100 Very Best Restaurants 2015: No. 72 Equinox

Equinox. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Chef/owner Todd Gray, a fixture on Washington’s culinary scene for two decades, has seen many a trend. And while he’s no stranger to enthusiasms of the moment—rosemary gougères, truffled risotto fritters—he’s also a locavore committed to letting ingredients speak for themselves.

Gray’s culinary empire has grown to include the Salamander resort and Market Salamander in Middleburg, but he’s still a presence at this earth-toned flagship. He has a way with noodles: delicate egg-yolk pappardelle is swirled over a luxuriant Bolognese, and an agnolotti of ricotta and chestnuts is just as refined—and just as wonderful.

The sturdier fare is successful, too. Seafood bouillabaisse is anchored by a flavorful lobster-anise broth, and balsamic-glazed short ribs have a meatiness that comes only from slow cooking—in this case for 36 hours.

Don’t miss:

  • Vegan parsnip velouté
  • Truffled mac and cheese
  • Chestnut brandy semifreddo
  • Heirloom-carrot cake

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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.

Anna Spiegel
Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.