At a time when many restaurants are noisy and trend-obsessed, this elegant outpost of Alain Ducasse's empire seems oblivious to it all--a bastion of pampering flourishes and cooking that quietly but powerfully asserts the old-school culinary virtues.
The David Rockwell-designed room, a golden-lit stage for celebs and power players, feels formal but rarely stuffy. The same might be said of Julien Jouhannaud's cooking. We marvel at the clarity of his reductions and the harmony of his compositions. The best dishes abound in subtleties that reveal themselves gradually. The formidable wine list is among Washington's best.
What to get: Japanese hamachi with green-apple mustard; chicken-and-duck-liver terrine; olive-oil-poached cod with pipérade jus; braised halibut in Arbois wine sauce with chestnuts and grapes; roasted veal loin with pillowy gnocchi; baba au rhum with Armagnac and chantilly cream; cherries jubilee; hazelnut soufflé.
Open Sunday and Monday for breakfast, Tuesday through Saturday for breakfast and dinner. Very expensive.