Food

100 Best Restaurants 2008: Vidalia

No. 8: Vidalia

Cuisine: Surpassingly rich Southern comfort. Its refinement bespeaks a classically minded French kitchen, but its generosity of spirit could come only from below the Mason-Dixon Line.

Mood: The clean-lined dining room mirrors the lightness and simple elegance that chef R.J. Cooper’s food strives for.

Best for: Persnickety diners, traditionalists who turn up their noses at small plates, lovers of cream, butter, and bacon fat.

Best dishes: A plate of molasses-marinated yellowtail hamachi as bracing and fresh as any sushi bar’s; hand-rolled pumpkin cavatelli with crispy sweetbreads and chanterelle mushrooms; definitive shrimp ’n’ grits; saddle of rabbit stuffed with sweetbreads; roasted breast of partridge with applewood bacon, squash agnolotti, and braised onions; lemon chess pie and pecan pie, each so perfectly rendered that you’d swear you were in the deepest South.

Insider tips: The wine list, under the direction of Doug Mohr, might be the most interesting in the city. If you can afford it, get a wine pairing with each course. If not, there are good wines by the glass and even half glass. Regulars swear by Mohr’s happy hours, featuring a changing lineup of wines and free canapés.

Service: •••

Get Our “Brunches This Weekend” Newsletter

The best breakfasts and brunches to try every weekend, plus our most popular food stories of the week.

Or, see all of our newsletters. By signing up, you agree to our terms.
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.

SIGN UP
We engage readers directly in their mailboxes with topics like Health, Things to Do, Best Brunches, Design & Shopping, and Real Estate. Get the latest from our editors today.
Get The Best Of Washingtonian In Your Inbox!