100 Best Restaurants 2011: Equinox
Comments () | Published January 20, 2011
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.

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

Chef Todd Gray is one of the fathers of Washington’s local-food movement, and area chefs who started in his kitchen have gone on to spread the gospel. Still, Equinox’s proximity to the White House has made it more of a power-dining spot than a Chez Panisse–like oasis. Gray often schmoozes with VIPs, but the kitchen rarely suffers for his absences.

Superlative soups, such as a summertime sweet-corn velouté with lump crab and an autumnal chestnut-and-porcini-mushroom blend with bacon, mirror the seasons. Main dishes of crisp soft-shell crabs or steak with a side of short rib walk the line between delicate and hearty. A fire last year closed the restaurant for six months, during which it got a facelift. The kitchen seems to have been reinvigorated as well.

Also good: Barbecue shrimp over grits; crispy crab spring rolls; seared scallops with artichokes; perfectly crusted Arctic char; gnocchi with asparagus and Boucheron cheese; truffled macaroni and cheese; brown-butter ice cream and sorbets of apple and pear.

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

>> See all of 2011's Best Restaurants

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