Food

100 Best Restaurants 2009: Rasika

No. 18: Rasika

Cuisine: Indian food at its most inventive. Chef Vikram Sunderam’s refined gravies and elegant presentations will erase the memory of uninspired Indian buffets.

Mood: Few rooms in the area are trendier than this bead-and-silk-bedecked Penn Quarter place. But though the tables are jammed at night with bright young things, the atmosphere manages not to cross into exclusivity.

Best for: All those who say they don’t like, or don’t get, Indian food. This will likely be their gateway drug.

Best dishes: Black cod lightly sauced with star anise, dill, and honey; spicy chicken green masala with coriander and mint; poached lobster in a hot chili sauce; lamb rogan josh; dal makhani, a rich stew of spiced red lentils, perfect as a dip for any of the flavorful flatbreads; carrot halwa with cinnamon sabayon; apple jalebi, a crispy-fried round of apple, with a scoop of orange-cardamom ice cream.

Insider tips: Rasika bills itself as the place to find wine pairings that stand up to the bold flavors of Indian cuisine, but you’re better off accompanying spicier dishes with a traditional Kingfisher beer. A three-course pretheater meal costs $30.

Service: **½ (two and a half stars).

Open Monday through Friday for lunch and dinner, Saturday for dinner.

See all of 2009's 100 Best Restaurants.
 

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!