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T+L's Capital Dining in Washington, D.C.

Travel + Leisure · Guide to Washington · created about 2 years ago

Our favorite dishes at Washington D.C.'s best new restaurants. By Nina Fedrizzi. Adapted from "Capital Dining," Travel + Leisure, March 2012.

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    Zeppole with Strawberry Sugar at Graffiato in Washington, DC

    Top Chef alumni Mike Isabella is known for his zeppole (an Italian cake-like dessert), which is fried to airy perfection, then dusted with sweet strawberry sugar. The dish is even more delicious when plunged into the accompanying vat of rich, chocolate-balsamic syrup.

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    Ricotta Cavatelli at Birch & Barley in Washington, DC

    Craft beer is the hallmark of this sceney, Logan Circle restaurant, which features 555 brews as well as a six-course tasting menu. Don't miss the acclaimed ricotta cavatelli, with roasted pork and broccoli rabe.

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    Classic Ramen at Toki Underground in Washington D.C., DC

    Taipei-trained chef Erik Yang is serious about his ramen, served in this top-floor restaurant overlooking the H Street corridor. Our favorite dish is the classic bowl, with tonkotsu (pork-bone) broth, barbecued pork loin, pickled ginger, and a silky slow-poached egg.

  • Celery Custard with Sea Urchin at Seasonal Pantry in Washington, DC

    Three nights a week, Daniel O'Brien—a culinary MacGyver of sorts—pushes together two wooden tables for a 10-seat supper club, showcasing dishes such as celery custard with sea urchin, oyster, and lemon jelly.

  • Meatball Sandwich at Meatballs in Washington, D.C., Washington, D.C.

    James Beard Award-winning chef Michel Richard's meatballs are served atop polenta, pasta, or salad, or in a hoagie roll. The beef grinder, in a garlicky baguette with marinara and mozzarella, is a standout.

  • Catfish with Coriander and Shallots at Little Serow in Washington , DC

    The reward for finding this turquoise-hued spot, hidden in an unmarked basement in Dupont Circle, is a family-style meal of Isaan dishes from Thailand's northeastern border with Loas. Chef Johnny Monis draws raves for his hand-minced catfish with sawtooth coriander and crispy shallots.

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    Hamburger at Burger Tap & Shake in Washington, DC

    The industrial-chic burger joint, the laid-back sister restaurant to District Commons, offers eight hamburger varieties—including a chin-drippingly juicy patty crafted from natural aged chuck and brisket. Pair it with a house-made ice cream milk shake with a healthy dose of bourbon.

  • Sea Urchin at Rogue 24 in Washington, DC

    During a 16- or 24-course tasting menu at James Beard Award-winning chef RJ Cooper’s Rouge 24, set in a retrofit warehouse in Blagden Alley, look out for the sea urchin with squid ink and Clamato juice and his “parmesan marshmallow,” with San Marzano tomatoes, basil, and truffle oil.