100 Very Best Restaurant 2016: Republic

Whole grilled fish at Republic. Photograph by Andrew Propp.

Takoma Park has long been known for loud and lively debate, but until Jeff Black’s Republic arrived two years ago, it had never been known for loud and lively restaurants—the kind where people crowd the bar and the din approximates that of a party at full volume. Few restaurants, including the other five places in Black’s portfolio, have even half as much character as this one, with its boudoir-like red booths, antique brass lamps, and a box radio by the host stand. The greatest rewards are the simplest—a tray of perfectly shucked Skookum oysters from Washington state, a bowl of mussels (its divine tomato broth could stand alone as its own dish, to be soaked up with crusty bread), a shrimp po’ boy to make a New Orleanian forget home. With bigger plates, the cooking tends to lose its clarity. As at all of Black’s restaurants, desserts are a highlight, delivering homey satisfaction.

Don’t miss: Goat-cheese crostini; falafel platter; brick chicken with chorizo; pan-roasted swordfish; chocolate-salted caramel tart; apple-pie doughnut.

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.