100 Very Best Restaurants: #59 – Mirabelle

Roast poussin, a young chicken, with asparagus and crayfish. All photographs by Scott Suchman


Mirabelle is a comeback story. The dining room’s arrival downtown heralded a return for former Palena and White House chef Frank Ruta, and it resurrected a formal breed of dining that seemed long lost (yes, that’s a dessert cart making the rounds). The kitchen pays homage to the French masters, presenting dishes that would make Escoffier proud—china plates of rabbit-and-foie-gras terrine, say, or guinea hen lacquered in juniper sauce. The story isn’t without flaws—service can be dismissive, while some creative whims fall flat. Pastry star Aggie Chin’s sweets always send diners off with a smile, though. Very expensive.
Also great: Foie gras in consommé; scallop-and-sea-urchin navarin; strip loin with bordelaise; “L’Opéra” cake.

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.