Cuisine: Chef Miles Vaden’s ambitious Clarendon kitchen doesn’t produce anything too out-there, but his Modern American cooking is full of surprises. A classic tartare is made from bison, sweetbreads are rolled in oats, and octopus comes not grilled but marinated, escabeche style.
Mood: You might expect a crowd out of Twilight in this soaring, Goth-chic dining room. But under the black chandeliers sit casual families, empty-nesters, and smartly turned-out young professionals.
Best for: Bar snacks in the downstairs lounge or, in the summer, on the roof; dinner dates.
Best dishes: Grilled-pear salad with blue-cheese flan; octopus with olives and mashed chickpeas; Arctic char over spaghetti squash and spicy-tangy rémoulade; duck with foie gras butter and lush polenta cake.
Insider tips: Virginia permits unfinished bottles of wine to be taken home, and the restaurant provides wine “doggie bags.”
Open Tuesday through Saturday for dinner, Sunday for brunch. Expensive.