100 Very Best Restaurants 2013: Birch & Barley

Photograph by Chris Leaman.

If you’d sooner give up chocolate or alcohol than bread, think
of pastry chef Tiffany MacIsaac as your patron saint. We’d be happy making
a meal out of the bread basket here, with its crème fraîche biscuits and
aggressively salted pretzel rolls. Happily, much of what follows, courtesy
of chef Kyle Bailey, is just as satisfying. He specializes in robust
flavors, turning tender grouper cheeks into a crunchy snack and tossing
pappardelle with curried yogurt and braised goat. Dishes are built to
stand up to beer director Greg Engert’s list, one of the best in the
country, with 550-plus possibilities.

Don’t miss:
Prosciutto-and-fig flatbread; scallops with blood-orange purée;
honey-glazed duck; brunchtime chicken and waffles and sticky buns;
cookies-and-confections plate.

Open: Tuesday through
Saturday for dinner, Sunday for brunch (until 8 pm). Expensive.

100 Very Best Restaurants 2013

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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.