Best restaurant in DC for dinner
Headed to DC and want to have dinner at one of the best restaurants (not concerned about price). Sort of short notice as it is in 1 week (on a weekday). Ideally something with really great food and good atmosphere that is not too stuffy. Again I don't mind paying if the food is worth it, but not interested in paying for a name and just getting medicore food. Good drink/wine list is also a plus.
Any recommendations are welcome.
Thanks for the responses. I realize I wasn't very descriptive in my question of "best"
The responses thus far were exactly what I'm looking for. Those few restaurants that serve not just good but great food and if you only have one night to drop a few hundred dollars in DC on a meal which one would you choose?
I've read good things about Vidalia, but this is the first I'm hearing about Rogue 24. I'm very interested in the multiple small courses (definitely something you won't find down in Norfolk).
Would you recommend it over Vidalia and would you get the 16 or 24 course tasting?
I only had the 16, not the 24. Hard for me to imagine eating more, but I will defer to others. My friend had the pairing, I didn't. But I did get a taste. Way too much alcohol for me, hard to see how anyone could keep up! Also, it is not strictly a wine pairing, as one of them was a cocktail.
If that is the experience you are going for, then you would be hard pressed to do better than Rogue 24. Vidalia offers a tasting menu as well, but the restaurant is not devoted exclusively to that. I don't think you can go wrong either way.
I found the menu we were given after dinner on 5/15/12. Yes, as you see, it's one drink per 3 courses.
snacks - compressed melon/potted/cracklings
madai - lime/coconut/ginger/tapioca/coriander
sturgeon - ossetra/cucumber
drink - bombs over blagden - dolin blanc/cocci vermouth di torino/john l. sullivan irish whiskey/tea
ox heart - strawberry/smoked mustard/ice fungus
urchin - ink/squid/sea grass/bread
scallops - peas/vanilla/lemon
drink - sineann - gewerztraminer/yamhill-carlton/or/'10
tuna - avocado/cracklins/smoked chili
foie gras - mango/benne/sesame
chantrelle - asparagus/parmesan
drink - french invasion - kah reposado tequila/popcorn/yellow charteuse/lemon
crab - rice/blood orange
tomato - suspended garnishes
potato - ocean grass/rouille/mussel
drink - sanguis "uncloudy day" - chardonnay, rousanne, & viognier/santa ynez/ca/'09
swordfish - olives/citrus/mortared scales
gyro - tzatziki/cucumber/butter lettuce
asparagus - porcini/white chocolate
drink - manabito - kimoto junmai ginjo sake/akita/jp
pigeon - bull's blood/onion/nasturtium
araucana egg - migas/bacon bouillon/flowers
carrots - terrarium
drink - el padre - boosmsa oude genever/cocci di torino sweet vermouth/orange bitters/port charlotte
snails - ham/potato/duxelle
tongue - cipollini/bread/cherry
yogurt - olive oil/honey/citrus
drink - r. lopez de heredia "vina tondonia" - tempranillo/rioja/sp/'01
lemon - marshmallow
coffee - cream/caramel/hazelnut
happy endings - little things/small bites
drink - felsina vin santo - trebbiano/tuscany/it/'03
"Best" is a hard term to pin down, much less tether a restaurant recommendation to without further elucidation.
That said, if I were given ONE choice for a meal in DC, it would be at Rogue24.
I've had great meals at Komi and Obelisk, and always feel special and satisfied dining at Tosca, and a trip to DC isn't really complete without some pizza and donuts at Matchbox, but the most memorable meals I've had has always been at Rogue24.
3 very different places I'd check out is Rogue24, Vidalia, and in Old Town Alexandria, Restaurant Eve.
At Rogue 24, each of the 16 courses I had was delivered to my table, clustered around the open kitchen, by whomever was available at the time: maybe one of the waiters, the sommelier, or one of the cooks. All hands on deck. It has a super-caual chatty vibe with serious ideas about what good food should taste like. Most people go for the eponymous 24 course tasting menu. Some interesting and serious wines served here, no doubt. If they list The Ballad of John Henry Red by the glass, it's so worth it. Go early and snag one of the tables closest to the kitchen. The money I spent actually seemed like a bargain when it was all over.
If that doesn't sound like your cup of tea, then Vidalia for Southern-inspired cooking manages to make light work of otherwise heavy foods. The chef there right now is quite brilliant, and the attention to detail is impressive. If they have an Oktoberfest dessert, get it.
Restaurant Eve in Old Town Alexandria offers two major options: a la carte dining and prix fixe in their specialized Tasting Room. I've only eaten in the regular dining room, and it is one of the most thoughtful kitchens around. The whole vibe here is like finding an undiscovered secret.