100 Very Best Restaurants 2013: Unum

At Unum, chef Phillip Blane turns the ubiquitous beet salad into a standout starter. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

When chef Phillip Blane and wife Laura Schiller debuted this tiny restaurant in early 2012, they showed an impressive attention to detail: From a bright chimichurri dip to perfect gnocchi, dishes betrayed few weak spots. Staff, meanwhile, deftly walked the line between helpful and overbearing.

Things have slipped some—awkward, sometimes pushy service has snuck in, and on a recent visit it pained us to find the potato pasta gummy. Still, much of the food continues to shine, and with its reasonable prices and excellent cocktails, Unum remains one of Georgetown’s best bets. Ask for a table inside the “alcove,” a cozy recessed area lining one wall.

Don’t miss:Apple-and-celery-root soup; tagliatelle with short rib; cheddar burger with fries; roasted chicken with olive jus and roasted fingerlings; Brussels sprouts with cashews and raisins; ice creams and sorbets; Basilica Martini, with gin, basil, and orange bitters.

Open: Daily for dinner.

Expensive.

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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.