100 Best Restaurants 2012: The Oval Room
From soulful bistros to high-gloss steakhouses, there's lots of good eating in DC, Maryland, and Virginia
Reviewed By Rina Rapuano, Todd Kliman, Cynthia Hacinli, Ann Limpert
Comments () | Published January 23, 2012
100 Best Restaurants 2012 100 Best Restaurants (2011) 100 Best Restaurants (2010)

The Oval Room
Address: 800 Connecticut Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20006
Phone: 202-463-8700
Neighborhood: Downtown
Cuisines: Modern, American
Opening Hours: Open for lunch Monday through Friday from 11:30 AM to 3 PM. Open for dinner Monday through Thursday 5:30 to 10; Friday and Saturday 5:30 to 10:30.
Nearby Metro Stops: Farragut West
Price Range: Expensive
Dress: Business Attire
Noise Level: Chatty
Reservations: Recommended
Best Dishes Parmesan custard; foie gras brûlée over brioche; beet salad with horseradish and passionfruit gelée; cucumber soup; burrata cheese with apple; lobster over curried rice; striped bass with heirloom peppers and littleneck clams; braised short ribs.
Price Details: Lunch appetizers, $7 to $13; entrees, $7 to $22. Dinner appetizers, $8 to $16; entrees, $16 to $32.

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Dishes at Ashok Bajaj's pretty dining room are always elegant, but there's also a playful side to chef Tony Conte's food. Take the butternut-squash soup with . . . olives and banana? In Conte's hands, it works.

On any given night, you might encounter a Secret Service detail hanging around the front door. Patrons who don't need bodyguards still skew toward the category of power player. A private room is available on one side of the restaurant, while a smaller dining area sits behind a striped curtain.

What to get: A tiny tower of sweetbreads; pastrami-cured kampachi; Peekytoe-crab salad; fig salad with basil and ricotta; tagliatelle with mushrooms and pine shoots; crisp-skinned rockfish; scallops with crab chowder; coconut custard with lemon-lime sherbet; a hazelnut "Twix" bar.

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

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