100 Best Restaurants 2011: The Majestic

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

Since chef Cathal Armstrong and his partners took over this Old Town restaurant in 2007, the Deco dining room has become known for serving generous portions of locally sourced comfort food.

Chef Shannon Overmiller, who cooked under Armstrong at Restaurant Eve, turns out appetizers that often could double as entrées. Lump crabcakes the size of a fist are an excellent starter, as is the silky chicken-liver mousse with plum jam. Roast chicken with root vegetables and meatloaf with mashed potatoes and gravy are stick-to-your-ribs savory. The superlative coconut cake is enough for four.

Sundays bring Nana’s Sunday Dinner, which is served family style and changes themes from month to month (a Chesapeake clambake, a Thanksgiving spread); weekday lunches feature the Royal Pick menu—an entrée and a drink for $12.

Also good: An appetizer of golden-crusted skate; sardines with caramelized onions and sage; Coco’a Vin, a mole-inspired wine-and-chicken stew; intensely flavored bluefish with a beautiful ratatouille; a side of creamy lima beans; Key-lime pie; bourbon milk punch.

Open Monday through Saturday for lunch and dinner, Sunday from 1 to 9 for dinner. Moderate to 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.