The Washington Post has one of the country’s best restaurant critics in Tom Sietsema, and a city with as many great restaurants as we have keeps him active.
Sietsema has recently released his spring 2016 dining guide. Our mouths are watering as we read it over, looking for treasures to bring you the best dining options for your great evenings out. Reflecting all the exciting dining action here in the nation’s capital, he both picks 10 new favorites and goes on to revisit and reevaluate some stalwarts of the dining scene. Here are some highlights that are likely to show up in future editions of Just the Ticket: An Insider’s Guide to Great Evenings Out in Washington, DC. We have tended to find his reviews pretty accurate.
Three of the newcomers look promising both from Sietsema’s review, and the location in great, accessible DC neighborhoods. We look forward to the field work of checking them out for you.
Kinship (1015 Seventh St. NW kinshipdc.com) is a pleasant walk very close to the Gallery Place entertainment district. The food is reportedly inventive and delicious. The menu is organized creatively by what inspired the chef to include a particular dish, whether something from personal history, a technique he was eager explore, or an ingredient that was particularly good while the menu was being assembled. Tom says dining here feels like attending a wonderful dinner party in the home of a friend.
A few blocks away and most convenient for a show by Washington Stage Guild, The Dabney (122 Blagden Alley NW thedabney.com) anchors a recent outburst of dining and drinking establishments in this location. This luxurious courtyard in the middle of a block was full of crumbling former industrial buildings just a few years ago, and still hides away from most visitors, but you’ll have no problem finding it with our Insider tip and your Google Map app. Now it sparkles, and according to Tom nowhere more so than inside The Dabney. The menu here is dedicated to regional food. The short, new-every-day menu for last night was rich with ingredients we saw at our farmer’s market last Sunday. There’s also a charming cocktail bar next door, The Columbia Room, for which we can already vouch — great service and atmosphere, and inventive drinks. Your only issue in Blagden Alley is going to be getting a table, so if you’re visiting town, book your table now.
Nazca Mochica (1633 P St. NW nazcamochica.com) in Dupont Circle is really two Peruvian restaurants in one, a full menu restaurant above and a Pisco and Cebiche bar below. Tom praises the tastiness of the food, the appealing nature of the interior design, and the sense of occasion created as your server adds the last touches to your dishes before your eyes at the table. That’s it, we’re checking this place out tonight!
Fiola (601 Pennsylvania Ave. NW fioladc.com) in Gallery Place isn’t new, and being reminded of it in Tom’s revisit made us smack our heads that we hadn’t recommended it to you until now. It’s a short stroll to Woolly Mammoth Theatre and the Lansburgh, and we have had delightful pre-show meals here ourselves. Tom reports it as improved even from its previously high standards. The cuisine is elevated Italian. The service makes you feel like a visiting dignitary. Check it out!
To our fellow locals – please share in the comments below your impressions of any of these restaurants or anything else from the guide we should have our sights on or write to us at email@example.com.