Great New Restaurants 2010: Sou’Wester

25 places that are making the Washington dining scene better than ever

Exuding an “aw, shucks” attitude in the classy Mandarin Oriental hotel isn’t easy. The downtown decor, overly attentive service, and practice of serving Miller High Life in a Champagne glass belie the down-home aspirations of the Southern-inspired menu. And some of the dishes overseen by CityZen chef Eric Ziebold—such as the chicken and dumplings, which suffers from too little gravy and only two dinky dumplings—show the downside of fancifying humble fare. But when the kitchen is turning out fried chicken and hushpuppies this good, it’s easy to ignore the disappointments. Masterful products from the fryer also include an apple pie that should have its own rehab program.

Don’t miss: Fried oysters; sweetbreads with grits; creamy corn soup with bacon; vanilla cheesecake.

For a full review of Sou'Wester, click here.

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 Petworth.