100 Very Best Restaurants 2015: No. 95 Rus Uz


Kiev cake at Rus Uz. Photograph by Scott Suchman

About Rus Uz


1000 N Randolph St
Arlington, VA 22201

The name only sounds as if it were invented by the writer/fantasist Karel Čapek. It actually stands for Russian Uzbek. Though properly speaking, the menu tilts much more Uz than Rus, with a special emphasis on all the wondrous things that cooks in that wintry part of the world do with dough.

Working from scratch every day, chef/owner Bakhitiyor Rakhmatulleav produces terrific meat pies (at least one samsa, pirozhki, and chebureki should be on the table at every meal) and stuffed dumplings, including the centerpiece dish called manti—small, bulging pillows filled with peppery lamb and doused with yogurt.

Service is sometimes more gruff than gracious, and atmosphere is nonexistent unless the tables are full. But the cooking oozes soul, and every meal is a generous feast.

Don’t miss:

  • Smoked-fish tray
  • “Fish under coat” (a layering of herring, carrots, and beets)
  • Borscht
  • Pelmeni (ground-beef dumplings)
  • Chicken Kiev
  • Rice pilaf with lamb, raisins, and carrots.

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 Petworth.

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.