100 Best Restaurants 2009: The Majestic

No. 49: The Majestic

Cuisine: Gussied-up American comfort fare courtesy of Restaurant Eve chef Cathal Armstrong makes this Old Town bistro the ultimate neighborhood restaurant. Pasta, bread, chips, and pickles are crafted in-house, with chef Shannon Overmiller executing Armstrong’s vision. As at Restaurant Eve, Todd Thrasher’s cocktails and wines are as much fun as the food.

Mood: This intimate space—where contemporary meets art deco—has a conversational hum that turns loud when the room is hopping.

Best for: Dinner out with friends or family; spiffy cocktails at the bar; a speedy yet far from run-of-the-mill lunch.

Best dishes: Sardines with caramelized onions and capers; mussels with bacon and cream; whole branzino with fennel, olives, and oranges; lamb shank with roasted tomato grits; surprisingly light meatloaf with mashed potatoes; pineapple upside-down cake with caramel sauce.

Insider tips: The Royal Pick bar-lunch special gets you an entrée—we like the bratwurst with warm potato salad—and a soda or iced tea for $12. Nana’s Family Dinner for 4 on Sundays is ideal for kids; menus change monthly, but the family meal has included fried chicken, roast lamb, pot roast, and chicken pot pie. The staff also will pack up the leftovers to go.

Service: ••½

Open Monday through Saturday for lunch and dinner, Sunday 1 to 9 for dinner. Moderate to expensive.

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.