100 Very Best Restaurant 2016: Clarity

Photo by Scott Suchman

The debut of this Vienna restaurant was among the most feel-good stories of the year. It marked the return of local boy Jonathan Krinn, once the wunderkind chef at 2941. When Krinn left to open the glitzy Inox, in Tysons, he failed—and failed big: a victim of the times (Inox opened in 2008, when the market crashed) and his own bloated dreams. Clarity is a more modest venture, a neighborhood restaurant first and foremost. Ambition has shrunk, to be sure, but the classical chops are still there, and it’s not hard to see that Krinn, working with ex–Central chef Jason Maddens, is relaxed and cooking with passion. Actually, you can taste it in dish after dish, from seared foie gras with blackberries to a rich two-patty burger that ought to come with four napkins. But among the most appealing aspects of the place are small flourishes—the freshly baked breads and happy-making desserts.

Don’t miss: mussels and Thai-style sausage; gnudi with fava beans; pork chop; fried quail; tarte Tatin; chocolate cake.

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

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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.