Excitement and newness are coupled in the food world, especially amid a restaurant boom like DC’s. So how does this 14-year-old fine-dining room stay so strong? Dedication. Chef Johnny Monis cooks every night—the place closes when he’s away—and the evening feels more personal than reverential. A dish of lavraki (branzino)crudo is drizzled with olive oil made by family friends on the island of Chios. After a parade of tasting portions, family-style finales such as a glorious house-aged beef rib with pitas make you feel like a houseguest instead of a diner. Splurge-worthy beverage pairings from Kyle Wilson and Meghan McNamara always come with stories—we’d like to follow in their footsteps to Catalonia to discover more vintage Cava. Their style of service is intimate and enthusiastic and, like an evening at Komi, never gets old. Very expensive.
Also great: Foie gras with pickled squash; green-harissa-and-truffle “toast”; spaghetti with cockles; Meyer-lemon frozen yogurt.