DC Coast

Jeff Tunks's plush, bustling dining room picks up flavors from the Chesapeake Bay to the Pacific Rim.

From January 2006 100 Very Best Restaurants

THE SCENE. Jeff Tunks's first restaurant, a striking art deco setting for the cooking of the Chesapeake, Gulf Coast, and Pacific Rim, is the favored lunch and happy-hour destination of the K Street crowd and a hot spot for touring celebrities. The giant, tipped mirrors behind the bar make it possible to keep tabs on who's coming and going from almost any vantage point.

WHAT YOU'LL LOVE. The unpretentious sophistication of the service and the atmosphere, the dependably good cooking, and pastry chef David Guas's frequently witty desserts.

WHAT YOU WON'T. Getting a table at peak dining hours can be difficult. And sometimes dishes are big and pretty instead of delicious.

BEST DISHES. Wonderful Louisiana-style seafood gumbo; crispy fried oysters; a chile relleno packed with goat cheese and wild mushrooms; Tunks's signature Chinese-style smoked lobster, aromatic and juicy; a whole striped bass with garlic-soy dipping sauce; buttermilk beignets with a delicious café au lait crème brûlée.

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Petworth.