Washingtonian 100 Very Best Restaurants 2024 - #3

Photograph by Rey Lopez.
Navy Yard
At this always-packed restaurant in Navy Yard, chef/owner Michael Rafidi pays glorious tribute to his family’s native Palestinian cuisine. New to the genre? A glossary on the table helps decode elements such as matbucha, a tomato salad, or mouneh, which signals seasonal preserves. This is a menu, though, that you could confidently close your eyes and point at—we’ve never had an underwhelming dish (or a plate that doesn’t double as visual art). If you’re into lamb, don’t miss savory-sweet grape leaves enriched with lamb belly, or a showstopping entrée of barbecue lamb, dramatically plated tableside from an ornate spear. Is there a better hummus in DC than Rafidi’s version adorned with coal-fired mushrooms, black garlic, and egg-yolk confit? We haven’t found it. The Sofra tasting—which at $125 feels like a true value—is a great way to explore all corners of the menu. And for pastries and pita sandwiches with an Albi vibe but not its price tag, visit his adjacent cafe Yellow, also in Georgetown.
1346 4th St SE Washington, DC 20003