100 Best Restaurants 2011: Rasika
Comments () | Published January 18, 2011
100 Best Restaurants (2011) 100 Best Restaurants 2012 100 Best Restaurants (2010)

Rasika
Address: 633 D St., NW, Washington, DC 20004
Phone: 202-637-1222
Neighborhood: Penn Quarter/Chinatown, Downtown
Cuisines: Vegetarian/Vegan, Indian
Opening Hours: Open for lunch Monday through Friday 11:30 to 2:30. Open for dinner Monday through Thursday 5:30 to 10:30, Friday 5 to 11, Saturday 5 to 11.
Nearby Metro Stops: Gallery Place-Chinatown, Archives-Navy Memorial
Price Range: Expensive
Dress: Upscale Casual
Noise Level: Chatty
Reservations: Recommended
Best Dishes Palak chaat; lobster moilee with ginger, green chilies, and coconut milk; tandoori lamb chops with cashews, ginger, and green herbs; truffle-oil naan; tomato/gold-raisin chutney; chocolate samosas; apple beignet with cardamom ice cream.
Price Details: Small plates, $7 to $12; entrees, $14 to $27.

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

Softly lit and draped in rich fabrics, Ashok Bajaj’s Penn Quarter dining room is a sensual setting. In the open kitchen, chef Vikram Sunderam turns out the area’s most exciting Indian flavors, able to showcase cutting-edge Indian cuisine while also elevating such familiar stews as chicken makhni and lamb rogan josh.

Some of Sunderam’s creations employ ingredients not typically seen in Indian cooking, such as a layering of avocado and banana with tamarind chutney or a lentil pancake laden with asparagus. Although matching Indian dishes with wines can be tricky, the restaurant offers a four- or six-course chef’s-table menu with wine pairings. Innovative cocktails—especially one made with Scotch and spiced honey—disprove the notion that Indian food should be served only with pale ale.

Also good: Mango shrimp with a bright cilantro sauce; fried spinach with date chutney; black cod with a hint of star anise; breads such as goat-cheese-filled kulcha, warm naan, and mint paratha; date-and-toffee pudding fragrant with vanilla.

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

>> See all of 2011's Best Restaurants

 

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