Great New Restaurants 2010: Level

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

Walk into this two-level restaurant at prime time and the young, cocktail-sipping crowd can make it seem like yet another noisy hot spot. But Level is much more than it seems. The owners have sourced from 19 area farms, and the quality is evident in nearly every bite, from a perfectly spiced satay of bison to a spinach-and-mozzarella-stuffed green pepper ringed with puréed tomato. Dubious-sounding plates, such as spring rolls stuffed with Cuban-style pulled pork, often reveal an unexpected finesse, and a seafood stew with rockfish, bluefish, and crab boasts an unexpectedly delicate broth. Meanwhile, the cocktails are handcrafted, potent, and a relative bargain—all are less than $10.

Don’t miss: Heirloom tomatoes with red-wine reduction; Maryland crab dip; barbecue-duck flatbread.


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.