Pineapple and Pearls Is the Best Restaurant in Washington

It leads Washingtonian's 100 Very Best Restaurants List for 2017.

We dined at more than 300 eateries in the Washington area to build the 2017 100 Very Best Restaurants list. Our No. 1 favorite? Pineapple and Pearls, chef/owner Aaron Silverman’s luxe tasting room on Capitol Hill.

Like last year, we’ve ranked all of the restaurants, 1 to 100. We’d be thrilled to eat at any one—a testament to Washington’s dining scene, which is truly better than ever.

You’ll notice many new additions to the 2017 list, including four in the Top 10: Pineapple and Pearls, Kinship, Tail Up Goat, and Sushi Taro. Over a quarter of the overall restaurants are newcomers, both just-opened hotspots and older eateries who’ve upped their game.

The issue hits newsstands later this week, and food critic Ann Limpert will lead a chat about the list on Friday at noon on Washingtonian’Facebook page. We’ll have the whole list online by mid-February, but to whet your appetite, here’s our Top 20:

  1. Pineapple and Pearls, Chef/owner Aaron Silverman’s ticketed prix-fixe has consistently wowed us since opening last year—from the gorgeous space to the cocktails, seamless service and inventive food.
  2. Minibar, Up from #22 last year, Jose Andres’s modernist tasting room in Penn Quarter has reached new heights of excellence.
  3. Komi, Chef Jonny Monis and Anne Marler’s Mediterranean prix-fixe restaurant has lingered at the top for many years, with good reason—and still feels as fresh as ever.
  4. Kinship, Longtime CityZen chef Eric Ziebold’s more “casual” Shaw restaurant is undeniably luxurious (yes, that’s potato chips and caviar on the menu).
  5. Fiola Mare, Chef Fabio and Maria Trabocchi’s elegant Italian seafood spot on the Georgetown waterfront boasts an A-list scene, with food to match the stars.
  6. Tail Up Goat, A team of Komi and Little Serow alums are behind this winning Adams Morgan spot, where the vibe is casual and the food is seriously great.
  7. The Dabney, Chef Jeremiah Langhorne’s Southern-leaning Shaw restaurant is fueled by an atmospheric open hearth and deep understanding of regional culinary history.
  8. Bad Saint, There’s a reason lines stretch down (and around) the block in Columbia Heights—this is the best Filipino food in town, if not the country.
  9. The Inn at Little Washington, Chef Patrick O’Connell’s veteran fine dining destination in Rappahannock County continues to shine, and pamper.
  10. Sushi Taro, The omakase tasting at this longtime Japanese restaurant in Dupont is one of our favorite splurges in town. You even get your own chef for the night.
  11. Rasika/Rasika West End, Chef Vikram Sunderam creates superlative, modern Indian fare in two finer-dining settings in Penn Quarter and West End.
  12. Whaley’s, This new seafood spot on the riverfront in Navy Yard is as perfect for local oysters and beer as it is for a celebratory occasion.
  13. Little Serow, Chef Johnny Monis’s Thai prix-fixe in Dupont is as fun and fiery as ever, with new dishes like house-made noodles.
  14. Metier, The haute prix-fixe restaurant below Kinship is where chef Eric Ziebold explores his craft.
  15. All-Purpose, Perfect pizza is just the beginning at this modern Italian from the Red Hen team.
  16. Maketto, We love chef Erik Bruner-Yang’s edgy Cambodian and Taiwanese fare in a market/restaurant on H Street.
  17. Le Diplomate, There’s a reason crowds pack this ever-buzzing French brasserie on 14th Street, as delicious for a burger as a shellfish plateau.
  18. The Source, Chinese classics like wonton soup and Peking duck get an elegant, modern upgrade at Wolfgang Puck’s Newseum restaurant.
  19. Garrison, Chef/locavore Rob Weland breathes energy and excitement into the concept of seasonal dining at his Barracks Row restaurant.
  20. Central by Michel Richard, Legendary chef Michel Richard passed away last year, but his legacy lives on under chef David Deshaies.

*Please note all linked reviews are from past Washingtonian issues, not 100 Best Restaurants 2017.

Want to read about all 100 restaurants, and get our critics’s tips for the best experiences? You can subscribe to Washingtonian magazine through this special link to receive the February issue (and get a 40% discount).

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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.