100 Best Restaurants 2010: Prime Rib

No. 51: The Prime Rib

Cuisine: No clever juxtapositions, no artful drizzles, no chef-inspired riffs on comfort-food classics. This elegant supper club serves as steward for straightforward if lavish renditions of meat, fish, and potatoes. Shrimp and flounder come stuffed with jumbo lump crab, and the titular star—slow-roasted beef with jus poured atop it at the table—remains a welcome reminder of the virtues of honesty and simplicity.

Mood: Economy? What economy? Here, women are draped in minks, men wear expensive suits, and the waiters are all tuxedoed. It’s a timeless, clubby place that reminds you of your grandfather—if he happened to have his own library.

Best for: A guys’ night out; a special-occasion dinner for those who don’t cotton to too much innovation; an important business lunch.

Best dishes: Chunky, creamy crab imperial; steak au poivre with a side of Marchand de Vin sauce; prime rib; pencil-thin grilled asparagus with hollandaise; house-made Key-lime pie; a pink pouf of strawberries Romanoff.

Insider tips:At lunch, men are free to dine without jackets, and all can take advantage of the prix-fixe menu—three courses for $24.95. At dinner, there’s complimentary valet parking and live piano.

Service: •••

Open Monday through Friday for lunch and dinner, Saturday for dinner. Expensive to very 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 Logan Circle.