100 Best Restaurants 2012: Kinkead’s

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


After a long day, we sometimes pine for the downstairs bar at this venerable seafood place. The barmen exude old-school charm and can whip up any drink in the book, the oysters are well sourced and cleanly shucked, the conversation flows, and there’s often good jazz piano.

Depending on your point of view, the formal dining room is either an aging warhorse or one of the few restaurants left where you’re taken care of by a pro staff and don’t have to shout to be heard. Yes, the cooking has lost some of its zip, but the standbys–fried clams, seafood chowder, crabcakes–are timeless.

What to get: Crab-imperial-stuffed roast cod with mustard cream sauce and a side of spoonbread; mussels in Thai curry broth; whole black bass, lightly fried, with black-bean dipping sauce and cucumber salad; peach or apple tarte Tatin; pineapple-macadamia tart with banana-rum caramel and coconut ice cream; molten chocolate cake.

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 Logan Circle.