Michael Rafidi, who moved to DC after a long run with the Michael Mina Group in San Francisco, has emerged as one of the scene’s hottest talents. Inside this glass box of a restaurant in the middle of the Wharf, he and owner Mike Isabella put a mod spin on French stalwarts such as onion soup (turbocharged with oxtail), lobster Thermidor (pepped up with Espelette), and escargots (fashioned into tiny croissants and brushed with herbed butter). Wine pro Jenni-fer Knowles—formerly of the Inn at Little Washington and Mirabelle—tames the richness of it all with inspired pairings. Expensive.
Also great: Paris gnocchi; cauliflower tartine; roast chicken; hazelnut marjolaine; 50/50 martini.