100 Best Restaurants 2012: Corduroy

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


This restaurant, once hidden in a downtown DC Sheraton, is now only somewhat hidden on a quiet block in Shaw near the Washington Convention Center. Inside, the rowhouse exudes a quiet sophistication–there’s no music, the dining room tends to be hushed, and servers are on the serious side.

It’s a fitting setting for Tom Power’s cooking, which is similarly free of flash. He has the confidence to be straightforward–unusual at a time when many chefs concoct dishes that sound like science experiments–putting out a simple, beautifully roasted capon and the same chocolate-banana tart he’s been making for years. Surprises reveal themselves slowly. The best examples are his complexly layered soups. If we see one on the menu, we order it. The $65 five-course tasting menu is an excellent value.

What to get: Beet salad with goat cheese; cauliflower-and-Parmesan soup; rare tuna with seaweed salad and sushi rice; scallops in any preparation; antelope with chestnut purée; chocolate sabayon, a baked chocolate dessert somewhere between custard and a soufflé.

Open Monday through Saturday 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.