100 Very Best Restaurant 2016: Compass Rose

Compass Rose mixes eclectic street fare and drinks with a homey vibe. Photograph by Andrew Propp.

Rose Previte’s cozy joint is just half a block off 14th Street, but it feels like a respite. She and her waitstaff—who look imported from the set of Girls—create a friendly, cozy vibe in the elbow-to-elbow rowhouse dining room. (Recently, the back area has been tricked out with a sunset-hued Bedouin tent, where a separate Moroccan menu is served.) In the kitchen, chef Sam Molavi has tightened up a once-scatterbrained small-plates menu devoted to street snacks from around the world. He’s as deft with turning out creamy Japanese octopus fritters as he is with Colombian lamb-neck arepas. To drink, there are bracing cocktails made with obscurities like génépy, an Alpine apéritif.

Don’t miss: Boquerones; khachapuri (a flatbread with cheese, egg, and butter); Tunisian chicken skewers; Korean pork ribs; currywurst.

See what other restaurants made our 100 Very Best Restaurants list. This article appears in our February 2016 issue of Washingtonian.

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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 Logan Circle.

Anna Spiegel
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.