100 Very Best Restaurants: #50 – Convivial


Pickled rockfish with green papaya and winter radish. Photograph by Scott Suchman

About Convivial


American, French
801 O St NW
Washington, DC 20001

Playful without being pretentious, French chef Cedric Maupillier clearly loves to have fun with Americana at his Shaw restaurant. Witness his mushroom-vinegar potato chips with onion dip or his Thanksgiving-all-year-round salad of pulled turkey leg, cranberries, endive, spiced pecans, and buttermilk ranch. That’s not to say that he’s forgotten his origins. Convivial’s butterflied poulet rouge with crisp skin and tarragon vinegar tastes like something you’d actually happen upon in France, and leeks dijonnaise start out as a textbook classic before being blitzed with croutons, fried capers, and hard-boiled egg. Moderate.

Also great: Duck-gizzard confit with duck egg; latke with whitefish salad; pork-cheek cassoulet; burger with bacon and raclette; coq au vin fried chicken; floating island.

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.