HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >


Top Restaurants 2006

List your Top 5 of the Year.

No fancy criteria or percentage-based grading system here. Just post your list and perhaps one of us will pony up the results after the New Year begins.

So, let's get it started then...

1. Komi
2. Restaurant Eve
3. CityZen
4. Corduroy
5. Pizzeria Paradiso

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. This is easy for me.

    1. Palena
    2. Komi (but barely by a slim margin)
    3. Cityzen
    4. Dino
    5. Vidalia

    I restricted myself only to those in DC, thus Eve couldn't make the cut. OK fine, it just made my list making easier.

    1. Cityzen
      Restaurant Eve
      Makoto, Equinox, La Paradou (tied for 5th)

      1. Cityzen
        2 Amys

        1. Palena

          In the order of how recently I've been to them.

          1. 2941
            L'Auberge Chez Francois
            Bangkok 54

            1. 1. Restaurant Eve
              2. Palena
              3. Kotobuki
              4. Ray's the Steaks
              5. Joe's Noodle House

              Unfortunately, no tacos.

              1 Reply
              1. re: DC Taco

                I was close to putting Pepito's on my list. :)

              2. Mine is the same as on my profile:

                Joe's Noodle House
                Ruan Thai
                Oohs and Aahs

                1. Mine is based wholly on 2006, not previous years of enjoyment (although there is some overlap).

                  1. Colorado Kitchen
                  2. Minibar @ Cafe Atlantico
                  3. Taberna del Albardero
                  4. Citronelle Lounge
                  5. Urban BBQ (tied)
                  5. Lighthouse Tofu (tied)

                  1. In no particular order:

                    China Star
                    Paya Thai
                    L'Auberge Chez Francois

                    1. 1. Restaurant Eve Tasting Room
                      2. Maestro
                      3. CityZen
                      4. Komi
                      5. Sushi-ko / Passage to India (tie)

                      1. For this year, and in no particular order:

                        Ruan Thai
                        Azucar/Samantha's (sister restaurants with same menu)

                        1. Important pre-notes:
                          1- I have not yet been to Palena or CityZen (shoot me now)
                          2- If it ain't in DC proper, I don't count it (a snob to boot)

                          that being said:

                          5- The tiny tacos al pastor place on 14th by Newton
                          4- Matchbox (bonus points for getting 2x as big in 2006!)
                          3- Tosca
                          2- Sushi Taro
                          1- Corduroy

                          Side note: Other "favorites" that I would not count as "best", ever, but still really like:
                          Pizzeria Paradiso (Dupont)
                          Mr. Chen's Organic Chinese
                          Clyde's Gallery Place location (For 3-6 PM or 11 P-2 AM raw bar happy hour)

                          Also, Kotobuki. It went off the list for a while when they bumped up the price of everything by .35 - .55... they've since reverted to everything for a dollar. When I look back, though - really, why was I mad at that? They were so cheap in the first place.. and still so cheap even with the price increase... I was a bit peeved at the time, though.

                          1. To ths point the favorites are:

                            Cityzen (picked 5 times)
                            Komi (5)
                            Restaurant Eve (4)
                            Dino (4)
                            Palena (3)
                            Corduroy (3)

                            I have never been to Dino but it's on my "go to" list now !

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Dakota Guy

                              Thanks for keeping track. Surely more hounds want to chime in.

                            2. 1.Citronelle
                              4.Ray's the Classic
                              5.Ryan Thai

                              Comments. Ray's on here for the value of the meal. First time there Saturday night and the veal chop and skillet fried chicken were outstanding. The mashed potatoes with chicken stew were really bad, but the potato and asperagus sides made up for it. Key Lime pie was excellent. Total bill was $78 (pre tax), but in all fairness they left off two glasses of wine. I told management and they said that as long as I promised to come back again they would just thank me for my honesty and comp it. Done deal!

                              Going to Komi for the first time in January so no opinion as yet. Maestro and CityZen on the docket too if I hit the lottery. Hope everyone has a safe and healthy New Year.

                              1. 1. Al Tiramisu (Best risotto you'll ever have outside Italy)
                                2. Foti's (a bit of a treck...Culpepper, VA, but worth the trip. The owners Frank and Su used to be at the Inn at Little Washington, where Frank used to be the executive sous chef)
                                3. 2941
                                4. Carlyle Grand (for the more casual dinner night out)
                                5. The Occidental

                                1. Duangrat's. It just gets better and better.

                                  6 Replies
                                  1. re: Atlantis

                                    Hmmm, no disrespect but my impression of late is that Duangrat's is still a pretty face but the food has gone WAAAY downhill. The food has gotten kinda bland. Ruan Thai and many other local Thai restaurants are much, much better.

                                    1. re: rcooperman

                                      That's not been my experience. They're as good as ever, maybe better. I don't know if you've tried what they do with fresh fish, or asked about the specials that don't appear on the menu, but, yeah, it's a pretty place, and the staff and service are marvelous, but we try other Thai restaurants whenever we find them, and nothing comes close to Duangrat's. And, of course, Rabieng, which is also terrific.

                                      1. re: Atlantis

                                        So about these "specials that don't appear on the menu" at Duangrat's.... do they automatically tell diners about them or do you have to ask? Is there a separate Thai menu? Can you remember any of them?

                                        1. re: Steve

                                          Just ask. It varies from day to day. And it helps if you're a regular, I suspect.

                                          That "separate Thai menu"? I've never seen such a thing. Perhaps you might find one there, if you ask?

                                          Where else can you dine on fine Thai-style wild boar? Seriously, the fish dishes there are just wonderful, if you're of a mind.

                                    2. re: Atlantis

                                      I'm glad you think Duangrat's is getting better. I have been a loyal fan. They are upscale Thai vs. home-cooking Thai, IMO. And, yes, I do know Thai food very well. All my life.

                                      1. re: novafoodie

                                        Remember their short-lived experiment in Thai street food? A lovely place that's now, I think, an Indian restaurant, but it was called something like Bangkok Street Grille, or something like that? It was terrific, but it went under.

                                        For some very nice southern Thai food, try Rabieng. Their weekend brunch items are great fun and really, really good.

                                    3. If you are ever in Herndon, try Thai Luang. They are very very good, and even native thai friends of mine rave about it.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: pgwiz1

                                        And Tarin Thai, behind the Chipotle on Elden St. The northern dish (#32 on the menu) is excellent!

                                        Do avoid the thai in the K-Mart center. The new one in the rotating thai space on Elden near the K-Mart center, just down from Euro Bistro, is good, though not on the level of Thai Luang or Tarin Thai. Also avoid the one in the clock tower.

                                      2. Favorites from 2006 only, based on the meals that left the best memories (repeat visits carry more weight):

                                        1. 2941
                                        2. El Charrito Caminante
                                        3. Bebo Trattoria
                                        4. Nooshi/Oodles Noodles
                                        5. Las Delicias (Glebe Road, Arlington)

                                        1. From 2006 only:

                                          1. 2941
                                          2. The Inn at Little Washington
                                          3. Colvin Run Tavern
                                          4. Marcel's
                                          5. Tosca

                                          1. So far, by my count these are the spots with more than two mentions:

                                            Five votes:


                                            Four Votes:


                                            Three votes:

                                            Ruan Thai

                                            Not very unpredictable, are we?

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: MartyL

                                              It appears not, but we can at least root for our favorites.

                                            2. Ahh top five of the year... what to choose...

                                              1. CityZen
                                              2. Rasika
                                              3. Zengo
                                              4. Lima
                                              5. Sushi Ko

                                              1. 1. Marcels
                                                2. Maestro
                                                3. 2941
                                                4. Kinkeads / Colvin Run
                                                5. Anything my son cooks