100 Very Best Restaurants 2015: No. 77 Bar Pilar

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Photograph by Dakota Fine.

Lest you think this oft-crowded spot is just for cocktails and craft beer, let us introduce you to the fried-chicken slider, a soft, sweet bun holding a few bites of crunchy, golden-brown thigh meat. Not only is it an example of exceptional frying; it’s evidence of the kitchen’s commitment to good shopping—the birds come from Lancaster County’s Green Circle Organics, where they might just eat better than you do. (Each is raised on scraps from four-star New York restaurants like Per Se.)

Chef Jesse Miller, who took charge last year, likes to pull dishes from both the American South and Southeast Asia, and he’s especially adept at using off-cuts of meat, whether for a Sriracha-spiked chicken-liver pâté or gently cooked balls of duck boudin with a sharp mustard sauce. At the excellent-for-eating happy hour, he’s not above making a mean French-bread pizza.

Don’t miss:

  • Duck prosciutto and duck egg on toast
  • Roasted carrots with cilantro and citrus
  • Rabbit cacciatore
  • Lamb-belly Bolognese with gnocchi
  • Buttermilk pie
  • It’s All Columbus’s Fault cocktail, with coconut milk and cachaça

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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.