100 Very Best Restaurants 2017: Lapis

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Lapis serves modern Afghan fare in its airy dining room. Photo by Scott Suchman.

Open the menu at this latticed Adams Morgan bistro and you’ll find a note: “Veggie dishes are Afghanistan’s best-kept secret because most people think we are meat-eating mountain people with large turbans.” Kabul-born chef Shamim Popal and her family are all about breaking stereotypes—and in some cases, tradition—at their modern-Afghan restaurant. This means not only abundant salads and superb cooked vegetables but also vegan offerings, spice-infused cocktails, and saffron-sauced mantu dumplings stuffed with shrimp or beef. Still, meat-eating mountain people aren’t left hungry. Options such as long-marinated kebabs and qabili palow—Afghanistan’s national dish of rice and lamb—will make expats proud. Moderate.

Also great: Spinach sambusas; baked eggplant with tomatoes; pumpkin with yogurt and mint; lamb tikka kebab; aushak (leek dumplings topped with beef and yogurt); Kabul shandy.

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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.