Only the top 40 restaurants were ranked in 2011's Best Restaurants list.
For a place that features such basic dishes as bangers and mash, shepherd’s pie, and fish and chips, this British import works some surprisingly subtle effects—so subtle that some diners will wonder what all the fuss is about and why the prices aren’t cheaper. Isn’t this pub grub? No, it’s gastropub grub.
The difference? For one thing, a lighter, more refined touch at the stove. The shepherd’s pie is as delicate as a lamb stew atop buttery whipped potatoes can be; the superbly spiced bangers pack more flavor into a few bites than most sausages do in an entire link.
These Brit-based dishes give the darkly lit place its character, but the rest of the menu is where chef Wes Morton proves his worth. The potato-chip-crisp skin of a simple square of salmon beautifully sets off the tender flesh beneath; lamb shoulder and chicken leg both benefit from simple, cleanly rendered sauces. Grazers, take note: Superb house-made charcuterie and sparkling trays of fresh East Coast oysters present good foils for the many excellent beers on draft. (A second location in Rockville lacks the polish of the DC original.)
Also good: House-made corned beef (lunch only); pork belly and grits; roast pigeon; fish and chips; banoffee pie.
Open Monday through Friday for lunch and dinner, Saturday for dinner. Moderate to expensive.