Some say this is the restaurant that taught Washingtonians to appreciate goat—the pièce de résistance toward which the long journey of a tasting menu here moves. We say this is the restaurant that has taught Washingtonians that a meal is a chance to stash the phone and slow down. A night at this rowhouse is a leisurely affair, moving from a series of small plates that consumes a good hour and all but encourages conversation. Those two- and three-biters can edge into the overly cerebral, and lately some feel like unfinished drafts, but at their best—such as a mascarpone-stuffed date—they’re brilliant distillations of the entire meal: playful, intense, ingenious.
That roasted goat is still the lusty anchor of the final, hands-on course (you fold hunks of meat, crisp skin, and tzatziki into pancake-thick pita), but it’s been joined by other possibilities, including a marvelous veal chop with za’atar-dusted artichokes. House-made lollipops, a parting gift, are as good a reminder as any to step off the grid and savor a sweet pleasure. Open: Tuesday through Saturday for dinner. Don’t miss: Recent standouts on the set 12-course menu have included a selection of crudo; lamb ravioli with almonds; and foie gras torchon.