100 Very Best Restaurants 2014: Ripple

Gratis flatbreads kick off a meal at Ripple in DC's Cleveland Park. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

With punch-packing cocktails named for Beck songs and Beethoven compositions, one of the area’s most thoughtful and varied wine lists, and an esoteric collection of beers and ciders, this colorful, dimly lit Cleveland Park spot is a great place to find yourself thirsty—and hungry. The menu is built for flexibility, meaning you can load up on little things—pork rinds with hot sauce, bacon-roasted pecans, a plethora of cheeses (there’s an in-house cheesemonger) and house-made charcuterie—or have a traditional three-course meal. We like to start with one of chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley’s soups, then, skipping over the pastas, which tend toward the heavy, move on to one of her fish dishes. A recent entrée of olive-oil-poached tilefish with clams, bacon, and celery was one of the best riffs on chowder we’ve had.

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

Don’t Miss: Veal sweetbreads with plum and purslane; roasted squash with burnt honey and fig; roast chicken with artichokes and chicken sausage; butterscotch pudding; chocolate-chip cookies and milk.

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