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Fall Dining Guide: Washington DC Area, 2013

Fall Dining Guide: Washington DC Area, 2013

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Fall Dining Guide: Washington DC Area, 2013

71 pages
42 minutes
Oct 11, 2013


Washington D.C.'s culinary landscape is celebrated in the 14th annual Fall Dining Guide.

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post comes the food critic's essential guide to the D.C. dining scene. For his 14th Fall Dining Guide, Tom Sietsema selects his 40 favorite Washington D.C.-area restaurants, reflecting a much-changed dining scene with exciting new flavors. From bars and taco joints to four star local legends, the FALL DINING GUIDE has a dinner for everyone.
Oct 11, 2013

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Fall Dining Guide - Tom Sietsema

Fall Dining Guide

Washington DC Area, 2013


Tom Sietsema,

The Washington Post


Diversion Books

A Division of Diversion Publishing Corp.

443 Park Avenue South, Suite 1004

New York, New York 10016


Copyright © 2013 by The Washington Post

Cover Image by Joseph Victor Stefanchik

On the cover: Patrons indulge in the all-you-can-eat option at Kogiya, a Korean venue in Annandale.

All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form whatsoever.

For more information, email info@diversionbooks.com

First Diversion Books edition October 2013

ISBN: 978-1-62681-166-9


A Balkan restaurant. A good delicatessen. Kitchens set on serving smoke. More spinoffs than Happy Days.

A bumpercrop of interesting new restaurants in Washington means I’m serving you a very different menu from just a year ago for my 14th Fall Dining Guide. While the theme remains the same—favorites—my suggestions reflect a much-changed landscape. It’s telling that only 15 of my 40 picks from last October made it onto the 2013 list.

More than any previous fall dining guide, this one revels in Washington. While there are useful places to know about in the Maryland and Virginia suburbs, the District is bursting with exciting new flavors that are worth the trip from beyond its borders. As you will read on coming pages, the most enticing stretch of the city to graze along right now is the 14th Street corridor, host to a mini U.N. delegation of cuisines.

You may wonder why some previously well-reviewed venues are missing. Some are in flux: The Ashby Inn and the Restaurant at Patowmack Farm recently changed chefs, while Restaurant Eve in Alexandria announced plans to drop its bistro menu and make every seat in the house more special. Other establishments have been replaced by stronger candidates in their genre. Au revoir, Chez Billy. No bistro in the city can come close to Le Diplomate.

Favorites stand out from the pack, often for their food, but also for the way they make us feel. If there’s anything I’ve learned in this job, it’s that food is important, but it’s not everything. Comfortable surroundings and attentive service can prop up average cooking, but the opposite is less true: Even great food is diminished if a diner feels neglected.

Here’s hoping my favorites become yours.

Tom Sietsema, Food Critic


Ratings are based primarily on food quality but take into account service and ambiance. Restaurants that earn no stars are rated poor.

Satisfactory (★) Restaurants that are useful to know about if you are nearby; they may have only a few dishes or have a single quality, such as a view or atmosphere, to distinguish them.

Good (★ ★) Restaurants with generally appealing cooking, service and settings; they tend to be worth driving across town for.

Excellent (★ ★ ★) Rewarding destinations, no matter where you’re coming from; they typically blend high-quality cooking with the environs and service to match.

Superlative (★ ★ ★ ★) An unsurpassed dining experience; these restaurants do what they do extraordinarily well.

Decibels key

Quiet: Under 60 decibels.

Conversation is easy: 60-70 decibels.

Must speak with raised voice: 71-80 decibels.

Extremely loud: Over 80 decibels.

Quick List


1330 Maryland Ave. SW. 202-554-8588

Modern American.

Inn at Little Washington

309 Middle St., Washington, Va. 540-675-3800

Modern American.


1509 17th St. NW. 202-332-9200

Modern Greek.

Rasika (Penn Quarter)

633 D St. NW. 202-637-1222.


Little Serow

1511 17th St. NW. No phone number.



855 E St. NW. 202-393-4451


Blue Duck Tavern

1201 24th St.

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