100 Very Best Restaurants 2014: Boqueria

Photograph by Jeff Martin.

Downtown DC isn’t known for enticements to linger, but this Spanish-by-way-of-New York tapas house (there are two locations in Manhattan) is trying to bring a little of the Barcelona way of life to town. There’s a lot that will likely woo you into forgetting about the office, starting with the white and rosé sangrías, which are refreshing and not cloyingly sweet. The menu might not win points for innovation—no surprise, you’ll find tomato bread, garlicky shrimp in olive oil, and bacon-wrapped dates—but the kitchen deserves praise for its careful execution and a resistance to messing with tradition. And it does go beyond these usual suspects, in the form of an excellent seared-squid salad with romesco vinaigrette and a grilled-lamb sandwich enlivened with salsa verde. For dessert, stick to the classics and dig into the crema catalana, a crock of eggy custard under a pane of brûléed sugar.

Open: Monday through Friday for lunch and dinner, Saturday and Sunday for brunch and dinner.

Don’t Miss: Sautéed spinach with raisins; grilled hanger steak with shishito peppers and mojo verde; kale salad with carrots and labneh; fennel-and-grapefruit salad with grilled shrimp.

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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.

Anna Spiegel
Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.