It’s getting truly cold outside, but instead of ruing winter, we’re dreaming about all the belly-warming, rib-sticking, downright delicious dishes frigid temperatures bring. Here are some of our favorites.
Soup and roast chicken at Baby Wale
1124 Ninth St., NW
Chef/owner Tom Power has long been Washington’s “soup whisperer,” turning out stellar snapper bisque and creamy Parmesan-cauliflower at Corduroy. The same quality can be found at its more casual sibling, where you can linger at the bar over a steaming bowl while waiting for one of the city’s best roast chickens for two (which requires 45 minutes). Too long? The rib eye with shallot jus and fries is also fantastic.
Portuguese seafood stew at Ris
2275 L St., NW
Whether we’re dropping in for a simple grilled cheese and tomato soup or a fancier dinner, Ris is a go-to for comfort fare. Try a bowl of seafood stew, rich with clams, mussels, shrimp, octopus, and spicy linguiça sausage, served with grilled bread for mopping up all the delicious tomato broth.
Floating market noodle soup at Nava Thai
11301 Fern St., Wheaton
Like clockwork, cold weather brings on cravings for this mouth-searing soup. Ask for the complex broth at full heat to achieve a comfortable sweat, though milder palates can still savor the spicy-sour brew and its abundance of chewy rice noodles, meatballs, herbs, and crunchy pork skin.
Fireside gyro at the Iron Gate
1734 N St., NW
Gyros by the fire may not be a traditional pairing, but hey, a pile of wood-roasted pork, yogurt, fries, and tangy feta atop fresh pita bests cocoa any day. While the gyro du jour is only offered at lunch in the cozy dining room, the hearth burns bright throughout the afternoon.
Lamb chili at G by Mike Isabella
2201 14th St., NW
One of the best chilis in the city, hands down. Smoky bits of spit-roasted lamb are folded into the ground meat, simmered with beer and plenty of spice. A topping of harissa yogurt and kicky Sriracha peas (think zestier wasabi peas) drives the dish home. Here’s a home-cook-friendly recipe for taking a stab.
Delivery ramen from Toki Underground
1234 H St., NE/your home
Sure, Toki is an obvious choice on a bone-chilling day. So obvious that you may be left waiting in the cold for one of the few coveted stools. Thankfully, the ramen shop teamed up with newish delivery service Caviar, and so far the results have been good. Obviously the noodle soups are best on premises, but we’re willing to take a slight dip in quality for the comfort of the couch.
Dhaniawala korma (cilantro-chili curry) at Angeethi
645 Elden St., Herndon
Though this filling dish doesn’t bring the heat level of certain Indian curries, the mix of slow-cooked chicken, green chilies, and abundant cilantro is plenty warming. Order a side of fresh naan for dipping.
Cassoulet at Mintwood Place
1813 Columbia Rd., NW
Chef Cedric Maupillier‘s menu is filled with robust dishes, especially the meaty side. The king: cassoulet, a mix of house-made sausages, pork, white beans, and a crisp crumb topping. Warm up further by ordering the flaming baked Alaska for dessert.
Sisig at 7107 Bistro
513 23rd St., Arlington
Few plates look as warm as they taste. This traditional Filipino dish is an exception, arriving at the table in a sizzling skillet. Pig ears get a lengthy soak in a soy marinade to tenderize, and are mixed with seared belly, onions, and chilies, as well as a bright squeeze of calamansi juice.
Cacio e pepe pasta at Lupo Verde
1401 T St., NW
This pasta made with butter, cheese, salt, and pepper is so simple that it’s almost a shame to order out. Almost. We changed our minds when trying the kitchen’s irresistibly rich version with house-made tonnarelli noodles.
Braised pork belly rice bowls at Daikaya
705 Sixth St., NW
It’s tough to pass up steaming bowls of ramen downstairs, but the second-floor izakaya is a wonderfully cozy place to hole up with a rice bowl at lunch. The menu offers a number of varieties, including a standout braised pork belly with spicy kimchi and a fried egg. Another great option for hearty bowls: Donburi in Adams Morgan, which serves an excellent pork katsudon, though you’re not guaranteed a seat in the 14-stool shoebox. Luckily, the place does swift takeout business.