100 Best Restaurants 2012: 701

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


With its pale-blue leather chairs, rounded booths, and live piano, this supper-clubby spot is one of the most pleasant places in restaurateur Ashok Bajaj’s portfolio. Its location, in view of the Capitol, means the dining room is often populated with power players. But the cozy bar, which stirs a mean dried-fruit Manhattan, attracts a crowd of off-the-clock thirtysomethings, Verizon Center-goers, and tourists. Chef Ed Witt keeps the essence of his menu intact throughout the year, making seasonal tweaks. His elegant pastas and well-prepared meats are big draws.

What to get: Smoky deviled eggs; fig-and-arugula salad with guanciale and vanilla vinaigrette; chestnut-squash ravioli; smoked trout; fig-and-almond tart; rosemary-apple beignets; raspberry-gimlet and pear-and-beer cocktails.

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