100 Best Restaurants 2010: Cedar

No. 93: Cedar

Cuisine: At this Penn Quarter newcomer, chef Andrew Kitko’s Modern American menu offers just a handful of appetizers and entrées, forgoing the chance to dazzle diners with elaborate dish descriptions and instead emphasizing his commitment to execution. Simple though his dishes are, many are elevated by house-made touches such as duck bacon and pickled figs.

Mood: The contemporary dining room evokes the Pacific Northwest with wood-trimmed walls and photos of giant cedars. A friendly staff and soft lighting keep the small, subterranean dining room from feeling like a basement.

Best for: Happy hour, when there are $5 deals on beer, wine, and cocktails; brunch; an after-work dinner with office pals.

Best dishes: Creamy oyster pan roast with leeks and Jerusalem artichokes; beet salad with pickled figs and goat-cheese fondue; pork-belly BLT (lunch and brunch) and smoked-salmon eggs Benedict (brunch); poached lobster atop a sort of deconstructed clam chowder; filet mignon with potato-porcini gratin and roasted carrots; trumpet mushrooms and poached egg over lentils; pumpkin-pecan tart; apple-almond brown-butter cake; Red Burro cocktail with ginger beer and blackberry purée.

Insider tips: The bar is small, but the bartenders are friendly and eager to whip up special requests.

Service: ••½

Open Monday through Friday for lunch and dinner, Saturday for brunch and dinner, Sunday for brunch. Expensive.

See all of 2010's 100 Best Restaurants


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.