100 Very Best Restaurants 2013: Café du Parc

Pick a temperate night to sit on the patio—surrounded by the monumental sights of official Washington and the smell of garlic wafting from nearby tables—and see if you still have your wanderlust for Europe.

Antoine Westermann, a Paris-based chef with two other acclaimed restaurants to his name, oversees the kitchen (mostly from afar), and while the menu looks conventional, his charges handle it with finesse. A plate of crisp-skinned trout with almonds, haricots verts, and brown-butter sauce was quietly thrilling. You can also eat very well without a main course, cobbling together a meal that includes the excellent terrine, the lively salads and soups, and some of the finest pastry in the city.

What’s not to love? Service that sometimes goes missing and a top-floor dining room that’s as transporting as a boardroom.

Don’t miss: Onion soup; charcuterie board; mussels steamed in white wine; crabcake; onion tart; poached salmon with red-wine reduction; Saint-Honoré cake; apple galette.

Open: Monday through Saturday for lunch and dinner, Sunday for brunch and dinner.

Expensive.

100 Very Best Restaurants 2013

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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.