100 Best Restaurants 2010: Tallula

No. 48: Tallula

Cuisine: Chef Barry Koslow’s terrines and pâtés stand out on a contemporary farm-to-table menu that has moments both robust (cavatelli with veal sausage) and refined (crisp fried oysters with puréed celery root).

Mood: The dining room, with its orange-red walls and Mission-style wood furniture, lacks the character of the restaurant’s popular gastropub, EatBar, but the curvy corner booths give you a wide-angle view on the whole room and subdued lighting makes it feel more intimate.

Best for: Those who believe that good wine is essential to a good meal; besides three- and six-ounce pours, you can order ten-ounce beakers and half and full bottles.

Best dishes: Terrines, including the rosy rabbit and silky chicken liver in ceramic pots; fried oysters with celery-root purée and apple “risotto”; marvelous spaghetti squash served casserole style; farmers-market lettuces with breakfast radishes and Champagne vinaigrette; roasted gnocchi with braised wild boar, Niçoise olives, and rapini; cavatelli with lemon, chili flakes, and veal sausage; toffee brownie with pistachio ice cream.

Insider tips: Saturday brunch means old-time cartoons such as Foghorn Leghorn and Pepe Le Pew on the big screen in EatBar; on Sunday, look for family movie screenings.

Service: ••

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