The gastropub is a cross between a tavern and a fine-dining restaurant, where you can wash down fish and chips with a dry Riesling and where such fare as corned tongue might be dressed up like a light salad. It’s tough to pull off, which is what makes this British-themed restaurant the year’s biggest surprise. Chef Wes Morton works with precision—the skin of a Scottish salmon is seared to a crisp—and makes hearty dishes feel refined. The moodily lit space is ideal for drinking and grazing, and the creative cocktails and Guinness on draft have made it popular with the young and flush. A second location (12256 Rockville Pike, Rockville; 301-230-9260) opened recently, but the stripped-down menu pales in comparison with the DC original.
Don’t miss: Bangers and mash; corned lamb’s tongue; charcuterie board; roast cod; banoffee pie.
For a full review of Againn, click here.