Welcome to StarChefs where you can search for recipes, culinary schools and hospitality schools, chef jobs, hotel jobs, restaurant jobs, food and wine pairings and Dashi feature. Welcome to StarChefs where you can search for recipes, culinary schools and hospitality schools, chef jobs, hotel jobs, restaurant jobs and food and wine pairings.
search   |  home | feedback | help          
StarChefs
Features Wahington DC Area Travel Guide
 
TRAVEL ARCHIVE

Washington DC Area Travel Guide: Where to Eat, Drink and Stay in the Capital City, Maryland, and Virginia

October 2010

From Maryland to Virginia to DC, from fine dining to fried oysters, the Washington, DC area is a classic food world in the midst of a revival, stepping out of its suit and tie and into something a little edgier and more modern (piercings and tatt's not included). Chefs are no longer playing it safe in this conservative town (demeanor, not politics). They're experimenting, using cutting-edge technique for modern-inflected food (think mad scientist—in a good way). They’re nurturing a love of in-house charcuterie and production, and staying open to influences from other cultures, befitting our nation’s metropolis hub. Not to mention, authentic ethnic cuisines are no longer the sole property of the perimeter of DC. The city’s changed a lot since our last trip in 2003 and counterculture restaurants are popping up all over the place in areas that used to have sparse culinary scenes. The established chefs and heavy hitters in the culinary world (José Andrés, Todd Gray, Michel Richard to name a few)  still play a big part in guiding the new generation of chefs, but the city is also bursting with chefs from all over the country who are wowing diners with their creativity and kid-in-a-candy-store enthusiasm for new ideas.

The wine scene in the Capital City has seen a number of exciting new-comers and a big boost in popularity—it’s not seen as staid or old-fashioned anymore—it's now sexy. The mixology scene is also blossoming into one that in coming years could stand up next to any major market; historical and wildly inventive cocktails are becoming mainstays—bourbon and Coke, take a backseat. You don’t just have to look to San Francisco and New York now for cocktail gurus with the likes of mix-master Derek Brown in residence.

Perhaps the most exciting change in the area has been the spread of the culinary scene outside of the capital city. Virginia and Maryland have always had culinary identities of their own, but as foodie destinations they are relatively new. Virginia’s historic wine industry has been quietly dusting itself off and churning out stellar wines in the past decade. Now Virginia wines have garnered attention in the international wine industry. You can also find world-class destination dining from the stunning landscape of the Blue Ridge Mountains to the south of Virginia. Maryland is starting to see some major culinary players, and Baltimore in particular has shown what potential it has to grow beyond being just a crab town, with sophisticated and award-winning cuisine cropping up here and there, with the promise of continued growth.

EAT
Washington, DC
Virginia


1789

Adour at the St Regis
Againn
Belga Café
Bibiana
Birch & Barley
BLT Steak
Bourbon Steak
Charlie Palmer Steak
Citronelle
CityZen
Co Co. Sala
Eola
Equinox
The Jockey Club
Hank’s Oyster Bar
minibar by josé andrés
New Heights Restaurant
The Oval Room
Plume
Proof
Rasika
Restaurant Eve
Restaurant Nora
Sonoma
The Source by Wolfgang Puck
Sou'Wester
Sushiko
Sushi Taro
Urbana
Vidalia
Zaytinya


2941

BRABO by Robert Wiedmaier
The Clifton Inn
Comfort
Entyse
The Liberty Tavern
The Majestic
Palladio
Restaurant Eve
Town House Restaurant
Trummer’s on Main

Maryland


B&O American Brasserie
Bluegrass Tavern
Salt
VOLT
Woodberry Kitchen

 
DRINK
Washington, DC
Virginia


Againn

Bibiana
ChurchKey
The Gibson
The Passenger/The Columbia Room
Proof
PS 7's
Rasika
Sou'Wester
Tabard Inn
Wisdom


PX Lounge

Trummer’s on Main

Maryland


B&O American Brasserie

Woodberry Kitchen

 
STAY
Washington, DC Virginia


Fairfax at Embassy Row
Hotel Helix


Ritz-Carlton Tysons Corner

Maryland


Hotel Monaco

 

 



1789 camera icon
1226 36th Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 965-1789
www.1789restaurant.com
Hours: Mon-Thu 6pm-10pm; Fri 6pm-11pm; Sat 5:30pm-11pm; Sun 5:30pm-10pm

Grand dame 1789 has long been a haunt for special occasion diners, but in order to keep the dining scene vibrant and a new stream of customers coming through the door, Chef Dan Giusti and Pastry Chef Travis Olson reworked the menu and ditched the jacket requirement. With slashed entrée and dessert pricing and a smaller appetizer menu, they keep food cost manageable by also featuring off-cuts and whole animals from local farms. Braised Shenandoah Valley Lamb Shoulder makes for an excellent replacement for boring center cuts when paired with diva cucumbers, orange blossom tomatoes, red scallions, and red wine vinaigrette. Pastry Chef Travis Olson’s crave-worthy yeast-leavened blueberry lemon doughnuts with beautifully executed aromatic Meyer lemon glaze, contrast crispy spikes of dough and luscious blueberries for a fun textural play. Reinvention never tasted so good.

Recommended Dishes:
  • Day Boat Scallops, Roasted Red Beets, Mousseron Mushrooms, Hudson Valley Foie Gras, and Summer Truffles
  • Braised Shenandoah Valley Lamb Shoulder, Diva Cucumbers, Orange Blossom Tomatoes, Red Scallions, and Red Wine Vinaigrette
  • Crème Fraîche Cheesecake, Yellow Rainier Cherries, Sweet Graham Streusel, Spiced Almonds, and Bourbon-Cherry Caramel
  • Yeast-Leavened Blueberry Lemon Doughnuts with Meyer Lemon Glaze
  • Day Boat Scallops, Roasted Red Beets, Mousseron Mushrooms, Hudson Valley Foie Gras, and Summer Truffles
    + Click image to enlarge


    2941 camera icon
    2941 Fairview Park Drive
    Falls Church, VA 22042
    (703) 270-1500
    www.2941.com
    Hours: Mon-Fri 11:30am-2pm, 5pm-9:30pm; Sat 5pm-10pm


    The sleekly modern 2941 is an oasis in a land of corporate cement. Here 2010 Rising Star Bertrand Chemel has found his own resting spot in an idyllic place where you have to avoid bumping into Rodin sculptures and Dalis in the herb garden. The contemporary Gallic fare Chemel honed under the tutelage of industry figurehead Daniel Boulud is reinterpreted through the lens of Americana and Virginia’s bounty. Pastry Chef Anthony Chavez’s passion for French pastries and entremets colors his modern American desserts. Take the humble American blueberry for example. Chavez’s Duke blueberry parfait and blueberry-yogurt panna cotta get a hit of savory acidity and Gallic flair thanks to the lemon-thyme crémeux and wildflower honey croutons.

    Recommended Dishes:
  • Local Beets, Compressed Watermelon, Laughing Bird Shrimp, and Cherrywood Balsamic
  • Mitsuba-Lovage Broth, Crispy Confited Leg of Milk-Fed Porcelet, and Roasted Porcelet Loin
  • Sicilian Pistachio Tarte Soufflé, Pistachio Sablé, Sour Cherry Jam Filling, and Local Sour Cherries
  • Duke Blueberry Parfait, Blueberry-Yogurt Panna Cotta, Lemon-Thyme Crémeux, Wildflower Honey Croutons, and Candied Lemon Peel
  • Local Beets, Compressed Watermelon, Laughing Bird Shrimp, and Cherrywood Balsamic
    + Click image to enlarge


    Adour camera icon
    The St. Regis
    923 16th Street Northwest
    Washington, DC 20005
    (202) 638-2626
    www.adour-washingtondc.com
    Hours: Mon-Sun 7am-11am; Tues-Thurs 5.30pm–10pm; Fri, Sat 5.30pm–10.30pm


    Inside The St. Regis hotel is this elegantly appointed Alain Ducasse Restaurant. Chef Julien Jouhannaud’s elegant French cuisine is full of hints at his Provençal heritage, like the Riviera sauce served with his a Tagliacci olive and baby fennel-garnished salmon. Pastry Chef Fabrice Bendano’s desserts are no less exciting—they avoid the pitfall of many an accomplished pastry chefs’ creations, adeptly tempering sugar with acid. His Caramel Bar, Almond-Coconut Crumble, Lemon-Passionfruit Marmalade, Coconut Dacquoise, Caramel Crémeux, and Lemon-Vanilla Sorbet is gorgeous citrusy, refreshing and light, with textural panache. Accomplished Sommelier Ramon Narvaez maintains a list of about 500 bottles to pair with Jouhannaud and Bendano’s cuisine. He wisely combines less expensive gems from lesser known wine sub-regions throughout the world with pricier wines.
     
    Recommended Dishes:
  • Summer Vegetable Cookpot: Tagliacci Olives, Tomato, Zucchini, Zucchini Blossoms, and Eggplants
  • Salmon Riviera, Tagliacci Olives, and Baby Fennel
  • Caramel Bar, Almond-Coconut Crumble, Lemon-Passionfruit Marmalade, Coconut Dacquoise, Caramel Crémeux, and Lemon-Vanilla Sorbet
  • Pineapple and Coconut Composition, Vanilla Cream, and Sablé Breton
  • Salmon Riviera, Tagliacci Olives, and Baby Fennel
    + Click image to enlarge


    Againn camera icon
    1099 New York Avenue Northwest
    Washington, DC 20001
    (202) 297-0601
    www.againndc.com
    Hours: Mon-Wed 11:30am-10pm; Thu 11:30am-11pm; Fri 11:30am-12am; Sat 5:30pm-12am

    Pork is Chef Wes Morton’s favorite vegetable. His passion for the porcine makes for a mean charcuterie program at Brit-themed Againn. English touches like pickled mustard seeds, brawn, and piccalilli pepper the menu, but rub shoulders with rillettes, and other French and Swiss terrines and forcemeats. Such is his worship of all things piggy that he sources Tamworth and other heritage breed pigs for his mousses, sausages and whole roast legs. Morton’s fellow-French Laundry alum Caterina Abbruzzetti makes full use of the domestic and international beers in her pairings with the rich and hearty dishes that are Morton’s bread and butter. This all finds an apt home in the sophisticated tiled dining room—think gastropub-meets-bistro.

    Recommended Dishes:
  • Housemade Charcuterie Board: Country Style Pâté, Brawn, Potted Pork, Pork Rillettes, Onion Marmalade, Picallili, and Pickled Mustard Seeds
  • Pan-Roasted Loch Duart Salmon, Globe Artichoke "Stew," Pearl Onions, Fava Beans, Spring Garlic, and Baby Carrots
  • Pan-Roasted Loch Duart Salmon, Globe Artichoke
    + Click image to enlarge


    Belga Café camera icon
    514 8th Street Southeast
    Washington, DC 20003
    (202) 544-0100
    www.belgacafe.com
    Hours: Mon-Thu 11:30am-3pm, 5:30pm-10pm; Fri 11:30am-11pm; Sat 9am-11pm; Sun 9am-9:30pm


    Belga Café is a taste of Belgium on the Hill. Belgian Chef and 2006 DC Rising Star Bart Vandaele opened this celebration of Belgian cuisine in the Eastern Market neighborhood seven years ago. Today his food remains as creative as ever, with American and Asian ingredients accenting the rich culinary culture of his homeland. Crunchy, mildly bitter Belgian endive is sassily reimagined as endive “sushi” and paired with salty-sweet prosciutto di Parma and tart-spiced orange-cardamom gelée for a balanced finish. He’s had ample practice—his culinary training began when he was just 12. Of course no menu would be complete without dishes that utilize one of Belgium’s classic ingredients—beer! Dishes like Hoegaarden Honey Ice Cream Float put it to good use.

    Recommended Dishes:
  • Endive Sushi: Poached Endive, Prosciutto di Parma, Orange Gelée, and Parmesan Crisp
  • Cold Green Pea Soup with Sour Cream, Smoked Salmon, and Pink Peppercorn Flakes
  • Cold Green Pea Soup with Sour Cream, Smoked Salmon, and Pink Peppercorn Flakes
    + Click image to enlarge


    B&O American Brasserie camera icon
    2 North Charles Street
    Baltimore, MD 21201
    (443) 692-6172
    www.bandorestaurant.com
    Hours: Mon-Thurs 7am-10pm; Fri-Sat 7am-11pm; Sun 7am-10pm


    Inside the gorgeous restored Beaux Arts-style Hotel Monaco, a newly renovated converted deli lies ready to change the dining scene in Baltimore thanks to 2003 Miami Rising Star Chef E. Michael Reidt. Reidt, who has only been at the restaurant for a little over a year, talks excitedly about the potential of burgeoning food scene in Baltimore. He delivers the sophisticated dining options Baltimore has been looking for. A simple ceviche in his hands gains rich, creamy mouthfeel thanks to avocado carpaccio, and the soft textures of the dish get a much-needed snap thanks to puffed grains. A sweet red pepper sorbet balances the salty elements of the dish and makes the simple idea of sliced, citrus-marinated fish exciting again.

    Recommended Dishes:
  • Snapper Ceviche, Avocado Carpaccio, Puffed Grains, and Red Pepper Sorbet
  • Jumbo Lump Crab, Red Quinoa Salad, Sea Urchin Aioli, Salmon Roe, and Sweet Potato Chips
  • Smoked Shrimp and Artichoke Ravioli, Corn and Chorizo Succotash, and Artichoke Chips
  • Snapper Ceviche, Avocado Carpaccio, Puffed Grains, and Red Pepper Sorbet
    + Click image to enlarge


    Bibiana camera icon
    1100 New York Avenue Northwest
    Washington, DC 20005
    (202) 216-9550
    www.bibianadc.com
    Hours: Mon-Wed 11:30am-2pm, 2:30pm-5pm, 5:30pm-10:30pm; Thurs-Fri 11:30am-2pm, 2:30pm-5pm, 5:30pm-midnight; Sat 5:30pm-midnight


    2010 Rising Star Chef Nick Stefanelli is a veteran of cream of the crop of upscale Italian fine dining spots Maestro and Fiamma. These days if you peer through the cut-outs behind the bar you’ll see him balancing rustic regional dishes with French-inflected elegant creations at restaurateur Ashok Bajaj’s Bibiana. Roman flavor profiles like fava beans, fennel and mint abound in dishes like his Brown Butter Roasted Veal Sweetbreads, with Candied Lemon, Fava Beans, and Mint. Pastry Chef Doug Hernandez’s technique and execution may be classically French, but the inspiration is all Italy. The creamy, smooth, delicate mascarpone mousse of a deconstructed tiramisu beautifully offsets a bitter espresso anglaise and espresso-soaked biscuit.

    Recommended Dishes:
  • Brown Butter Roasted Veal Sweetbreads, Candied Lemon, Fava Beans, and Mint
  • Squid Ink Spaghetti with Sea Urchins, Aglio, Olio, and Pepperoncini
  • Vanilla-Skewered Confit Pineapple, Hazelnut Dacquoise, and Rum Raisin Gelato
  • "Tiramisu”: Espresso Soaked Biscuit, Mascarpone Mousse, Dark Chocolate, Caramelized White Chocolate Powder, and Espresso Anglaise
  • Squid Ink Spaghetti with Sea Urchins, Aglio, Olio, and Pepperoncini
    + Click image to enlarge


    Birch & Barley camera icon
    1337 14th Street Northwest
    Washington, DC 20005
    (202) 567-2576
    www.birchandbarley.com
    Hours: Tues-Thurs: 5:30pm-10pm; Fri-Sat: 5:30pm-11pm; Sun 11am-8pm


    Opening the Neighborhood Restaurant Group’s beer concept restaurant Birch & Barley was a brave move in a town traditionally devoted to its wine and bourbons, but it paid off. Husband-and-wife team Chef Kyle Bailey and 2010 Rising Star Pastry Chef Tiffany MacIsaac’s savory and sweet dishes are made for 2010 Rising Star Beer Sommelier Greg Engert’s revolving and lovingly curated collection of beers. But the beer isn’t the only thing that keeps the popular restaurant packed every night. Bailey’s prodigious ability to pack a flavor punch at a low price point leads to welcome surprises like a smoky skate stuffed with grilled radicchio, savory ham hock-parmesan broth, and brown butter drizzle. Meanwhile MacIsaac churns out spot-on ice creams, breads, and inspired nostalgia-based desserts like her Cookies and Confections: Hostess Cupcake, Oatmeal Cream Pie, Pudding Pop, Lemon-Glazed Donut, Mint Chip Eskimo Pie, and Cashew Snickers Bar.

    Recommended Dishes:
  • Skate Stuffed with Grilled Radicchio, Ham Hock-Parmesan Broth, and Brown Butter
  • Foie Gras Terrine, Poached Rhubarb, Verjus Rouge, Golden Raisins, Tarragon, Candied Ginger, Candied Almonds, and Black Pepper Brioche
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart, Malted Milk Sorbet, and Whiskey Vanilla Shake
  • Cookies and Confections: Hostess Cupcake, Oatmeal Cream Pie, Pudding Pop, Lemon-Glazed Donut, Mint Chip Eskimo Pie, and Cashew Snickers Bar
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart, Whiskey Vanilla Shake, and Malted Milk Sorbet
    + Click image to enlarge


    BLT Steak camera icon
    1625 I (Eye) Street Northwest
    Washington, DC 20006
    (202) 689-8999
    www.bltsteak.com
    Hours: Mon-Thu 11:30am-2:30pm, 5:30pm-11pm; Fri 11:30am-2:30pm, 5:30pm-11:30pm; Sat 5:30pm-11:30pm


    Steakhouses used to be home to staid, overcooked sides and bland grilled meat, but what was once the most conservative of dining populations—DC—has come around to the possibilities of a more updated version of steakhouse staples. BLT is an established brand, but that didn’t stop Chef Victor Albisu from bringing his own signature style to the DC property. His dishes show Basque, Spanish and Mediterranean influences, but are approachably American steakhouse-meets-French bistro. His Pata Negra Pork Chop, Garlic Vinaigrette, and Blood Sausage Whipped Potatoes is unthreatening enough for the most timid diner, but delivers with the innate flavor of Pata Negra and the morcilla-touched mash.

    Recommended Dishes:
  • Seared Scallops, Herbes de Provence-Crusted Foie Gras, Tomato Chutney, Pedro Jimenez Reduction, and Serrano Ham Tuile
  • Pata Negra Pork Chop, Garlic Vinaigrette, and Blood Sausage Whipped Potatoes
  • Pata Negra Pork Chop, Garlic Vinaigrette, and Blood Sausage Whipped Potatoes
    + Click image to enlarge


    Bluegrass Tavern camera icon
    1500 South Hanover Street
    Baltimore, MD 21230
    (410) 244-5101
    www.bluegrasstavern.com
    Hours: Tues-Wed 5pm–11pm; Thurs-Friday 11am-midnight; Sat-Sun 10am-midnight


    Chef Patrick Morrow plays host at this hip Federal Hill restaurant. His passion, charcuterie and butchery—shapes a constantly-changing menu that is the result of whole animal break-downs. Partly inspired by the challenge, partly by sustainability concerns, Morrow runs a daily cut of meat program to ensure the entire animal is used. With the scraps going towards items like a beautifully executed fresh beef salami, nothing is wasted. In his spare time he loves to hunt and work with game like elk and bison. Sadly none of his catch can be legally served at the restaurant, but he sources from nearby Gunpowder Bison Farm to make sure his favorites still make an appearance.

    Recommended Dishes:
  • Selection of Housemade Charcuterie: Lamb Merguez, Beef Tongue-Beef Heart Terrine with House-made Murphey Stout Mustard, Country Pork Pâté with Pickled Rhubarb, Duck Speck, Beef Salami, Elk Pâté with Bay Leaves, Pickled Mustard Seeds, Okra, and Baby Red Onions, and Housemade Country Bread
  • Gunpowder Bison Tartare, White Beets, Truffle-Bourbon Sauce, and Pickled Mustard Seeds
  • Selection of Housemade Charcuterie: Lamb Merguez, Beef Tongue-Beef Heart Terrine with House-made Murphey Stout Mustard, Country Pork Pâté with Pickled Rhubarb, Duck Speck, Beef Salami, Elk Pâté with Bay Leaves, Pickled Mustard Seeds, Okra, and Baby Red Onions, and Housemade Country Bread
    + Click image to enlarge


    Bourbon Steak camera icon
    Four Seasons Hotel
    2800 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest
    Washington, DC 20007
    (202) 944-2026
    www.bourbonsteakdc.com
    Hours: Mon-Thurs 11:30am-2:30pm, 6pm-10pm; Fri 11:30am-2:30pm, 5:30pm-10:30pm; Sat 5:30pm-10:30pm; Sun 6pm-10pm


    2010 Rising Star Chef David Varley crafts intricate, sophisticated cuisine that focuses on intensifying flavor with herbs and vegetables freshly gathered from the on-the-property garden that Varley helped expand. And it’s here that he finds his inspiration, utilizing modern technique to prepare sorrel, micro greens, black radishes, and more underappreciated veggies. It may be called Bourbon Steak but Varley refuses to be boxed in by the steakhouse genre. He balances slick dishes like Sustainable Shrimp and Razor Clam Ceviche, Young Coconut, Cashew, and Shaved Pineapple with the old steakhouse reliables. He steps outside the Washingtonian comfort zone—with fabulous results—at this hip Michael Mina restaurant. Moreover, Riesling enthusiast and Sommelier Julian Mayor works in tandem with Varley to create unexpected pairings.

    Recommended Dishes:
  • Seared Hudson Valley Foie Gras, Shaved Green Papaya, Long Pepper, and Toasted Peanuts
  • Sustainable Shrimp and Razor Clam Ceviche, Young Coconut, Cashew, and Shaved Pineapple
  • Braised Elysian Fields Farm Lamb Shank, Black Olive Aigredoux, English Pea Falafel, and Garlic Confit
  • Seared Hudson Valley Foie Gras, Shaved Green Papaya, Long Pepper, and Toasted Peanuts
    + Click image to enlarge


    BRABO by Robert Wiedmaier camera icon
    1600 King Street
    Alexandria, VA 22314
    (703) 894-3440
    www.braborestaurant.com
    Hours: Mon-Thurs 7am-10:30am, 5:30pm-10pm; Fri 7am-10:30am, 5:30pm-11pm; Sat 5:30pm-11pm; Sun 7am-10:30am


    In Old Town Alexandria, right next to boutique Lorien Hotel & Spa, is award-winning Chef Robert Wiedmaier’s trio of restaurants. At BRABO Restaurant Pastry Chef Kate Baltren’s comforting desserts like Bread Pudding with Vanilla Anglaise are unapologetically hearty, and she not only heads the pastry program at the restaurant, but also acts as chocolatier for the European-style market The Butcher’s Block. When she’s not busy crafting artisanal chocolates or acting as full-time pastry chef, you’ll find her preparing desserts for nearby BRABO Tasting Room, the casual concept restaurant of the bunch. Chef Wiedmaier collaborates with other restaurants in the area to source product from local farmers, and the effort shows—what set apart Baltren’s Lemon Chiffon Tart, and Strawberry-Lemon Curd were the local Virginia strawberries.

    Recommended Dishes:
  • Bread Pudding, and Vanilla Anglaise
  • Lemon Chiffon Tart, Local Virginia Strawberries, and Strawberry-Lemon Curd
  • Lemon Chiffon Tart, Local Virginia Strawberries, and Strawberry-Lemon Curd
    + Click image to enlarge


    Charlie Palmer Steak camera icon
    101 Constitution Avenue Northwest
    Washington, DC 20001
    (202) 547-8100
    www.charliepalmer.com
    Hours: Mon-Fri 11:30am-2:30pm, 5:30pm-10pm; Sat 5pm-10:30pm


    2010 Rising Star Community Chef Matt Hill has spent the majority of his career with legendary American chef Charlie Palmer. He was on the opening team at this Washington, DC steakhouse, and Palmer’s modern American signature is evident here now that Hill heads the kitchen, but Hill playfully inflects it with fun. Dishes like Prosciutto-Wrapped Canada Pork Tenderloin, Cauliflower, and Preserved Cherries (originally conceived for DC’s cherry blossom festival) show a playfulness, but are ultimately grounded in an appreciation for classic technique and a clean, restrained approach.

    Recommended Dishes:
  • Prosciutto-Wrapped Canada Pork Tenderloin, Cauliflower, and Preserved Cherries
  • Squab, Foie Gras, Porcini Mushrooms, and Anson Mills Polenta
  • Squab, Foie Gras, Porcini Mushrooms, and Anson Mills Polenta
    + Click image to enlarge


    Citronelle camera icon
    3000 M Street Northwest
    Washington, DC 20007
    (202) 726-5000
    www.citronelledc.com
    Hours: Tues-Thurs 6pm-10pm; Fri-Sat 6pm-10:30pm


    This modern French restaurant was created by innovative industry leader Michel Richard, and his vision and mission is carried through today by Chef David Deshaies. Deshaies takes pleasure in delivering the unexpected to the customer, whether it’s a spin-off of a tuna nicoise with the same components—tuna (in slices), beet (gelée), green bean (tartare), potato tuile, and a mozzarella and tomato “egg”—or a vibrant red dish of miso-beet-marinated sablefish.

    Recommended Dishes:
  • Tuna Napoleon "Nicoise"
  • Sablefish, Dressed in Red
  • Sablefish, Dressed in Red
    + Click image to enlarge


    CityZen camera icon
    Mandarin Oriental
    1330 Maryland Avenue Southwest
    Washington, DC 20024
    (202) 787-6006
    www.mandarinoriental.com
    Hours: Tues-Thurs 6pm-9:30pm; Fri-Sat 5:30pm-9:30pm


    This year’s Somm Slam winner Sommelier Andy Myers is reserved, but passionate about his role, and adeptly compliments 2006 DC Rising Star Chef Ziebold’s Japanese-inflected dishes. He constantly challenges the diner with out-of-the-box pairings. 2006 DC Rising Star Eric Ziebold spent time in the nineties at The French Laundry, where he climbed to the chef de cuisine position within three years. He returned to DC in 2004 to showcase his particular style of modern American, with Keller-reminiscent dishes like Soft-boiled Path Valley Farms Hen Egg, Melted Spring Onions, Shaved Shoat Leg, and Morel Broth.

    Recommended Dishes:
  • Bamboo Tempura, English Pea Tapenade, Shaved Radish, and Orange Sichuan Vinaigrette
  • Soft-Boiled Path Valley Farms Hen Egg, Melted Spring Onions, Shaved Shoat Leg, and Morel Broth
  • Bamboo Tempura, English Pea Tapenade, Shaved Radish, and Orange Sichuan Vinaigrette
    + Click image to enlarge


    Clifton Inn camera icon
    1296 Clifton Inn Drive
    Charlottesville, VA 22911
    (434) 971-1800
    www.cliftoninn.net
    Hours: Mon-Sun 6pm-9pm


    The sprawling converted mansion The Clifton Inn is not just a luxurious Southern Relais & Chateaux property complete with porch swings. It’s also home to one of the most exciting restaurants in the region. Blue Ridge culinary icon 2010 Rising Star Chef Dean Maupin set the standard for young up-and-comers. Maupin’s menu is rooted in classic French technique, and his creative impulses are well versed at avoiding the cluttered flavor profiles of less expert experimental chefs, with pared-down dishes like Pappardelle with Duck Confit, Duck Jus, Duck Cracklings, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Pea Shoots, Carrots and Onions. Maupin recently moved to nearby Orient Express Property Keswick Hall, but his inspired menu can still be found at this must-see restaurant.

    Recommended Dishes:
  • Pappardelle with Duck Confit, Duck Jus, Duck Cracklings, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Pea Shoots, Carrots and Onions
  • Hamachi Crudo, Lime Aioli, Chives, Pickled Jalapenos, Golden Olive Oil, and Kecap Manis
  • Hamachi Crudo, Lime Aioli, Chives, Pickled Jalapenos, Golden Olive Oil, and Kecap Manis
    + Click image to enlarge


    Co Co. Sala camera icon
    929 F Street Northwest
    Washington, DC 20004
    (202) 506-2634
    www.cocosala.com
    Hours: Mon-Thurs 11am-10pm; Fri 11am-midnight; Sat 11am-2:30pm, 5pm-midnight; Sun 11am-2:30pm


    Combining chocolate with savory ingredients like chilies is nothing new, but Chef Santosh Tiptur takes his experience with the beloved ingredient as a pastry chef and puts it to good use preparing both the savory dishes, desserts, and chocolates at this chocolate boutique and restaurant. Surprisingly, some of his best creations here turned out to be savory, like his Grown Up Grilled Cheese: Truffle Scented Brioche, Cheddar Cheese, Tomato Soup, and Cheese Fritter, evocative of many a kid’s favorite meal, but with the mild heat and slight bitterness of a chili-spiced chocolate cream. There’s nothing puerile about the vibe here though—the inviting lounge says for adults only while the Earl Gray and Goji Berry chocolates give grown ups a childlike satisfaction.

    Recommended Dishes:
  • Grown Up Grilled Cheese: Truffle Scented Brioche, Cheddar Cheese, Tomato Soup, Cheese Fritter, and Chipotle Chocolate Cream
  • Curry Coconut Lamb Slider: Curry-Coconut Organic Lamb, Baby Corn, and Lime-Yogurt Crème
  • Grown Up Grilled Cheese: Truffle Scented Brioche, Cheddar Cheese, Tomato Soup, Cheese Fritter, and Chipotle Chocolate Cream
    + Click image to enlarge


    Comfort camera icon
    200 West Broad Street
    Richmond, VA 23220
    (804) 780-0004
    www.comfortrestaurant.com
    Hours: Mon-Fri 11:30am-2:30pm, 5:30pm-10:30pm; Sat 5:30pm-10:30pm


    Richmond, Virginia was not particularly known for its upscale casual modern restaurants until 2010 Rising Star Jason Alley opened Comfort in 2002. With food-centric restaurants like this taking the place of the starched conservatives of the Richmond food world, the culinary world here is looking exciting again. Southern comfort-food classics not often found in restaurants like a Southern Relish Tray: Deviled Eggs, Crudités, Pimento Cheese, and House-made Pickles and Crackers are a welcome addition to the dining scene here. There’s an unapologetic love of old-school Southern food here, right down to the house-cured pickles.

    Recommended Dishes:
  • Braised Canada Pork Cheeks, Juniper, Ginger Beer, Stone Ground Grits, and Arugula
  • Southern Relish Tray: Deviled Eggs, Crudités, Pimento Cheese, Housemade Pickles, and Housemade Crackers
  • Braised Canada Pork Cheeks, Juniper, Ginger Beer, Stone Ground Grits, and Arugula
    + Click image to enlarge


    Entyse camera icon
    Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner
    1700 Tysons Boulevard
    McLean, VA 22102
    (703) 506-4300
    www.ritzcarlton.com
    Hours: Mon-Fri 6:30am-11am, 11:30am-11pm; Sat-Sun 7am-11am


    Inside the sumptuous Tysons Corner Ritz-Carlton property, you’ll find this well-appointed modern American restaurant. Here Chef Gael Cruchet caters to the rigorous demands of a hotel restaurant, catering and banquet meals, and room service. Lavish breakfast dishes like Crab Benedict elevate the staid Eggs Benedict with moist morsels of crab. Accomplished Pastry Chef David Nolan not only handles the desserts and tea for the property, but also constructs opulent celebration cakes for the Ritz’s booming wedding business.

    Recommended Dishes:
  • Ham Sandwich, Béchamel Sauce, and Sunnyside Up Egg
  • Crab Benedict
  • Crab Benedict
    + Click image to enlarge


    Eola camera icon
    2020 P Street Northwest
    Washington, DC 20036
    (202) 466-4441
    www.eoladc.com
    Hours: Tues-Sat 5:30pm-10:30pm; Sun 11:30am-3:30pm


    An ode to the pig in restaurant-form, Chef-owner Dan Singhofen’s Eola has Washingtonians eating parts of the pig they never thought they’d look at twice. Singhofen not only specializes in nose-to-tail dinners, but also has a knack for incorporating ingredients like offal into amuse bouches, slowly converting skeptical diners. Comfort food preparations make daunting tongue approachable in Singhofen’s Chicken Fried Pig’s Tongue with French Lentils, Early Apple Purée, and Pickled Shallot. The restaurant has the kind of welcoming “neighborhood joint” feel that beckons a chef’s palate, taking the intimidation out of off-cuts and making offal anything but awful.

    Recommended Dishes:
  • Chicken Fried Pig’s Tongue, French Lentils, Early Apple Purée, and Pickled Shallot
  • Tamworth Pork: Jowl Confit, Smoked Shoulder, Coco Beans, and Kale
  • Tamworth Pork: Jowl Confit, Smoked Shoulder, Coco Beans, and Kale
    + Click image to enlarge


    Equinox camera icon
    818 Connecticut Avenue Northwest
    Washington, DC 20006
    (202) 331-8118
    www.equinoxrestaurant.com
    Hours: Mon-Thurs 11:30am-2pm, 5:30pm-10pm; Fri 11:30am-2pm, 5:30pm-10:30pm; Sat 5:30pm-10:30pm; Sun 5:30pm-9pm


    The team behind iconic Equinox, Chef Todd C. Gray and marketing pro Ellen Kassoff Gray, are well-known in the city for their tireless support of the community, from Chef Gray’s extensive and involvement in the Chefs Move to Schools initiative to Ms. Gray’s push to begin DC’s Capitol Harvest on the Plaza Farmer's Market, which highlights and celebrates eco-friendly farmers in the vicinity. Virginia native Chef Gray is an iconic figure, and proudly showcases his state’s produce and culinary traditions, always taking care to underline seasonality and sustainability. His efforts have earned him numerous accolades, including five nominations for the James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef Mid-Atlantic region. 2006 DC Rising Star Pastry Chef Tom Wellings’ ingredient-driven desserts incorporate much of the seasonal bounty of the rich agricultural land around DC that Gray hones in on, including heirloom apples and huckleberries, to delightful effect. This legendary regional American restaurant opened just over 10 years ago, and we have a feeling it will be around for a long time to come.

    Recommended Dishes:
  • Prosciutto Crusted Maine Diver Scallops with Brussels Sprout Petals, Caramelized Oyster Root, and Roasted Anjou Pear
  • Agnolotti of Housemade Ricotta with Jerusalem Artichoke, Slow Cooked Leeks, and Shaved Alba White Truffles
  • Textures of Pumpkin
  • Agnolotti of Housemade Ricotta with Jerusalem Artichoke, Slow Cooked Leeks and Shaved Alba White Truffles
    + Click image to enlarge


    The Jockey Club camera icon
    Fairfax at Embassy Row
    2100 Massachusetts Avenue Northwest
    Washington, DC 20008
    (202) 835-2100
    www.thejockeyclub-dc.com
    Hours: Mon-Fri 12pm-2:30pm, 6pm-10:30pm; Sat-Sun 6pm-10:30pm


    If you pass through the luxurious lobby of the Fairfax at Embassy Row Hotel, under the chandelier and in between the antique jockey mannequins, you will find The Jockey Club, part of DC’s dining scene since the 1960s. Today the food is still contemporary American, but European nuances are part of the deal thanks to German Chef Ralf Hofmann. His training in European hotels is evident in dishes like the traditional chilled leek-and-potato soup Vichyssoise, but he plays a little with the garnishes, pairing it with a purple potato salad, salmon caviar, and chive oil. Popular German dishes like bread dumplings make their way into some of the garnishes, but overall the classic spirit of the restaurant is respected.

    Recommended Dishes:
  • Vichyssoise, Purple Potato Salad, Salmon Caviar, and Chive Oil
  • Seared Scallops, Pennsylvania Mushrooms, Lemongrass Beurre Blanc, and Spiced Popcorn
  • Vichyssoise, Purple Potato Salad, Salmon Caviar, and Chive Oil
    + Click image to enlarge


    Hank’s Oyster Bar camera icon
    1624 Q Street Northwest
    Washington, DC 20009
    (202) 462-4265
    Hours: Sun-Tues 5:30pm-10pm; Wed-Thurs 5:30pm-11pm; Fri 5:30pm-midnight; Sat 11am-3pm, 5:30pm-midnight; Sun 11am-3pm


    2003 DC Rising Star Jamie Leeds is chef-owner at this mini-chain of casual seafood and oyster bar/restaurants. She works with local oyster farmers to turn out New England seaside dishes like lobster rolls. Her unfussy approach to seafood yields both small and large plates with a down-to-earth and effortlessly satisfying results. Crispy fried batter yields to plump, juicy oysters in a dish that is exactly what it promises to be—Fried Oysters. The oyster selection offers a plethora of choices from the East and West coasts, with a user-friendly bent. Leeds is an active figure in the DC culinary scene and the president of industry womens’ group Women Chefs and Restaurateurs.

    Recommended Dishes:
  • Fried Oysters
  • Lobster Roll

  • Fried Oysters
    + Click image to enlarge



    The Liberty Tavern camera icon
    3195 Wilson Boulevard
    Arlington, VA 22201
    (703) 465-9360
    www.thelibertytavern.com
    Hours: Mon-Thu 5pm-10pm; Fri-Sat 5pm-11pm


    Arlington has been touched by the beer craze and The Liberty Tavern delivers with upscale casual, seasonal American cuisine. Chef Liam LaCivita’s Italian roots are evident in inventive dishes like the prosciutto and melon-inspired creation Crispy Polyface Pork Belly, House-made Cotechino Sausage, Melon, Pickled Watermelon Rind Salad, and Saffron Jus. LaCivita works with regional farms (like the legendary Polyface Farms of activist Joel Salatin) to ensure that everything from his house-made salumi to a basic garnish of fried egg tastes the way that it should.

    Recommended Dishes:
  • Crispy Polyface Pork Belly, Housemade Cotechino Sausage, Melon, Pickled Watermelon Rind Salad, and Saffron Jus
  • Raviolini, Baby Snails, Wild Spinach, Garlic, Montasio Cheese, and Anisette Butter Sauce
  • Raviolini, Baby Snails, Wild Spinach, Garlic, Montasio Cheese, and Anisette Butter Sauce
    + Click image to enlarge


    The Majestic camera icon
    911 King Street
    Alexandria, VA 22314
    (703) 837-9117
    www.majesticcafe.com
    Hours: Mon-Thurs 11:30am-2:30pm, 5:30pm-10pm; Fri-Sat 11:30am-2:30pm, 5:30pm-10:30pm; Sun 1pm-9pm


    Comfort food finds a new home in Old Town Alexandria at The Majestic. This refurbished art deco restaurant was the brainchild of 2006 DC Rising Star Cathal Armstrong. Here Chef Shannon Overmiller taps into the soul of Southern comfort food, but her charcuterie fellowship in Italy gave her a taste for that country’s version of comfort too, and the two meet in the middle with dishes like Fried Green Tomatoes, Fresh Heirloom Tomatoes, Fried Capers, Red Onion, Burrata Cheese, and Basil Purée, the tomato-basil combination of Italian playing well with a dish that is as Southern as, well, fried green tomatoes.

    Recommended Dishes:
  • Fried Green Tomatoes, Fresh Heirloom Tomatoes, Fried Capers, Red Onion, Burrata Cheese, and Basil Purée
  • Amish Chicken Two Ways: Seared Chicken Breast, Chicken Leg Confit, Potato-Shallot "Mock" Risotto, and Lemon-Rosemary Jus
  • Amish Chicken Two Ways: Seared Chicken Breast, Chicken Leg Confit, Potato-Shallot
    + Click image to enlarge


    minibar by josé andrés camera icon
    405 8th Street Northwest
    Washington, DC 20004
    (202) 393-0812
    www.cafeatlantico.com
    Hours: Tues-Thurs, Sun 11:30am-2:30pm, 5pm-10pm; Fri-Sat 11:30am-2:30pm, 5pm-midnight


    ThinkFoodGroup’s minibar by josé andrés is home to some of the most innovative food we’ve seen in some time. On the second floor of Café Atlantico,billowing clouds of liquid nitrogen, cotton candy machines, and other professional toys yield dishes full of traditional Catalan flavor, finesse, and cheeky humor. 2010 Rising Star Chef Rubén García acts as ThinkFoodGroup’s Culinary Director. His training under Iberian legends Chef Martín Berasategui and Ferran Adrià exposed him to the kind of out-of-the-box thinking and quality ingredients that he puts into play at minibar. Garcia might have had incredibly influential mentors, but his culinary philosophy is his alone. His Sweet Peas Catalan-style dish is kissed with warm spice of a “blood sausage” sauce and the sweet-salt balance of Iberian ham, and makes for an incredibly creative take on this traditional dish.

    Recommended Dishes:
  • Cotton Candy Eel
  • Sweet Peas Catalan Style
  • Charcoal Salmon Toro, and Black Garlic
  • Sweet Peas Catalan Style
    + Click image to enlarge


    New Heights Restaurant camera icon
    2317 Calvert Street Northwest
    Washington, DC 20008
    (202) 234-4110
    www.newheightsrestaurant.com
    Hours: Mon-Thurs 5:30pm-10pm; Fri-Sat 5:30pm-10:30pm


    For the past two years Logan Cox has been at the helm of New Heights Restaurant. Cox’s extensive training in Italy shows in his in-house charcuterie, pickles, and burrata—all inspired by his time there. He also toys with spherification and takes his inspiration from Thomas Keller for dish components like his chickpea panisse. In dishes like Poached Red Snapper, Shellfish Consommé, Miso Milk Sphere, Pickled Hen of the Woods Mushrooms, English Pea Purée, and Pea Shoots he keeps his textures and flavors balanced, with the silky sphere of miso milk and sweet English pea purée playing off of one another. It takes moxie to experiment in such an established restaurant, and Cox’s willingness ties in well with the owner’s small plate, stripped-down remake of the restaurant.

    Recommended Dishes:
  • Poached Red Snapper, Shellfish Consommé, Miso Milk Sphere, Pickled Hen of the Woods Mushrooms, English Pea Purée, and Pea Shoots
  • Shenandoah Valley Leg of Lamb, Swiss Chard, Roasted Anchovy Jus, Red Pepper Conserva, and Chickpea Panisse
  • Poached Red Snapper, Shellfish Consommé, Miso Milk Sphere, Pickled Hen of the Woods Mushrooms, English Pea Purée, and Pea Shoots
    + Click image to enlarge


    The Oval Room camera icon
    800 Connecticut Avenue Northwest
    Washington, DC 20006
    (202) 463-8700
    www.ovalroom.com
    Hours: Mon-Thurs 11:30am-3pm, 5:30pm-10pm; Fri 11:30am-3pm, 5:30pm-10:30pm; Sat 5:30pm-10:30pm


    DC powerhouse The Oval Room may be part of the Ashok Bajaj’s restaurant group, which includes modern Indian Rasika and upscale rustic Italian Bibiana Osteria Enoteca, but the restaurant has a character all its own. High fliers and policy makers dine at this tour de force. It’s been four years since we tasted Conte’s dishes as a Rising Star, but today he is as skillful as ever at cooking outside of the box. Chef Conte has no fear of reinvention, and he’s as likely to treat kampachi to a pastrami-style cure as he is to decide that what foie gras really needs is a kick of heat from jerk spice. His Jerk Sautéed Foie Gras with Warm Ginger Jelly and Micro Basil is boldly reimagined. And where some pastry chef-less chefs would throw up their hands in defeat, Conte channels his creativity to desserts without hesitation, his Cornflake Custard with freeze-dried strawberries mimicking the comfort of a bowl of cereal.

    Recommended Dishes:
  • Pastrami-Cured Kampachi, Mustard Ice Cream, and Tomato Jam
  • Jerk Sautéed Foie Gras with Warm Ginger Jelly and Micro Basils
  • Three Minute Pressure-Cooked Beets, Passion Fruit, Horseradish, and Minus 8
  • Three Minute Pressure-Cooked Beets, Passion Fruit, Horseradish, and Minus 8
    + Click image to enlarge


    Palladio camera icon
    17655 Winery Road
    Barboursville, VA 22923
    (540) 832-7848
    www.barboursvillewine.net
    Hours: Wed-Sun 12pm-2:30pm; Fri-Sat 6:30pm-9pm


    The wine industry in Virginia has come a long way and award-winning tour-de-force Barboursville Vineyard meets demand for food to match with Italian restaurant Palladio, where James Beard nominee Chef Melissa Close Hart tailors Italian cuisine to the vineyard’s wines. Once a year she makes her way to Italy for training, and the effort shows in dishes like House-made Pappardelle, Local Braised Rabbits, Porcini Mushrooms, and Blackberries. While rabbit, mushrooms and blackberries may be run of the mill in Italy, they are just the sort of unexpected marriage of woodsy tones that makes for an excellent pairing with a dry, full-bodied Chardonnay, or the grape made for Virginia’s climate, Viognier!

    Recommended Dishes:
  • Local Roasted Beet Carpaccio, Caramont Farm Goat Cheese Soufflé, and 50-Year-Old Balsamic Vinegar
  • Housemade Pappardelle, Local Braised Rabbits, Porcini Mushrooms, and Blackberries
  • Housemade Pappardelle, Local Braised Rabbits, Porcini Mushrooms, and Blackberries
    + Click image to enlarge


    Plume camera icon
    The Jefferson Hotel
    1200 16th Street Northwest
    Washington, DC 20036
    (202) 448-2300
    www.jeffersondc.com
    Hours: Tues-Sat 6pm-10pm


    The French gem Plume is housed in the recently refurbished 1920s hotel The Jefferson. British Chef Damon Gordon trained under some of the most respected French chefs in the US and UK, from Alain Ducasse to the Roux brothers. His dishes sing with unrestrained French elegance, and every so often a nod to his West Indian heritage—like the spice of the Madras curry sauce in his Vol-Au-Vent of Caramelized Sweetbreads, Seasonal Baby Vegetables, Bittersweet Apples, and Madras Curry Infusion. Sommelier Michael Scaffidi set about building a wine list to complement Gordon’s French cuisine with the hotel's namesake, Thomas Jefferson, in mind. Plume is now known for their impressive selection of half bottles that offer the same quality of experience to diners and encourage them to try some of Scaffidi’s more esoteric finds.

    Recommended Dishes:
  • Vol-Au-Vent of Caramelized Sweetbreads, Seasonal Baby Vegetables, Bittersweet Apples, and Madras Curry Infusion
  • Velouté of Golden Corn, Basil Purée, Crab Tortelli, and Espelette
  • Velouté of Golden Corn, Basil Purée, Crab Tortelli, and Espelette
    + Click image to enlarge


    Proof camera icon
    775 G Street Northwest
    Washington, DC 20001 
    (202) 737-7663
    www.proofdc.com
    Hours: Mon 5:30pm-10pm; Tues-Thurs 11:30am-2pm, 5:30pm-10pm; Fri 11:30am-2pm; 5:30pm-11pm; Sat 5:30pm-11pm; Sun 5pm-9:30pm


    A wine-centric restaurant like this requires a practiced hand. Luckily, Proof has Wine Director Sebastian Zutant on-hand with a carefully assembled list of over 1,000 wines. At Proof wine takes the focus and Zutant handles the by-the-glass list with expertise and a mission to inform. Chef Haidar Karoum’s dishes take their inspiration from around the globe, with Asian flavors in some of his dishes like the Vietnamese influenced Salmon Crudo with Pickled Green Papaya, Avocado, and Mint, warm with Birdseye chilies and tart with the acidity of papaya. For some a charcuterie board would mean starched French and traditional, but in Karoum’s hands it translates to Spanish paprika chicken sausage, pho terrine, and a whole host of other charcuterie creations.

    Recommended Dishes:
  • Salmon Crudo with Pickled Green Papaya, Avocado, and Mint
  • Pan-Roasted Veal Sweetbreads with Celery Root, Watercress, Smoked Bacon, and Black Pepper-Caramel Jus
  • Pan-Roasted Veal Sweetbreads with Celery Root, Watercress, Smoked Bacon, and Black Pepper-Caramel Jus
    + Click image to enlarge


    Rasika camera icon
    633 D Street Northwest
    Washington, DC 20004
    (202) 637-1222
    www.rasikarestaurant.com
    Hours: Mon-Thurs 11:30am-2:30pm, 5:30pm-10:30pm; Fri 11:30am-2:30pm; 5:30pm-11pm; Sat 5pm-11pm


    At Restaurateur Ashok Bajaj’s upscale Indian restaurant, Chef Vikram Sunderam expertly combines Eastern and Western traditions without sacrificing the integrity of the either for popularity’s sake. His handle on spices is unparalleled, every dish adeptly balanced and only enhanced by the spices rather than overwhelmed by them. Sunderam has diners finally thrilled to eat their spinach with warm, crisped leaves laced with sweet yogurt and spiced date chutney. Upscale Indian dining is still relatively young in the US, and in DC, Rasika raises the bar high.
     
    Recommended Dishes:
  • Palak Chaat: Crisped Baby Spinach, Sweet Yogurt and Date Chutney
  • Raan-E-Rasika: Lamb Shank Saffron, Black Cardamom, Dark Rum
  • Palak Chaat: Crisped Baby Spinach, Sweet Yogurt and Date Chutney
    + Click image to enlarge


    Restaurant Eve
    110 South Pitt Street #6
    Alexandria, VA 22314
    (703) 706-0450
    www.restauranteve.com
    Hours: Mon-Fri 11:30am-2:30pm, 5:30pm-10pm; Sat 5:30pm-10pm


    Irish Chef and 2006 DC Rising Star Cathal Armstrong), and his wife, Meshelle Armstrong run this Old Town Alexandria restaurant in a warehouse building-turned intimate restaurant. The tasting room offers a full experience of the chef's modern American cuisine with French influences, whereas the bistro section of the restaurant is more a stick-to-the-ribs experience. His takes on dishes like the English breakfast of Bacon, Egg and Cheese are full of cheek and wit, with sophisticated nuances like cheddar foam and pork shoulder crepe filling.

    Recommended Dishes:
  • Lobster Crème Brulée
  • Bacon, Egg and Cheese




  • Restaurant Nora camera icon
    2132 Florida Avenue Northwest
    Washington, DC 20008
    (202) 462-5143
    www.noras.com
    Hours: Mon-Thurs 5:30pm-10pm; Fri-Sat 5:30pm-10:30pm


    Restaurant Nora was the first organic restaurant in DC. It continues to set the standards in farm-to-table in the capital city, sourcing produce from DC’s farmers’ markets and the small but diverse herb garden in front of the restaurant. 2010 Rising Star Benjamin Lambert counts chefs Sottha Khunn, Josh DeChellis, and Jason Neroni as mentors, and now that he collaborates with Chef-owner Nora Pouillon to develop the daily menu his training in seasonal, organic, and local new American cuisine is put to good use. The Bolognese-Stuffed Zucchini Blossom served with his Rabbit Porchetta features seasonal vegetables and steers well clear of the boring steamed vegetable territory found at some veg-centric restaurants, contrasting the crisp of fried zucchini blossoms with the supple texture of salted chanterelles.

    Recommended Dishes:
  • Hawaiian Hearts of Palm Salad, Thai Basil, Cucumber, Mango, Coriander Berries, Basil Seeds, Heirloom Tomato Water, and Hearts of Palm Sorbet
  • Rabbit Porchetta, Frenched Rack of Rabbit, Bolognese-Stuffed Zucchini Blossom, Fennel Purée, Zucchini, Baby Carrots, Crispy Zucchini Blossoms, Chanterelles, and Rabbit Jus
  • Wild Alaskan Salmon, Pea Purée, Caramelized Fennel, Grilled Hen of the Woods Mushrooms, Beet Tendrils, and Rhubarb Sauce
  • Rabbit Porchetta, Frenched Rack of Rabbit, Bolognese-Stuffed Zucchini Blossom, Fennel Purée, Zucchini, Baby Carrots, Crispy Zucchini Blossoms, Chanterelles, and Rabbit Jus
    + Click image to enlarge


    Salt camera icon
    2127 East Pratt Street
    Baltimore, MD 21231
    (410) 276-5480
    www.salttavern.com
    Hours: Mon-Thurs 5pm-10pm; Fri-Sat 5pm-11pm


    This Fell’s Point restaurant brings Baltimore up-to-date with exposed wood floors, neon green space-pod-style lanterns and a hip, upscale-casual feel. Crab can be a little staid, but Chef Jason Ambrose’s spicy Tempura Maryland Blue Crab Roll with Sriracha-Ginger Marshmallow showcased the natural sweetness of the crab to a tee. His creativity really shows in vegetarian picks that could risk blandness, but instead are satisfying, and full of umami; his Morel Manicotti, Ricotta, Goats Cheese, Chanterelle Mushroom Broth, and Shaved Pecorino Cheese bring the popular Italian American pasta dish into the 21st century.

    Recommended Dishes:
  • Tempura Maryland Blue Crab Roll with Sriracha Ginger Marshmallow
  • Morel Manicotti, Ricotta, Goats Cheese, Chanterelle Mushroom Broth, and Shaved Pecorino Cheese
  • Morel Manicotti, Ricotta, Goats Cheese, Chanterelle Mushroom Broth, and Shaved Pecorino Cheese
    + Click image to enlarge


    Sonoma camera icon
    223 Pennsylvania Avenue Southeast
    Washington, DC 20003
    (202) 544-8088
    www.sonomadc.com
    Hours: Mon-Thurs 11:30am-2:30pm, 5pm-10pm; Fri 11:30am-2:30pm, 5pm-11pm; Sat 5pm-11pm; Sun 5pm-9pm


    Sonoma’s relaxed neutral lounge décor sets the stage for a laid back unpretentious meal. The wine list combines California wine country that the name suggests, with Italian wines—Cal-Ital as it’s commonly known. Chef Nicholas Sharpe’s Italian-influenced dishes are designed to pair with the wine selections, and unpretentious stews and hearty plates make the combination work. Sharpe’s House-made Spaghetti, Cuttlefish Stew, and Parsley has a hint of spice thanks to a dash of piment d’espelette, and the gentle spice accents the dish without being off-putting with wine pairings.

    Recommended Dishes:
  • Seared Scallops, Crispy Pigshead Terrine, Mustard Green Salad, and Minus 8 Vinegar
  • Housemade Spaghetti, Cuttlefish Stew, Espelette, and Parsley
  • Seared Scallops, Crispy Pigshead Terrine, Mustard Green Salad, and Minus 8 Vinegar
    + Click image to enlarge


    The Source by Wolfgang Puck camera icon
    575 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest
    Washington, DC 20565
    (202) 637-6100
    www.wolfgangpuck.com/restaurants/fine-dining/3941
    Hours: Tues-Thurs 11:30am-2pm, 5:30pm-10pm; Fri-Sat 11:30am-2pm, 5:30pm-11pm


    The Newseum building on Pennsylvania is the modern home to this upscale Asian-American fine dining restaurant. RAMMY Award Winning Chef Scott Drewno trained under Jean-Georges Vongerichten and the restaurant’s namesake Wolfgang Puck—experts both at incorporating Asian flavor profiles and ingredients into modern American dishes. The fruit of his labor is a cuisine that refuses to be held back by convention. His Colorado lamb two ways sounds traditionally regional American, but the gentle spice of guilin chili Sauce and slightly sweet chili-garlic marinade add a welcome complexity. Drewno’s jovial demeanor and gracious acknowledgement of the scores of talented chefs in the city have earned him many supporters in the industry.

    Recommended Dishes:
  • Lobster XO Fried Rice, Crisp Shallots, and Scallions
  • Colorado Lamb Two Ways: Soy Marinated Chop, Snap Peas, Wild Huckleberries; Chilli-Garlic Marinated Lamb, Guilin Chilli Sauce, and Wok Fried Noodles
  • Lobster XO Fried Rice, Crisp Shallots, and Scallions
    + Click image to enlarge


    Sou’Wester camera icon
    Mandarin Oriental
    1330 Maryland Avenue Southwest
    Washington, DC 20024
    (202) 787-6990
    www.mandarinoriental.com
    Hours: Mon-Sun 6:30am-11am, 11:30am-4pm, 5:30pm-10pm


    Housed in the marble lobby of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Sou’Wester is a cheery haven, complete with earth tones, red couches, and breezy sheer curtains. In a city full of fine dining, Chef Rachael Harriman’s approachable comfort food hits the spot when you’re away from your home kitchen. The ever-personable 2010 Rising Star Sommelier Carlton McCoy adeptly pairs New and Old World wines with her dishes, from accessible to esoteric, with infectious enthusiasm. The burgeoning mixology program has garnered much attention, and is also the brainchild of McCoy. Chef Eric Ziebold of CityZen (housed in the same hotel) collaborates with Harriman, sharing inspiration, and splitting up the whole animals that are broken down on-property.

    Recommended Dishes:
  • Cornmeal-Crusted Idaho Trout, Arrow Leaf Spinach, Red Bliss Potatoes, and Meyer Lemon Emulsion
  • Grilled Path Valley Farms Asparagus Salad, House-Cured Shoat Leg Prosciutto, Baby Arugula, and Hard Boiled Hen Egg
  • Grilled Path Valley Farms Asparagus Salad, House-Cured Shoat Leg Prosciutto, Baby Arugula, and Hard Boiled Hen Egg
    + Click image to enlarge


    Sushiko
    2309 Wisconsin Ave Northwest
    Washington, DC 20007-1844
    (202) 567-6313
    www.sushikorestaurants.com
    Hours: Mon 6pm-10:30pm; Tues-Thurs 12pm-2:30pm, 6pm-10:30pm; Fri 12pm-2:20pm, 6pm-11pm; Sat 5:30pm-11pm; Sun 5:30pm-10pm


    2003 DC Rising Star Koji Terrano has spent his entire career working in sushi restaurants and his experience culminates his ability to reinterpret Japanese dishes with a more modern bent has made him a household name. The fat of seared beef tenderloin is easily cut with the bite of red wine daikon sauce. Terrano prepares a four-course tasting menu, or omakase, that showcases his innovative creations. It may be a lavish experience but freshly grated wasabi and boundless imagination make it well worth the splurge.

    Recommended Dishes:
  • Pan Seared Beef Tenderloin with Red Wine Daikon Sauce
  • Yogurt Sorbet with Orange Aspic




  • Sushi Taro camera icon 
    1503 17th Street Northwest
    Washington, DC 20036
    (202) 462-8999
    www.sushitaro.com
    Hours: Mon-Thurs 11:30am-1:50pm; Fri 11:30am-1:50pm, 5:30pm-10:15pm; Sat 5:30pm-10:15pm


    2010 Rising Star Chef Nobu Yamazaki’s fine arts background is evident in his clean, minimalist and modern Japanese dishes. Thanks to a makeover of the restaurant and menu at Sushi Taro, he’s forged his own path, taking perception of Japanese restaurant in DC away from the fairly quotidian stream of sushi that used to make up the Japanese food scene in DC. A stage at Ozushi in the Tokyo prefecture of Japan later, Yamazaki presides over the slick bar inside the renovated Sushi Taro, sharkskin-wasabi graters at the ready. Seasonal Japanese ingredients like fresh bamboo that aren’t often seen outside Japan are a real treat here, but come for the expertly-balanced delicate flavors of sweet, tender King Crab in a house-made dashi.

    Recommended Dishes:
  • Alaskan King Crab Shabu Shabu
  • Grilled Fresh Bamboo Stuffed with Sakura Shrimp Rice, and Fried Arrowroot Chips
  • Alaskan King Crab Shabu Shabu
    + Click image to enlarge


    Town House Restaurant camera icon
    132 East Main Street
    Chilhowie, VA 24319
    (276) 646-8787
    www.townhouseva.com
    Hours: Tues-Sat 5pm-9pm


    Husband-wife team and 2010 Rising Stars Chef John Shields and Pastry Chef Karen Urie Shields worked at some of the most respected restaurants in the country, from Charlie Trotter’s to Alinea before moving to rural Virginia. This is where they craft some of the most creative developments in culinary Americana. Food this sophisticated used to be the sole purchase of big cities, but Shields’ Ash-Cooked Border Springs Lamb with Smoked Eggplant Purée, Miso, Bonito Dressing, and Black Garlic and Urie Shields’ Parsnip Candy, Coconut, Yeast Sponge, Banana, Maca Crumbs, and Lemongrass have diners trekking hours from their hometowns to journey to their table.

    Recommended Dishes:
  • Australian Lamb, Cooked in Ash with Smoked Eggplant Purée, Miso, Bonito Dressing, and Black Garlic
  • Parsnip Candy, Coconut, Yeast Sponge, Banana, Maca Crumbs, and Lemongrass
  • Border Springs Farm Lamb Cooked in Ash with Smoked Eggplant Puree, Miso, Bonito Dressing, and Black Garlic
    + Click image to enlarge


    Trummer’s on Main camera icon
    7134 Main Street 
    Clifton, VA 20124
    (703) 266-1623
    www.trummersonmain.com
    Hours: Tues-Sat 5pm-10pm; Sun 11:30am-2:30pm


    Neither 2010 Rising Star Chef Clayton Miller nor Rising Star Pastry Chef Chris Ford are originally from Virginia, but the duo have helped change the face of destination dining in the state. Pittsburgh native Miller had experience everywhere from The Ritz-Carlton to Daniel to The French Laundry under his belt before joining the opening Trummer’s on Main team. Dishes like his plump Chilled New Zealand Greenshell Mussels, Quinoa, Curry Mayo, and Fluffy Ocean show all the clout of a seasoned fine dining chef, plus that X factor that turns hippie commune-reminiscent food like quinoa into a polished and sophisticated dish. Ford’s experience in New York as sous chef to Chika Tillman at quirky dessert bar ChikaLicious is evident in his practiced and successful juggling of subtle flavors, and creative textural play that takes chocolate dessert and turns it into Chocolate Soup, Cocoa Nib Sherbet, Cinnamon Marshmallow, and Devil’s Food Cake.

    Recommended Dishes:
    Chilled New Zealand Greenshell Mussels, Quinoa, Curry Mayo, and Fluffy Ocean
    + Click image to enlarge


    Urbana camera icon
    2121 P Street Northwest
    Washington, DC 20037
    (202) 956-6650
    www.urbanadc.com
    Hours: Mon-Thurs 7am-10:30am, 5:30pm-10pm; Fri 7am-10:30am, 5:30pm-11pm; Sat 8am-3pm, 5:30pm-11pm; Sun 8am-3pm, 5:30pm-10pm


    After successful stints at Charlie Palmer’s Aureole in New York and Charlie Palmer Steak in DC, Chef Alexander Bollinger landed at Urbana in 2008. His food sure fits within the modern American genre at which Palmer is so adept, but his creative playful outlook sets him apart from other less adept chefs of his generation—his cheeky use of corn nuts to top a dish of Pan-Roasted Wild Alaskan King Salmon, Sweet Yellow Corn Purée, Fresh Blueberry Compote, for one. Touches like this are classic nostalgia-based tweaks to his elegant modern dishes, rather than the other way around. The Palomar Hotel-adjacent restaurant pairs soft lighting and luxe touches like chocolate leather chairs with a roughly hewn wooden floor for an urban chic feel.

    Recommended Dishes:
  • Pan-Roasted Wild Alaskan King Salmon, Sweet Yellow Corn Purée, Fresh Blueberry Compote, and Corn Nuts
  • Asparagus Salad, Crispy Four-Minute Egg, Prosciutto, and Truffle Vinaigrette
  • Pan-Roasted Wild Alaskan King Salmon, Sweet Yellow Corn Purée, Fresh Blueberry Compote, and Corn Nuts
    + Click image to enlarge


    Vidalia camera icon
    1990 M Street Northwest
    Washington, DC 20036
    (202) 659-1990
    www.vidaliadc.com
    Hours: Mon-Thurs 11:30am-2:30pm, 5:30pm-9:30pm; Fri 11:30am-2:30pm 5:30pm-10pm; Sat 5:30pm-10pm


    It was here in this Spartan lime and white restaurant that 2006 DC Rising Star Chef and James Beard Award Winner RJ Cooper worked his magic when we first tasted with him four years ago, and here that you’ll now find his protégé Pastry Chef Nick Brust’s bold creations. Funky pairings like mango, rum, and Coke are daringly executed and beautifully plated, featuring unexpected strokes like avocado sorbet. Cooper may have moved on to planning his new restaurant, but sandwiches like his controversial Pork Reuben remain. Vidalia is the work of Bistro Bis Restaurateur Jeffrey Buben.

    Recommended Dishes:
  • Pork Reuben Sandwich
  • Caribbean Sunshine, Lemongrass Sponge, Mango Pudding, Fried Plantain, Avocado Sorbet, and Rum Cola Sauce
  • Parsley Root Panna Cotta, Hazelnut Praline Powder, Orange Chip, Orange Emulsion, Basil Fluid Gel, and Microbasil
  • Caribbean Sunshine, Lemongrass Sponge, Mango Pudding, Fried Plantain, Avocado Sorbet, and Rum Cola Sauce
    + Click image to enlarge


    VOLT camera icon
    228 North Market Street
    Frederick, MD 21701
    (301) 696-8658
    www.voltrestaurant.com
    Hours: Wed-Sat 12pm-10pm; Sun 11:30am-10pm


    After 2010 Rising Star Chef Bryan Voltaggio rose through the ranks of Charlie Palmer’s restaurant empire, he decided to take his extensive training at elite restaurants like New York’s Aureole and DC’s Charlie Palmer Steak and bring it back to his hometown of Frederick, Maryland. VOLT is a hip, sophisticated find worthy of a big city, but nestled unexpectedly in the picturesque town of Frederick, housed in a nineteenth century brownstone mansion. Here Voltaggio’s support of local farmers and purveyors is boundless, and he uses the rich offerings of Maryland agriculture to showcase local, seasonal produce using innovative technique. Sommelier Neil Dundee rises to the challenge of the extensive tasting menus. Voltaggio’s culinary homecoming has been a long time coming—but worth the wait for his spin on modern American.

    Recommended Dishes:
  • Arctic Char, Everything Bagel Crumbs, Pickled Mustard Seeds, Lemon Pudding, Chives, and Red Onion
  • Butter Poached Maine Lobster, Lobster Gnocchi, Caramelized Fennel, Lobster Crisp, and Sunchoke Soup
  • Textures of Chocolate, Caramel, and Chocolate Ice Cream
  • Butter Poached Maine Lobster, Lobster Gnocchi, Caramelized Fennel, Lobster Crisp, and Sunchoke Soup
    + Click image to enlarge


    Woodberry Kitchen camera icon
    2010 Clipper Park Road
    Baltimore, MD 21211
    (410) 464-8000
    www.woodberrykitchen.com
    Hours: Mon-Thurs 5pm-10pm; Fri-Sat 5pm-11pm; Sun 10am-2pm, 5pm-9pm


    Chef-owner Spike Gjerde’s Chesapeake cuisine finds an appropriately storied home in a converted nineteenth century foundry. Produce from the Maryland watershed is the star of the show here. The menu changes daily, but there’s always plenty of witty Baltimore spins on tradition—like the Buffalo wings spin-off buffalo softshelled crabs with house-made buffalo sauce and fennel slaw. 2010 Rising Star Sustainability Pastry Chef Isaiah Billington has clearly been paying attention. His unabashedly rustic desserts sing because they begin with the right product and don’t mask it with complicated preparations.

    Recommended Dishes:
  • Roasted Cabrito Flatbread, Local Spinach, Cherry Glenn Goat Cheese, Cybee Honey, Sherry Vinaigrette, Black Rock Orchard Fresh Apricots, and Caramelized Red Onions
  • Buffalo Softshelled Crabs: Fried Softshelled Crabs, Mustard Ranch Dressing, Homemade Buffalo Sauce, Local Radishes, and Fennel Slaw
  • Summer Pudding
  • Blueberry Pie, Classic Pâte Brisée, and Vanilla Custard Ice Cream
  • Summer Pudding
    + Click image to enlarge


    Zaytinya camera icon
    701 9th Street Northwest
    Washington, DC 20001
    (202) 638-0800
    www.zaytinya.com
    Hours: Sun-Mon 11:30am-10pm; Tues-Thurs 11:30am-11:30pm; Fri-Sat 11:30am-midnight


    Chef José Andrés and ThinkFoodGroup’s sprawling Greek and Mediterranean concept Zaytinya was until recently headed by Chef Mike Isabella. His Lebanese, Greek and Turkish small plates, all with a healthy dose of acidity are a good foil for filling pide, delivered at an astonishing pace to the table. Making high-volume Mediterranean of this quality is no easy feat. Beverage Director for ThinkFoodGroup, Jill Zimorski helped put together the award-winning wine list, which is appropriately thick with little-known Greek varietals like Assyrtiko and Roditis, as well as more approachable picks from around the world. Come happy hour, a be-suited power crowd is out in full force, and Zaytinya rises to the challenge, with huge spits of roasting lamb and hearty dishes like Piyaz, Warm Giant Beans, Kale, and Oven Roasted Tomato.

    Recommended Dishes:
  • Asparagus Salata, Smoked White Asparagus, Baby Tomatoes, Pickled Onions, and Yogurt
  • Piyaz, Warm Giant Beans, Kale, and Oven Roasted Tomato

  • + Click image to enlarge


    Againn camera icon
    1099 New York Avenue Northwest
    Washington, DC
    (202) 297-0601 
    www.againndc.com
    Hours: Mon-Wed 11:30am-10pm; Thu 11:30am-11pm; Fri 11:30am-12am; Sat 5:30pm-12am

    At British Isles-themed restaurant Againn, Anglo-Italian beverage director, Caterina Abbruzzetti not only crafts the cocktail menu with JP Caraces and Rachel Sergi, but also oversees the Scotch program and lockers at the restaurant, which have already garnered critical attention. The collection includes gems like Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban Highland Scotch, and features over 80 whiskies and 47 scotches. And while she enjoys her scotch neat, her cocktails are impressively complex. Her light, romantic summery Lady Macbeth cocktail seduces with a silky, viscous mouthfeel and a rosy, floral delicacy. The drink is romantic and summery, garnished with a single, tiny dried rosebud. One thing’s for certain, Chef Wes Morton’s met his match.

    Recommended Drinks:
  • The Lady MacBeth: Hendrick's Gin, St. Germain, Elderflower Liqueur, and Rosewater
  • Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban Highland Scotch
  • The Lady MacBeth
    + Click image to enlarge


    B&O American Brasserie camera icon
    2 North Charles Street
    Baltimore, MD 21201
    (443) 692-6172
    www.bandorestaurant.com
    Hours: Mon-Thurs 2:30pm-11pm; Fri-Sat 2:30pm-midnight; Sun 2:30pm-11pm


    The palatial bar inside Beaux Arts B&O American Brasserie is home to one of the game-changing mixologists of Baltimore. Brendan Dorr’s farm-to-glass cocktails approach at B&O American Brasserie have the dining public excited about tasting new cocktails. This is mostly thanks to signature drinks like his refreshing cocktail The Chamomile Fizz. He never errs in the delicate balance between alcohol, sugar, and floral aromatics; the chamomile-citrus honey-infused Grey Goose vodka meets the Domaine Canton and orange blossom water head-on, all delivered in an airy textured summer cocktail with a slight head.

    Recommended Drinks:
  • Hobo's Cola and Bourbon: Bulleit Bourbon, Housemade Cola, and Brandied Cherries
  • The Chamomile Fizz: Orange-Chamomile-Infused Grey Goose Vodka, Domaine Canton Ginger Liqueur, Orange Flower Water, and Soda Water
  • Hobo's Cola and Bourbon
    + Click image to enlarge


    Bibiana camera icon
    1100 New York Avenue Northwest
    Washington, DC 20005
    (202) 216-9550
    www.bibianadc.com
    Hours: Mon-Thurs 5:30pm-11pm; Fri-Sat 5:30pm-midnight


    Behind the ruby-hued bar at restaurateur Ashok Bajaj’s Italian concept is where you’ll find Mixologist and Wine Director Francesco Amodeo. He draws his inspiration from his native Amalfi Coast in Italy, from the layered legendary citrus of that region in his Magdalena cocktail (house-made limoncello, Falanghina wine, lemon sorbet, basil, and lemon juice) to the house-made digestivi program to the typical Italian varietal wines like Falanghina. Maybe his expertise as a sommelier helps him create such a balance between the savory, sweet, alcohol, and acid in every cocktail. Whatever his secret, his cocktails remain as Italian as he is. The New York Times seems to think so too, as it recently featured his cocktails.

    Recommended Drinks:
  • Magdalena: House-made Limoncello, Falanghina Wine, Lemon Sorbet, Basil, and Lemon Juice
  • Viola: Cochi Americano, Vino di Visciole, Hibiscus Liquor, Orange Juice, and Macerated Sour Cherries
  • Magdalena
    + Click image to enlarge


    ChurchKey
    1337 14th Street Northwest
    Washington, DC 20005
    (202) 567-2576
    www.churchkeydc.com
    Hours: Mon-Thurs 4pm-12:30am; Fri 4pm-1:30am; Sat noon-1:30am; Sun noon-12:30am


    Over beer temple Birch & Barley is where you’ll find this popular beer bar, with its constantly evolving collection of over 500 beers overseen by 2010 Rising Star Beer Sommelier Greg Engert. It has quickly turned into the premier beer destination in the city. Maybe it was Engert’s time abroad, studying at the Goethe Institute in Munich, Germany and Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, that helped feed his obsession with craft beer. Whatever the root of his knowledge, it’s infectious and has the city excited about beer. Forget what you know about brewskies—never-tasted-before sensations like the German Spezial Rauchbier, from Bamberg, Franconia open the imbiber’s eyes to the huge variety of real beer on offer…and the huge advantages beer has when pairing with food.

    Recommended Drinks:
  • Oerbier Ale, De Dolle Brouwers, Esen, Belgium
  • Spezial Rauchbier, Bamberg, Franconia, Germany
  • Route des Épices, Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!, Canada

  • + Click image to enlarge


    The Gibson camera icon
    2009 14th Street Northwest
    Washington, DC 20009
    (202) 232-2154
    www.thegibsondc.com
    Hours: Mon-Sun 6pm-11pm


    This sexy speakeasy is well-hidden, and rightly so, as this is where one of the most well-informed mixologists on the DC cocktail scene, Derek Brown protégé Jon Harrismixes.  A custom-made beet-green peppercorn gelato flavor from gelateria Dolcezza give the grown up ice cream float cocktail Slightly Odd Duck a peppery sweetness that offsets the herbaceous gin and balsam fir tincture. Elements you don’t often see successfully incorporated in a cocktail, like charred cinnamon or Benedictine, are handled with ease by Harris, and make you glad you took the leap of faith.

    Recommended Drinks:
  • Slightly Odd Duck: Gin, Mango Gomme, Balsam Fir Tincture, Fever Tree Bitter Lemon Soda, and Beet-Green Peppercorn Ice Cream
  • Benedicta: Bénédictine, Campari, Grapefruit Juice, Sandalwood Tincture, and Fever Free Tonic Water
  • Slightly Odd Duck: Gin, Mango Gomme, Balsam Fir Tincture, Fever Tree Bitter Lemon Soda, and Beet-Green Peppercorn Ice Cream
    + Click image to enlarge


    The Oval Room camera icon
    800 Connecticut Avenue Northwest
    Washington, DC 20006
    (202) 463-8700
    www.ovalroom.com
    Hours: Mon-Thurs 11:30am-3pm, 5:30pm-10pm; Fri 11:30am-3pm, 5:30pm-10:30pm; Sat 5:30pm-10:30pm


    The giddily verbose sommelier and Somm Slam competitor Brent Kroll is a youthful force to be reckoned with. He earned his training wheels under industry icon Madeline Triffon. Today he not only brings this established restaurant up to date with a daring wine list full of unexpected picks, but also tries his hand at cocktails with wonderful consequences. Vermouth has earned a bad rep, but Kroll’s version of an aperitif sets off a little sweet vermouth with the gentle acidity and aroma of lemon zest for a palate-opening experience.

    Recommended Drinks:
  • Dolan Sweet Vermouth with Lemon Zest
  • Champagne Cocktails
  • Dolan Sweet Vermouth with Lemon Zest
    + Click image to enlarge


    The Passenger/The Columbia Room camera icon
    1021 7th Street Northwest
    Washington, DC 20001
    (202) 393-0220 / (202) 393-0336
    www.passengerdc.com
    Hours: Mon-Thurs, Sun 5pm-1:30am; Fri-Sat 5pm-2:30am


    Inside the bustling bar The Passenger, behind a hidden door lies a zen-like cocktail haven, where Mixologist Derek Brown shows the drinking public what potential classic cocktails really have. With the carefully sourced jars of spices behind the bar, he’s created a unique market for a specialty cocktail experience. An industry legend, Brown’s personable and knowledgeable cocktail banter is served with a side of hand-sawn and carved ice cubes—you didn’t think he’d use trays, did you? You can catch his articulate mixology articles in The Atlantic Monthly.

    Recommended Drinks:
  • The Getaway: Cruzan Blackstrap Rum, Cynar, and Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • The Japanese Fizz: Old Weller Antique Bourbon Whiskey, Graham's Ruby Port, Lemon Juice, and Brandied Cherries

  • + Click image to enlarge


    Proof camera icon
    775 G Street Northwest
    Washington, DC 20001 
    (202) 737-7663
    www.proofdc.com
    Hours: Mon 5:30pm-10pm; Tues-Thurs 11:30am-2pm, 5:30pm-10pm; Fri 11:30am-2pm; 5:30pm-11pm; Sat 5:30pm-11pm; Sun 5pm-9:30pm


    Proof may be a wine-centric restaurant, but Mixologist Adam Bernbach keeps us coming back to the bar with his inspired cocktails. Chef Haidar Karoum isn’t the only one at Proof with an appreciation for Vietnamese cuisine. Take a drink that screams traditional DC: The Rickey; pick a more refreshing gin crisp with cucumber, like Hendrick’s, and add a touch of Vietnamese influence with a salt-cured lime soda. The result clues the drinker into why Bernbach has the impact he has on the mixology scene in DC. He’s unerringly skilled at guiding diners through his cocktail menu, and he now exercises that skill at newly opened Estadio, too.

    Recommended Drinks:
  • Salty Limey Ginny Thing: Hendrick's Gin, Lime Juice, and Salt-Cured Lime Soda
  • Darkside: Plymouth Gin, Marcarini Barolo Chinato, and Peychaud Bitters
  • Salty Limey Ginny Thing
    + Click image to enlarge


    PS 7's camera icon
    777 I (Eye) Street Northwest
    Washington, DC 20001
    (202) 742-8550
    www.ps7restaurant.com
    Hours: Mon-Fri 11:30am-11pm; Sat 5:30pm-11pm


    PS 7’s is one of the busiest trend-setting restaurant bars in the city, with its undulating white wave-clad bar and back-lit walls. Here Mixologist Gina Chersevani not only creates craft cocktails, but also works with Chef Peter Smith to customize cocktail and food pairings. She’s a chef’s mixologist, and her arsenal is made up of house-spun bitters ice creams, dehydrated orange zest powders, and a wealth of chefly creations that set her cocktails apart. In season she can be seen behind pots and pots of basil, and tiny containers of specialist salts and spices, cheerily mixing. Cocktails like Bell’anguria, which softens a backbone of Knob Creek Bourbon with refreshing frozen watermelon water, Lillet, Dolan Blanc, and simple syrup, make for a refreshingly imaginative drinking experience.

    Recommended Drinks:
  • Mulberry Street: Bourbon, Housemade Meyer Lemon Limoncello, and Sour Cherries
  • Bell’anguria: Knob Creek Bourbon, Lillet-Watermelon Water, and Dolan Blanc
  • Mulberry Street
    + Click image to enlarge


    PX Lounge camera icon
    728 King St.
    Alexandria, VA 22314
    (703) 299-8384
    www.restauranteve.com
    Hours: Wed-Sat 6pm-midnight


    Old Town Alexandria is the unlikely location for this matchbox-sized mahogany-lined speakeasy, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in quality. 2006 DC Rising Star Todd Thrasher began the cocktail revival in DC, and he continues it here, with Mixologist Clinton Terry tending bar. Terry’s craft cocktails balance savory and sweet elements expertly, with sage playing with blackberries as if it was the most natural thing in the world in his I Stole Chef's Sage Cocktail mixed with Woodford Reserve.

    Recommended Drinks:
  • The Most Aggressive Fish in the Ocean: Cruzan Rum, Hendrick's Gin, Cucumber, Yuzu, and Mint
  • I Stole Chef's Sage: Woodford Reserve Bourbon, Chef's Sage, and Blackberries
  • I Stole Chef's Sage
    + Click image to enlarge


    Rasika camera icon
    633 D Street Northwest
    Washington, DC 20004
    (202) 637-1222
    www.rasikarestaurant.com
    Hours: Mon-Thurs 11:30am-2:30pm, 5:30pm-10:30pm; Fri 11:30am-2:30pm; 5:30pm-11pm; Sat 5pm-11pm


    The complexity and spices of Chef Vikram Sunderam’s modern Indian cuisine pose a lot of challenges for Mixologist Jason Strich, but he steps up to the plate. The ingredients he hand-selects twice weekly at the nearest farmers’ market lead to creations like his subtle and sensual rhubarb-tequila cocktail Rhuby Red, kissed with lavender, juniper and coriander, the spices marrying perfectly with the mild heat of Sunderam’s dishes. Of course, each cocktail is more than capable of standing on its own merit, and these versatile potables are as easy going down as a digestif as they are with dinner.

    Recommended Drinks:
  • Rhuby Red: Don Julio Silver Tequila, Lavender and Juniper-Scented Rhubarb Juice
  • Crimson Delirium: Gin, Campari, Blood Orange Juice, and Dill
  • Crimson Delirium
    + Click image to enlarge


    Tabard Inn camera icon
    1739 N Street Northwest
    Washington, DC 20036
    (202) 331-8528
    www.tabardinn.com
    Hours: Mon-Thurs 7am-10am, 11:30am-2:30pm, 6pm-9:30pm; Fri 7am-10am, 11:30am-2:30pm, 6pm-10pm; Sat 8am-9:45am, 10:30am-2:30pm, 6pm-10pm; Sun 8am-9:45am, 10:30am-2:30pm, 6pm-9:30pm


    Ivy-covered brick and romance abound at the historic Tabard Inn, with a cozy fireplace and brocade couches in the lounge. Mixologist Chantal Tseng mixes both historically accurate cocktails like the Sazerac and original inventions of her own, like her poetry-inspired The Buried Life cocktail, which flavors reposado tequila with rosemary-infused, cave-aged black tea, blood orange peel, and orange oil. An irrepressible sherry enthusiast and major industry figure, she is coincidentally married to Mixologist Derek Brown of The Columbia Room.

    Recommended Drinks:
  • Tabard Pimm's Cup: Pimm's No. 1, Cucumber, Cucumber Syrup, Lemon Juice, Lime Juice, Ginger Ale, and Soda
  • The Buried Life: Reposado Tequila, Cave-Aged Black Tea, Roasted Rosemary, Lemon Juice, and Blood Orange Peel
  • Tabard Pimm's Cup
    + Click image to enlarge


    Trummer’s on Main camera icon
    7134 Main Street 
    Clifton, VA 20124
    (703) 266-1623
    www.trummersonmain.com
    Hours: Tues-Sat 5pm-10pm; Sun 11:30am-2:30pm


    2010 Rising Star Stefan Trummer is not only part of the restaurant’s triple threat team, he is also the owner. The Austrian born mixologist is endlessly open minded and creative when it comes to cocktail ingredients, as likely to throw blue corn juice and smoked vanilla into a cocktail as he is to use bourbon. His Blue Corn cocktail combines all three elements with Woodford Reserve bourbon, blue corn consommé, and Saigon cinnamon-Madagascar vanilla bean smoke, and finishes them off with a dash of zesty Grand Marnier.

    Recommended Drinks:
  • The Reefer: Ron Zacapa Centenario 23-Year-Old Rum, Fresh Mint, Virginia Honey, Angostura Bitters, Barboursville Brut, and Bouquet Garnis Steeped in Absinthe
  • Peach Granita: Bulleit Bourbon, Housemade Apricot Brandy, Fresh Peaches, Lime Juice, Peach Bitters, Prosecco, Crushed Ice, and Fresh Peach Slice Garnish
  • Blue Corn: Woodford Reserve Bourbon, Grand Marnier, Blue Corn Consommé, and Saigon Cinnamon-Madagascar Vanilla Bean Smoke
  • Blue Corn
    + Click image to enlarge


    Wisdom camera icon
    1432 Pennsylvania Avenue Southeast
    Washington, DC 20003
    (202) 543-2323
    www.dcwisdom.com
    Hours: Tues-Thurs 6pm-2am; Fri-Sat 7pm-3am; Sun 7pm-12:30am


    A laid-back crowd drink at this peaceful neighborhood cocktail lounge, far from the snooty cocktail scene of Northwest DC. The owner, Mixologist Erik Holzherr decodes the sometimes dubious world of cocktails by giving each cocktail a rating based on its essence, texture, clarity, subtlety and finish. Holzherr is known for his extensive absinthe collection and remains an outspoken member of the craft cocktail scene.

    Recommended Drinks:
  • Rain: Plymouth Gin, Curaçao of Curaçao, Agave Nectar, Aloe Vera Juice, and White Grape Juice
  • The Absolution: Plymouth Gin, Yellow Chartreuse, Dubonnet Blanc, and Pressed Apple Juice
  • The Absolution: Plymouth Gin, Yellow Chartreuse, Dubonnet Blanc, and Pressed Apple Juice
    + Click image to enlarge


    Woodberry Kitchen camera icon
    2010 Clipper Park Road
    Baltimore, MD 21211
    (410) 464-8000
    www.woodberrykitchen.com
    Hours: Mon-Thurs 5pm-10pm; Fri-Sat 5pm-11pm; Sun 10am-2pm, 5pm-9pm


    Behind the packed bar of the exposed brick-walled restaurant is where Mixologist Corey Polyoka mixes. It doesn’t hurt that he has the benefit of a steady stream of seasonal fruits and vegetables from the nearby farms that the restaurant carefully selects. Polyoka and fellow Mixologist Brendan Dorr of B&O American Brasserie are fast friends and the success of collaboration is apparent in Polyoka’s sustainable cocktails.

    Recommended Drinks:
  • Apricots in the Afternoon: Kluge Cru Aperitif Wine, Reeds Orchard Apricots, Fresh Orange Juice, Orange Bitters, and Apricot Pâte de Fruits
  • Gov't Mule: Organic Vodka, and Lime-Ginger Syrup
  • Apricots in the Afternoon: Kluge Cru Aperitif Wine, Reeds Orchard Apricots, Fresh Orange Juice, Orange Bitters, and Apricot Pâte de Fruits
    + Click image to enlarge


    Fairfax at Embassy Row camera icon
    2100 Massachusetts Avenue Northwest
    Washington, DC 20008
    (202) 835-2100
    www.fairfaxhoteldc.com
    Rooms start at $179


    Black and white marble floors, chandeliers and mahogany furniture have throw-back elegance, but the hotel itself is modern when it comes to conveniences. The gilded ballroom caters to the property’s weddings and conferences, and fitness and business centers keep the thriving weekday business crowd satisfied. It’s not all business though—in-room high-speed internet access, 300 thread count Fili D'oro linens and plush down comforters make for a luxurious stay, while you listen to the music you like courtesy of the iPod docking station. You’ll probably never want to leave the marble bathrooms and fluffy towels to go back to your normal life after this.

    Fairfax at Embassy Row
    + Click image to enlarge


    Hotel Helix camera icon
    1430 Rhode Island Avenue Northwest
    Washington, DC 20005
    (202) 462-9001
    www.hotelhelix.com
    Rooms start at $139


    This boutique hotel from the Kimpton Group caters to a hipper, younger crowd than most of the city’s accommodations. Colorful rooms and surfer-dude art play host to a CD stereo, full-stocked bar and 1960s style orange furniture, so you can indulge in a little pre-clubbing activity, or just sit back and watch the 37-inch flat panel TV. It’s also remarkably family-friendly with reasonable group rates, pet amenities, and in-room Nintendo that would soothe even the brattiest teen. The swanky lobby lounge with old black and white photographs and circle mirrors may have you calling for a babysitter and enjoying the patio lounge in season—get your color therapy here as the whole patio morphs from a yellow to pale blue. The downtown location is convenient, but the hotel is also a haven with spa and massage services available to unwind after a long day.

    Hotel Helix
    + Click image to enlarge


    Hotel Monaco camera icon
    2 North Charles Street
    Baltimore, MD 21201
    (443) 692-6170
    www.monaco-baltimore.com
    Rooms start at $239


    The turn-of-the-century B&O railroad building has been reinvented as a Kimpton Hotel with downtown luxury. A lobby with original marble floors and Tiffany stained-glass windows has a period feel. In-room the wireless high-speed Internet access keeps you plugged in, though with a hosted evening wine hour you might want to just sit in the crimson lobby living room and enjoy your complimentary wine while reading a good book, playing chess with the provided board or warming up by the fireplace. The matte gold walls and lacquered red furniture in every room scream opulence. You’ll have no excuse to miss your workout with personal training services available in the fitness center upon request, and if you leave home in a hurry the hotel provides essential travel items for your convenience.

    Hotel Monaco
    + Click image to enlarge


    Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner camera icon
    1700 Tysons Boulevard
    McLean, VA 22102
    (703) 506-4300 
    www.ritzcarlton.com
    Rooms start at $179


    Conveniently located for DC travel, this five-star hotel in Tysons Corner may look pretty, but it’s a hotel with brains—there are boarding pass stations so hurrying to the airport doesn’t ruin your day, a spa, swimming pool, and fitness center so you can relax and rejuvenate during your stay The hotel is located right next door to the luxury shopping center Tysons Galleria. The exclusive Club Level boasts a private lounge, with complimentary food and beverage and a concierge staff on-hand to fulfill your every need. Or you might decide to go with one of the property’s restaurants like the recently opened Michel by Michel Richard or Entyse.



    Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner
    + Click image to enlarge

    Additional Photo Galleries camera icon


     

    Great Chef de Partie Opportunity in Chicago
    Fried Oysters with Remoulade
    Join us in celebrating the 2010 Washington DC Area Rising Stars Gala and Awards Ceremony on October 26, 2010 at Charlie Palmer Steak
    Rudi Sodamin
    A Taste of Elegance
    Jan 2010
    Rizzoli
     Sign up for our newsletters!|Print this page|Email this page to a friend
     QuickMeals   Chefs   Rising Stars   Hospitality Jobs   Find a School   Wine   Community   Features   Food Events   News   Ask the Experts   Tickets   Cookbooks
    About Us | Career Opportunities | Affiliate Program | Portfolio| Media Kit | StarChefs in the News | Site Map
    Please help keep StarChefs a free service by displaying our button on your website. Click here for details.
      Copyright © 1995-2010 StarChefs. All rights reserved.  | Privacy Policy