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100 Best Restaurants 2011: Equinox
Comments () | Published January 20, 2011
100 Best Restaurants (2011) 100 Best Restaurants 2012 100 Best Restaurants (2010)

Address: 818 Connecticut Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20006
Phone: 202-331-8118
Neighborhood: Downtown
Cuisines: Modern, American
Opening Hours: Open for lunch Monday through Friday 11:30 AM to 2 PM. Open for dinner Monday through Thursday 5:30 PM to 10 PM; Friday and Saturday 5:30 PM to 10:30 PM.
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
Nearby Metro Stops: Farragut North, Farragut West
Price Range: Very expensive
Dress: Upscale Casual (jeans okay)
Noise Level: Intimate
Reservations: Recommended
Best Dishes Sweet-corn veloute; soft-shell crab in any preparation; crab springrolls; shrimp and grits; gnocchi with trumpet mushrooms; Arctic char; scallops with artichokes; macaroni and cheese.
Price Details: Starters $12 to $15, entrées $28 to $34.
Special Features:
Wheelchair Accessible, Valet Parking Available, Party Space, Outdoor Seating, Good for Groups
Outdoor Seating

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

Chef Todd Gray is one of the fathers of Washington’s local-food movement, and area chefs who started in his kitchen have gone on to spread the gospel. Still, Equinox’s proximity to the White House has made it more of a power-dining spot than a Chez Panisse–like oasis. Gray often schmoozes with VIPs, but the kitchen rarely suffers for his absences.

Superlative soups, such as a summertime sweet-corn velouté with lump crab and an autumnal chestnut-and-porcini-mushroom blend with bacon, mirror the seasons. Main dishes of crisp soft-shell crabs or steak with a side of short rib walk the line between delicate and hearty. A fire last year closed the restaurant for six months, during which it got a facelift. The kitchen seems to have been reinvigorated as well.

Also good: Barbecue shrimp over grits; crispy crab spring rolls; seared scallops with artichokes; perfectly crusted Arctic char; gnocchi with asparagus and Boucheron cheese; truffled macaroni and cheese; brown-butter ice cream and sorbets of apple and pear.

Open Monday through Friday for lunch and dinner, Saturday and Sunday for dinner. Very expensive.

>> See all of 2011's Best Restaurants

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Posted at 12:00 AM/ET, 01/20/2011 RSS | Print | Permalink | Restaurant Reviews