Named after the fossil hominid discovered in Ethiopia, Lucy does things a little differently than most of its competition. An appetizer of kitfo—the tartare-like raw beef—arrives in sandwich form, stuffed into a crusty baguette with lots of spiced butter. Another house specialty, giro giro, features red-wine-marinated morsels of tenderloin in a flame-lit pot, further ignited by green chilies. The traditional line isn’t lost—many families gather over blankets of injeraladen with richly flavored stews, while live African music plays on a stage most nights. An evening at Lucy calls to mind its inspiration’s Amharic name, Dinknesh. Translation: You are marvelous.
Where you can get it: 8301 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring; 301-589-6700
Also good: Lentil or beefsambusas (stuffed pastries); vegetarian combination platter; yebeg alicha (lamb with onions and black pepper).