100 Very Best Restaurant 2016: Rus Uz

Manti, dumplings with ground lamb and chive. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

It’s hard to resist the Vodka Roulette at this Russian-Uzbeki restaurant: ten blind shots, randomly culled from house-infused vodkas. (We’re hooked on the horseradish variety.) But share with friends—otherwise you might have to bail on chef/owner Bakhitiyor Rakhmatulleav’s robustly satisfying cooking. Among the many savory meat-in-dough starters—including good versions of bun-like pirozhki and fried half-moon chebureki—the flaky samsa with spiced lamb is the clear favorite (the restaurant has been known to run out). Uzbeki dishes tend to outshine the Russian offerings, which means that among the bigger plates, you’ll want to focus on manti, pillows of thin dough filled with minced lamb and drizzled with yogurt, or plov,a long-cooked rice dish studded with tender lamb, raisins, and carrots. For those inspired to DIY, the market next door carries many of the fixings for the food—and for infusing vodka.

Don’t miss: Lamb-and-chickpea soup; smoked-fish plate; blini with beef; “Fish Under a Coat” (herring with beets, potatoes, eggs, and mayonnaise); chicken Kiev; lamb shank with roasted potatoes.

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.