100 Best Restaurants 2011: Adour

No. 5

Only the top 40 restaurants were ranked in 2011’s Best Restaurants list.

When it launched two years ago, this outpost of the Alain Ducasse empire dazzled in every way but one: its cooking. The dining room, designed by architectural icon David Rockwell, is both slickly modern and inviting. Service is first-rate. The wine list, full of unexpected gems, is among the best in the area. The little gifts to diners—gougères to start, macarons to finish—are exquisite. And the food? Unfailingly correct—carefully carved vegetables, rigorously strained sauces—and often bland.

No longer. Seafood has been masterful, from a filet of John Dory atop an elegant clam chowder to perfectly cooked turbot. Testament to the complexity of these fish dishes is that a red wine—say, a Pinot Noir—pairs as well as a Sauvignon Blanc. Dessert remains as good as ever: There’s no more decadent ending in town than the fig tart, hazelnut soufflé, or baba au rhum finished with a pour of top-shelf Armagnac.

Also good: Marinated hamachi with grapefruit and chives; butternut-squash-and-lobster soup; seared foie gras with apple butter; tasting of Ibérico ham; pan-seared sweetbreads; lobster with penne and coral butter.

Open Sunday and Monday for breakfast, Tuesday through Saturday for breakfast and dinner. Very expensive.

>> See all of 2011’s Best Restaurants

 

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Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.