100 Very Best Restaurants: #2 – The Dabney

Braise salsify root with fried oysters, tarragon, green apple, whey sauce

Anniversary, birthday, Wednesday. All are fitting occasions for chef Jeremiah Langhorne’s cozy-in-the-winter, airy-in-the-summer hideaway. We’re as happy dropping by the bar for seasonal drinks and a few plates—say, oysters with wildflower mignonette or a sumptuous foie-gras-and-fried-egg biscuit—as we are doing it up in the dining room by the kitchen’s hearth. (For the latter, reservations are a must.) Langhorne’s wood-fired menu, which changes daily, is packed with Mid-Atlantic indulgences, both humble—Eastern Shore–style chicken and dumplings, a creamy wedge of butterscotch pie—and grand. Recent hits included grilled Maryland lobster in juniper cream and a family-style platter of lamb with herbs, sauces, and warm pitas. For a dream date, add a visit to the nearby Dabney Cellar bar for natural wines by candlelight. Expensive.