100 Very Best Restaurants 2017: Passage to India


Cheese and fig dumplings, paneer anjeer kofta from Passage to India. Photograph by Scott Suchman

About Passage to India


4931 Cordell Ave
Bethesda, MD 20814

Lush fare, enveloping banquettes, and the hypnotic twang of sitar music make Sudhir Seth’s dining room the equivalent of a chill session led by a chef/guru. The menu touches on a variety of regional cuisines, though deliciousness crosses all borders. Favorites include a casserole of tender baby eggplants in sesame-peanut gravy, coconut-shrimp curry flavored with cloves and ginger, and an apricot-studded Parsi lamb casserole capped in crunchy potatoes. Even a simple bowl of mah ki dal—a traditional side at every Indian restaurant—is one you’ll grudgingly share. The black lentils are cooked overnight to an ultra-creamy consistency—dal to fantasize about or, better yet, to eat by the spoonful. Moderate.

Also great: Butter naan; stir-fried calamari with coconut; samosa chaat; chicken with yogurt and cardamom; spinach with buttermilk and peanuts.

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 Petworth.

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.