The national capital acquires a well-deserved reputation as a culinary hotspot with one of the most diverse and international gastronomic scenes. Upscale gourmet dining is at its best, and the neighborhood’s ethnic restaurants can satisfy those craving something a little different. No matter where you are, all of these restaurants are worth a visit.
West End — Blue Duck Tavern
For the ultimate madness, head to the Blue Duck Tavern where exceptional service and incredible cuisine meet in a glamorous atmosphere. A good way to start the meal is with the kale and cucumber salad that comes with fresh figs, fennel and a rose dressing or the perfectly cooked giant crab cakes. Appetizers are carefully prepared and include a premium wood-fired NY strip, roasted duck breast with charred stone fruit and snow peas, and roasted striped bass with broad beans and Romesco radish. Any meal can be complemented with hand-cut fries, stone-ground oatmeal or forage mushrooms. Make sure to save room for the apple pie (made for two). A comprehensive wine list and a very knowledgeable sommelier will help you find the perfect match.
Downtown — La Bise
If you’re looking for a fantastic meal that’s both classic French and totally modern, head to La Bise, a few blocks from the White House. This upscale restaurant offers exceptional cuisine in a bright and comfortable atmosphere where both the service and the menu are exceptional. Favorite entrees include a local tomato salad with homemade ricotta, butter-poached Maine lobster, or Hudson Valley foie gras with fresh peaches. Our group loved the duck breast served with summer corn and blackberry juice, the halibut with romano beans and gulf shrimp and the ever popular steak fry with roasted garlic butter and local greens. . No one makes dessert as well as the French and La Bise offers classics such as a delicious coffee soufflé with custard and a Paris brest with candied almonds.
Dupont Circle — Le Pembroke
The Pembroke is one of the happiest restaurants in one of DC’s most popular neighborhoods. Recently reopened, this is the perfect place to enjoy a delicious brunch, inside or outside on the spacious terrace. Why not start with a cocktail with vodka, pomegranate and honey called “In the name of love” or indulge yourself with the bellini option to compose yourself? If you want a healthy choice, try the superfood salad that’s packed with quinoa, beets, edamame, broccolini, and feta. The most filling dishes include a steak and eggs, accompanied by a salad and fries. Although for some it’s not really brunch unless someone at the table orders a stack of pancakes, served here with berries and whipped mascarpone.
Capitol Hill — Ambar Restaurant
Are you looking for something completely different? Then you have to stop at Ambar and experience some amazing Balkan cuisine. The best way to taste this delicious cuisine is to take advantage of the unlimited brunch or dinner options. That’s right, you can order anything you want off the menu. Favorite starters include ajvar (grilled pepper and eggplant relish), beef prosciutto, veal soup, Balkan salad, and cheese pie. For more hearty choices, it’s hard to beat the lamb lasagna, fried chicken with apple salad, beef kebabs or salmon with eggplant jam and baby arugula. Grilled beans and asparagus with a fried quail egg are also available. An unlimited drink supplement includes Moldovan wine and very tasty cocktails. An outdoor patio is perfect for those who want to eat outside, and the sidewalk tables make for great people watching.
Misty background – Pindass
A delightfully laid back place to indulge in Indian street food, Pindass has all of your favorites. Snacks or “chaats” are a great place to start. Try a shrimp bezule, a Punjabi samosa, or a cauliflower pakora. Indian wraps are stuffed with roast lamb masala, paneer, peppers and chicken tikka masala. The buns are filled with vegetable stew, pork vindaloo, or a green chili omelet. Other options include a “roadside” fried chicken sandwich, spinach or lamb curry, and several kebabs. An assortment of naans is mandatory and the caramel pudding with cardamom ice cream is a nice way to end the meal.