Best Wine Bar
1. Cork, Logan Circle. At this always-jammed sliver of a place, Ron Tanaka’s small plates are as big a draw as the wine and cocktails.
2. Proof, Penn Quarter. Rock-star sommelier Sebastian Zutant presides over this steely spot, which even has a rolling Champagne cart.
3. Tallula/EatBar, Arlington. There are more than 60 wines by the glass at this dining room/hangout/wine shop.
1. Oceanaire, Penn Quarter. A swinging seafood emporium with lavish seafood towers and a flamed-at-the-table baked Alaska.
2. Kinkead’s, Foggy Bottom. Massachusetts native Bob Kinkead mixes classic New England preparations with more whimsical creations.
3. (tie) Hook, Georgetown. A minimalist dining room focusing on sustainably caught fish.
BlackSalt, Palisades. You can dabble at the front fish market or indulge in the tasting menu.
1. Clyde’s, nine locations. Loyal fans come for the good cheese and raw-bar selections as well as strong cocktails.
2. Mike’s American Grill, Springfield. Comfort food all the way, with steaks, roast chicken, and deep-dish apple pie.
3. Central Michel Richard, Penn Quarter. French chef Richard’s love of American food shows at this bistro, which serves KFC-inspired fried chicken and TV-tray banana splits.
1. L’Auberge Chez François, Great Falls. A reader favorite for more than two decades, this hideaway specializes in country-style French and Alsatian cooking.
2. Bistrot du Coin, Dupont Circle. Chefs wind down after hours at this rollicking hangout.
3. Citronelle, Georgetown. The tab may edge close to $300 for two, but chances are Michel Richard’s playful, trompe l’oeil creations will leave a smile on your face.
1. Tosca, Penn Quarter. This sedate, earth-tone dining room’s house-made pastas are expensive but unparalleled in the area.
2. Filomena, Georgetown. In the mood to carbo-load? The all-you-can-eat buffets here are laden with house-made pastas, freshly baked bread, and layer cakes.
3. Dino, Cleveland Park. You’ll find excellent Italian cheeses, salumi, and wine at this casual corner spot.
1. 2 Amys, Cleveland Park. Peter Pastan’s Neapolitan-style rounds arrive with such toppings as house-made sausage and tiny cockles.
2. Pizzeria Paradiso, Dupont Circle and Georgetown. These standard-setting pies now boast an extensive beer selection to go with them.
3. Matchbox, Penn Quarter. The mini-burgers get all the attention, but the wood-oven pizza deserves some, too.
1. Sushi-Ko, Glover Park and Chevy Chase. Precisely cut sushi and sashimi go nicely with boutique sakes and even Burgundy.
2. Sushi Taro, Dupont Circle. Quiet, traditional, and crowded, this upstairs dining room, popular with Japanese dignitaries, is currently closed for renovations.
3. Kaz Sushi Bistro, downtown DC. Chef Kaz Okochi has a knack for unusual flavor pairings, such as tuna with foie gras.
1. (tie) Nava Thai, Wheaton. Closed for a move, this place has the area’s best pad Thai and “floating market soup.”
Thaiphoon, Dupont Circle and Pentagon City. Eye-catching dining rooms serve colorful cocktails and all the Thai classics.
2. Bangkok 54, Arlington. If there’s a better-looking Thai restaurant than this, we haven’t found it. And happily, it doesn’t stint on the spice.
3. Rice, Logan Circle. An austerely modern dining room with a menu that highlights authentic dishes and healthy alternatives.
1. Four Sisters, Merrifield. The beloved restaurant has moved to a better, brighter location, and the food’s just as good.
2. Minh’s, Clarendon. This welcoming dining room serves dishes from North and South Vietnam.
3. Pho 75, five Maryland and Virginia locations. Excellent, restorative soups for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
1. Rasika, Penn Quarter. Everything is artful here, from the Champagne cocktails and lovely curries to the jewel-toned decor.
2. Heritage India, Glover Park and Dupont Circle. The Glover Park location is the more reliable of these traditional tandoori and curry restaurants.
3. Indique, Cleveland Park. Shareable street snacks and tandoori meats are the draw at this group-friendly place.