100 Very Best Restaurants 2015: No. 96 Westend Bistro

Critic’s Rating:

Cost:

Westend's fish burger. Photograph by Erik Uecke.

Salmon cooked to a tender medium. Plump mussels. Fish seared so perfectly the skin crackles. These are a few things seafood lovers seek out—and it’s surprisingly hard for many kitchens to get them right. Not so at this Ritz-Carlton restaurant, which has maintained a steady affiliation with the sea even after chef Eric Ripert of Le Bernardin fame ended his relationship with the place.

Chef Adam Barnett has kept two worthy Ripert signatures on the menu—the fish burger and the tuna carpaccio dressed in olive oil and lemon—but it’s his seasonal creations (curry-crusted skate, buttery tagliatelle tossed with shrimp and crab) that really shine. And meat lovers can eat just as well with bistro dishes such as a thick pork chop roasted with smoked-honey jus.

Don’t miss:

  • Mussels with grilled celery and herb butter
  • Seared scallops with pickled mushrooms
  • Seared salmon with beet sauce and crème fraîche
  • Beer-and-cherry sorbet

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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.