100 Best Restaurants 2011: Ethiopic

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

Ethiopians have a term for cooking that plays to Western tastes with muted spicing and larger cuts of meat: Europian. This former corner store in DC’s gentrifying H Street district makes a concerted effort to hew to its origins. Its vegetable stews have zip and body, and the excellent doro wat has a chunky gravy of berbere and caramelized onions that deserves the kind of contemplative appreciation usually reserved for fine French cooking.

Dinner unspools in a tiny room warmed with tastefully chosen fabrics, works from co-owner Meseret Bekele’s art collection, and a few mesobs—woven tables and stools traditional in Ethiopian homes and restaurants. Europian it’s not.

Also good: Beet-and-potato salad; buticha, a spicy chickpea purée; lamb tibs.

Open Tuesday through Sunday for dinner, Friday through Sunday for lunch. Inexpensive.

>> 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.