100 Very Best Restaurants 2013: Restaurant Eve

The dining room at Restaurant Eve in Alexandria, Virginia. Photograph courtesy of the restaurant.

A swingy bar, a dining room where conversation trumps tunes, and cuisine that’s serious but still fun make this lanterned former warehouse a destination. We prefer the bistro to the more formal tasting room, where chairs have the look of thrones and five-to-nine-course meals run $120 to $150. Chef/owner Cathal Armstrong has been busy this year (he and wife Meshelle opened the market/cafe Society Fair and an Arlington spinoff of the fish-and-chips house Eamonn’s). Here at his flagship, he celebrates Ireland’s gastropub culture with plates such as pork head cheese but also nods to his classical French training with throwbacks like cabbage velouté. Still, the strain of running an empire may be showing—service hasn’t been as spot-on as in the past. Don’t miss: Beer cheese with chips; beef tartare; Basque seafood stew; bacon-egg-and-cheese sandwich; rib eye with hen-of-the-woods mushrooms; pork belly with kimchee turnips and pork-fat-fried rice; chocolate-hazelnut gâteau. Bistro Open: Monday through Friday for lunch and dinner, Saturday for dinner. Tasting Room Open: Monday through Saturday for dinner. Expensive to very 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.