Walking through the glitzy Alice in Wonderland-inspired lobby lounge of the swank W Hotel, you’d never guess you were about to step into one of the most quietly elegant dining rooms in Washington, with scarlet banquettes, heavy velvet drapes, and cream accents. It hardly feels like a steakhouse, and indeed beef is only a small (but worthy) part of the menu by New York culinary star Jean-Georges Vongerichten and executed by Philippe Reininger. It stays true to Vongerichten’s style, which favors brightness over richness, relying more on vinegar, soy, and fruit purées than butter or cream. Never have we had a more vivid butternut-squash soup—or one so frothily light.
Don’t miss: Fried calamari with creamy yuzu dip; salmon tartare with avocado and ginger; truffled cheese fritters; lobster with butter cabbage, green chili, and ginger; six-peppercorn-crusted New York strip with béarnaise and black-pepper jam; seared cod with scallion-chili sauce; cheeseburger; molten chocolate cake.
Open: Daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.