100 Very Best Restaurants 2015: No. 98 Compass Rose

Khachapuri at Compass Rose. Photograph by Andrew Propp.

This restaurant, which celebrates street food from places as varied as Malaysia and Peru, is all about the adventure of eating widely and well. Owner Rose Previte is a die-hard globetrotter, so much of what’s served in her industrial-chic rowhouse dining room (she and her husband, NPR’s David Greene, live upstairs) is very personal.

The signature cocktail, the Compass Rose (a mix of Georgian sparkling wine, pomegranate liqueur, and rose water) and one of the menu showstoppers, khachapuri, an oval of cheese-filled bread with a poached egg, are testimony to Previte’s affection for Georgia, a country she explored when her husband was posted in Russia. Spain gets a shout-out with a marvelous heap of fried baby fish (often smelts) to swipe with citrus aïoli.

Despite all the venturing abroad, the home country earns a nod, too—a corn dog is turned into a delicious little morsel with sweet Italian sausage, an airy sheath of cornmeal batter, and house-made mustard.

Don’t miss:

  • Korean-style pork ribs
  • Skewered duck hearts
  • Balik ekmek
  • A Turkish sub with mackerel, harissa, and lemon mayonnaise
  • Lamb kofta

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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.