100 Very Best Restaurant 2016: Wildwood Kitchen

A classic chocolate mousse reimagined as a napoleon. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Robert Wiedmaier has gone Mediterranean at this upscale-strip-mall bistro, the coziest dining room of the 11 in his empire. Retro lamps give off a rosy glow, while images of lush leaves provide a vivid pop of color. “Vivid” describes the cooking, too. Merguez is punctuated with spiced chickpeas and chermoula, an herby condiment from North Africa. And the beef carbonnade of Wiedmaier’s Belgian eateries morphs into an exotic dish of harissa-glazed beef enlivened with black garlic. It’s enough to make us wish we could talk him into opening a Wildwood in our neighborhood, too.

Don’t miss: Grilled sardines; sweet potatoes with quinoa brittle; avocado-and-fennel salad; chicken with scallion-potato cake; sea bass with pomegranate molasses and freekeh; lamb shank with Madeira jus; pumpkin cake with cream-cheese ice cream; smoked-rye “boulevardier” cocktail.

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.