100 Best Restaurants 2012: Lyon Hall

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


At some restaurants, the sum is more than the parts. At this Alsatian-themed bistro, it’s the parts we remember most: a superb Manhattan, an impressive wines-by-the-glass list, a short-rib hot dog we can’t stop thinking about, a brief roster of enticing desserts, and some of the most hospitable service seen at a place not named the Ritz. The bustling cafe and bar is a place you can bring the family or come for a casually sophisticated couple’s night out. Brothers and owners Stephen and Mark Fedorchak, partner Brian Normile, and chef Liam LaCivita all but perfected that formula at Liberty Tavern. Here they’ve opted for brassiness over coziness in the dining room and traded the comfort of regional Americana for Alsace’s brawny cuisine. Plates are huge–you’ll likely take home a doggy bag.

What to get: House-made pretzels; shrimp cocktail; pan-roasted Amish chicken with wild mushrooms and fingerling potatoes; duck-and-foie-gras sausage; pork schnitzel; choucroute of sausages; profiteroles with lemon-and-violet ice cream; dark-chocolate-mousse bar.

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

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.