100 Best Restaurants 2008: Faryab

No. 82: Faryab

Cuisine: The hearty stews, juicy kebabs, and gossamer dumplings of classic Afghani cooking. The dishes may sound exotic, but their flavors are likely to be familiar—the cuisine is related to that of northern India, minus the heat and vinegar.

Mood: Relaxed, even romantic, courtesy of a dimly lit dining room that Kipling might feel at home in. This is not a place to linger over a meal, however—the food fairly flies out of the kitchen.

Best for: Mixed groups of meat lovers and vegetarians, young couples looking for an affordable date.

Best dishes: Anything fried, braised, or baked; aushak, delicate scallion-filled dumplings with yogurt-and-meat sauce, and their meat-filled cousins, manti; crispy-skinned samosas; a luxurious stew of lamb with eggplant.

Insider tips: Order carefully—the menu can be confusing, and it’s easy to wind up with similar dishes without realizing it: Aushak and manti are both dumplings with tomatoes and a yogurty meat sauce. And there’s not much difference between an appetizer of “fried sweet potato with yogurt and meat sauce” and a side dish of “sautéed pumpkin with meat sauce and yogurt.”

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.