I feel a bit shy about making this recommendation only because it doesn't seem edgy enough for true CHs, but whenever I want a great meal I go to Yanyu and order the tasting menu (the cheaper version, but still pricey at $45).
Moreover, a woman I believe is the most consummate eater in the Western hemisphere (she has been known to trail off in the middle of her own sentences when faced with a platter of good looking food, and once I completely lost her attention -- she stared into space for a full 30 seconds -- when she popped a good Belgian chocolate in her mouth. This woman takes personal offense at bad food and...back to the start of this sentence which has gotten dangerously out of hand...) considers Yanyu the best restaurant in town.
Armed with that endorsement, I say this:
Yanyu serves wonderful food with incredible service. The tasting menu doesn't seem like a lot to eat until you get through your fourth course (the incredible Peking duck, which follows a nugget of sea bass, a teeny weeny filet mignon and a couple of wonderful appetizers -- lobster roll with chili sauce and a crab claw wrapped in what appears to be rice noodles and deep fried.) Try to get the upstairs back room; there are only 4 tables and it is very private and quiet...feng shui-ed within an inch of its life and it shows.
I've tried ordering off the menu but find the tasting menu a better deal and a good mix of flavors, textures and just the right amount of food. Alott a couple of hours to really enjoy it and get your money's worth.
Yanyu is on Connecticut Ave NW near Porter, across the street from the Uptown (movie theater, for you out of towners).
re: pat hammond
I agree -- that's the kind of posting that makes me want to get on the Metro, ride to Cleveland Park, and start eating! (In fact, that stretch of Connecticut Avenue has a number of pretty good places. I used to go to Lavandou regularly but haven't been back since they expanded.) Cheers, Greg