100 Best Restaurants 2008: New Heights

No. 47: New Heights

Cuisine: Newly installed chef and wine guru John Wabeck’s dishes might skitter around the globe for inspiration—an Indian-inspired thali platter, fried oysters with Tabasco aïoli, Tex-Mexish black-bean rillettes—but with clearly honed flavors, they rarely feel scatterbrained.

Mood: The second-floor dining room looks 20 years behind the times, but it’s still quietly comfortable and warm. Wabeck, who has attracted a following, can often can be seen discussing his dishes with fans.

Best for: Wine-savvy diners who don’t mind a little trendiness on the plate and none in the decor.

Best dishes: A salad of roasted beets atop garlicky walnut pesto; potted black-bean purée layered with guacamole and Mexican crema; miso-drizzled soba noodles with house-smoked trout; seared sea scallops on a wonderful duck-and-sweet-potato hash; a tender chop of wild boar with aromatic red mole and a tangy sundried-tomato-and-bacon salsa; delicious mac and cheese with a dark crust and lots of Grafton cheddar; crème brûlée.

Insider tips: Portions tend to be big, and appetizers make for easy sharing. Wabeck’s wine list abounds in interesting gems—by the bottle, the glass, and the taste.

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.