100 Very Best Restaurants 2014: 2941

Duo of Duck Breast. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

The adage “change isn’t easy” proves especially true for a restaurant. Two years ago, when 2941 morphed, in a matter of weeks, from a fine-dining destination to a dressed-down bistro, an identity crisis ensued. Lackluster dishes such as Wagyu sliders felt reluctantly casual, while the lofty space and pricing called for a more celebratory meal. In the past year, though, an equilibrium has been reached between relaxed and refined. Small bites make full-size impressions. We fought over the last “Daffy” slider—a miniature duck/foie gras burger—as well as lilliputian croque madames crowned with quail eggs. Chef Bertrand Chemel, a Daniel Boulud alum, successfully plays to his French roots—potato-crusted rockfish in a citrusy beurre blanc is pure Francophile comfort. Pastry chef Caitlin Dysart follows suit; her pillowy gâteau de crêpes is worth a trip in itself.

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

Don’t Miss: Grilled octopus with olives and feta; crispy lobster with mushroom sabayon; orecchiette with lamb Bolognese; seared duck with confit leg; nut-crusted venison with red-wine-braised cabbage; salted-caramel brownie.

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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.