Cuisine: After a rocky year, the kitchen seems to have stabilized with the arrival of Ethan McKee, a veteran of Equinox and Rock Creek at Mazza, whose French- and Mediterranean-influenced American menu runs to plates such as wild Alaskan halibut with chorizo, Swiss chard, and saffron butter.
Mood: Deciding where to sit can be hard. Will it be the teeming lounge, where you can nibble on snacks such as fries with fines herbes mayonnaise, or the conversation-friendly dining room done in shades of orange, yellow, and cream?
Best for: The Kennedy Center–bound—there’s a $35, three-course pre-theater meal from 5 to 7.
Best dishes: Crisp potato-crusted oysters with bacon-chive crème fraîche; roasted-beet salad with arugula and walnut vinaigrette; lamb rib eye with ratatouille and olive tapenade; duck with celery root, spinach, crispy leeks, and orange; a deconstructed brownie sundae including a dense, fudgy wedge of cake, house-made espresso ice cream, and candied walnuts.
Insider tips: There are lots of deals, including half-price cocktails, beer, and wine at the bar Monday through Friday from 4:30 to 7:30 and free bottomless mimosas at Sunday brunch.
Open Monday through Friday for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Saturday for breakfast and dinner, Sunday for breakfast, brunch, and dinner. Moderate to expensive.