Bride & Groom MOM Subscribe

Find Local

Best Bites Blog > From the Magazine|From the Magazine|From the Magazine|From the Magazine

The Needle: What’s Hot? What’s Not?

Vermilion

The eclectic decor—velvet curtains and gas lamps—has nothing on chef Tony Chittum’s wild ride of a menu. On a recent visit, seared scallops paired well with a panzanella salad made from Parker House rolls, a lamb kebab got a boost from Greek yogurt dotted with feta, and a medley of pulled pork and barbecue pork loin had just the right tang. Overrichness can get the better of Chittum, as with a roasted chicken with ham and brown butter and a groan-inspiring cream-cheese-iced hummingbird cake.

1120 King St., Alexandria; 703-684-9669

David Craig Bethesda

Nobody puts together a better salad than David Craig—try the unlikely but glorious mélange of red-leaf lettuce, fried green tomatoes, cornmeal-crusted oysters, bacon, Gorgonzola, and toasted pecans. Craig’s hand-rolled pastas, normally a sure thing, were hit-or-miss: A plate of thin noodles tossed with plump Gulf shrimp would have been at home in a great Italian dining room, while spinach pasta was overlarded with cream. Of the menu’s three entrées, two were disappointing: whole sea bream and grilled pork loin, both eclipsed by their vegetable sides.

4924 St. Elmo Ave., Bethesda; 301-657-2484

Tosca

The dining room is as featureless as a law firm’s conference room. And surrounded by so much talk of deals, a leisurely lunch can feel like business. But chef Massimo Fabbri has the kitchen humming with purpose and invention. Take a recent plate of carrot pappardelle with a ragu of minced rabbit and thyme—the sort of concoction chefs are wont to highlight with a self-consciously clever menu description. While such dishes can be more interesting to talk about than to eat, this one eats better than it reads. A half portion (at half price!) at the bar, washed down with a good glass of Italian red from an excellent list, is one of the best lunches in town.

1112 F St., NW; 202-367-1990

This appeared in the September, 2008 issue of The Washingtonian.

More>> Best Bites Blog | Food & Dining | Restaurant Finder

Read Next

Vince Opening at CityCenterDC

Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus

Most Popular on Washingtonian

“Life Below Zero’s” Andy Bassich on Why He Moved From Washington to Rural Alaska

20 Great Walks Around Washington, DC

How a Fish Sandwich Became a Symbol of Shaw's Changes

Dear New York Times: Here's a Better Way to Spend $100 on Washington Food

8 Ways to Hack Eating Out

Things to Do in DC on Memorial Day Weekend

The Great Washington Bucket List: 50 Things Every Local Needs to Do

How to Spend Memorial Day in Washington, DC

This $13.5 Million McLean Castle Has a Four-Story Glass Elevator