100 Best Restaurants 2012: Bistro Bis

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


If you don’t make your living in the Capitol or at a nearby TV studio, it can be easy to overlook Jeff Buben’s handsome, warmly lit French dining room. But it consistently turns out refined takes on classic bistro dishes. With its high-walled booths and crisp service, the cherry-wood-lined main room is a power-dining favorite during the week. (Is that Sean Penn over there?) Buben gives a modern cast to such dishes as a beautifully arranged roasted-beet salad and a carpaccio made of venison. But his scallop-mousse quenelles in a luxurious lobster sauce stick close to the Larousse Gastronomique ideal. A good onion soup is hard to find–but not if you’re eating here.

What to get: Endive salad with blue cheese; steamed mussels in saffron broth; steak frites; steak tartare; apple tart with Calvados.

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