100 Very Best Restaurants 2014: Montmartre

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The dining room at Montmartre on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Photograph by Chris Campbell.

The arrival, last year, of chef Brian Wilson was not heralded in the food world. Wilson wasn’t a celebrity, and Montmartre—a dependably good pit stop in Capitol Hill’s Eastern Market neighborhood for French comfort food—has never been a destination. But Wilson has proven to be a smart hire, nudging the bistro into relevance with a more seasonal approach and a light, expressive hand at the stove. If you missed his dish of prawns in a pistou with white beans and tomatoes, you missed one of the great dishes of the summer. Diners have always descended on this low-lit space to ease into a meal without gimmicks, and Wilson’s renditions of bistro classics such as duck confit and scallops and cream are as on-message as a consultant-coached politico. Desserts remain much as they were in French restaurants a generation ago—not a bad thing, especially when it’s a sumptuous île flottante, a fluffy meringue ringed by a silken moat of custard.

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

Don’t Miss: Duck-confit salad; croque madame; hanger steak; mixed-berry tart.

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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.