for Sean Brock at McCray’s in Charleston, S.C., for five years, sources ingredients from the Chesapeake Bay and the Mid-Atlantic area, then cooks them over live fire on the hearth. The menu changes constantly, offering dishes like falsified phone gas biscuits, or fried Chesapeake sugar toads (aka tiny puffer fish) with buttermilk dressing and hot honey.

Gather friends to try bites of the small, medium, and large plates, which feature riffs on classics like mini areas, hostages, and ceviche. Mother-and-son chef-duo Sent Luangrath and Bobby Pradachith garnered acclaim for their Laotian cooking at Columbia Heights' This Khan, and now they're letting loose at Hangman, a fun Shaw newcomer that experiments with tradition.

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(Source: www.onlyinyourstate.com)

The compact menu rotates frequently; fresh, funky dishes meant for sharing include vermicelli noodles with fermented fish-pork sauce, steamed Cornish game hens, beef meatballs with sticky rice, and red crab curry. James Beard Award-winning chef Viral Sunder am also does a black cod entrée that's so popular it seems to fly out of the kitchen, as well as a number of dishes geared toward vegetarians.

And the setting befits the cooking; the acclaimed fine dining restaurant resembles the well-appointed home of a fashion editor: it's basically beige (in a classy way), with touches of brass and warm walnut. At Centrelink in CityCenterDC, The District's poshest new mixed-use development, chef and owner Amy Brandeis changes her menu seasonally, but her terracotta-clad wood oven is always in use.

The offerings are always changing, but a few favorites include Khan SOI with egg noodles, lap gas Chiang Mai with chicken, or whiskey pork ribs. If your artsy, bookish next-door neighbor's living room had a commercial kitchen in it, it would feel much like Rooster & Owl, which is housed on the ground-floor of a new building on 14th Street.

Chef Aaron Silverman has made a huge impact on the D.C. food scene since the restaurant opened in Barracks Row in 2013; his lichen salad with pork sausage, habanero, and peanuts is officially one of the city's cult classics. The menu manages to pack in creative dishes without taking itself too seriously; try the sun gold tomato beating and, of course, the popcorn Brulé for dessert.

You can pick a dozen to share or go hog-wild with some of the raw bar's more extravagant offerings, including the Orca Platter, with lobster, crab claws, clams, oysters, and shrimp. During daily happy hours (3 to 6 and 11 p.m. to 1 a.m., or 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays), oysters are half price, and a sizable wine list offers plenty of seafood-friendly options.

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(Source: www.thrillist.com)

The 17 recent additions include newer restaurants (2Fifty Texas BBQ, Mochas Gracias, Mayan, Revelers Hour, Seven Reasons, AJU, Swahili Village, Rose Ave. Bakery, Piccolo, Cranes, Alba) and standbys who caught our attention (Kaya JA’s Lech on Belly, KOI x Happy Gyro, Benito’s Place, Convivial, Amaretto, Latina). Fernando González and Debby Portillo, the couple that own and operate 2Fifty, pay homage to Central Texas by using oak smoke to develop a dark bark on fatty hunks of American way beef that jiggle on the chopping block.

Now a permanent fixture, Mochas Gracie has amassed a steady following for its lunchtime burritos, full of braised short ribs or charred sweet potatoes, that pay homage to the filling lunches he ate growing up in Northern Mexico and West Texas. A dinner menu offers family-sized taco kits, sides of heirloom Mexican beans and rice, and tree leches cake for takeout and delivery.

Copy Link Before the pandemic, the freshly made tortillas, fiery salsas, and eye-pleasing plates coming out of the kitchen at Taquería Habanero drew lines of regulars that spilled out the front door and onto 14th Street NW. Their Columbia Heights standby continues to satisfy heat-seekers with a “jungle menu” full of fermented fish sauce, a heavy dose of Chile, offal, and cured meats.

Hit orders include crispy chili glazed wings, grilled pork neck with lemongrass, and a fiery Lao papaya salad. With Sarah Thompson’s sharp list of natural wines complementing Henri Cheung’s charming Hong Kong-style shared plates, Queen’s English was close to marking a successful first year in Columbia Heights when D.C. ordered a temporary dine-in ban in mid-March.

Thompson and Cheung have also converted the interior of the restaurant into a bottle shop that sells homemade soy wax candles poured into vintage Chinese porcelain. At this new Malaysian restaurant in Columbia Heights, chef James Wozniak navigates a balance of pungent, spicy-sweet, and funky umami flavors that border on extreme but never veer out of control.

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(Source: www.timeout.com)

NASA campus, or “with rice,” dishes at Mayan include beef rending, center; paper Nenad (pineapple curry), top; Adam Goren (fried chicken with salted duck yolk and curry leaf), right, and okra in samba. A takeout window operates from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday through Monday, all good times to stop by for a coffee, a guava turnover, or a mini goat cheese cheesecake.

Co-owners Andrew Dana and 2017 Eater Young Gun Daniela Moreira opened three new locations for its wood-fired bagels (Capitol Hill, Georgetown, Bethesda) during the pandemic. Co-owners Jill Tyler, Jon Robert, and Bill Jensen have turned their candle-lit pasta parlor and wine bar, one of 2020s most exciting openings in the carefree days of January, into one of the more versatile operations around Adams Morgan.

With a propensity to mix Asian, Italian, and Middle Eastern ingredients, Rooster & Owl navigates through traps that would trip up lesser restaurants. Chef Yuan Tang’s stunner has drawn a lot of notice in its first year, including a three-star review by the Washington Post and a James Beard Award semifinalist nod for Best New Restaurant.

The inventive 14th Street NW eatery reopened its dining room in June, with $75-per-person multi-course feasts featuring buttermilk grit cakes and a phone gas terrine with hazelnuts. The restaurant re-located from Shaw to Adams Morgan in 2017, then temporarily closed after a devastating fire before reclaiming its place as the city’s gold standard for vegetarian combo platters and aware ties.

Chef Marcella Abram sets an Arabic table with communal plates like lamb hind shanks rubbed in bacteria spices, turmeric- and coriander-spiced chickens, or whole heads of cauliflower dramatically painted with tahini, hug, ZA’star, Aleppo pepper, and fermented dairy fish. Assembling takeout from chef Enrique Lizard’s trendy, expensive Latin American restaurant near the U Street corridor can feel like following a paint-by-numbers set.

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(Source: thesource.com)

There’s a burnt orange purée of roasted squash and hearts of palm that’s meant to coat finely rendered slices of duck breast. A sweet black garlic paste is the yin to an off-white coconut sauce yang atop smashed plantain disks with macerated strawberries.

The elaborate prep pushes customers to break out some nice plates for a special meal amid the endless monotony of another dinner at home. Although the restaurant drew immediate accolades upon opening in the summer of 2019, executive chef Angel Barrett’s cooking feels more dialed-in now, even when the seafood fried rice with buttered kimchi arrives in a takeout box.

Studio has been a major player in D.C.'s Spanish food scene since it opened a decade ago, helping spark a restaurant boom on 14th Street NW. Chef Dumas Mendoza leads a kitchen that offers sautéed shrimp, crispy cauliflower with smoked eggplant tahini, mushroom croquettes, and a strong cross-section of cheese, charcuterie, and picadillos.

Happy Gyro, the mostly vegetarian pop-up that allows Monks to channel formative years he spent in his parents’ Greek-American pizza shop, first replaced the premium tasting menu at KOI in 2019. On and off since March, it’s given Monks and Marker a takeout operation where they can peddle quarantine-friendly goods such as crunchy thin pizzas with toppings that keep customers on their toes, ice cream and gelato fully worth the $15 price tag per pint, all kinds of wines and European ciders, and even a Happy Gyro pocket T. Delivery is available through Skip the Line.

The Michelin-starred sushi bar in Dupont Circle that’s renowned for chef Nob Yamazaki’s Omahas menus took more than two months off this summer to reconfigure its business to a pickup-only model. It recently reopened for indoor dining, but regulars who are looking to keep their distance can still splurge with $250 sashimi sets available for delivery with two days advanced notice.

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(Source: www.onlyinyourstate.com)

Inspired by the coastal cooking found in the Paglia region in the heel of Italy’s boot, the Michelin-starred restaurant is one of D.C.’s top tables for special occasion dinners. Selma Mariano’s kitchen does justice to Honduran staples like plate-sized flour tortilla ballads, full of refried beans and salty cream, or fried chicken drizzled with mayonnaise dressing, cabbage, pickled beets, and a mountainous portion of thick plantain chips.

His Luke Vienna gem quickly ditched a fine dining model and turned into a takeout operation that sent out everything from for to ribs from a new smoker to endless breads and pizzas made by his ophthalmologist-by-trade father. Elegant eats include Muscovy duck paella à la Franchise, COQ Au VIN, and chocolate mousse.

More laid back options include a Gruyère omelet topped with Parisian ham, a reliable cheeseburger, and shrimp and grits flanked with bacon, smoked cheddar, bell pepper, and lemon zest. Chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley smashed the city’s stuffy steakhouse conventions to pieces with a menu at this Union Market tavern that gives vegetables equal billing.

At his convention center-adjacent restaurant full of pop art, chef David Despairs plays with comfort food staples that call back to road meals he enjoyed with mentor Michel Richard. Copy Link Since opening the first Swahili Village in suburban Maryland 11 years ago, chef-owner Kevin Anyone has been expanding the audience for his brand of Kenyan fine dining.

The exacting char on each tender cube of beef Nyasa coma from the new luxury outpost downtown shows off Anyone’s technique. Pliant chapati flatbread, spinach sautéed in coconut milk, and UK (chicken) curry display the Indian influence on the Eastern African cuisine.

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(Source: patch.com)

Passion fruit curd and cream made to mimic Vietnamese coffee or Thai iced tea all get piped inside sweet potato brioche doughnuts, and Sichuan peppercorns add a tingling twist to cache e Pepe morning buns. Friday and Saturday pickups inside the Rose Ave. space at the new Block food hall are arranged via preorders (released Sundays at 5 p.m.) that sell out in a flash.

Retired schoolteacher Jocelyn Anyone is enjoying a phenomenal second career as the chef at this Burmese spot on H Street NE that unites Indian, Thai, and Chinese flavors. At Eater D.C.’s 2019 Restaurant of the Year, Anyone’s edible curriculum includes lessons on traditional dishes like a turmeric-tinged moving curry, brimming with noodles and stewed catfish, or lappet those, a pickled tea-leaf salad interspersed with crunchy broad beans.

Thames isn’t seating diners inside during the COVID-19 crisis, but the small business is still taking preorders for dishes, drinks, meal kits and CSA's from Wednesday to Sunday. A wood-burning oven imported from France is the workhorse inside chef-owner Amy Brandeis’s Italian café in Datacenter, an everyday alternative to Centrelink, her dressier Astoria across the street.

The pandemic pushed her to add pizza, and the 10-layer eggplant Parmesan is a showstopper, but eating light is painless, too, with choices like a charred chicken and escarole salad. Prolific D.C. chef Erik Bruner-Yang, launching ambitious crowdfunding system Power of 10 to put restaurant workers back on the job and feed communities in need at the same time.

Peter’s pimento-smoked jerk wings are just as tender out of a takeout box, and other signature dishes such as crispy kale, whole fried snapper Scotch, and cumin-rich genera pork belly with a packaged side of cilantro sauce have proven surprisingly portable. The 12,000 square-foot space makes social distancing a little easier, and patio seating flanked with fire pits in an adjacent alleyway opens on a first-come, first-serve basis.

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(Source: www.washingtonian.com)

Along with a six-course Omahas menu filled out by ever-changing seasonal dishes, options include tapas like short rib steamed buns, bento boxes, brunch, and sake galore. Since opening in 2002, José Andrés’s mega Mediterranean complex in Penn Quarter has amassed a devoted fan base for crispy Brussels sprouts with coriander seed and barberries, impressive kebabs, billowing pita breads, and Greek yogurt cheesecakes.

With depleted foot traffic near Capitol One Arena, there’s limited dining on-site to go with takeout and delivery covering family-style feasts full of lamb, chicken, or smoked mushroom taglines. Copy Link The flagship restaurant for Daily Group, D.C.’s foremost experts in bouncy ramen noodles imported from Sapporo, has put considerable thought into takeout and delivery.

Chef Satsuma Fukushima has added a virtual mini mart full of Japanese groceries and rotating specials like spam Mesabi, egg salad sandwiches, origin (rice balls), and bento boxes with his damage steak or hardy grilled mackerel. On the second floor, the Malaya is open for indoor dining with daily happy hour and small plates, including some new tacos and quesadillas filled with shoyu-seared avocado and gyudon-style beef, respectively.

Although the James Beard award-winning chef plays liberally with spicy Chile and sour fruits to make modern Indian combos like an avocado banana chart with tamarind and date chutney, the patiently simmered lentil dish is as memorable as anything else on the menu. Alba chef-owner Michael Rapid manipulates smoke with a master’s touch, sending out arresting dishes from the wood-burning oven and hearth at his high-end Byzantine restaurant in Navy Yard that have a way of ensnaring a taster’s full attention.

A plate of ground duck Sheena (meat pies) served with pine nuts, lemon, and a side of whipped garlic tour at Alba Rey Lopez/Eater D.C. This New England-style seafood spot in Navy Yard is known for stuffed clams, lobster rolls, and rotating specials from chef Kyle Bailey that showcase sustainable fish plucked from nearby waters.

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(Source: www.washingtonian.com)

The “home-style” Chinese restaurant in Peter Chang’s portfolio pays tribute to the women that influenced the legendary former embassy chef, with fiery dishes that call back his childhood in the Hubei province of central China and his home life in Virginia. Fernando González and Debby Portillo, the couple that own and operate 2Fifty, pay homage to Central Texas by using oak smoke to develop a dark bark on fatty hunks of American way beef that jiggle on the chopping block.

Now a permanent fixture, Mochas Gracie has amassed a steady following for its lunchtime burritos, full of braised short ribs or charred sweet potatoes, that pay homage to the filling lunches he ate growing up in Northern Mexico and West Texas. A dinner menu offers family-sized taco kits, sides of heirloom Mexican beans and rice, and tree leches cake for takeout and delivery.

Before the pandemic, the freshly made tortillas, fiery salsas, and eye-pleasing plates coming out of the kitchen at Taquería Habanero drew lines of regulars that spilled out the front door and onto 14th Street NW. Their Columbia Heights standby continues to satisfy heat-seekers with a “jungle menu” full of fermented fish sauce, a heavy dose of Chile, offal, and cured meats.

Hit orders include crispy chili glazed wings, grilled pork neck with lemongrass, and a fiery Lao papaya salad. With Sarah Thompson’s sharp list of natural wines complementing Henri Cheung’s charming Hong Kong-style shared plates, Queen’s English was close to marking a successful first year in Columbia Heights when D.C. ordered a temporary dine-in ban in mid-March.

Thompson and Cheung have also converted the interior of the restaurant into a bottle shop that sells homemade soy wax candles poured into vintage Chinese porcelain. NASA campus, or “with rice,” dishes at Mayan include beef rending, center; paper Nenad (pineapple curry), top; Adam Goren (fried chicken with salted duck yolk and curry leaf), right, and okra in samba.

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(Source: washingtondc.gaycities.com)

Bar manager Colin Sugars makes complex tropical cocktails, like a black strap rum and pineapple Jungle Bird, that vie for attention. A takeout window operates from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday through Monday, all good times to stop by for a coffee, a guava turnover, or a mini goat cheese cheesecake.

Co-owners Andrew Dana and 2017 Eater Young Gun Daniela Moreira opened three new locations for its wood-fired bagels (Capitol Hill, Georgetown, Bethesda) during the pandemic. Co-owners Jill Tyler, Jon Robert, and Bill Jensen have turned their candle-lit pasta parlor and wine bar, one of 2020s most exciting openings in the carefree days of January, into one of the more versatile operations around Adams Morgan.

With a propensity to mix Asian, Italian, and Middle Eastern ingredients, Rooster & Owl navigates through traps that would trip up lesser restaurants. Chef Yuan Tang’s stunner has drawn a lot of notice in its first year, including a three-star review by the Washington Post and a James Beard Award semifinalist nod for Best New Restaurant.

The inventive 14th Street NW eatery reopened its dining room in June, with $75-per-person multi-course feasts featuring buttermilk grit cakes and a phone gas terrine with hazelnuts. The restaurant re-located from Shaw to Adams Morgan in 2017, then temporarily closed after a devastating fire before reclaiming its place as the city’s gold standard for vegetarian combo platters and aware ties.

Chef Marcella Abram sets an Arabic table with communal plates like lamb hind shanks rubbed in bacteria spices, turmeric- and coriander-spiced chickens, or whole heads of cauliflower dramatically painted with tahini, hug, ZA’star, Aleppo pepper, and fermented dairy fish.

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(Source: www.washingtonian.com)

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Sources
1 nationalzoo.com.au - https://nationalzoo.com.au/
2 www.tripadvisor.com - https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g255057-d618962-Reviews-National_Zoo_and_Aquarium-Canberra_Australian_Capital_Territory.html
3 en.wikipedia.org - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Zoo_%26_Aquarium
4 www.tripadvisor.com.au - https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Attraction_Review-g255057-d618962-Reviews-National_Zoo_and_Aquarium-Canberra_Australian_Capital_Territory.html
5 visitcanberra.com.au - https://visitcanberra.com.au/attractions/56b23afad270154b4553bd83/national-zoo-and-aquarium
6 nationalzoo.rezdy.com - https://nationalzoo.rezdy.com/74403/general-admission
7 nationalzoo.rezdy.com - https://nationalzoo.rezdy.com/274612/junior-zoo-keeper-primary
8 jamalawildlifelodge.com.au - https://jamalawildlifelodge.com.au/accommodation/
9 cairnszoom.com.au - https://cairnszoom.com.au/book-now/
10 www.canberrafishos.com - https://www.canberrafishos.com/
11 www.sydney.com.au - https://www.sydney.com.au/zoo.htm