100 Best Restaurants 2012: Vidalia

No. 10

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Chef/owner Jeffrey Buben brings elegance and daring to down-home cooking with riffs on the Southern repertoire. And though the results are deeply satisfying, there’s a surprising lightness to many of the savory plates.

Whether you’re enjoying a killer mint julep in the living-room-like lounge or biting into buttery cornbread in the relaxed dining room, this subterranean eatery is all about comfort, both in mood and cuisine.

What to get: Crisp pork trotters (pig’s feet) with candied pecans; Bibb-lettuce salad with buttermilk dressing; Frogmore stew with mussels, monkfish, shrimp, and sausage; shrimp and grits; lunchtime fried chicken with pepper-cream gravy; Palmetto burger with pimiento cheese, charred Vidalias, and a fried egg; pecan and lemon-chess pies; sugared doughnuts.

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