100 Very Best Restaurants 2017: Pineapple and Pearls

Photo by Scott Suchman.

Even in Washington’s top-tier restaurants, total packages are hard to find. A place might spend hours seducing you with its food but slack off when it comes to decor. Or cocktails. Or service. Aaron Silverman’s gold-tinged tasting room is different. Every detail—from the flatware you’ll want to search out online to the hand-washing dictum in the bathroom, mixed in with Oscar Wilde and Maya Angelou quotes—has been calibrated to make you marvel with delight. Servers, who include cooks and often Silverman himself, are so witty and warm you’ll actually hope they stick around. Most special, though, is chef Scott Muns’s 12-course menu, which opens with an edible cocktail: an opalescent fennel bonbon served on an absinthe spoon. It then moves along to dishes that both enlighten (who’d have guessed caviar and beef tartare paired so beautifully?) and offer supreme comfort (a croissant-meets-brioche that you slather with foie gras butter, hazelnuts, and cherry preserves—the best PBJ we’ve ever tasted). A recent final savory called DC Steakhouse winks at the perception out-of-towners once had of our city’s restaurant scene. Thanks to creations like this—luscious slices of rib eye are paired with creamed parsley and chanterelle-stuffed popovers—and restaurants such as Pineapple and Pearls, that image feels as dated as a tuxedoed server bearing a leather-bound menu. Another wonder? You’ll walk out feeling as if the $250 price—which includes tax, tip, and drink pairings—is a pretty sweet deal. Very expensive.

Also great: The set menu has no drink choices, but the nonalcoholic beverage pairing, $25 cheaper, is so inspired you’ll hardly miss the booze.

 

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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.

Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.

Kristen Hinman
Articles Editor

Kristen Hinman has been editing Washingtonian’s features since 2014. She joined the magazine after editing politics & policy coverage for Bloomberg Businessweek and working as a staff writer for Voice Media Group/Riverfront Times.