100 Best Restaurants 2011: 701

Only the top 40 restaurants were ranked in 2011's Best Restaurants list.

The catchall phrase New American—often applied to restaurants that don’t fit neatly into any genre—suits this sprawling supper club decorated in sky blues and deep browns and featuring a weekend jazz trio.

Ed Witt, the second New York–trained chef to head the kitchen in the last year, needs to please powerbrokers and tourists, and the result is a menu at turns comforting (arugula pappardelle with lamb ragu) and polished (skillfully deboned quail stuffed with collards).

Witt’s cooking is strongest during dinner—also a good time to try such cocktails as hot buttered rum and a Manhattan with fig foam. If there ever was a place to fall off the low-carb wagon, it’s here: The bread basket is filled with house-made, lard-enriched Parker House rolls and buttery cornbread.

Also good: Grilled baby octopus with garlicky salsa verde and roasted radishes; rabbit rillettes; poached lobster with cabbage purée and pear; local pork two ways, a hefty hunk of tobacco-braised belly and roasted loin; sugared doughnuts with chocolate and caramel; chocolate-hazelnut terrine.

Open Monday through Friday for lunch and dinner, Saturday and Sunday for dinner. Expensive.

>> See all of 2011's Best Restaurants

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.