Downtown/Metro Center Restaurants

Bibiana Osteria-Enoteca

1100 New York Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20005
202-216-9550

Italian


 

$$$
$27.17
 

★★½

Average Value

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★★½

Average Value

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Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Restaurateur Ashok Bajaj's upscale Italian restaurant serves modern renditions of classic Italian cooking in a sophisticated setting. There's also a 24-seat lounge and 12-seat bar serving classic and creative cocktails and a good list of Italian wines. However, chef Jake Addeo is still settling in after the departure of Nicholas Steffanelli, and it's a little early in his tenure to know if he'll fully live up to his stellar reputation.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
2.0 Stars (5/13/2015) — 2015 Spring Dining Guide
"Bibiana can claim some of the best servers of any Italian restaurant in town and a room that sets itself apart with silvery lights that look like outsize Christmas bows and shimmery metal curtains that simultaneously allow diners privacy and publicity. What Bibiana can’t always deliver is food that tastes as exciting as new chef Jake Addeo’s résumé reads: A native of Puglia, Italy, Addeo went on to cook at the admired Esca and Felidia in New York. ..." See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
No. 31 (2/8/2016) — 100 Very Best Restaurants 2016
"The departure of chef Nick Stefanelli—who left to open his own venture, Masseria—has brought fresh energy and talent to Ashok Bajaj’s stylish osteria. Chef Jake Addeo arrives by way of notable Italian restaurants in New York and Hong Kong, including stops with Mario Batali and Lidia Bastianich. His kitchen shows deftness with crudos—try hamachi drizzled with fruity olive oil, preserved citrus, and pink peppercorns—and more robust dishes, such as dry-aged duck breast with Italian prunes or velvety noodles in a classic Bolognese. …" See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Italic — Recommended
"A major renovation of Luigino, classic Italian cooking with the perfect infusion of modern, half-orders of the wonderful pastas available, one of our city's greatest restaurants." See 5/19/2011 Review…»

Ristorante Tosca

1112 F St. NW
Washington, DC 20005
202-367-1990

Italian


 

$$$$
$41.60
 

★★

Poor Value

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★★

Poor Value

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Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Matteo Venini has replaced Massimo Fabbri as Executive Chef at this fine dining Italian restaurant that's a favorite of the K Street elite. Beyond its lobbyist clientele, it's still notable for its house made pastas, which are available by the half-order. Now, with the addition of pastry chef Catherine Flaherty, formerly of Le Diplomate, it's also a destination for dessert. A $38, three-course pre-theater menu is available six nights a week from 5:30 to 6:30.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
2 Stars (4/15/2015)
"Since Venini returned to where he started in September, the chef has put his own stamp on the menu…. It’s a bit of a letdown, then, to encounter first courses that tend to be routine…. When I last reviewed Tosca, in the 2011 Spring Dining Guide, I praised it most for its pastas, a detail that holds true today. Honestly, if my position didn’t require me to explore the range of the list, I’d order pasta to start and pasta as a main course. … Not to take away from the meat and the fowl, but few of them quicken the pulse like the pastas. ... France's loss was Italy’s gain when pastry chef Catherine Flaherty decamped from Le Diplomate on 14th Street to Tosca last fall. … The good life at Tosca isn’t inexpensive. … The restaurant makes itself accessible with a three-course, pre-theater menu for $38 six nights a week. The catch? The deal is offered between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m." See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
2 Stars (1/25/2013) — 100 Very Best Restaurants 2013
Washingtonian highlights the pastas and several other dishes at this favorite of "big-spending regulars." See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Italic — Recommended
"A great power dining room, complex, elegant pastas available by the half-order, notable Italian wine list."

Mastro's Steakhouse

600 13th St NW
Washington, DC 20005
202-347-1500

Steak


 

$$$$$
$46.67
 

★★

Poor Value

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★★

Poor Value

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Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
When Mastro's opened it's 13th location in DC, the city wasn't exactly starving for another steakhouse. But it has succeeded because it excels in all aspects of the genre, including superior meats and a glamorous ambience. It's also the rare chophouse that does as well with fish as it does beef, thanks to chef Rob Klink, who cooked for 10 years at DC’s Oceanaire Seafood Room. In keeping with the style, portions are huge — including sides and desserts. What's unique is that nearly everything is good.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
2 Stars (6/24/2016)
"… Mastro’s, part of a Houston-based collection of steakhouses, lacks the name recognition of its competitors. But it comes to the table with an arsenal of good ideas that set it apart from the herd. … You’re likely here for steak. The bulk of the corn-fed Midwestern beef is prime Holstein. New York strip is dense, delectable and, like all the cuts here, rubbed with garlic, onion, paprika and more before hitting the grill, where the tangy slab picks up a lovely char. Thick, juicy bone-in rib-eye is its primal equal, although the single best meat I’ve had at Mastro’s is the glossy, fist-size, powerfully delicious, one-pound veal chop. …" See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 

Washingtonian has not reviewed this restaurant.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Italic — Recommended
"Yeah, well, at this price it *better* be good (I haven't been, but how could it not be at least "very good?")."

Fogo de Chao

1101 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20004
202-347-4668

Brazilian
Steak

 

$$
$39.95
 

★★

Average Value

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★★

Average Value

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Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
This Brazilian steakhouse follows the familiar format of all-you-can eat meat served from long skewers and a giant salad bar to full you up beforehand. The difference is both that the meats here are a cut above the competition and that the salad bar is actually worth your time -and stomach.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
2 Stars (5/11/2016) — Spring 2016 Dining Guide
"“Some sirloin?” a server sporting a kerchief asks. You nod, and with the precision of a plastic surgeon, he carves a rosy ribbon of beef from a glistening slab. “Pork or chicken?” inquires one of his colleagues, similarly attired in puffy black pants. Agree to both proteins, and the fellow slides a plump little sausage and beer-marinated drumstick off twin swords. You have to hand it to this all-you-can-feast Brazilian steakhouse. The chain has the meat-and-service thing down pat. …" See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Unrated (10/13/2006)
"… The men in boots and scarves don't just serve you–they cook, too. Most are hardened vets, born into gaúcho families in southern Brazil, where life centers around cattle herding. The atmosphere at Fogo may be more sanitized, but the process isn't. The gaúchos still impale their cuts of pork, lamb, and beef on long metal rods, sprinkle them with rock salt, then expose them to a flame. …" See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
 
Don Rockwell does not recommend this restaurant.

Café du Parc

(Willard Hotel)
1401 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20005
202-942-7000

French


 

$$$
$28.45
 

★★

Poor Value

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★★

Poor Value

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Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Café du Parc has all of the charm of a train station and it's gotten far to expensive. But the classic French cooking is still solid, so it's a good place to know about when you're seeing a show or seeing the sights nearby. Be especially careful with the wine list where bargains are few.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
2.5 Stars (7/22/2007)
An outdated review by Tom Sietsema of Cafe du Parc from shortly after it opened. See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
2.5 Stars (1/25/2013) — 100 Very Best Restaurants 2013
"Antoine Westermann, a Paris-based chef with two other acclaimed restaurants to his name, oversees the kitchen (mostly from afar), and while the menu looks conventional, his charges handle it with finesse." See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Italic — Recommended
"An ugly bistro, a beautiful patio, good classic fare, the wine list has gone badly downhill."

Occidental Grill & Seafood

(Willard Hotel)
1475 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20004
202-783-1475

Steak
Seafood

 

$$$$
$37.11
 

★★

Poor Value

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★★

Poor Value

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Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
This bastion of Old Washington has been open in the same location for over a century. It features solid (but expensive) cooking in a historic setting.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Unrated (11/1/1996)
"A revival of one of Washington's revered historic restaurants, the new incarnation of the Occidental Grill by now has developed a comforting patina. Its walls are covered with photos of the celebrities of its early era, its booths are well-burnished dark wood, and its menu has a clubby feel, though appealingly updated. …" See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Unrated (11/12/2013)
"From the entrance lined with oil portraits of Presidents to the mirror-and-marble-bedecked bathrooms, this 107-year-old grill and seafood spot at the Willard hotel screams old-school Washington. There are better steakhouses in town but few as handsome—we love sinking into a burgundy booth at lunchtime, when the Occidental offers the straightforward preparations its kitchen does best. …" See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Italic — Recommended
"Open since 1906, long-time chef Rodney Scruggs is an underrated talent."

Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken

1308 G St NW
Washington, DC 20004
202-809-5565

Chicken
Doughnuts

 

$
$7.82
 

Cheap Eats
Exceptional Value

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Cheap Eats
Exceptional Value

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Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
As the name suggests, Astro serves basically two things: doughnuts and fried chicken, though the latter is available as pieces, wings, and sandwiches (including one served on an Old Bay doughnut). Washingtonian named its "fiery Sriracha-drenched wings" of its Best "Cheap Eats" 2014.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Unrated (Undated)
"The storefront shop offers 11 doughnuts and two types of fried chicken, in addition to a fried-chicken-and-doughnut sandwich, and sides." See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Unrated (6/1/2014) — Cheap Eats 2014
Washingtonian highlights the "[f]iery Sriracha-drenched wings at Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken" as one of its Best "Cheap Eats" 2014. See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
 
Don Rockwell does not recommend this restaurant.

Chop't Creative Salad Company

618 12th Street NW
Washington, DC 20005
202-783-0007

Salads
Wraps
Healthy
 

$
$9.99
 

Cheap Eats
Excellent Value

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Cheap Eats
Excellent Value

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Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
This small salad chain with locations in New York and DC is a great spot for a quick salad or salad wrap. You can make your own combination or select from a number of tasty pre-selected ones. And, with the calories posted on the menu and a good selection of "spa" dressings (all under 50 calories per serving), it's one of our picks for healthy "cheap eats."
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Unrated (11/18/2012)
The story about Chop’t highlights some of what we like about it: it’s healthy, fast, has a wide variety of ingredients to choose from, and offers a number of tasty combinations. But that's only half of what caught the reporter's eye. "The other half is the theater that comes with the salad assembly line." See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 

Washingtonian has not reviewed this restaurant.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
 
Don Rockwell has not reviewed this restaurant.
Ratings Guide:
★★★★ Extraordinary;  ★★★ Excellent;  ★★ Good;  ★ Average
All restaurants listed rate above-average or better. DCDiningGuide.com also includes a number of unrated local favorites, casual places, and other restaurants that we recommend if you’re in the neighborhood.
Price Guide:
$$$$$ Unlimited (>$45); $$$$ Very Expensive ($35-$45); $$$ Expensive ($25-$35); $$ Moderate ($15-$25); Inexpensive (<$15)
Price is based on the average cost of a dinner entree, which generally reflects a third of the cost of a full meal. Please note, however, that appetizer and beverage prices vary widely. Tasting menus are indicated with an asterisk (*).