100 Very Best Restaurants 2013: Mintwood Place

Mintwood Place has the feel of a rustic and relaxed bistro, but the kitchen takes itself seriously, turning out such dishes as house-made tagliatelle with a terrific beef-and-pork Bolognese.

Ho-hum, you think—another beet-and-goat-cheese dish. And then
chef Cedric Maupillier’s clever twist arrives: a salad of razor-thin
peppered beets and buttercrunch lettuce with a savory Pop-Tart on top,
fashioned from white bread and oozing chèvre. The playfulness and
precision bring to mind Michel Richard, under whom Maupillier apprenticed
at Citronelle and Central. At the latter restaurant—which won a James
Beard Award when Maupillier was chef de cuisine—he learned to ransack the
globe for inspiration while producing dishes as accessible as any
diner’s.

The often offhand brilliance of the cooking is well matched to
the room, a hodgepodge of antiques, repurposed wood, and dishtowel
napkins, with John Denver’s tenor drowning out the political
talk. Don’t miss: Steak tartare; bacon-and-onion tart;
lamb-tongue moussaka; roasted pork with charcuterie sauce; tagliatelle
Bolognese; cassoulet; apple pie; brownie sundae. Open: Tuesday through
Friday for dinner, Saturday and Sunday for brunch and dinner.
Moderate.

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.