Whether it's an innovative tasting menu or an offbeat-yet-chic decor making diners' eyes pop, these DC restaurants are game-changers.
A “happy dining experience” awaits at this Capitol Hill New American that wins accolades for an “over-the-top delicious” menu that’s small plates–centric and “not afraid of bold flavors and some heat”; from its “hip, farmhouse style” to the “sweet” servers that steer the table in “all the right directions”, it’s no wonder that most find it “worth the wait” – no reservations are accepted.
AmericanU Street Corridor
Fois gras meets faux grass at this vibrant, modern Shaw venue from the Neighborhood Restaurant Group where chef Robert Rubba (ex Tallula) creates inventive, mid-sized plates packed with Asian and international flavors, including seasonal riffs on Peking-style duck. Clever cocktails, a funky wall collage and a patio with lounge chairs grouped on a pretend lawn underscore the fun, unconventional feel.
Poultry rules at this Chinatown storefront from the Daikaya team serving Japanese fried chicken and chicken ramen in a whimsically decorated, crayon-bright space that uses plastic trays as wall covers, with large lanterns bobbing over communal tables.
The DGS Delicatessen team honors its Chesapeake heritage at this stunning, soaring Navy Yard waterfront restaurant with a centerpiece raw bar and elegant booths. The lineup includes shellfish towers, crudo and contemporary preparations of sustainable seafood, plus clever cocktails and wines.
Since its name means 'secret' in Japanese, it’s fitting that this Petworth hangout offers off-the-menu drinks and bites along with sushi, sashimi, inventive Asian-meets-Southern dishes like buttermilk-fried chicken with Korean gochujang sauce and artful cocktails by Carlie Steiner (ex Barmini). The cool white, gray and blue space has an intimate, boutique-y feel, accented with upholstered bench cushions and macramé above the bar.
NewNew AmericanPenn Quarter/Chinatown
A spin-off of the San Francisco original, this New American in Penn Quarter's Hotel Monaco projects an edgy, otherworldly vibe with its dark palette, outré accent pieces and globally inspired share plates like poached hen dumplings, duck ravioli and curried shrimp – a stark contrast to the building's neoclassical facade, and the spacious courtyard that serves as a hip gathering spot for drinks.