100 Best Restaurants 2008: Circle Bistro
No. 26: Circle Bistro
Reviewed By Todd Kliman, Ann Limpert, Cynthia Hacinli, Dave McIntyre
Comments () | Published January 1, 2008
100 Best Restaurants 2012 Happy Hour 100 Best Restaurants (2010)

Circle Bistro
Address: 1 Washington Circle, NW, Washington, DC 20037
Phone: 202-293-5390
Neighborhood: Foggy Bottom/West End, Downtown
Cuisines: Modern, Breakfast, American
Opening Hours: Open Monday through Thursday 7:30 to 10:30 AM, 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM, and 5 to 10 PM, Friday 7:30 to 10:30 AM, 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM, and 5 to 11 PM, Saturday 8 to 10 AM and 5 to 11 PM, and Sunday 8 to 10:30 AM, 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM, and 5 to 10 PM.
Nearby Metro Stops: Farragut West, Foggy Bottom-GWU
Price Range: Moderate
Dress: Upscale Casual
Noise Level: Intimate
Reservations: Recommended
Best Dishes Potato-crusted oysters with bacon-chive crème fraîche; roasted-beet salad with walnut vinaigrette; lamb rib eye with ratatouille and olive tapenade; duck with celery root, spinach, and orange; brownie sundae with espresso ice cream and candied walnuts.
Price Details: Lunch appetizers, $7 to $10; entrees, $12 to $17. Dinner appetizers, $7 to $18; entrees, $19 to $27. Brunch entrees, $9 to $16. Three-course pre-theater menu (served until 7 PM), $35.

Cuisine: Carefully sourced produce, meats, and fishes are the inspiration for chef Brendan Cox’s pared-down Modern American fare, which manages to be both trendy and classic.

Mood: Young and old nibble on bar morsels and sip cocktails such as the Kaiser Wilhelm with Rangpur Tanqueray and lemongrass syrup in the asymmetric lounge, while patrons after more substantial fare head for the wedge of a dining room at this sleek eatery in the One Washington Circle Hotel.

Best for: Diners seeking food and a setting with both style and substance, those headed for a Kennedy Center event.

Best dishes: Organic-pumpkin soup with braised leeks; foie-gras torchon with fig jam and aged balsamico; egg pappardelle with a hearty duck Bolognese; beet-cured salmon with Yukon-potato crisps; hanger steak with an intense Cabernet reduction; russet-potato frites with fines herbes aïoli; pear gingerbread with ice cream and caramel sauce.

Insider tips: A $37 three-course pretheater menu is available until 7.

Service: ••½

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Posted at 12:00 AM/ET, 01/01/2008 RSS | Print | Permalink | Washingtonian.com Restaurant Reviews