100 Very Best Restaurants: #11 – Daru

Daru was Washingtonian readers' pick last year for Best New Restaurant. Photograph by Jeff Elkins .

About Daru

1451 Maryland Ave NE
Washington, DC 20002

What started as plans for an H Street–corridor Indian cocktail bar transitioned to a full-fledged restaurant that opened during the pandemic—one that has flourished into a nationally acclaimed destination yet still feels like a neighborhood haunt. Credit barman Dante Datta and chef Suresh Sundas, both Rasika alums, who riff on and challenge Indian cooking traditions without straying too far from their roots. We love innovations such as luscious dal with burrata, Szechuan-spiced bison momo dumplings, and rum-splashed chaitinis. That said, don’t skip more traditional dishes like tandoori lamb chops, chicken makhani, or a theatric of wild-mushroom biryani that unleashes an umami cloud when its dough cap is pierced. Moderate.