100 Best Restaurants 2012: Ris

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


Sleek minimalism is the look of many new restaurants, so the patches of red-flowered wallpaper and the oversize bouquets at this West End dining room are refreshing in their own old-school way. The restaurant is named for chef Ris Lacoste, who for years led the kitchen at Georgetown’s 1789 and opened this place two years ago. You can count on good burgers and soups–especially clam chowder and French onion–but the standout dish is the most out-there: a salt-rimmed margarita glass filled with lime-marinated bay scallops, tequila ice, and sour cream. Like much of what she cooks, the dish holds some nostalgia for Lacoste–it reminds her of visiting Texas as a kid.

What to get: Shrimp-tempura sandwich, an occasional special at lunch; deep-dish quiche Lorraine; mussels with chorizo; grilled quail over polenta; braised lamb shank with yogurt and pomegranate seeds; butterscotch pudding; cantaloupe caipirinha and elderflower Collins cocktails.

Open Monday through Friday for lunch and dinner, Saturday for dinner, Sunday for brunch, late lunch (3 to 5), and 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.