Food

100 Best Restaurants 2008: Corduroy

Cuisine: Down-to-earth roasts, masterful salads, elegant soups, and terrifically fresh seafood from culinary craftsman Tom Power, who quietly wows from the kitchen but eschews the spotlight.

Mood: It’s a testament to the chef’s skill that Corduroy’s many fans have been filling this blandly functional setting—the corduroy-covered menus are the restaurant’s most striking design touch—for so long. In March, Power will move out of the Sheraton Four Points hotel and into a more fitting setting: a 19th-century townhouse a few blocks away with intimate dining rooms and an open kitchen.

Best for: Dining by yourself—or spending happy hour—at the bar presided over by smart, friendly bartenders.

Best dishes: A warm mushroom-and-frisée salad with a lightly poached duck egg; red-snapper bisque; goat cheese wrapped in frizzled potatoes; seared bigeye tuna over sushi rice; meaty sea scallops over garlic mashed potatoes; braised pork belly with Savoy cabbage; classic roasted chicken with a deliciously crisped skin; a perfect crème brûlée; chocolate tart with bananas; house-made chocolate and vanilla ice creams.

Insider tips: Don’t skip dessert: Power learned pastry during his long tenure with Michel Richard, and while his desserts—save for a faithful rendition of Richard’s famous “Kit Kat” bar—are simpler than his mentor’s, they’re almost always perfect.

Service: •••

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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 Logan Circle.

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