100 Very Best Restaurants 2015: No. 97 The Fainting Goat


Photograph by Shauna Alexander.

About The Fainting Goat


1330 U St NW
Washington, DC 20009

While gastropubs are no longer the hot dining trend, this warm neighborhood tavern embodies what popularized the movement: unfussy, creative food, a generous list of brews, and familiar service, even to new faces.

A young, dapper crowd sits around candlelit tables sipping punch to the tune of the Black Keys, but what sets the scene apart from any other on the block is Nathan Beauchamp’s cooking. The former 1789 chef returned from six years of organic farming in Minnesota to helm the pub’s kitchen, and his talent for using the season’s bounty shows.

Charred carrots come in an earthy toss of farro and aged goat cheese, while lemongrass-steamed mussels are studded with pumpkin. The eponymous goat pops up on the menu occasionally—well worth trying with gnocchi in a hearty Bolognese.

Don’t miss:

  • Arancini
  • Cauliflower with currants
  • Pork chop with peaches
  • Charred octopus

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.