100 Very Best Restaurants: #21 – Plume

Christian Gaston, Captain at Plume, sets a table.


The Jefferson hotel houses one of the most refined dining rooms in Washington. A Monticello mural graces the chandelier-lit walls, and luxe touches include cushioned stools to perch your purse. Ralf Schlegel’s French-inflected cooking is equally elegant. Hushed “wows” follow tableside presentations such as an oxtail consommé infused with herbs in a siphon and king salmon perfectly poached in hot beeswax. An expansive wine list imagines Thomas Jefferson’s tastes, but be mindful of recommendations if you’re watching the tab. Our sommelier’s first pairing suggestion? A $75 glass of Champagne. Very expensive.
Also great: oysters; scallops with kuri squash; rack of lamb; bergamot soufflé.

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.