100 Best Restaurants 2012: Circle Bistro
From soulful bistros to high-gloss steakhouses, there's lots of good eating in DC, Maryland, and Virginia
Comments () | Published January 23, 2012
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.


In warm tones of cinnamon and apricot, this dining room and lounge, a favorite of Kennedy Center patrons, gives off a pleasing glow. The menu is short, but chef Ethan McKee, formerly of Equinox, has a way with flavor. Using local, sustainable ingredients, his plates draw on influences from Morocco to France to Korea but never feel strained. If the service seems a bit amateurish, the goodwill usually makes up for it.

What to get: Butternut-squash soup with cayenne-dusted pumpkin seeds; chopped salad with hearts of palm, avocado, artichokes, and truffle vinaigrette; rib-eye steak (we like it with the winey hunter's sauce) and crispy fries; trout amandine with lemony brown butter, haricots verts, and marble potatoes; at lunch, pork confit on baguette with pickled vegetables and chilies; lemon meringue tart.

Open Monday through Friday for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Saturday and Sunday for breakfast and dinner. Moderate.

Subscribe to Washingtonian
Posted at 12:00 AM/ET, 01/23/2012 RSS | Print | Permalink | Washingtonian.com Restaurant Reviews