100 Best Restaurants 2011: Ethiopic
Comments () | Published January 20, 2011
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Address: 401 H St., NE, Washington, DC 20002
Phone: 202-675-2066
Neighborhood: H Street NE, Capitol Hill, Northeast
Cuisines: Vegetarian/Vegan, Ethiopian
Opening Hours: Tuesday through Thursday for dinner, Friday through Sunday for lunch and dinner.
Nearby Metro Stops: Union Station
Price Range: Inexpensive
Dress: Informal
Noise Level: Chatty
Reservations: Recommended
Best Dishes Butcha (ground chickpeas and jalapenos); doro wat, a chicken stew; kitfo, minced raw beef; vegetarian sampler with boiled lentils, split peas, potato/cabbage salad, gomen, and tomato/onion salad.

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

Ethiopians have a term for cooking that plays to Western tastes with muted spicing and larger cuts of meat: Europian. This former corner store in DC’s gentrifying H Street district makes a concerted effort to hew to its origins. Its vegetable stews have zip and body, and the excellent doro wat has a chunky gravy of berbere and caramelized onions that deserves the kind of contemplative appreciation usually reserved for fine French cooking.

Dinner unspools in a tiny room warmed with tastefully chosen fabrics, works from co-owner Meseret Bekele’s art collection, and a few mesobs—woven tables and stools traditional in Ethiopian homes and restaurants. Europian it’s not.

Also good: Beet-and-potato salad; buticha, a spicy chickpea purée; lamb tibs.

Open Tuesday through Sunday for dinner, Friday through Sunday for lunch. Inexpensive.

>> See all of 2011's Best Restaurants

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