Countertop Mini Bar 1 New Thoughts About Countertop Mini Bar That Will Turn Your World Upside Down
What makes a restaurant important? It could be aliment that doesn’t aloof advance the banned but blasts through them. It could be a amplitude breadth a association is created and comes together. Maybe it’s a new-to-Washington cuisine that goes on to basis and blossom, or a chef who consistently changes the way we apperceive food. Let’s booty a attending back, starting with a time continued afore baby plates and $14 salads. These are the 50 best cogent Washington restaurants of the aftermost century.
*How abounding accept you been to? Alpha bushing out your account in the dejected box above.
Multiple breadth locations
Fast aliment wasn’t abundant of a affair in the aboriginal 1900s. McDonald’s and Wendy’s were decades away. But here, we had Hot Shoppes, the alternation of orange-roofed restaurants that Bill and Alice Marriott launched continued afore they opened their aboriginal hotel. What started as a tiny adverse in Columbia Heights grew into a 70-location brand, acclaimed for Teen Twist sandwiches and bifold cheeseburgers.
Multiple DC and Virginia locations
Think the curve at Sweetgreen are bad? You never saw the ones at these lunchtime cafeterias above the Commune and Virginia. Students and retirees, Presidents and postal workers, Atramentous bodies and white bodies awash in for self-serve alarmist and onions and blooming pie. But as office-lunch options got alike cheaper and added accidental in the ’80s and ’90s, the curve shrank. The aftermost of eight Sholls locations bankrupt afterwards 9/11.
1616 Seventh St., NW
Soul aliment became a civic chic in midcentury, and this Shaw cafeteria acquired into one of the country’s top places to get it. The reason: chef Hettie Gross, who adapted the chitterlings and cornbread she’d developed up on in Alabama.
8012 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring
This seafood spot, with its ambit bar and accumulating of aged ability plates, feels anchored in time. It conjures the canicule aback Maryland crabs were ample (founder Lillian Landis was acclaimed for her backtalk imperial) and is a admonition of how carefully Washington’s comestible character was already angry to the Chesapeake Bay.
1730 L St., NW; 1120 Connecticut Ave., NW
Few restaurant abstracts access as ample in Washington history as Duke Zeibert, the zinger-slinging buyer of one of the city’s best constant ability hubs. Whether you were a quarterback, a cine star, or a nobody, your ability rank would be reflected in the table he called for you. The food, American abundance book with a birr of Jewish deli, never eclipsed the guy abaft it.
725 14th St., NW
A restaurant added cogent for what it didn’t do than what it did. In 1950, African American civil-rights baton Mary Church Terrell accustomed at this alternation cafeteria for lunch—and, at 86 years old, was banned service. The activist knew what she was doing. Aware that a set of abstruse antidiscrimination laws from the backward 19th aeon had been continued ignored, she acclimated the acquaintance to advance the burghal to sue the restaurant. The Supreme Court disqualified in DC’s favor, authoritative bigotry at restaurants and added establishments illegal.
3524 Connecticut Ave., NW
When it comes to DC dining lore, Yenching Palace has one of the best acclaimed stories: that assembly from the US and Soviet Union bound the Cuban Missile Crisis actuality in a aback booth. But Yenching was added than that—one of DC’s aboriginal flush Chinese dining rooms, both a adjacency accoutrement and a glam scene.
3815 Georgia Ave., NW
In post-segregation Washington, this high-end restaurant became the actionable dining allowance and bookish adviser for the city’s Atramentous elite. Buyer Billy Simpson—who additionally went by “the ambassador of Georgia Avenue”—was accepted as abundant for his roundtable civil-rights and political debates as he was for his shrimp and steak.
1310 Wisconsin Ave., NW
For decades, Washington’s adorned restaurants were French. And this Georgetown dining allowance was the fanciest, Frenchest of them all. Crazy big-ticket and adamantine to get into, it set the accepted for special-occasion dining in the era aback adulate and chrism ruled.
1213 U St., NW (other breadth at 1001 H St., NE)
Is there a restaurant added carefully associated with DC than Ben and Virginia Ali’s late-night hangout? Its history is legendary—the ablaze of the alleged atramentous Broadway, it survived not alone the Molotov affair of the 1968 riots but additionally potentially annihilative architecture obstacles and, appropriately far, a pandemic. And while Washington doesn’t accept abundant in the way of bounded claim-to-fame foods, the half-smoke, best conspicuously served at Ben’s, is up there.
2100 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Before Fiola Mare, afore Cafe Milano, there was the Jockey Club—one of DC’s aboriginal see-and-be-seen places for both White Abode and Hollywood crowds. Jackie Kennedy dined there with Marlon Brando aboriginal on, and Nancy Reagan became a salad-picking regular. Toward the end, as Washington’s aliment arena acrimonious up, the abode acquainted like a relic. It reopened tepidly in 2008 and assuredly sputtered out in 2011.
3236 M St., NW (several added breadth locations)
Washington’s aboriginal accurate restaurant/bar hybrid. In the aboriginal ’60s, broker angry restaurateur Stuart Davidson put a afresh afflicted law into play: His was the aboriginal DC restaurant to serve adamantine liquor to barter continuing at a bar (not aloof built-in in the dining room). It was additionally one of the aboriginal spots—love it or abhorrence it for this—to popularize Sunday brunch.
726 17th St., NW
DC doesn’t accept abundant of a power-lunch ability anymore. But it abiding acclimated to. And this swank, Camelot-era French dining allowance abreast the White House, with its blooming banquettes and vichyssoise, was the atom that fabricated 12 pm anxiety trendy. Abundant of that was due to the ablaze of the show: amiable but careful maître d’ Paul Delisle, who able a agenda of boldface baby-kisser and announcer regulars.
1214 Connecticut Ave., NW
There was affluence of Italian cuisine in Washington aback this close basement restaurant opened—but this was the aboriginal that took a fine-dining approach. Additionally ambience it apart: The affable was Northern Italian—a appearance that would afterwards access abounding of DC’s expense-account spots.
4840 Georgia Ave., NW
Doro wat, the berbere-red craven stew, is now one of our aliment scene’s better draws, but in the mid-’70s—as abounding Ethiopians were beat their country’s civilian war and landing in neighborhoods like Adams Morgan—you could acquisition it at alone one place: Mamma Desta. The city’s aboriginal Ethiopian restaurant may not be as acclaimed or abiding as institutions like Meskerem or Dukem, but chef Desta Bairu (who was absolutely Eritrean) finer alien Washington to one of its best important cuisines.
2309 Wisconsin Ave., NW (original location); 5455 Wisconsin Ave., Chevy Chase (current location)
Before this Glover Park restaurant opened, Japanese dining in this boondocks mostly meant tempura and Benihana-style hibachi. DC’s aboriginal sushi restaurant—it has back relocated to Chevy Chase—nudged diners into the apple of raw fish.
309 Middle St., Washington, Va.
“Playful” is not how you’d accept declared any of Washington’s celebratory restaurants—until Reinhardt Lynch and Patrick O’Connell came along. They angry a battered barn in a tiny Rappahannock County boondocks into one of the country’s abundant dining destinations—enduringly acclaimed for winking dishes such as “tuna assuming to be filet mignon.” Eventually, the Inn’s agents outnumbered the population.
2650 Virginia Ave., NW
One of the things you apprehension account pre-1990s restaurant reviews is how hardly chefs are mentioned by name. Jean-Louis Palladin afflicted that. The bad-boy Frenchman with the bottomward curls and blubbery ’stache was DC’s aboriginal celebrity in whites. At his Watergate dining room, he disrupted French cuisine with anxiously sourced American capacity and adamant creativity.
2132 Florida Ave., NW
Forty years ago, the high-end dining arena actuality was disqualified by chefs who were (a) French and (b) male. Nora Pouillon elbowed her way assimilate the date with a Dupont Circle restaurant that focused added on capacity and the farmers abaft them than on chichi knife assignment or intricate technique. The acumen servers and airheaded generally name-check growers? The movement stemmed from this all-organic kitchen.
1785 Florida Ave., NW
A three-decades-and-running Adams Morgan academy that’s emblematic of what abounding Salvadorans did aback they confused actuality and opened restaurants: offered their cuisine alongside Mexican dishes, with the argumentation that tacos would be added apparent to consumers than pupusas.
1110 21st St., NW
In the aboriginal ’80s, there was no curtailment of places for a high-dollar basin of risotto. Twenty-three-year-old chef Roberto Donna blew accomplished the antagonism aback he opened this burghal dining room, which attenuated Old Apple rusticity with an affected touch—and luxuries like Alba truffles. Additionally forward-thinking: Laboratorio del Galileo, his restaurant-inside-a-restaurant with an extra-long tasting card and a showpiece kitchen.
4000 Campbell Ave., Arlington
From the get-go, the family-run Abundant American Restaurants accumulation adherent itself to convalescent the Northern Virginia dining landscape. Its acme jewel in Shirlington mixes a chichi dining allowance with a card that has the focus-grouped approachability of a alternation (but a acceptable one!). It’s become an often-imitated template.
5878 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church
This Baileys Crossroads dining allowance was one of the aboriginal restaurants in the suburbs to action an affordable card and a date-night atmosphere (servers in cottony dresses, a Trumpian bulk of gilt). It went above Americanized Thai staples, and its success helped activation the Thai-restaurant bang in the 1990s.
5035 Connecticut Ave., NW
Picture this. You sit bottomward to an big-ticket banquet with contrarily accomplished food, and you’re served . . . banquet rolls. Out of a package. Aliment in Washington was an reconsideration until Mark Furstenberg upped the city’s baking bold with this Forest Hills bakery. Curve for a black-olive loaf or boule snaked through the place, which he spun off into added locations and again awash in 1996.
809 12th St., NE (other locations in Takoma, Glenarden, Suitland, and Waldorf)
DC’s carryout ability has consistently been strong, and this broad aggregate became the best famous. It specialized in one thing: cornmeal-battered fried-whiting sandwiches, abject with hot booze and served on white bread. As the H Street aisle gentrified, address barrio and wine confined confused in—and a allotment of bounded history got pushed out.
2003 P St., NW (other locations in Georgetown, Spring Valley, and Hyattsville)
Washington’s pizza character is assuredly evolving, but if annihilation authentic it over the aftermost 25 years, it was the supremacy of the Neapolitan pie. Basil-strewn Margheritas weren’t the alone pizzas here, but in abounding cases they were the alone ones account authoritative a appropriate cruise for. It all started with Ruth Gresser, who brought the style—with its austere rules and alien ingredients—to her tiny pizzeria in Dupont Circle.
605 14th St., NW
Washington restaurants weren’t absolutely accepted for their flashiness, so aback Santa Fe chef Marc Miller shelled out $6 actor to adorn his haute-Southwestern dining room, lots of bodies (including the new-to-town Clintons) took notice. Restaurateurs accomplished the accent of—and started accepting artistic with—decor.
3000 M St., NW
The backward Michel Richard was a Frenchman who admired America—and American clutter food. At his Georgetown flagship, the impishly ablaze chef acclimated a Kit-Kat bar as afflatus for a four-star dessert, ancient burgers out of lobster, and reveled in bluffing guests with trompe l’oeil tricks (it’s not a elastic duck, it’s meringue!). Underpinning it all: accurate French technique. Richard was one of the best agitative comestible minds this city—and this country—has anytime seen.
6769 Wilson Blvd., Falls Church (original location); 8190 Strawberry Ln., Falls Church (current location)
The Lai family’s Vietnamese restaurant wasn’t the aboriginal in the Eden Center, the apple of Vietnamese restaurants and shops that opened in 1984. But for about two decades, it was the best talked-about. The secret: a gracious, art-filled dining allowance and a card that appealed to both citizenry and Westerners. It was Inn at Little Washington buyer Patrick O’Connell, an aboriginal fan, who dubbed the restaurant “Four Sisters.” Aback it confused to the Mosaic district, the Lais fabricated the name change official.
480 Seventh St., NW (other locations in Bethesda and Crystal City)
These days, aggregate from mapo tofu to a bacon cheeseburger is accessible in small-plate form. But 30 years ago, administration a agglomeration of little dishes was a seismic abandonment from the mealtime norm, at atomic in America. Credit goes to José Andrés, who aboriginal affected Spanish candy at his aboriginal Penn Quarter tapas house, again adherent added restaurants to shrinking bottomward dishes from added cuisines.
2000 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Lest you anticipate of the backward Bob Kinkead’s flagship dining allowance as allotment of the DC old guard, let us admonish you of something: He was confined blow in the ’90s. Kinkead was a seafood obsessive, but a forward-thinking one. It was his advancement of lesser-known fish, and his adept wielding of all-embracing flavors, that fabricated him both a avant-garde and a chef to remember.
1990 M St., NW
Jeff Buben’s Southern dining allowance in a burghal basement was for years one of DC’s top restaurants, affiliation cheffy shrimp and grits with adorned wine and high-toned service. But it should additionally be remembered as one of our abundant aptitude incubators. Alumni accommodate Eric Ziebold (Kinship/Métier), Tom Cunanan (formerly of Bad Saint), and Cathal Armstrong (Restaurant Eve, Kaliwa).
3529 Connecticut Ave., NW
Is Frank Ruta the acumen your burger now costs 18 bucks? It’s not all on him, but his truffle-cheese-topped patty on a brioche-like housemade bun was the best acclaimed of the aboriginal beachcomber of adorned burgers. And while it’s now accepted to see what are about two restaurants operating beneath a distinct roof—one with a accidental bar menu, the added with high ambitions—Ruta was amid the aboriginal to cull it off in DC, at this Cleveland Park dining room/cafe.
1725 Wilson Blvd., Arlington
There are some restaurants that bifold as cultural touchstones—simply alive of their actuality ups your food-wonk clout—and this strip-mall steakhouse was aloof that. Eventually, chat got out above internet forums that Michael Landrum’s abode was revolutionary: value-driven, bare-bones, and suburban, but with a best wine account and cuts of beef that rivaled what you’d acquisition at the expense-account places.
855 E St., NW (original location); 405 Eighth St., NW (current location)
There was some question, 17 years ago, of whether Washington would abutment a restaurant that offered a 20-course card of things like mollusk borsch distilled into gelled dabs on a plate. But José Andrés’s modernist activity flourished, affective from a six-seat bar central Café Atlántico to its own amplitude nearby. It became the area’s best big-ticket restaurant—and kick-started the acceleration of tasting-menu restaurants (and checks) above the city.
1942 Ninth St., NW
The ablaze of Shaw’s Little Ethiopia adjacency for abounding years—and the aboriginal Ethio restaurant actuality with a modern, bistro-like vibe. Alike better: Tiwaltengus Shengelegne’s tibs and kitfo were befuddled and active and never capitulated to anyone else’s palate.
110 S. Pitt St., Alexandria
Old Boondocks was one of the area’s added calm dining neighborhoods—until Cathal and Meshelle Armstrong’s amalgam bar/cocktail destination/bistro/tasting allowance came along. The jewel-toned abode was obsessively locavore and endlessly fun (remember the mini pink-frosted birthday-cake dessert?), and its accustomed servers helped accomplish accomplished dining a accomplished lot beneath stuffy.
Multiple breadth locations
Activist/restaurateur Andy Shallal opened the aboriginal of his veggie-friendly restaurant/bookstore/gathering spaces at 14th and V. He’s broadcast to several developing neighborhoods and is one of the area’s alone restaurateurs to aggrandize above the Anacostia River.
633 D St., NW; 1190 New Hampshire Ave., NW
Ashok Bajaj had continued been masterminding a assertive blazon of restaurant that excelled in DC: absorbing but not boundary-pushing, chastened but not boring. In added words, not places the food-obsessed would seek out. Until this national-class Indian dining room, which pushed curries and chaats in blood-tingling new directions.
3333 M St., NW (original location; assorted added locations)
When three contempo Georgetown grads took over a above Little Tavern hut abreast the university, a bloom behemoth was born. Its timing was perfect: The wellness army had called gluten and dairy as comestible enemies, and as the alternation broadcast through the nation, Instagram culture—with its adulation for all things bright in a bowl—was demography off. Goodbye, shrink-wrapped turkey sandwich; hello, $11 Guacamole Greens salad.
7220 Columbia Pike, Annandale (other locations in Ellicott City, Rockville, Germantown, and Centreville)
The 1970s brought after-effects of Korean immigrants to Annandale, and anon after, soup shops, buffets, and brainstorm joints started bustling up. But none has anytime been absolutely as buzzy as Annandale’s rap-blaring, smoke-filled barbecue house, which offers both best bulgogi and a aftertaste of Seoul’s soju-drenched after-hours scene.
1720 14th St., NW (original location); 1805 14th St., NW (current location)
There had continued been idiosyncratic, aggressive wine confined all over cities like San Francisco and New York, but here, Cork was the first—and one of the aboriginal draws to new-wave 14th Street. Its approachable, sharing-friendly card (cheffy broiled cheeses, avocado acknowledgment continued afore avocado acknowledgment was a thing) already allowable two-hour waits .
6395 Seven Corners Center, Falls Church
Those fiery, acerb flavors that accept disqualified the Southeast Asian dining arena actuality over the aftermost ten years? Their access can be traced to Seng Luangrath, who, with a abstruse card at her strip-mall Thai restaurant, alien Washington to spiky, almighty Laotian cooking. Suddenly, chili-chasing became sport, and Lao and Northern Thai restaurants multi-plied accordingly.
707 Sixth St., NW
Yes, we know. But the aisle of Mike Isabella—from José Andrés protégé to Top Chef ablaze to Washington’s better restaurateur—wasn’t about as abrupt as the #MeToo-fueled burn-down of his $12-million empire. With this aboriginal restaurant, the audacious dude with the pepperoni booze ushered in a administration of share-plate-slinging bro-chefs who were consistently up for a shot—whether a fan photo or a hit of tequila.
1234 H St., NE
With its Wu Tang soundtrack, comfort-resistant stools, and relentlessly porky ramen, Erik Bruner-Yang’s 28-seater was one of the aboriginal H Street dining destinations. Its affection owes a debt to David Chang’s Momofuku, but actuality it was the alpha of the hipster-Asian restaurant trend.
1309 Fifth St., NE (other breadth at 1150 Maine Ave., SW)
First, cousins Travis and Ryan Croxton adored the Chesapeake Bay ability industry. Again they opened this additional raw bar—both an accomplished abode to eat and alcohol and the centerpiece of Union Market, DC’s groundbreaking aliment hall.
717 Eighth St., SE
Aaron Silverman’s rowhouse restaurant—with its amaranthine band out the aperture and a abdomen that pings all over the globe—is what assuredly acquired DC’s aggregate dining-conscious to lose the dent on its shoulder. We consistently knew we were way added than a steakhouse town, but aback Rose’s became the angel of the nation-al media, our aliment arena assuredly got a little respect.
122 Blagden Alley, NW
Jeremiah Langhorne—who abstruse the ropes beneath chef Sean Brock in Charleston—is both a adherent historian and a biased locavore who has committed himself to attention our bounded traditions. Sugar toads, pawpaws, porgy, and all address of added abandoned Mid-Atlantic delicacies are active and avant-garde at his hearth-driven Shaw kitchen.
3226 11th St., NW
Tiny, idiosyncratic, and adherent to deep-diving into a little-seen cuisine in Washington (Filipino), this Columbia Heights dining allowance is the affectionate of abode that can abide alone in a thrumming aliment city—one that’s abounding with engaged, analytical eaters accommodating to shiver in band for added than an hour to aftertaste above chef Tom Cunanan’s electrifyingly acceptable sisig and absinthian melon.
801 Wharf St., SW
Walk through the Wharf afterwards a appearance at the Anthem started, and you’d acquisition one restaurant that was arranged night afterwards night: Kwame Onwuachi’s ode to Afro-Caribbean flavors. Onwuachi larboard in July, but his access is far-reaching: The 30-year-old chef has been active in authoritative kitchen ability added assorted and humane.
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Executive Aliment Editor/Critic
Ann Limpert abutting Washingtonian in backward 2003. She was ahead an beat abettor at Entertainment Weekly and a baker in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a alum of the Institute of Comestible Education. She lives in Logan Circle.
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