100 Best Restaurants 2010: Westend Bistro

No. 67: Westend Bistro

Cuisine: This outpost of chef Eric Ripert’s empire benefits from the spending power of its peripatetic culinary master. Among the new wave of casually elegant restaurants to hit DC, this byline bistro has evolved and now speaks with a bit of a Southern accent, with fried okra and shrimp ’n’ grits joining salmon rillettes and tuna tartare.

Mood: The slick room fades into the background, making this a surprisingly versatile choice for special occasions, dates, and business meetings. It’s neither hushed nor lively but something in between.

Best for: Happy hour at the U-shaped bar; dinner with friends, especially on the small patio in warmer months.

Best dishes: A buttery tuna carpaccio sprinkled with chives; a pot of rich salmon rillettes; a homey shrimp-and-bean soup; macaroni and cheese with ham and toasted bread crumbs; a golden-crusted fish burger with saffron aïoli; a filet of wild striped bass with Asian spices.

Insider tips: Desserts are a weak spot—the best of the recent bunch were the corn madeleines and the ginger parfait. And although the menu changes seasonally, the Web site fails to keep pace with those changes, making advance planning difficult.

Service: ••½

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