818 Connecticut Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20006
Cuisines: Modern, American
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
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.
Starters $12 to $15, entrées $28 to $34.
Special Features: Wheelchair Accessible, Valet Parking Available, Party Space, Outdoor Seating, Good for Groups
Scene: Outdoor Seating
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.