CityZen (Mandarin Oriental Hotel)
1330 Maryland Ave., SW
Washington, DC 20024
Neighborhood: Capitol Hill, Capitol Hill, Southwest/Waterfront
Cuisines: Modern, American
Open for dinner Tuesday through Thursday from 6 to 9:30 PM; Friday and Saturday from 5:30 to 9:30 PM.
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
Nearby Metro Stops: Smithsonian, L'Enfant Plaza
Price Range: Very expensive
Noise Level: Chatty
Hits from a recent tasting menu included toro with Meyer-lemon chimichurri; merlu (also known as hake) with piquillo-pepper marmalade; and a pear Linzer torte.
Three-course menu, $75. Five-course tasting menu, $110; vegetarian tasting menu, $90. Three-course bar menu, $50.
Special Features: Wheelchair Accessible, Valet Parking Available, Party Space, Good for Groups
Some chefs can't resist seeing themselves in a magazine or on TV and are content to be faces for their restaurants instead of constant presences in the kitchen. Eric Ziebold, the chef at this sleekly plush dining room, isn't one of those publicity seekers. Every night the quietly intense Ziebold, who came up at California's French Laundry, is at work in the open kitchen. His obsession with detail means plates are gorgeous, and his creative drive means the menu changes every few months and rarely repeats; the only constant is the wooden box of Parker House rolls that arrives with main courses. That's sometimes a downside: The sturgeon risotto with apples, offered in 2010, now exists only in memory.
Service is nearly always perfect--when you get up from the table, the hostess will likely be holding your coat.
What to get: Look for dishes with an Asian accent--such as tempura-fried turbot fin with yuzu vinaigrette--or with a regional American feel, such as pastrami-cured sweetbreads.
Open Tuesday through Saturday for dinner. Very expensive.