Critics’ Dream Menus From the 2013 100 Very Best Restaurants List

Dishes plucked from a year of restaurant research.

The Inn at Little Washington turns out a dream menu every night. Photograph by Scott Suchman

The below menus—composed of knockout dishes we sampled over a year of restaurant research—might require a spare stomach, but oh, would they make for wonderful feasts. All of the featured restaurants form part of this year’s 100 Very Best Restaurants list—now online! Hope you’re hungry.

Todd Kliman, food and wine editor

Fried egg with caviar at Jaleo DC

Burrata with olive oil and sea salt at Obelisk

Caesar salad prepared tableside at the Majestic

Steak tartare with mini tater tots at Mintwood Place

Marinated mackerel at Izakaya Seki

Grilled chicken tail skewers at Pabu Izakaya

Watercress salad at Ruan Thai

Pan-roasted foie gras with sweet cherry shortcake at Proof

Crabcakes with coral aïoli at Blue Duck Tavern

Mediterranean turbot with brodetto and calamari at Fiola

Pork ribs marinated in Mekhong whiskey and dill at Little Serow

Pastrami sandwich with mustard on double-baked bread at DGS Delicatessen

DGS’s delicious pastrami sandwich. Photograph by Andrew Propp.

“Cookies & confections” at Vermilion

Valrhona chocolate brioche at CityZen

Michel’s napoleon at Central Michel Richard

Ann Limpert, food and wine editor

Orange-thyme gin and tonic at Estadio

Bread basket at Birch and Barley

Butter pecan ice cream sandwich at the Inn at Little Washington. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Charcuterie board at Bourbon Steak

Tilghman Island crab pot with sherry at Woodberry Kitchen

Butternut squash soup at J&G Steakhouse

Fregola sarda with scallop, lobster, and cuttlefish at Adour

Goat and suckling pig with pita and an array of salts and sauces at Komi

Brussels sprouts with maple and Greek yogurt at Graffiato

Butter pecan ice cream sandwich at the Inn at Little Washington

Chocolate chip cookies with red miso buttercream at Toki Underground

Jessica Voelker, online dining editor

Jefferson cocktail from Bourbon Steak (Manhattan variation with Creme de Mure)

Puffed rockfish with kale mayo snack at the Ashby Inn

Happy spoon at Pabu Izakaya*

Uni-topped squid-ink pain perdu at Rogue 24

Taiwanese-style cold tofu at Toki Underground

Kyona salad with Onsen egg at Izakaya Seki

Sashimi of uni, scallop, and toro at Sushi Taro

Nigiri of seared sea scallop with lemon and sea salt at Kaz Sushi Bistro

Nigiri of seared sea scallop from Kaz Sushi Bistro. Photograph by Andrew Propp.

Shrimp tempura at Ris

Lacquered Chinese duckling with lo mein noodles and sweet and sour huckleberries at the Source

Persimmon with tofu sauce at Makoto

Chcolate/passionfruit gateau from Marcel’s

*This dream meal also includes sake pairings from Tiffany Soto at Pabu

So, what’s on your dream menu? Let us know in the comments.

Don’t Miss Another New Restaurant—Get Our Food Newsletter

The latest in Washington’s food and drink scene.

Or, see all of our newsletters. By signing up, you agree to our terms.
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.