This pond-side dining room features stunning art and the best bread service in town.

From January 2006 100 Very Best Restaurants

THE SCENE. A stream filled with koi fish leads the way to this stunning dining room overlooking a glimmering pond. Slip into a booth or a table by the fireplace, and you'll quickly forget you're in an off-the-Beltway office building.

WHAT YOU'LL LOVE. The way the restaurant carries itself with a certain formal elegance while retaining its sense of the personal. Start with the best bread service in the area, with varieties like cherry almond and rosemary olive baked daily by Mal Krinn. His son, chef/owner Jonathan Krinn, transforms carefully chosen ingredients into sparkling, sometimes surprising creations. And the silver tureen of cotton candy keeps smiles wide, even as the check is being signed.

WHAT YOU WON'T. While service usually strikes the right mix of charm and efficiency, it also can be slow and salesmanlike.

BEST DISHES. Lemongrass-braised abalone; foie gras, seared and in a torchon; roasted sablefish in an airy sauce of ginger confit, yuzu, and lobster jus; ruby-rare venison over braised red and white cabbage; chocolate coulant; mascarpone napoleon with cassis.

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