100 Very Best Restaurants 2013: Top Ten Restaurants

One of the opulent dining rooms at the Inn at Little Washington is decked out with fringed silk lampshades and freshly cut roses. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

At the Inn at Little Washington, juniper-crusted venison is paired with caramelized endive and mustard spaetzle. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

The Inn at Little Washington puts a deliciously haute spin on the ice-cream sandwich. Here, it’s made with butter pecan ice cream and sauced with hot caramel. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

A luxe Inn at Little Washington classic: the Tin of Sin, with American Ossetra caviar, peekytoe crab, and cucumber rillettes. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Inn at Little Washington chef/owner Patrick O’Connell (left) consults with executive sous chef Stephen Lyons in the beautifully appointed kitchen. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Ask for a tour of the Inn at Little Washington’s gorgeous kitchen when your dinner is over—you might get a chance to chat with affable chef/owner Patrick O’Connell and his brigade of cooks. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Inn at Little Washington server Adam Silsbey makes sure everything is flawless in one of the dining rooms. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Server Adam Silsbey polishes things up in a romantic alcove—where couples can sit side-by-side—at the Inn at Little Washington. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

CityZen sommelier Andy Myers peruses the restaurant’s wine collection. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

At CityZen, chef Eric Ziebold cures rich, creamy sweetbreads in pastrami spices. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

At CityZen, some of the best dishes have an Asian accent. Here, turbot fin is fried tempura-style and sauced with yuzu vinaigrette. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Before dinner starts, Carlos Villaverde irons the tablecloths in the CityZen dining room. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

CityZen pastry chef Alison O’Brian at work in the open kitchen. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Ron Chen makes sure the table is perfectly set in the CityZen dining room. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

CityZen chef Eric Ziebold, an alum of California’s French Laundry, readies his knives for dinner service. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

A standout among the elaborate desserts at CityZen: a degustation of apples. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Fiola server Dat Phan readies the mid-century modern-inspired dining room for dinner service. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Fiola chef/owner Fabio Trabocchi is a master with pastas. Here, bucatini is shown off with prawns and sea urchin. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Putting the finishing touches on Fiola’s fabulous pappardelle with hare ragu. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Fiola’s pappardelle, sauced with a robust ragu made from Scottish hare, is one of Washington’s best pasta dishes. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Fiola chef/owner Fabio Trabocchi prepares his team of servers. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Fabio Trabocchi, who won a James Beard award for his cooking in New York, returned to Washington and opened Fiola in 2011. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Fabio Trabocchi’s menu at Fiola includes dishes inspired by where he grew up, the Le Marche region of Italy. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

An arched window gives diners a view into Fiola’s kitchen. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

At Marcel’s, lobster bisque is made even more decadent with a cap of pastry crust. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Marcel’s chef/owner Robert Wiedmaier excels at robust Belgian and French-inspired creations. Here, pheasant-and-foie-gras sausage is paired with Brussels sprouts. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

A classic chocolate souffle with hazelnut ice cream is a sweet ending at Marcel’s. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Marcel’s executive chef Paul Stearman sniffs a handful of black truffles. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Chef Robert Wiedmaier has assembled a mini-empire of restaurants in the last few years, but his flagship, Marcel’s, is his most ambitious and elegant. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

An array of amuse bouche at Marcel’s: spoons of salmon tartare with yuzu and black sesame, and smoked-salmon-and-potato-blini napoleons with trout roe. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

At Marcel’s, a pan-seared diver scallop is perched atop butternut squash and crispy shiitake mushrooms. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

The prosciutto-wrapped monkfish at Marcel’s arrives stuffed with truffles and served atop white-bean puree. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Executive chef Paul Stearman at work in the kitchen at Marcel’s. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Marcel’s bison striploin is served with roasted Brussels sprouts, cauliflower puree, and Cabernet/foie gras sauce. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Marcel’s Dover sole is paired with Maine lobster roulade. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

A dessert that will satisfy chocoholics and fruit lovers alike—the chocolate/passionfruit gateau at Marcel’s. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

A wispy tangle of spun sugar tops off a pineapple spice cake with frozen macadamia nougat at Marcel’s. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

The service at Marcel’s deftly walks the line between formal and approachable. Here, server Youness Boukhlifi readies the dining room. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Marcel’s exudes an old-school elegance, from its table linens to its delicately patterned china. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Dressing the dining room at Marcel’s for dinner. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Marcel’s chef/owner Robert Wiedmaier has reason to be proud of his opulent West End dining room. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Lobster bisque simmers on the stove in the kitchen at Marcel’s. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

A cook gets just the right sear on a diver scallop at Marcel’s. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

A cook at Marcel’s blanches Brussels sprouts to a beautiful shade of green. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Co-owner Anne Marler (in red) is surrounded by the waitstaff at Little Serow. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Tables at tiny, no-reservations Thai restaurant Little Serow routinely command hour-plus waits. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

The family-style meals at Little Serow—which have included this plate of shrimp paste with green chilies—come with a basket of rice and a plate of vegetables. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

One highlight from the seven-course set menu at Little Serow: Wagyu brisket with basil and a duck egg. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Little Serow’s pork sausage is seasoned with lemongrass and kaffir lime. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Little Serow’s shrimp toast with cilantro and sesame seeds. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Little Serow’s tiny, subterranean dining room channels the vibe of a lowkey hipster dinner party. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Little Serow’s waiting list is one of the toughest in town—the restaurant doesn’t take reservations, but the hostess will text when your table is ready. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Little Serow’s minimalist dining room features a corrugated tin roof, sea-green paint, and a raw concrete floor. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

French-trained chef Sebastian Archambault has reinvigorated the locavore-minded kitchen at DC’s Blue Duck Tavern. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Blue Duck Tavern’s sweetbreads and fried cauliflower are paired with vivid flavors: red-grape confit and purple mustard. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

At Blue Duck Tavern, meaty Maine scallops are roasted in the wood-burning oven and served atop stewed tomatoes and pickled mushrooms. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

A deep-dish, baked-to-order apple pie is one of the most rewarding endings to a meal at Blue Duck Tavern. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Blue Duck Tavern cook Yancik Cargill (left) consults with chef Sebastian Archambault. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Freshly poached pears in Blue Duck Tavern’s kitchen. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Blue Duck Tavern’s array of rustic breads. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

One of our favorite dishes of the year: Blue Duck Tavern’s rich bone marrow with toasts. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Frederiek Van Der Most readies a table for dinner at Blue Duck Tavern. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

A lovely salad at Proof pairs butter lettuce with avocado and grapefruit. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

At Proof, chef Haidar Karoum accents pan-roasted foie gras with cherry shortcake, crunchy cocoa nibs, bing-cherry jus, and pistachios. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Proof wine director Joseph Quinn surveys the restaurant’s extensive collection. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

The lowlit dining room at Proof, which lies a block from the Verizon Center, exudes sophistication. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Proof owner Mark Kuller has assembled a terrific wine collection, which includes unique bargains and big splurges. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Tomato-drenched meatballs with goat-cheese agnolotti at Proof. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Proof owner Mark Kuller says he combined the best traits of his favorite cafes and wine bars when conceiving his Penn Quarter restaurant. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

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