100 Very Best Restaurants 2015: No. 50 Iron Gate

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Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Michael Babin—the restaurateur behind places like Birch & Barley and Evening Star Cafe—revived the shuttered Iron Gate Inn in 2013 and transformed it into one of the prettiest indoor/outdoor spaces in Washington.

There’s a year-round patio (with heat lamps and blankets when the temperature drops) plus a lofty carriage way with a long bar, where a small-plates menu is served. Inside the candlelit dining room, four-to-six-course tasting menus are the only option. Either way, you’ll find lusty takes on Mediterranean ingredients. Oysters turned into “spanakopita,” with shreds of phyllo and creamy spinach, wowed us on the à la carte lineup, while shellfish stew with gigante beans was one of the draws on the set menu.

Don’t miss:

  • Burrata with vin cotto
  • Grilled lamb with charred lemon
  • Kohlrabi tzatziki with fennel-seed crackers
  • Nicolaki cocktail, with vodka, Greek yogurt, and honey

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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.