Overview | The 25 finest new eating places in D.C. supply a world of flavors

Right here’s hoping you want French meals, Asian flavors and model extensions, as a result of my spring assortment of latest locations to eat brims with alternatives to style the highest tendencies of the previous 12 months or so.

In the event you’ve been following my restaurant rounds in and round Washington, you recognize your ravenous information has been consuming quite a lot of baguettes, hoisting various chopsticks and frequenting spinoffs of fashionable eating institutions. (Thanks, José Andrés, Peter Chang and others.)

Are eating rooms extra crowded as of late? It certain feels that means, judging from all of the hard-to-book eating places — and the din inside. “We missed gathering,” says Rose Previte, proprietor of the spirited new Kirby Membership in Fairfax, Va., the place the demand for group bookings represents “a brand new appreciation” amongst diners.

Signal of the occasions: People spent 20.7 p.c extra at eating places than they spent on groceries final 12 months, Axios reported final month. Given excessive costs normally, some individuals are opting to let others do the cooking.

LEFT: Stuffed Piquillo Peppers on the Bazaar by José Andrés. (Scott Suchman for The Washington Submit) RIGHT: Bartender Fernando Granja mixes drinks at Amazonia. (Scott Suchman for The Washington Submit)

Sorry to say, quiet eating places are rarer than ever as of late, prompting me to fantasize about methods eating places might improve the general eating expertise. Learn on for my listing of 10 strategies, based mostly partially on what followers have shared on my weekly on-line dialogue.

The next listing highlights my decide of the present crop — 25 younger eating places, half within the suburbs, the place I’d be pleased to go alone greenback (dimes being so yesterday). If there’s a recent face you don’t see, it may very well be the results of current chef modifications, the necessity for extra time to show itself, or just because life is brief and also you deserve one of the best.

Filter to your eating preferences

1 Amazonia/Causa

The District

Mains $26 to $38 at Amazonia and $125 for six-course chef’s tasting menu at Causa.

Carlos Delgado says he wished to “construct a brand new means of Peruvian consuming,” and that’s precisely what he’s completed with two eating places below one roof in Blagden Alley, Amazonia and Causa. The previous is a rakish bar and eating room with a jungle of an out of doors terrace on the rooftop and snacks together with skewers. The latter — off the doorway and opening with a pristine show of fish — showcases a six-course tasting menu that your information introduces as if it have been a visit: “We’re going to the touch on coastal cooking, then the Andes, and end within the Amazon.”

Right here’s what I like in regards to the bar: just about every part? Drinks will not be simply balanced, they’re stunning. The pisco-spirited Anticuchería, hinting of smoke and fruit, exhibits up in a terra-cotta vessel with spiced pineapple and a banana leaf. The kitchen offers recent which means to “bar meals.” Skewered salmon stomach melts on the tongue; a morsel of garlicky plantain topped with pork tallow turns into irresistible nigiri; and hearts of palm and creamy avocado make for a fetching salad once they’re carpeted with fried plantain cash. Throw in good service and plush seating and also you get a line exterior earlier than the door opens.

[Amazonia and Causa: Two delicious tastes of Peru under one roof]

Right here’s what I like in regards to the superb eating: As soon as a parade of beautiful small bites are cleared at Causa, Delgado makes it his mission to spend as a lot time as doable together with his viewers. Right here he’s, including liquid nitrogen to yellowtail and candy potato, a glowing ceviche (and a reminder he as soon as labored for José Andrés). One other course, Delgado explains the traditional observe of cooking layers of meals underground over scorching stones — pachamanca✓ — as we slice into succulent Wagyu beef quick ribs lapped with a discount of black mint, beef inventory and soy sauce and served with a contemporary whip of cauliflower. The listing of piscos appears countless, just like the kinds of potatoes in Peru, and it’s a must to admire priorities just like the newly acquired $15,000 dryer — only for growing old fish.

Dietary supplements can ship your invoice skyward, however even the bottom dinner right here is as a lot a grasp class in Peruvian historical past and geography as celebration of one of many world’s best pantries.

Right here’s why you need to e-book a visit to both attraction: No person on this nation is cooking Peruvian at this degree, with as a lot dedication and craftsmanship, as Delgado.

Goals do come true at Amazonia and Causa — his and diners’.

920 Blagden Alley NW.


Amazonia: Dinner Tuesday by means of Sunday. Indoor and out of doors seating. Causa: Dinner Thursday by means of Saturday. Indoor seating.

Sound test: Amazonia—75 decibels/Should converse with raised voice. Causa—70 decibels/Dialog is straightforward.

2 Chang Chang

The District

Mains $26 to $120 (for shareable duck).

No sooner did Chang Chang open in Dupont Circle final fall than it grew to become the highest spot for Chinese language in Washington. My solely quibble is how lengthy it took for the esteemed chef, Peter Chang, to feed the District as beautifully as he’s executed over time in his many eating places in Maryland, Virginia and past.

Dishes you’ve tried in different Chinese language locations style like more true, elevated variations right here. The pleasant roar of Chang Chang’s kung pao hen is matched by the pedigree of the star of the present — free-range hen from D’Artagnan — and fried walnut prawns keep away from the same old cloying glop due to a velvety glaze of condensed milk and orange juice. Wrinkly inexperienced beans tossed with pickled cabbage, a part of a number of the finest takeout in current reminiscence, whisks me to Sichuan, the Chinese language province well-known for its daring flavors.

[Worth the wait: Peter Chang finally opens a Chinese restaurant in D.C.]

Dishes you possibly can’t supply wherever else — duck “4 methods” involves thoughts — flip any night time right into a celebration. The spectacle is fired to order and takes 45 minutes to get to the desk. Persistence is rewarded by a platter of sliced, smoked, five-spiced duck, plus a ginger-spiked broth and a phyllo-swaddled pie full of forbidden rice and shredded duck confit.

There’s no becoming bored with the ever-evolving menu. For spring, the cooks have lightened the delectable, tongue-numbing tofu pores and skin salad with cured cucumbers, and so they’ve launched a revivifying yellowtail crudo whose cool is underscored by julienne inexperienced apple and challenged by scorching mustard. Co-owner and pastry maestro Pichet Ong says uncooked fish — yusheng in Chinese language — symbolizes good luck. The crudo at Chang Chang positively makes me really feel lucky.

Observe that lunch is totally different from dinner is separate from takeout, and you actually, really want to get your chopsticks across the knife-cut noodles strewn with crumbled pork and steamed clams. Ong calls the mix “surf and turf white Bolognese.” The plate, like his muffins, is classy.

1200 nineteenth St. NW.


Lunch and dinner each day. Indoor and out of doors seating.

Sound test: 75 decibels/Should converse with raised voice. Takeout and supply. Accessibility: No boundaries at entrance; ADA-compliant restroom.

3 Kirby Membership

Fairfax, Va.

Mains $17 to $38

Opening chef Omar Hegazi, who was raised in Cairo, returned to New York not too long ago. No want for a tragic trombone, although. Earlier than he left, he made certain his kitchen colleagues continued cooking as if he have been nonetheless in the home.

Lengthy story quick: Kirby Membership, delivered to life by Rose Previte, the imaginative and prescient behind the favored Maydan and Compass Rose in Washington, stays a luscious supply for dips, kebabs and “picnic platters” on the Mosaic District in Northern Virginia.

[Kirby Club adds luscious dips, kebabs and ‘picnic platters’ to Fairfax]

The menu acknowledges that the world is made up of some individuals who need their very own plate of meals and others who don’t thoughts competing for the final morsel of no matter on a platter.

Non-sharers will rejoice over the plates for one, that includes quite a lot of kebabs — hen, lamb, oyster (mushroom) — that really feel like a feast given the fluffy yellow rice, sumac-spiked onions and vibrant salad that accompany them. “Picnic platters” are a throwback to Previte’s childhood reminiscences of Labor Day spreads with the Kirby Membership, a Lebanese social group her maternal grandparents helped present in 1933 in Akron, Ohio. My ongoing fascination is the entire roast hen, massaged with garlic, turmeric and oil and offered on a raft of flatbread with the aforementioned rice and salad, but additionally crinkle-cut fries sprinkled with za’atar and a rainbow of sauces.

However first, some starters. First amongst equals is the muhammara, darkish with charred purple peppers and sweet-tart with pomegranate. Then once more, the falafel are additionally glorious snacks, flavored with the identical coriander, garlic and onion the departed chef recalled from his youthful grazing in Cairo.

New to the script: lunch hours, and the opportunity of couscous bowls and “handhelds” — lavash wraps full of a selection of hen shawarma, falafel with pickled eggplant or (mmm) juice-spurting beef-and-lamb kofta with melted feta cheese, tomato and the spark of pickled onions. Any wrap is healthier with a fistful of sumac-flavored pita chips.

The Kirby Membership is customized with a central bar, partitions with mod colours evoking the Seventies and an album’s value of Previte’s household pictures. “It’s at all times sunny right here,” an attendant says of the vibe and the flavors. For certain, for certain, and the nice occasions are anticipated to roll on this fall in Clarendon with a second location.

2911 District Ave., Fairfax, Va.


Dinner Tuesday by means of Saturday, lunch Monday by means of Friday. Indoor and out of doors seating.

Sound test: 82 decibels/Extraordinarily loud. Takeout and supply. Accessibility: Ramp results in entrance; ADA-compliant restroom.

4 Pleasure by Seven Causes

Chevy Chase, Md.

Mains $28 to $130 (for 38-ounce steak).

The title is ideal.

Go searching. Yards of fringe in fiesta colours hold from the ceiling, masks enliven a wall close to the bar, and the ace attendants sport whimsical jackets that might cross for work.

Hear. “There are not any fallacious selections,” a server introduced one night time.

Now style. Pearly slices of swordfish splashed with smoky chile sauce fan throughout a crisp tortilla, making for the hautest (and hottest) tostada round. A beautiful riff on lasagna showcases pink cooked prosciutto and a vivid mint-fresh pesto. Rice-stuffed tomato sounds plain in print, however what a glory taking place! Grains tinted with inexperienced tomato mojo inside a peeled, roasted tomato served on a trio of sauces is an egg-capped Valentine to vegetarians.

[Joy by Seven Reasons gives diners lots to cheer, even a $65 sandwich]

In all, that is whimsical meals (and drink) with critical expertise behind it, foremost chef William Morles Gonzalez and his boss, Venezuelan chef Enrique Limardo✓, whose modern Latin American restaurant in Washington, Seven Causes, lends its title to this spirited eating attract Chevy Chase.

“Have enjoyable, get loopy, be horny, get pleasure from,” requests the menu of the window-wrapped restaurant best-known for a really “Colossal” $65 quick rib sandwich that may simply feed three or 4.

Go away it to Pleasure to show a command into contentment.

5471 Wisconsin Ave., Chevy Chase, Md.


Dinner each day, brunch weekends. Indoor and out of doors seating.

Sound test: 77 decibels/Should converse with raised voice. Takeout and supply. Accessibility: No boundaries at entrance; ramp results in eating room; ADA-compliant restroom.

5 Native Provisions

Sterling, Va.

Mains $15 to $34.

One meal in, I wished to be an everyday. It is a restaurant that (gasp!) bothers to reply its telephone throughout service, responds to e-mail, provides greater than pasta to welcome vegetarians, makes top-shelf drinks at costs that received’t break the financial institution, lists steak on its youngsters menu and seems like a family-owned enterprise, — as a result of it’s.

Meet cooks Michael and Ally Stebner, companions in life and in enterprise. He’s the smile you see circulating within the light-filled eating room; she’s the one minding the open kitchen. The couple’s menu marries tendencies (cauliflower piccata) and comforts (roast hen), a lot of which decide up taste from a charcoal grill.

[Local Provisions in Sterling is a mom and pop that checks all the boxes]

Open solely since January, Native Provisions is the success it’s thanks largely to the years Michael spent within the fast-casual business, the place he labored for such admired manufacturers as True Meals Kitchen, Sweetgreen and Cava. Initially, the Stebners deliberate to open one thing comparable in Sterling. Locals allow them to know they wished someplace “to sit down down and be snug,” says Michael. He and Ally modified course, acknowledging a full-service restaurant would higher “feed our souls as cooks.”

Good transfer. The appetizers alone would get my enterprise. Fritto misto and grilled octopus look and style like starters you’d discover at expense-account locations in Washington; rafts of house-baked bread slathered with tangy goat cheese, plied with slices of roasted squash and drizzled with spiced honey are meatless — and memorable. Additional into the script are a juicy lamb burger jazzed up with pickled peppers and sesame focaccia; a zippy rigatoni Bolognese sized as if for 2 chowhounds; and a roast hen that arrives properly charred, with a vibrant olive relish and a mattress of sliced potatoes that absorb the scrumptious pan juices.

A stack of booster seats close to the restrooms affirms Native Provisions’ family-friendliness. However repeat visits have taught me the restaurant is simply pretty much as good for date night time, women’ getaways and … effectively, title the event and this newcomer rises to greet it.

46286 Cranston St., Sterling, Va.


Dinner each day, lunch Thursday by means of Sunday. Indoor and out of doors seating.

Sound test: 77 decibels/Should converse with raised voice. Takeout and supply. Accessibility: Slight ramp results in entrance; ADA-compliant restroom.

The Bazaar by José Andrés

The District

Snacks, tapas and medium-size dishes $9 to $68

Thirty years after he first dreamed of opening a restaurant within the Previous Submit Workplace constructing in Washington, José Andrés presents the Bazaar by José Andrés, the splashiest addition but to his native portfolio. Set within the Waldorf Astoria, it’s a present to town that made Andrés the chef and humanitarian he’s immediately, the son of Spain says.

Your eyes received’t know the place to focus. In a single a part of the opulent, second-floor eating room, a carver wields a knife like a surgeon on the cured leg of an Iberian pig fed a weight-reduction plan of acorns. In one other, a server is whipping up a caipirinha from a silver bowl of liquid nitrogen, lime juice and the spirit cachaça. A number of lengthy tables reinforce the chef’s thought of the American Dream: “longer tables, not greater partitions,” says the Man Who Wants No Introduction.

[The Bazaar by José Andrés is his dream come true in Washington]

The epic menu seems to be back and forth but additionally lets diners savor the right here and now. The late America Eats Tavern is recalled with dishes together with the nation’s daintiest hen wings. Served on skewers, the deboned, pressed and fried wings are glossed with a wealthy scorching sauce and completed with a dice of blue cheese. No must lick your fingers, however you’re more likely to smack your lips with each superb chew.

The meals, incorporating concepts from Jaleo, Minibar and the star chef’s different eating attracts, is available in well-paced waves. Think about an onion soup that’s by turns cold and warm in each spoonful, a “Philly cheesesteak” rethought with Wagyu beef and blimp-like “air bread” crammed with a whip of cheddar cheese, and a salad of Japanese peaches and burrata organized as if by an artist. Andrés is fascinated with frying and fritters. Spring for the splendid conch fritters — near-liquid with bechamel and onion within the heart and lightweight and golden as one of the best tempura exterior.

Reservations aren’t straightforward, however price-wise, the Bazaar is likely one of the metropolis’s extra accessible special-occasion retreats.

1100 Pennsylvania Ave. NW.


Breakfast, lunch and dinner each day. Indoor seating.

Sound test: 71 decibels/Should converse with raised voice. Accessibility: Wheelchair customers can enter the resort through a ramp and attain the second-floor eating room through an elevator; ADA-compliant restroom.

Donsak Thai DC

The District

Mains $15 to $37 (sharing platter).

When a spot has 4 homeowners and so they all need to see their favorites on the menu, the listing can stretch 75 dishes lengthy. That’s the case at this Thai newcomer in Woodley Park, a neighborhood higher identified for its zoo and park than must-eat eating places.

Fortunately, Donsak is a power for the scrumptious. Co-owned by Supisa Teawbut, a former supervisor on the close by Beau Thai, and Boontom Ratana, beforehand the chef at City Thai in Arlington, the comfortable storefront is called for the southern metropolis in Thailand identified for its seafood and features a web page dedicated to Esaan cooking. It’s a mode the chef, a local of northeastern Thailand, is aware of effectively.

[Donsak Thai Restaurant is required eating in Woodley Park]

Donsak performs the requisite paces for many Thai eating places. You’ll discover among the many starters papaya salad, larb with loads of chile warmth, and steamed dumplings fats with crab, pork and shrimp. Little touches set this kitchen aside from the pack, although. Take the papaya salad, for which Ratana cuts the fruit by hand, so the items are irregular, and likewise fries uncooked peanuts as an alternative of shopping for roasted ones in bulk.

The curries show distinctive, too. Pink curry with fried squash bobbing in spiced coconut milk and the Esaan-style, pull-no-punches water-based curry with Thai eggplant are first amongst equals. The dish I wouldn’t dream of lacking here’s a three-ring circus for the palate referred to as nham kao tod: rice seasoned with herbs and curry paste, fried to a crackle then damaged into items and tossed with julienne fermented ham, peanuts, onions and shards of recent ginger.

Excellent news for close by clients: Donsak delivers free inside a 1 1/2-mile radius with a $20 minimal order.

2608 Connecticut Ave. NW.


Lunch and dinner each day. Indoor and out of doors seating.

Sound test: 75 decibels/Should converse with raised voice. Takeout and supply. Accessibility: Ramp on the (heavy) entrance door; ADA-compliant restroom.

Hulu Skewer Home

Rockville, Md.

Mains: $2 to $10 per skewer.

Image a sea of tables, every inset with a grill, and a cadre of servers, every affixed to a pill. Combine within the fragrance of cooked meat and music blared at membership quantity.

A diner may very well be forgiven for mistaking the scene at Hulu Skewer Home for a Korean barbecue. In actuality, it’s a Chinese language restaurant specializing in threaded seafood, meat and greens — elements warmed over custom-made electrical grills with rotating spindles that take away the necessity for stir-cooking. Well-liked in China, the place the novelty originated pre-pandemic, in keeping with co-owner Shichao “Jonathan” Wang✓, the development made its debut in Rockville on New 12 months’s Eve.

The 2-floor, industrial-looking restaurant is the hassle of eight associates who merely craved a spot to “chill and have enjoyable,” says Wang, who works for a bio-tech firm. (Hulu is a nod to a Chinese language animated collection, Huluwa, which options eight central characters.) Except for the noise, the eating room on the principle ground is snug and trendy, dressed with broad tables and leather-based chairs that encourage lingering. There are a number of methods to dine — a la carte and combos for 2 or 4 that embrace extras comparable to beef noodle soup — and one method to order: through QR code, which lets you choose in Chinese language or English.

A part of the enjoyable is watching dinner go from uncooked to prepared (and generally, “wow!”). The rocking movement of the grill is hypnotic. Little fish muffins tan and puff up like marshmallows. Taiwanese sausages go spherical and spherical, sweating candy juices. Bites of hen, slick with chiles, let you recognize they’re prepared by throwing their spicy scent in your course. Dozens of choices — red-tipped clams, candy potatoes, pork stomach, and many others. — encourage repeat visits. As soon as the skewered gadgets are cooked, they’re positioned on a rack above the grill. Tiny forks are used to launch the new morsels from the skewers.

Servers are attentive about monitoring the tables to see that nothing will get overcooked, however much less inclined to introduce diners to the condiments that seem on modern gold trays. Professional tip: Sprinkle a number of the cumin seasoning on the justifiably top-selling lamb skewers. You’ll need to spherical out your meal with one thing ready by the kitchen — cooling chopped cucumbers garnished with cilantro, possibly, or break up roasted eggplant showered with scallions and purple pepper and completed with garlic sauce. Move on the chewy pork dumplings, although.

Extra rotation might be loved upstairs — within the type of songs — the place the restaurant shares six karaoke rooms and a full bar.

1488 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Md.


Dinner each day, lunch weekends. Indoor and out of doors seating.

Sound test: 76 decibels/Should converse with raised voice Takeout. Accessibility: No boundaries at entrance; ADA-compliant restroom.

Il Piatto

The District

Mains $19 to $35.

Proprietor Hakan Ilhan adopted fancy French with informal Italian final 12 months on the positioning of the previous Mirabelle close to the White Home. “Our values have modified,” he informed me after switching cuisines and reducing costs. The demand for superb eating was greater than met by town’s provide, he added.

Inside or out? It’s a toss-up when the climate’s in your facet. Il Piatto (“the dish” in Italian) provides one of the crucial tempting out of doors eating areas round. Bordered with greenery and shaded with umbrellas, the alfresco seating takes within the steeple of St. John’s Church and the highest half of the Washington Monument: dinner and (a little bit of) a present. Inside, Ilhan retained virtually every part from Mirabelle however the linens on the tables: capacious semicircular cubicles, burgundy leather-based panels, a lot of brass trim and lighting that’s as arty as it’s sensible.

[Il Piatto is a looker with pastas priced to please in downtown D.C.]

A change of guard in March finds Sfoglina veteran Francisco Vargas within the kitchen, however the worth of major programs unchanged. They nonetheless common an agreeable $26. Nothing on the all-day menu is more likely to ship you to Google Translate. However a lot of what I favored within the opening days continues to please me now. The juicy meatballs, showered with filings of parmesan, are rolled from floor beef loosely held along with milk-soaked bread and egg and warmed in recent tomato sauce. The fried calamari sport a clingy buttermilk batter and get a pleasant cost from a garnish of pickled greens. Lamb chops marinated with rosemary and garlic are my go-to meat, and ravioli full of spinach and ricotta comes draped in a creamy tomato sauce.

New to the script: pasta primavera, an ode to the season whose headliners embrace artichokes, asparagus and inexperienced olives.

900 sixteenth St. NW.


Lunch and dinner each day. Indoor and out of doors seating.

Sound test: 72 decibels/Should converse with raised voice. Takeout. Accessibility: The double set of doorways on the entrance are heavy; ADA-compliant restroom.

Ingle Korean Steakhouse

Vienna, Va.

Mains $16 to $46.

Some eating places develop on you over time. Others, like this marble-paved newcomer in Vienna, seduce you the second you step inside. Ingle’s cubicles and banquettes are the colour of toffee, its granite tables preset with crystal wine glasses. Uncommon amid the Korean competitors, a greenery-topped bar mixes distinctive cocktails. Proprietor James Jang says he envisioned the restaurant as “a spot I might carry my dad and mom for a special day.”

Their luck is ours. The main target is on beef — 4 cuts per order and a couple of pound of meat for 2 diners — rounded out with dishes to share. Ingle’s steak tartare, topped with mustard seeds and batons of Asian pear, is terrific. However given the probability of grilled beef to observe, you may need to ease in with seafood: a number of the finest steamed mussels round, gathered in a butter-kissed broth, or folds of salmon sashimi hidden inside a racy cabbage salad.

[This new Korean steakhouse masters the grill — and everything else]

On with the present! All of the tables are dressed with brass grills, which a server swabs with a piece of tallow so the incoming meat doesn’t stick. Generally, a thick slice of radish goes subsequent, making a relaxation cease for the items of cooked beef, which a server retains separate, so there’s no complicated, say, quick ribs from rib fingers. For the sake of comparability, strive each the plain and marinated kalbi, the latter of which crisps because the seasonings caramelize. The kitchen’s scrumptious dips are a possibility to check and distinction and graze the night time away. Need to carry your individual wine? Corkage is $30 a bottle (though workers is understood to miss charging past one flask from exterior).

The proprietor’s secret weapon is his sister, Evelyn Jang, who got here to Ingle with a gilded résumé, having labored at a number of the most hospitable eating places in the USA and Seoul. She’s again in Korea now, however her know-how lives on in servers who can reply any meals query, napkins folded simply so and the door held open as you depart — admirable touches from begin to end.

8369 Leesburg Pike, Vienna, Va.


Lunch and dinner each day. Indoor and out of doors seating.

Sound test: 72 decibels/Should converse with raised voice. Takeout and supply (decreased menu). Accessibility: No boundaries at entrance; ADA-compliant restroom.

Jiwa Singapura

McLean, Va.

Mains $15 to $56.

The only dish everybody encourages you to order within the curvy eating room with the marble-fronted open kitchen is salted egg shrimp, and it comes from the chef’s spouse and normal supervisor. In the event you’re something like me, you’ll be glad to make the acquaintance of calmly cooked seafood draped with a curtain of pureed brined duck eggs and evaporated milk, festooned with fried shallots and scallions. Catch the Thai chile warmth and the garlic punch within the mixture? It’s a private assertion, and a scrumptious success, coaxed from simply six or so elements.

Welcome to Jiwa Singapura, an unusual style of Singapore from Spain native Pepe Moncayo, who lived and beloved within the faraway city-state earlier than relocating to Washington to open the Spanish-Japanese Cranes. The newcomer, set off with a swarm of glass “orchids” suspended from on excessive, unfolds within the glitzy Tysons Galleria and roughly lives as much as it’s English translation: “the soul of Singapore.”

[A top chef brings a sublime taste of Singapore to McLean]

Salted egg shrimp retains good firm. Take hen rice — sliced poached hen paired with rice cooked with aromatics in hen fats for a creamy mouthfeel — a nationwide obsession present in eating places humble and haute all through Singapore. Bundled like a present in banana leaves, a mash of dorade, lemongrass and chiles makes for a memorable steamed fish cake. Beef rendang isn’t well worth the 30-minute wait, however I wouldn’t consider eating right here with out getting the chili crab, a feast that entails pillowy milk buns — and a bib and plastic gloves. (Messy? For certain. Memorable? You wager.)

Niceties together with a field for purses and rests for silverware recommend you’re in a fine-dining lair. The truth is, you’re in a suburban mall, eating like they do in Singapore: extraordinarily effectively.

2100 Worldwide Dr., McLean, Va.


Dinner Wednesday by means of Sunday. Indoor and out of doors seating.

Sound test: 77 decibels/Should converse with raised voice. Takeout. Accessibility: Elevator entry to the restaurant; ADA-compliant restroom.


The District

Mains $43 to $62.

So many guidelines! En path to the restaurant, a textual content message from L’Avant-Garde warns me tables are held simply 10 minutes; on the desk, a number greets my social gathering with “You’ve the desk for 2 hours.” In the meantime, a senior swimsuit on the workforce engages us with all the heat of Lurch. Attraction is just not the newcomer’s power.

Flip your consideration to the menu. Printed in each French and English, which is both on level or pretentious, the listing gathers all types of dishes to make you glad France native chef Gilles Epié✓ got here to Washington. Born in Brittany, Epié educated below a few of his nation’s most revered cooks — Roger Jaloux, the longtime chef de delicacies for the legendary Paul Bocuse; Alain Senderens, one other founding father of nouvelle delicacies — and obtained a Michelin star for his work at Le Pavillon des Princes in Paris when he was simply 22.

[L’Avant-Garde is raising the bar for French dining in D.C.]

The expertise exhibits in dish after dish. If bread is connected to something, get it. My first style of Epié’s cooking was just a little globe of puff pastry atop a maritime “bouillabaisse” of John Dory and different fish, a soup that features tender macaroni and a rouille teasing with harissa. Slightly kitchen magic produces his signature duck foie gras beignet, an orb with a shell, constituted of a beer batter, that crisps within the fryer and breaks open to disclose each stable and liquid foie gras. Spoonfuls of port wine discount give the dish gloss and sweetness. Thicks slices of peppery chateaubriand, staged atop crisp potatoes Anna, are dressed up with a colourful garland of greens cooked simply so. That is the place to ease in with a jade gimlet that lives as much as the promise, marvel at how just a few pristine elements — scallops, bone marrow and black truffles — can impress, and end with a wealthy chocolate souffle.

The inside is equally beguiling. Ribs of wooden stretch throughout the partitions. Gold domed lights illuminate the luxe, semicircular cubicles. Save for the zinc bar, L’Avant-Garde is freed from French restaurant stereotypes. And every part you contact exhibits thought. A marble coaster helps your cocktail, as an illustration.

Keep expectations, enlist the assistance of the gracious sommelier, and also you’re in for an evening to recollect. Take note, although, you’re right here for the meals, not any hugs.

2915 M St. NW.


Dinner Tuesday by means of Saturday. Indoor seating.

Sound test: 70 decibels/Dialog is straightforward. Accessibility: Ramps accessible however entrance is slender; ADA-compliant restroom.

Le Clou

The District

Mains $29 to $64

Like the brand new Petite Cerise, this French upstart within the Morrow resort is open three meals a day. As with the younger L’Avant-Garde, the service can take a again seat to a number of the singular sensations rising from the open kitchen. In the event you’re on the lookout for town’s finest lobster thermidor, an omelet for dinner, or Paris-Brest for dessert, Le Clou has you coated.

All three Gallic comers have in frequent a high chef, in Le Clou’s case, Nicholas Stefanelli, finest identified in Washington for his Italian cooking at eating places together with Masseria. The chef likes to remind us his coaching is French and burgundies are his ardour. Enable me to pronounce his poulet rôti pretty much as good as his pastas.

The day-to-day cooking is executed with aptitude and consistency by chef de delicacies Nico Cezar. Depend on the omelet at Le Clou at all times to be wealthy with French butter, tangy with crème fraîche and gilded with caviar. The one factor totally different in regards to the glorious sweetbreads is perhaps a change of equipment for the season: creamed fava beans as an alternative of wintry cauliflower and shaved truffles. The steak frites deserves higher than frozen fries, however I like to learn about a spot that provides frogs legs.

Set off the resort foyer, the ethereal eating room mixes consolation with stylish. Child-blue chairs and brown leather-based banquettes entrance the swirled marble tables, and a not too long ago arrived champagne cart seems like the suitable fizz. In its quick life, Le Clou has emerged as a vacation spot restaurant.

222 M St. NE.


Breakfast and dinner each day. Lunch Monday by means of Friday. Brunch weekends. Indoor and out of doors seating.

Sound test: 73 decibels/Should converse with raised voice. Accessibility: No boundaries at entrance; ADA-compliant restroom.

Little Vietnam

The District

Mains $16 to $22.

Unhappy information first: The little restaurant with the massive flavors in Petworth stopped providing my selection dish, the cigar-shaped, anchovy-laced, off-the-menu hen Caesar wrap. Too labor-intensive, a server informed me.

A spring go to nonetheless discovered motive to cheer: some recent additions to the menu, together with pearly poached shrimp and breezy mint on a sauce made refreshing with coconut milk and lime, and gingery noodles, cooked in duck fats brown butter and paired with sauteed bok choy and pea pods scattered with frizzy fried shallots.

[Little Vietnam is a good thing in a small package in Washington]

The enterprise contains a clutch of expertise who labored for the D.C.-based Daikaya Group in a shoe field that seats 22, together with a handful of stools trying into the open kitchen. Claustrophobes needn’t apply. The menu is equally concise, simply 10 dishes final time I used to be in. Depend me a giant fan of the steamed dumplings crammed with juicy floor lamb that’s heat with black cumin and sharp with lemongrass, in addition to the banh xeo, a turmeric-tinted crisp crepe full of shrimp, floor pork, mung beans and bean sprouts smoky from the wok.

The in any other case neighborly restaurant comes with an easy-to-resolve flaw: noise. I can’t make this up: At my final dinner, “The Whispers” have been screaming. Glass half-full: Umbrellas on the patio sign the choice of eating alfresco.

828 Upshur St. NW.

No telephone.

No web site.

Dinner Tuesday by means of Saturday. Indoor seating.

Sound test: 82 decibels/Extraordinarily loud. Accessibility: The comfortable area is just not conducive to wheelchair use..


Silver Spring, Md.

Mains $16 to $25.

You get what you ask for right here. “Spicy means spicy,” says Mandalay proprietor Kyaw “Joe” Myint.

Positive sufficient, the fried jasmine rice blended with shrimp and bitter mustard greens I request “spicy” is full of dynamite within the type of roasted Thai purple chiles. Floor earlier than it goes into the dish, the TNT is invisible to the attention. However the tongue instantly detects a bonfire, which hotheads will recognize.

Launched by Myint’s dad and mom in 2000, Mandalay shuttered in 2021 and reopened 9 months later, with supply and takeout. Not too long ago, the eating room reopened with restricted hours (11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday by means of Sunday for lunch and 5 to eight:30 p.m. Tuesday by means of Thursday for dinner). “I don’t have the workers” to do extra, says Myint, who additionally halved the variety of seats within the bare-bones restaurant to 40.

The proprietor’s spouse is Mandalay’s chef, Latt Naing, who depends on Myint household recipes. Latest supply and in-person takeout confirmed care within the packaging — items of cardboard separated cold and warm dishes — and inspired future orders from the epic listing. Among the many hits have been inexperienced tea leaf salad, calmly crunchy with cabbage, yellow peas and roasted garlic; a standout curry marrying tender chunks of pork and pickled mango; and sliced beef in a cilantro-punched tomato curry. The doughnut-like gram fritters are fluffy sops for the sauces, together with the onion-laced, fish-based mohinga, a dusky gold soup eaten with rice noodles and thought of the nationwide dish of Myanmar (often known as Burma).

Myint’s dad and mom are retired however make occasional stops. “They be sure we’re doing the precise factor,” their son says with amusing. “If not, we hear about it.”

930 Bonifant St., Silver Spring, Md.


Lunch Tuesday by means of Sunday, dinner Tuesday by means of Thursday. Dinner takeout solely Friday by means of Sunday. Indoor seating.

Sound test: 68 decibels/Dialog is straightforward. Takeout and supply. Accessibility: No boundaries at entrance; ADA-compliant restroom.

Our Mother Eugenia

Arlington, Va.

Mains $18 to $44.

The extra the merrier in relation to the place we are able to discover Greek meals whipped up by Eugenia Markesini Hobson. Together with her two sons, Phil and Alex, the manager chef launched a 3rd department of the household’s fashionable chain-lette to Shirlington in March. Even when it’s raining, the newcomer feels sunny, a way propelled by chalk-white partitions, greenery snaking across the room, splashes of blue and a pair murals capturing Mother’s house island in western Greece.

My preliminary style of the chef’s cooking — fingers of fried cod with skordalia and a juicy teepee of skewered lamb, beef and hen — was on the unique Our Mother Eugenia, launched in Nice Falls in 2016. (A second location opened in Fairfax in 2020.) My newest sampling, in Arlington, whisked me again in time and spoke to the homeowners’ philosophy: “Consistency is our No. 1 objective,” says Alex.

[Greek cooking just like Mom made (because Mom actually made it)]

Dish after dish in Shirlington continues to make me really feel like a visitor in Eugenia’s house. You’ll need some spreads, provided with heat pita, to begin; fish roe whipped with lemon juice and olive oil — a maritime cloud — is a should. A chilly day is countered with lemon-kissed hen soup, and any time is an effective excuse for the succulent baked hen or blended grill, every morsel of lamb, beef and hen cooked as if by its personal minder.

Don’t eat meat? The vegetarian platter brings collectively spanakopita so crisp you hear the phyllo shatter, beets splashed with balsamic vinegar and dusted with crushed pistachios, and creamy gigante beans sauced with tomato. The sampler, together with child eggplant scattered with pine nuts and recent mint, makes a pleasant appetizer for 2. Complete branzino comes with a subject of greens — crisp inexperienced beans, dill-flecked carrots, lemony roast potatoes — and just a little ceremony because the grilled fish is proffered on a tray and deftly filleted by a supervisor.

Consideration, occasion planners: Two semiprivate nooks — one close to the entrance window, the opposite within the rear — are designed with small events in thoughts and exhibit the handiwork of New York artist John Tsombikos, the sons’ brother-in-law. The 78-seat eating room will also be divided in half to carve out area for bigger capabilities. One other 24 seats gown up the entrance patio. And not using a reservation, I’m content material with a stool on the convivial bar.

Irrespective of the place you end up, although, Our Mother Eugenia tastes as if Eugenia have been stirring the pot.

4044 Campbell Ave., Arlington, Va.


Lunch and dinner Tuesday by means of Sunday. Indoor and out of doors seating.

Sound test: 74 decibels/Should converse with raised voice. Takeout and supply. Accessibility: No boundaries at entrance; ADA-compliant restroom.

Peter Chang

Columbia, Md.

Mains $20 to $50.

Does Peter Chang ever sleep? Is he actually two individuals? I solely ask as a result of the onetime Chinese language Embassy chef not too long ago launched one other restaurant — No. 14. His newest draw unfolds within the Merriweather District in Columbia, Md., and is small by the native of Hubei province’s common requirements, simply 75 seats within the blond eating room and 56 gadgets on the menu.

High quality and taste infuse virtually each dish. The dumplings are the kind you want each dim sum parlor provided. “Grandma’s” noodles reverberate with the racy warmth of chile oil, minced garlic and tongue-numbing Sichuan peppercorns. The vegetable dishes — snappy and smoky inexperienced beans, cabbage and Chinese language yam seasoned with five-spice powder — are a testomony to the reverence the Jap faculty of Chinese language cooking has for produce. If there’s a miss on the menu, it’s the wan Peking duck with its oil-drenched, kinda-crisp pores and skin. Meaning extra abdomen area for crowd-pleasers just like the scallion bubble pancake made well-known by Chang’s spouse, chef Lisa Chang, and shredded pork with spicy garlic sauce.

[Peter Chang’s restaurant empire expands to Columbia, Md. Lucky diners.]

The frequent thread among the many sundry Chang eating places is steadiness. The family-owned enterprise overstaffs in preparation for future eating places and as a method to advance loyal workers. If the newest Peter Chang tastes as if the busy star have been within the kitchen, it’s as a result of chef Yabin He, who cooked with Chang again in China a long time in the past, is a superb mimic

6000 Merriweather Dr., Columbia, Md.


Lunch and dinner each day. Indoor and out of doors seating.

Sound test: 80 decibels/Should converse with raised voice. Takeout and supply. Accessibility: Small enclosed lobby at entrance; ADA-compliant restroom.

Petite Cerise

The District

Mains $28 to $58.

One other month, one other French restaurant. One factor that separates this recent face from the pack is what it excludes — French onion soup, as an illustration.

“Loads of locations try this already,” says chef-owner Jeremiah Langhorne, heretofore finest identified for the Dabney, his love letter to the Mid-Atlantic.

[Yet another French spot in D.C., Petite Cerise charts a personal course]

Fewer locations are making buckwheat crepes crammed with salami and goat cheese, a fond reminiscence of the chef’s from a meals market in Rennes, or lavishing a lot love on sauces. Grilled mussels get cloaked with a ruddy choron sauce zapped with threads of chorizo; asparagus comes with a bowl of frothy hollandaise and whipped cream; and braised hen arrives in a swell of cream, morel mushrooms and vin jaune, the “yellow wine” with a taste just like sherry. “Slightly further sauce is nearly like an additional dish,” says Langhorne, who buys good baguettes for dispatching the liquid riches.

What’s not gleaming white subway tile appears to be pleasant inexperienced paint; half-curtains gown up the home windows, and mirrors and copper molds hold on the partitions. The 2-story restaurant was designed with a European sensibility. The one snails listed below are within the emblem, delicate encouragement for patrons to take it gradual, says the chef.

Principal programs alternate between cozy grand-mère combos and subtler French notions. One of many extra joyful “plats” is black bass staged for the season with vibrant inexperienced peas, downy lettuce and sunny drops of lemon puree on the fragile fish.

The noise might be merciless, particularly upstairs. The upside is a bistro that’s open from morning to nighttime, and dishes you received’t discover on the competitors.

1027 Seventh St. NW.


Dinner Tuesday by means of Saturday, breakfast and lunch Tuesday by means of Sunday. Indoor seating.

Sound test: 83 decibels/Extraordinarily loud. Accessibility: No boundaries at entrance; ADA-compliant restroom.


The District

Three programs $75, 4 programs $90.

India stays my favourite journey. In between visits, although, I depend on eating places together with Rania to get my (trendy) repair.

No two reservations are ever alike; chef Chetan Shetty, the previous expertise at Indian Accent in New York, is consistently finessing his menu. He says appearances are vital to him. A gold bowl showcases usually humble Parsi hen: minced thighs, heat with curry leaves and coriander, supporting a “nest” of shoestring potatoes topped with a fragile poached egg dusted with a purple chile mix. Prick the egg and also you get a sunny gravy. Style is essential, too. Braised lamb pretty swells with inexperienced chiles, ginger and cilantro. Together with yogurt and pickled onions, the shredded meat packs a skinny chickpea pancake, folded over the luscious filling like a taco.

[Rania delights with some of the most inspired Indian cooking in D.C.]

Patrons choose three or 4 programs from amongst a handful of appetizer-size choices per course. Go large, then, and discover room for the candy, roe-garnished Maine scallops, offered on two sauces that decision for naan: one yellow and flavored with coconut, the opposite white, foamy and seasoned as if by the ocean.

Elements you may not anticipate from an Indian kitchen make their method to the broad marble tables. Oysters, as an illustration, present up with foamy, chile-and-fenugreek-spiked butter. And the chef is engaged on a rhubarb dessert. Once I spoke with him not too long ago, Shetty was in Mexico, searching for concepts.

Rania interprets to “queen” in Hindi and Sanskrit, which explains the regal cooking and the luxury inside, together with arched cubicles and slots within the gold chairs for purses and slim luggage. Did I point out that the top-notch themed drinks arrive in illuminated glasses? It is a fine-dining restaurant that additionally likes to have enjoyable.

427 eleventh St. NW.


Dinner Tuesday by means of Saturday.

Sound test: 70 decibels/Dialog is straightforward. Accessibility: No boundaries at entrance; ADA-compliant restroom.

Sari Filipino Kusina

Annandale, Va.

Mains $12 to $22.

Supreme Barbecue in Annandale is historical past, however its legacy lives on at this fast-casual Filipino storefront, whose co-owner Paolo Dungca stored the people who smoke that flavored the earlier occupant’s menu. “Such a pure artwork kind,” the chef says of barbecuing. “It’s good taking part in with temperatures.” (Juan and Jeremy Canlas, the daddy and son behind Supreme Barbecue, are Dungca’s enterprise companions.)

The hand-me-down tools helps clarify the haunting notes in kare kare, a Filipino stew that’s thick with peanut sauce, tinted with annatto oil and bulked up with greens, on my go to, Chinese language lengthy beans and okra. Generally made with oxtail, Sari makes use of beef brisket that’s cured for 18 hours earlier than being smoked over wooden. Per custom, the stew is accompanied by bagoong alamang, salty fermented shrimp paste. “Filipinos like it. Attempt it first,” a workers tells my posse. The condiment infuses the stew, which Dungca remembers consuming on weekends as a baby, with welcome funk. (His grandmother used cheap tripe as a base.)

Clients order at a counter, seize a desk within the brightly lit eating room and look ahead to the meals to be dropped off in paper and plastic, since there’s no dishwasher. Smoked hen wings cured with garlic and paprika and glazed with an adobo thinned with coconut milk require a lot of napkins, but it surely’s the flavour you keep in mind, not the mess. Extra prime consuming comes by the use of hen cooked in a paste of lemongrass, scallions and Sprite — a much-used tenderizer again house, Dungca says of the soda. The most well-liked dish on the listing is the Filipino avenue meals staple sisig, pork hash made further crunchy at Sari with fried pig ears and pork rinds within the heap and balanced with sides of aromatic jasmine rice and a vibrant tomato-cucumber salad.

Sari Filipino Kusina enjoys a double which means, says Dungca, who grew up in Manila and went on to cook dinner on the much-missed Dangerous Saint and Kaliwa on the Wharf. Sari references each sarimanok, a Filipino chook symbolizing luck, and the sari-sari comfort shops of his homeland. Therefore the little bodega in again of the restaurant, a number of cabinets of snacks and staples — banana ketchup, prawn crackers, the rolls referred to as pandesal — acquainted to Filipinos.

Dungca shares a mouthwatering replace with followers: His subsequent opening shall be Hiraya on H Avenue NE within the District. Search for an all-day Filipino diner on the bottom ground, the place the double burger on the ube-purple bun featured at his onetime meals stall Pogiboy is predicted, and an upscale expertise on the second story, presumably as quickly as June. The chef says the title of the long run restaurant is historic Tagalog for “fruit of 1’s hopes and goals” and likewise references one other youthful reminiscence, a popular children’s TV show.

6920 Braddock Rd. Unit J, Annandale, Va.


Lunch and dinner each day. Indoor seating.

Sound test: 72/Should converse with raised voice. Takeout and supply. Accessibility: No boundaries at entrance; ADA-compliant restroom.

St. James

The District

Mains $16 to $60.

“Once I return house, I’m struck by the lushness,” says Jeanine Prime, a local of Trinidad. “You see inexperienced all over the place.”

You see the colour of life all over the place in her breezy Caribbean restaurant, too: within the gleaming entrance of the bar, on the plant-filled cabinets behind it, and in dishes together with callaloo, the moss-colored soup, thick with spinach and collards, cooked with coconut milk and garnished with candy crab.

[St. James brings on the Caribbean fun and flavor]

St. James is called for the energetic nightlife district in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad’s capital, a buzz replicated right here by sunny servers, sassy jerk wings and rum-fueled drinks. It was a pleasure to return not too long ago and encounter the identical scrumptious steamed buns, crammed with juicy spiced pork, that I recalled from final Might, and to be launched to some recent concepts, together with slow-roasted duck leg. A refined model of a homestyle dish, the duck, heat with curry, cumin and chiles, is an instance of the menu’s “trendy Caribbean” tagline.

I recognize the current addition of “medium” plates, too (oxtails, crab and dumplings). It’s a means for teams to pattern a spread of island flavors, says Prime.

Oh, the salt fish fritters are dense as golf balls and the servers, whereas pleasant, tend to grab plates earlier than we’re executed with them (one truly plucked a companion’s knife and fork from his fingers). However the sticky plantains, tossed with candied ginger, show a welcome facet dish, and the sponge cake soaked in rum, finest eaten with banana ice cream, is motive to hold after entrees are whisked away.

2017 14th St. NW.


Dinner Tuesday by means of Saturday. Indoor and out of doors seating.

Sound test: 84 decibels/Extraordinarily loud. Takeout and supply. Accessibility: No boundaries at entrance; ADA-compliant restroom.

Thompson Italian

Alexandria, Va.

Mains $13 to $40.

The homeowners of the favored Thompson Italian in Falls Church have been scouting areas for a Tex-Mex restaurant once they came across the area for the original Hank’s Oyster Bar in Previous City Alexandria — and promptly determined it was higher suited to a second department of their confirmed idea.

For Tex-Mex to occur, Gabe and Katherine Thompson✓ wished much more out of doors area, which the King Avenue quarters lack. The couple have been additionally reminded of the West Village spots they opened collectively in Manhattan and figured the 25 minutes or so separating two Italian eating places in Northern Virginia meant they wouldn’t compete with one another.

The homeowners didn’t have far to search for a chef. The clear selection was Lucy Dakwar, who had labored with Gabe Thompson at L’Apicio in New York and helped opened the unique Thompson Italian in 2019. (“I packed my weekend bag and by no means left,” says Dakwar.)

Her menu isn’t a clone of what’s cooking in Falls Church. The chef’s recent concepts embrace lamb meatballs, kicky with Aleppo pepper and staged on a tomato sauce enriched with pecorino, and stretchy stracciatella cheese paired with roasted carrots. The heirloom greens are topped with what seems to be like strips of blond bacon however is in actual fact wrinkly, melt-on-the tongue guanciale, whereas the cheese acquires its freckles and delicate smokiness from Urfa chile flakes.

Pastas, which make up the majority of the script, are made in-house. Lemony bucatini blackened with squid ink and tossed with candy scallops sees probably the most motion from my fork, and I recognize the sunshine crunch from toasted breadcrumbs. New to the script is spinach-tinted mafaldine tossed with a sauce of leeks, wine and coconut milk, a superb vegan choice. Dakwar plans so as to add just a few representatives of her Palestinian heritage. Down the road is perhaps shish barak, a tackle lamb ravioli with yogurt sauce.

The clear design of the unique carries over to the homeowners’ new spot, which opens with an extended stretch of bar main into a few eating rooms adorned with mirrors and artwork on butter-colored partitions and lighted to flatter the meeting.

The bar weighs in with a liquid curiosity: a vodka gimlet flavored like cacio e pepe. The anticipated hit of lime juice is accompanied by notes of (pink) peppercorn and parmesan. Sip it quick. As the mix warms up, it suggests a plate, not a glass, is so as.

1024 King St., Alexandria, Va.


Dinner each day, brunch weekends. Indoor and out of doors seating.

Sound test: 75 decibels/Should converse with raised voice. Takeout and supply. Accessibility: The restaurant has a wheelchair carry from the patio entrance to the principle eating degree. ADA-compliant restroom.

Virginia’s Darling

Alexandria, Va.

Mains $21 to $30.

It’s endlessly cherry blossom time within the small eating room, the place a cover of dogwood flowers gown the ceiling and a pink neon signal behind the bar trumpets the title of the place. Chef-owner Nicole Jones says she cooks “what I’d do if I had associates over,” which suggests a crumble of lamb, feta cheese and mint affixed to the facet of their bowl with tahini, and sole meunière that brings to thoughts a high French restaurant.

The all-female service workers is pleasant and environment friendly. “I inform them to deal with company like revered members of the family,” says Jones — and so they do, reminding me that hospitality is as a lot a motive to choose a restaurant as what’s on the menu, not too long ago up to date to incorporate a spinach salad made springy with peas and asparagus in addition to strawberries and cashews, and cavatelli adorned with lemon ricotta and arugula pesto. The wine listing is a celebration of feminine producers, which is nice, however I’d recognize extra picks for below triple digits, pricing that appears at odds with the comfortable small-plates theme.

[Virginia’s Darling throws my kind of dinner party in Alexandria]

The place has its quirks. Lobster scattered on fries that style out of a bag? No thanks. A lot of the tables are the scale of hubcaps — too small for a full dinner — and the kitchen can overdo it with the salt shaker. The upsides are good cocktails, not-too-sweet carrot cake and the adjoining Mae’s Market & Cafe. Named for the chef’s great-grandmother, it’s the supply of meals to go, hummus from Little Sesame, ice cream sandwiches in enjoyable flavors like banana pudding — belongings you crave from morning to nighttime.

277 S. Washington St., Alexandria, Va.


Dinner Tuesday by means of Saturday. Indoor seating.

Sound test: 85 decibels/Extraordinarily loud. Takeout. Accessibility: Wheelchair customers can entry the eating room by means of the doorway to Mae’s; ADA-compliant restroom.

Woodberry Tavern

Baltimore, Md.

Mains $25 to $67.

The pandemic prompted the proprietor of Woodberry Kitchen, the barn-size tribute to the Mid-Atlantic, to rethink his imaginative and prescient. The largest change? “We turned the restaurant into an occasion area and the occasion area right into a restaurant,” says Spike Gjerde✓, the James Beard Award-winning Baltimore chef.

Woodberry Tavern, a former personal room, is the place diners can now e-book one in all 22 seats for dinner 5 nights every week. Knotty wooden paneling punctuates the hovering brick partitions, and amber votives forged a heat glow. No sooner are you settled in than a “welcome” board is about on the desk, a grand gesture of hospitality that threatens to spoil your urge for food with, most not too long ago, native charcuterie, cheese puffs, sliced apple, a tiny jar of smoked trout dip and extra.

[Woodberry Tavern thinks big in a small space in Baltimore]

The unique Woodberry Kitchen gave diners a menu the scale of a poster. The tavern is a a lot shorter learn, however no much less scrumptious. Welsh rarebit is reimagined as a “vase” of grilled spelt bread capped with mustardy beer cheese. Slicing into the development reveals a boiled egg and ham inside. You don’t must be a vegetarian to understand the carrot tartare, an excellent orange mash seasoned with coriander, bay leaf and white soy sauce. The homier entrees — fried hen, pork schnitzel — name to me most, though the vegetable curry, shot by means of with recent ginger and sopped up with roti, represents a tasty, if totally different, change in fact. And if you happen to like oysters, spring for the fried, uncooked and roasted Ruby Salts from the decrease Jap Shore of Virginia.

The wonder on the buffet? That’s a Woman Baltimore cake, an old style confection that deserves extra play on dessert lists. Service is nice sufficient, if much less welcoming than at my reunion. When a restaurant provides on a 23 p.c service cost, a diner must be reminded when the test is dropped.

2010 Clipper Park Rd., Baltimore.

No telephone quantity.

Dinner Wednesday by means of Sunday. Indoor and out of doors seating.

Sound test: 75 decibels/Should converse with raised voice. Accessibility: No boundaries at entrance; ADA-compliant restroom.


Silver Spring, Md.

Mains $25 to $50.

Wanting by means of the window of the principle bar on a current spring night time, I’m counting the various causes this 11,000-square-foot successor to the long-running Mrs. Okay’s Toll Home is such successful with neighbors.

The expansive garden — illuminated with string lights and dressed with clusters of tables and chairs, a gazebo and backyard — appears to cater to each demographic you possibly can consider (younger households, mothers night time out, enterprise guys, what seems to be a reunion) and nobody’s waving for a test or drumming their fingers on the desk, ready for meals.

Expertise has taught me that if there are children in a celebration, their meals come out whoosh! However everybody will get VIP therapy right here. Certainly, it’s service-with-a-smile beginning on the host stand, all through brunch or dinner, and when the test lands (and your minder, bless her, let’s you recognize service is included).

My most up-to-date style of the place, from the proprietor of Takoma Beverage in Takoma Park, included an ideal gimlet; a raft of toast unfold with smoked trout dressed with pickled onions and walnuts; a plate of golden fried hen with a crock of chunky potato salad, and a burger that will have been higher with out the slice of ice-cold cheese in its heart. Not each choice is a rave, however that also leaves loads to love on the listing — and off. Did I point out the downstairs tavern hosts stay music Wednesday by means of Friday nights? Zinnia is aware of what you need, and delivers.

9201 Colesville Rd., Silver Spring, Md.


Dinner Wednesday by means of Sunday. (The cafe provides breakfast, lunch and brunch.) Indoor and out of doors seating.

Sound test: 79 decibels/Should converse with raised voice. Takeout and supply. Accessibility: No boundaries at entrance; ADA-compliant restroom.

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