Food

Take a Peek at Our 2019 Very Best Restaurants List

We’re counting down the top five on Instagram.

Welcome to Minibar. Photograph by Scott Suchman

Weekends are great and all, but here’s one more reason to look forward to this Friday: the 2019 edition of our 100 Very Best Restaurants list hits newsstands. Our food team—Ann Limpert, Anna Spiegel, Jessica Sidman, and Cynthia Hacinli—fanned the region from Annapolis to DC to Rappahannock County, visiting over 300 restaurants to bring you and assessment of the best, most exciting places to eat right this very minute.

Oh, and they ranked every one.

Beyond that, the issue is packed with dining trends (both good and bad), cool service touches, and a slew of answers to burning restaurant questions (just how do those the Maydan cooks get that smoke smell out of their hair?).  

Don’t want to wait? We’re counting down our top five restaurants on Instagram. Check out #2, #3, #4, and #5 (and give us a follow if you haven’t already!). 

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🚨100 Very Best Restaurants 2019!🚨Our #1 pick is MINIBAR. From our food team: Let’s address the elephant in ‪the tasting room‬. Jose Andres’s ‪Minibar‬ is wildly expensive. Hamilton-tickets expensive. But that’s the way you need to think of it—not as merely a meal but as edible entertainment. We recently thrilled at uni spherified in a jamón orb, a tangy frozen salad, ingenious non- alcoholic pairings that sometimes bested the wine, and a tree of ‪confections‬ in the adjoining ‪Barmini‬, where you retire for dessert. There’s so much more, but we don’t want to ruin the surprise—you’ll have to see the best show in town yourself. . . . 📸 by @ScottSuchman // 🎥 by @laurenbulbin // #washmag #100VBR // Music – Vivaldi Winter

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🚨100 Very Best Restaurants 2019!🚨Our #2 pick is The Dabney. From our food team: Sometimes at the end of a meal, we play the “What’s the dish of the night?” game. At Jeremiah ‪Langhorne‬’s Mid-­Atlantic dining room, it’s just about impossible to pick only one. A fried-catfish slider might sound simple enough, but in ‪Langhorne‬’s hands, the tiny sweet-potato-roll sandwich tastes transcendent. (Can we get six more?). Charred brassicas emerge draped in n’duja-stoked hollandaise and chimichurri, cornbread and chicken and dumplings are the best kind of comfort food, and lobster and grits had us scraping the edges of the bowl for every last bite. . . . 📸 by @ScottSuchman // 🎥 by @laurenbulbin // #washmag #100VBR // Music – Vivaldi Winter

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🚨100 Very Best Restaurants 2019!🚨Our #3 pick is The Inn at Little Washington. From our food team: Patrick O’Connell’s sumptuous Rappa­hannock County inn has been around for four decades, and just when you think you’ve seen all his culinary magic tricks, he pulls out a slew of new ones. A recent dinner began in the silk-shaded dining room with a razor-thin potato crisp holding pimiento cheese that would win blue ribbons. It ended with a trompe l’oeil pear crafted from cinnamon-pear cheese­cake—a confection that tastes just as spectacular as it looks. For lovers of luxe mod-American dining and whimsical surprises—four-star popsicles, truffle-laden popcorn—there’s no better place to celebrate. . . . 📸 by @ScottSuchman // 🎥 by @laurenbulbin // #washmag #100VBR // Music – Vivaldi Winter

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🚨100 Very Best Restaurants 2019!🚨Our  #4 pick is Sushi Nakazawa. From our food team: Some will be wary—this spinoff of a Manhattan omakase restaurant is attached to the Trump hotel, and its New York–based owner didn’t make any friends when he dissed DC’s food scene a few years ago. But here’s the thing: Nakazawa operates on such a high plane that it’s easy to forget everything beneath it. Each piece of nigiri—fashioned from wild fish on impeccably seasoned rice—is conceived with different accessories, whether hay-smoked sockeye salmon or a trio of tuna, presented from leanest to most unctuous. There’s nothing else in Washington—and, many argue, New York—of its caliber. . . . 📸 by @ScottSuchman // 🎥 by @laurenbulbin // #washmag #100VBR // Music – Vivaldi Winter

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It’s time for our🚨100 Very Best Restaurants 2019!🚨We’ll be breaking our top 5️⃣ right here on Insta this week, follow along to see who made the cut. Our #5 pick is Tail Up Goat. From our food team: You’d expect to find a “slam-mable vodka cocktail” elsewhere in Adams Morgan—though maybe not one this tasty, with rooibos-infused vodka and bubbly. Three years in, it’s easy to tell that the Komi vets running this foodie haven are still having fun. The mood is infectious—we’ve never had a dull meal in the cozy space, whether tearing into a bowl of tagliatelle ragu with “porky” bread crumbs, delighting in family-style platters such as herb-and-rice-stuffed fish, or listening to ebullient beverage director Bill Jensen share his finds from a recent trip to the country of Georgia. . . . 📸 by @ScottSuchman // 🎥 by @laurenbulbin // #washmag #100VBR // Music: Vivaldi – Winter

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