Top DC area restaurants
The October issue of Gourmet lists what their editors and critics say are the top restaurants in various cities around North America. For Washington, no real surprises, except perhaps for no. 1
1. DC Coast
2. Inn at Little Washington
1. Cafe Atlantico (weekend grazing)
2. Johnny's Half Shell/Pesce (best casual seafood)
3. Laboratorio del Galileo (best dinner as theater)
I'd reverse nos. 1 & 2: Inn at Little Worshington is a not-to-be-forgotten experience. Maybe they're discounting ratings on the basis of price; the Inn is a month's salary for dinner (and don't forget to include an overnight, and gas); DC Coast is pricey, but not stratospherically so. DC Coast does have some outrageously great dishes, though: whole deep-fried flounder Cantonese is as good (and better, for presentation) than anything similar I've eaten in NY, SF, HK. As for the others: I *adore* Pesce, which serves icey-fresh fish simply and well in an elegant setting. Kinkead's, in my view, is uneven. And Johnny's Half Shell serves up a fabulous hot dog, plump and garlicky with onions and blue cheese, but is otherwise average; the fritto misto is doable, but most of the other mains can be had elsewhere for less. As for Gallileo, go, go!
Hm, I obviously don't get out enough (or maybe I just don't make enough scratch). I've only been to Pesce's and Cafe Atlantico. Pesce's is terrific, but you frequently end up crammed table to table with your neighbors because the space is so small. I love Cafe Atlantico, but then I'm easily swayed by trendy lighting.