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100 Best Restaurants 2009: Equinox
Comments () | Published February 1, 2009
100 Best Restaurants 2012 100 Best Restaurants (2011) 100 Best Restaurants (2010)

Equinox
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 to 2. Open for dinner Monday through Thursday 5:30 to 10, Friday and Saturday 5:30 to 10:30, and Sunday 5:30 to 9.
Nearby Metro Stops: Farragut North, Farragut West
Price Range: Very expensive
Dress: Business Attire
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.

Cuisine: Long before sourcing was in vogue, Todd Gray was combing the Shenandoah Valley for choice meats and produce and procuring such delicacies as shad roe and spot from the Chesapeake. His technical facility in Italian and French cookery is subordinated to faithful, sometimes loving showcases of the region’s bounty. His dishes are unfailingly elegant if sometimes too low-key.

Mood: This upscale mom-and-pop (Gray’s wife, Ellen Kassoff, manages the restaurant) is for many a tasteful, subdued dining room where it’s possible to engage in serious conversation, or—with the White House only blocks away—negotiation. For others the starchiness crosses the line into stuffiness.

Best for: Client lunches and dinners.

Best dishes: The menu changes regularly, but we’ve liked a twist on surf and turf, with roast Chatham cod and braised veal short ribs subbing for steak and lobster; veal loin with crispy veal sweetbreads; pastas such as a recent dish of fresh egg tagliatelle with scallop; and gingerbread with apples.

Insider tips: Gray’s seasonal preparations of such regional delicacies as soft-shell crab and shad roe are masterful—and well worth a visit.

Service: •••

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

See all of 2009's 100 Best Restaurant 

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Posted at 12:00 AM/ET, 02/01/2009 RSS | Print | Permalink | Washingtonian.com Restaurant Reviews