A few high-profile restaurants—and regular names among the 100 Best Restaurants—didn’t make the list this year. Here’s why.
1226 36th St., NW; 202-965-1789
Talented chef Anthony Lombardo recently moved on from this Georgetown institution and 1789’s kitchen is suffering from the change. Prices have escalated (entrées hover around $40), while the level of consistency and execution have declined. One exception: the well-crafted desserts.
575 Pennsylvania Ave., NW; 202-637-6100
Four years ago, the easygoing brilliance of this pan-Asian Wolfgang Puck restaurant earned it the number-three ranking on this list. Those days seem long gone. The cooking on a recent visit was tired and sometimes careless, and the service was alternatively disengaged and negligent.
1990 M St., NW; 202-659-1990
The staff exudes charm and the bread basket is still a winner at Jeffrey Buben’s Southern dining room. That’s the good news. The bad: Our meal began with too-sugary cocktails, moved on to entrées that were either bland or oversalted (but always heavy), and ended with cloyingly sweet pies.
Blue Duck Tavern
1201 24th St., NW; 202-419-6755
Sebastien Archambault, an enormous talent, exited the kitchen last January, and his replacement, former Eola chef Daniel Singhofen, has since gone, too. The new arrival at this Park Hyatt property is Ryan La Roche, and while there were bright spots on our most recent check-in, the lingering impression was that of generic hotel dining—overpriced and only intermittently exciting.