100 Very Best Restaurant 2016: Woodberry Kitchen

Jeff Martin.

The lone Baltimore restaurant on the list is here for a bunch of reasons. These are the big ones: No space in Washington is as charming as this firewood-stacked former mill, and no chef is as fixated on uncovering the culinary histories and honoring the traditions of the Chesapeake region as Spike Gjerde. Many restaurants have latched onto the farm-to-table movement, but Gjerde is a model for it. His kitchen handmakes everything it can, including things you can’t show off in pretty jars, like cornmeal. The menu leans hard on nostalgic kitchen-table fare (chicken and biscuits, turkey pot pie) but it often does so with a wink—the “adolescent greens” salad is served with “keys to the car, broken curfew,” and an Irish coffee arrives with a glassy brûléed-sugar top.

Don’t miss: Deviled eggs with chipped ham; crab dip with sherry; clams and grits; oyster po’ boy; crabcakes; chicken-and-goat-sausage enchiladas; “C.M.P.” sundae, with marshmallow, fudge, and peanuts.

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.