100 Best Restaurants 2012: Vermilion

Restaurants On the Rise


This charmer is a romantic nest amid Old Town’s cobblestone streets and gas lamps. But it’s Tony Chittum’s cooking–the culinary equivalent of earthy, expressive roots music–that keeps us coming back. Many of his dishes read like something an accomplished home cook might try for a dinner party, but that’s deceptive. He works variations on them like a pianist improvising on a standard. And he knows when to stop, lending even his most creative plates soulfulness.

What to get: Polenta-filled agnolotti; potato-leek soup with smoked cod; beet salad; rib eye with salsa verde; garlic-crusted cod with ham and potato; peanut-butter/chocolate tart; crème fraîche cheesecake.

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

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 Petworth.