100 Best Restaurants 2012: Tallula

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


Chef Brian Wilson, who has cooked at 2941 and Palena, is turning out gorgeously plated match-ups–such as black-eyed peas with tasso-ham risotto–that taste as good as they look. You can pair them with wines from the 375-bottle wine list, 60 of them available by the glass and half glass.

An open kitchen and a stone waterfall are the focal points of the room; terra-cotta walls and dim lighting lend a cozy feel. Service has been spot-on–attentive and friendly but not hovering. Gracious touches such as the complimentary doughnut holes that end the meal are nice, too.

What to get: Pumpkin soup with bourbon/brown-sugar cream; house-made charcuterie; venison carpaccio with pickled vegetables; autumn salad with poached quail egg and garlic flan; porcini ravioli; grouper with black-eyed peas; grilled pork chop with creamed corn; Fat Elvis waffle with bananas and bacon; confections plate with mint-chocolate-chip ice cream and a take on a Snickers bar.

Open Monday through Saturday for dinner, Sunday for brunch. 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.