Todd Gray's seasonal American dining room near the White House.
Reviewed By Todd Kliman, Ann Limpert, Cynthia Hacinli
Comments () | Published October 13, 2006
100 Best Restaurants (2011) 100 Best Restaurants 2012 100 Best Restaurants (2010)

Equinox -DC
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 AM to 2 PM. Open for dinner Monday through Thursday 5:30 PM to 10 PM; Friday and Saturday 5:30 PM to 10:30 PM.
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
Nearby Metro Stops: Farragut North, Farragut West
Price Range: Very expensive
Dress: Upscale Casual (jeans okay)
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.
Special Features:
Wheelchair Accessible, Valet Parking Available, Party Space, Outdoor Seating, Good for Groups
Outdoor Seating

From January 2006 100 Very Best Restaurants

THE SCENE. Proximity to the White House ensures the restaurant's status as a favorite of Bush-administration staffers, lobbyists, and downtown lawyers, but the quietly plush dining room and glassed-in atrium feel refreshingly ego-free.

WHAT YOU'LL LOVE. Chef Todd Gray stays faithful to the seasons and local farms, dispensing with gimmickry and experimentation in favor of simple explorations of historic Maryland and Virginia cookery. A long-forgotten Chesapeake fish dish will turn up on the menu, and the bread pudding derives from a recipe from Thomas Jefferson. Wife Ellen, an effervescent hippie in a suit, oversees an earnest, eager-to-please staff.

WHAT YOU WON'T. When it works, the simplicity undergirding Gray's approach--the goal of dishes uncluttered by too many competing effects--can feel liberating and confident. When it doesn't, you may be left feeling as though something is missing, including, perhaps, inspiration.

BEST DISHES. Cream-of-chestnut soup; pistachio-crusted fresh-mozzarella salad with sour cherries; duo of chicken, a flavorful stewed leg and grilled breast scattered with roasted pearl onions; Armagnac bread pudding.

Subscribe to Washingtonian
Posted at 05:19 PM/ET, 10/13/2006 RSS | Print | Permalink | Washingtonian.com Restaurant Reviews