100 Very Best Restaurant 2016: Baby Wale


Photograph by Scott Suchman

About Baby Wale



This is where Tom Power lets his hair down. His neighboring Corduroy is formal and elegant, with nary a note to be heard over the sound system. Here, in this high-ceilinged den, go-go music percolates and the chef works in a playfully casual vein, turning out, say, a foot-long griddled hot dog tucked into a seeded roll and draped with sauerkraut. There’s finesse to go with the fun. Power is a master soup maker, and if his elegant tomato version is on the menu, you’d be remiss for not starting there. The signature among the big plates is his faux rib eye, fashioned from a cut of beef shoulder and napped with a classical reduction of Burgundy—a.k.a. the best steak sauce around.

Don’t miss: Lobster bisque; tomato salad; Filipino spring rolls; ramen; soft-shell-crab sandwich; chocolate-WhistlePig custard.

See what other restaurants made our 100 Very Best Restaurants list. This article appears in our February 2016 issue of Washingtonian.

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.