100 Best Restaurants 2008: 2941 Restaurant

No. 18: 2941 Restaurant

Cuisine: Founding chef Jonathan Krinn has left, but the high-minded, high-priced menu—which calls itself contemporary American but is grounded in classical French technique and flaunts its Asian accents—remains much the same. Scott Bryan, most recently of Veritas in New York, has been minding the kitchen until a new chef, Bertrand Chemel (formerly of Café Boulud in New York), arrives in January.

Mood: Intended as a wooded retreat from the stress of the city and the Beltway, this suburban fantasia bespeaks new money, from the manmade lake outside to the soaring interior with angled mirrors, glass walls, and sumptuous oil paintings.

Best for: A big date, an important business dinner, a special occasion.

Best dishes: Supremely smooth celery-root velouté with black truffles; chilled lobster salad, its sweet, lightly poached claw meat set off by a fava-bean purée and white asparagus; well-seared foie gras with a vanilla-scented pineapple confit; crisp-skinned filet of snapper in a green curry of elegant lightness; slowly braised short ribs with a creamy potato purée and a rich Bordelaise sauce; warm apple turnovers with butterscotch ice cream.

Insider tips: Krinn’s father has left, too, but his terrific bread recipes remain. So does the signature parting gift—a fluffy bowl of cotton candy, which follows an ample selection of petits fours. Unless you’re famished, it’s best to go light at the start and finish. And give attention to the wine list, which includes, among the big-name estates from France and California, reasonably priced selections from up and down the East Coast.

Service: •••

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.