100 Best Restaurants 2012: Adour

From soulful bistros to high-gloss steakhouses, there's lots of good eating in DC, Maryland, and Virginia

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At a time when many restaurants are noisy and trend-obsessed, this elegant outpost of Alain Ducasse’s empire seems oblivious to it all–a bastion of pampering flourishes and cooking that quietly but powerfully asserts the old-school culinary virtues.

The David Rockwell-designed room, a golden-lit stage for celebs and power players, feels formal but rarely stuffy. The same might be said of Julien Jouhannaud’s cooking. We marvel at the clarity of his reductions and the harmony of his compositions. The best dishes abound in subtleties that reveal themselves gradually. The formidable wine list is among Washington’s best.

What to get: Japanese hamachi with green-apple mustard; chicken-and-duck-liver terrine; olive-oil-poached cod with pipérade jus; braised halibut in Arbois wine sauce with chestnuts and grapes; roasted veal loin with pillowy gnocchi; baba au rhum with Armagnac and chantilly cream; cherries jubilee; hazelnut soufflé.

Open Sunday and Monday for breakfast, Tuesday through Saturday for breakfast and dinner. Very expensive.

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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.