Beyond speechless to find out we made it on Washingtonian’s “100 Very Best Restaurants 2014” feature for the second time. Thank you all for all the continued love and support you show all of us!
A $250-per-person modernist joy ride with José Andrés at the wheel. A $12.50 takeout box of the crispiest fried chicken we’ve ever tasted. Those are two ends of the wild and colorful spectrum of our critics’ favorite places to eat this year. In between, there are some terrific newcomers (a couple of which landed in our ranked list of the top 25 restaurants), fabulous splurges and affordable gems, and plenty of other reasons to get excited about going out to dinner.
Todd Kliman’s Review for this feature:
So many restaurants are so cripplingly self-aware that from the moment you step inside them, you sense the holding of a collective breath. Not here. The glass-enclosed space all but shouts whimsy, and then you take a peek at chef Tim Ma’s menu. Ma isn’t the biggest name on the restaurant scene, but we daresay nobody is having more fun. His cuisine is eclectic in the extreme, with shrimp ’n’ grits and mussels in saffron-coconut broth sharing space with a braised beef-cheek sandwich and beer-battered fries. But what unifies these disparate tastes and traditions is the exuberance of their preparation and the happy, festive air they call forth. Look around the room and you’ll see laughter, sharing, a conversation that never flags. Come dessert—a lineup as serious as it is playful, including chocolate purses and yuzu-lime tart—you’re certain to be smiling, too.
Open: Monday through Friday for lunch and dinner, Saturday and Sunday for brunch and dinner.
Don’t Miss: Crème fraîche chicken wings; chicken-liver pâté; seared scallops with coconut risotto; Moroccan chicken; mochi.