100 Very Best Restaurants 2014: The Oval Room
The Oval Room. Photograph by Chris Campbell.
Comments () | Published January 28, 2014
100 Best Restaurants 2014 100 Best Restaurants (2011) 100 Best Restaurants 2012 100 Best Restaurants (2010)

The Oval Room
Address: 800 Connecticut Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20006
Phone: 202-463-8700
Neighborhood: Downtown
Cuisines: Modern, American
Opening Hours: Open for lunch Monday through Friday from 11:30 AM to 3 PM. Open for dinner Monday through Thursday 5:30 to 10; Friday and Saturday 5:30 to 10:30.
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
Nearby Metro Stops: Farragut West
Price Range: Expensive
Noise Level: Chatty
Reservations: Recommended
Best Dishes Parmesan custard; foie gras brûlée over brioche; beet salad with horseradish and passionfruit gelée; cucumber soup; burrata cheese with apple; lobster over curried rice; striped bass with heirloom peppers and littleneck clams; braised short ribs.
Price Details: Lunch appetizers, $7 to $13; entrees, $7 to $22. Dinner appetizers, $8 to $16; entrees, $16 to $32.
Special Features:
Wheelchair Accessible, Valet Parking Available

In the food world these days, talk of conservative versus progressive is as heated as in the political world, and there are nearly as many misjudgments. It would be easy to assign this bland dining room—with starchy, by-the-book service—to the uninspired ranks of the former, but look again. That poached fluke is as perfectly treated as any piece of fish you’ll find. The seared duck isn’t just a signal example of cooking expertise—crisp, salty skin; tender, juicy meat—but also a dish of imagination: Pungent, lightly spicy onion kimchee is an unexpected dance partner and is typical of executive chef (and Jean-Georges Vongerichten disciple) Tony Conte’s penchant for infusing his dishes with Asian accents. So, then: a quiet progressive or a conservative with an independent streak? Either way, the Oval Room brims with rewards.

Open: Monday through Friday for lunch and dinner, Saturday for dinner.

Don’t Miss: Chilled pea soup; beet salad; ricotta dumplings; sweet-potato agnolotti; steamed black bass with potatoes; ember-roasted pork chop.

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