100 Best Restaurants 2012: Equinox

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


Chef/owner Todd Gray’s spruced-up dining room–renovated after a fire two years ago–is at the center of the area’s seasonal-cooking movement, and the menu is regularly tweaked to reflect what’s available from the farm. It also draws inspiration from the Mid-Atlantic, whether the Eastern Shore or Virginia’s Piedmont. Equinox’s proximity to the White House means that chairs are often filled with VIPs–the President and First Lady have visited–and the place has plenty of regulars. You’ll often see Gray chatting up the dining room.

What to get: Oysters on the half shell; poached-pear salad with a quail egg; shrimp and grits; any soup, such as cream of curried cauliflower; rosemary-roasted bison with sweetbreads; truffled macaroni and cheese; the signature crabcake; figs with toasted hazelnuts and fig-leaf ice cream.

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