West End Restaurants

Rasika West End

1190 New Hampshire Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20037
202-466-2500

Indian


 

$$$
$26.00
 

★★★½

Good Value

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★★★½

Good Value

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Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Legendary DC restaurateur Ashok Bajaj now boasts two Rasika's. Although he works at the flagship Penn Quarter location, chef Vikram Sunderam also oversees the kitchen in the West End. However, it's far from a carbon copy. Although there is a good deal of carryover on the menu, the West End location looks completely different and is a bit more conservative in its preparations. It's also much easier to get into, though its location next to the Ritz Carlton means there's no shortage of celebrity sightings.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
3.5 Stars (10/7/2015) — Fall Dining Guide 2015 [2]
"Ashok Bajaj runs the two best modern Indian restaurants in the country, … Rasika in Penn Quarter and the younger Rasika West End. … Dozens of meals in both restaurants over the years show Rasika West End to be the airier and more playful of the siblings, with food that almost reaches the heights of the first. My first choice for Sunday mornings turns weekday lunch into something special with a sublime patty of foie gras and smoked lamb (notice rose petals in the seasoning?) and red snapper, gilded with a warm-spiced coconut sauce and bedded on rice vermicelli." See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
No. 5 (2/8/2016) — 100 Very Best Restaurants 2016
"Restaurateur Ashok Bajaj and chef Vikram Sunderam have been repeatedly solicited to bring Rasika to New York and other dining-destination cities. Though Bajaj has no plans to expand outside of DC—he prefers to make daily rounds to his eight restaurants—it’s a testament to how special the Indian restaurant remains ten years into existence, not only in Washington but also on a national stage. Sunderam, who garnered his first James Beard Award in 2014 for best chef in the Mid-Atlantic, continues to helm the kitchens of the Penn Quarter original and younger West End sibling with a consistency and creativity that are rare. …" See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Italic — Recommended
"Modern Indian cuisine served in vibrant, modern settings; ambitious recipes, a recent meal was superb, even the paratha and raita, get the tandoori trout. The new location is a tough reservation, but you can often find a seat at the bar."

Marcel’s

2401 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20037
202-296-1166

French


 

$$$$
$90.00*
 

★★★

Average Value

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★★★

Average Value

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Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Chef Robert Weidmaier's formal French restaurant is one of the last, and best, examples of the bygone era of "fine dining" in DC. Chef de Cuisine Paul Stearman oversees the kitchen, which offers a seasonal prix fixe menu at four price points: four ($90), five ($110), six ($130), and seven ($150) courses. Marcel's also offers a three course ($65) pre-theater menu before 6:30, with free car service to the Kennedy Center. No matter which you choose, you'll be treated like a VIP, with the same refined, gracious service Marcel's is famous for.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
3 Stars (10/7/2015) — Fall Dining Guide 2015
"For romance and fancy food, the Washington restaurant that comes closest to the allure of the legendary Inn at Little Washington in Virginia is this dreamboat of a French dining room from longtime restaurateur Robert Wiedmaier. The lighting in the vaulted oasis is golden, its music a grace note that never intrudes. The ceramics are as divine as the food, and the servers may be better dressed than you. … [M]y only regret is that Marcel’s doesn’t have closer competition." See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
No. 20 (2/8/2016) — 100 Very Best Restaurants 2016
"At this hushed, dove-gray dining room—which last year underwent a $350,000 facelift—the solemn-toned servers wear black suits, not Chucks, and the maître d’ and team of captains make sure everything runs smoothly. It might feel like food church to some diners, but not to those who mourn a time when patrons still dressed for dinner. Chef Robert Wiedmaier’s menu honors canonical French preparations—a stunning veal-and-pheasant sausage is his signature—yet stays attuned to the culinary times …" See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Bold — Superlative
"Refined classic cooking, superior wine list, beautiful linens, Marcel's has some of the finest service you'll ever experience."

Blue Duck Tavern

(Park Hyatt)
1201 24th St. NW
Washington, DC 20037
202-419-6755

American


 

$$$
$27.92
 

★★★

Average Value

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★★★

Average Value

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Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Some were worried about the loss of chef Sebastien Archambault at this locally-inspired restaurant in the Park Hyatt hotel. But under his replacements, executive chef Ryan LaRoche and chef de cuisine Brad Deboy, it's as good as ever.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
3 Stars (5/13/2015) — 2015 Spring Dining Guide
"Ryan LaRoche slipped into some big clogs when he replaced Sebastien Archambault in this warm-in-wood dining room with the visible kitchen in the Park Hyatt. My meals shortly after the newcomer’s September arrival from Chicago, where he cooked at the trendy NoMi Kitchen, tasted as if LaRoche were playing it safe. But as winter segued to spring, he unleashed some bright ideas while staying true to the rustic American theme. ..." See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
No. 17 (2/8/2016) — 100 Very Best Restaurants 2016
"How does a decade-old farm-to-table restaurant still feel exciting when tavern-chic concepts abound and bone marrow feels about as edgy as a kale Caesar? It recruits fresh talent, as this Park Hyatt dining room did last year. Chef Franck Loquet and pastry chef David Collier have taken on the kitchen with vigor. The marrow—on the menu since day one—now arrives crusted with everything-bagel seasoning that complements the unctuous center, while Collier’s 'Nutella breakfast' dessert transports us to a dreamy weekend morning. …" See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
 
"Recent loss of chef Sebastien Archambault gives Blue Duck Tavern a tentative downgrade."

Westend Bistro

(Ritz Carlton)
1120 22nd Street NW
Washington, DC 20037
202-974-5566

American


 

$$$
$27.17
 

★★

Average Value

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★★

Average Value

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Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Westend was once the local outpost for Eric Ripert, but severed ties with the superstar chef in 2013. Even without the big name, it flourished under chef Devin Bozkaya, until he too left in March. Now under chef Adam Barnett, the American menu has a faint Mediterranean accent, with offerings that aim to please nearly every taste. The critics have yet to weigh in on Barnett's work, so we caution that the current rating may not be accurate.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
2.5 Stars (11/11/2012)
"Some of the most enticing food of the season is heating up in a five-year-old hotel restaurant whose name trumpets an out-of-town matinee idol. Haven’t dropped by Westend Bistro by Eric Ripert in a while? Or ever? Right this second is the time to book a table. The moody dining room in the Ritz-Carlton is worth your attention again, and credit goes foremost to a new face in the kitchen, Devin Bozkaya. A former sous-chef at the four-star Inn at Little Washington, Bozkaya most recently steered the Blue Rock Inn nearby. Since his arrival in Big Washington in September, he has turned a venue that was cooking by rote much of the past year into a place that his mentor in New York, Ripert of the four-star Le Bernardin, should be happy to lend his signature." See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
No. 96 (1/8/2015) — 100 Very Best Restaurants 2015
"Salmon cooked to a tender medium. Plump mussels. Fish seared so perfectly the skin crackles. These are a few things seafood lovers seek out...at this Ritz-Carlton restaurant, which has maintained a steady affiliation with the sea even after chef Eric Ripert of Le Bernardin fame ended his relationship with the place. Chef Adam Barnett has kept two worthy Ripert signatures on the menu—the fish burger and the tuna carpaccio dressed in olive oil and lemon—but it’s his seasonal creations ... that really shine. And meat lovers can eat just as well with bistro dishes such as a thick pork chop roasted with smoked-honey jus." See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Italic — Recommended
"It has been too long since I've been to Westend Bistro, but everything I'm hearing is positive."

Ris

2275 L St. NW
Washington, DC 20037
202-730-2500

American


 

$$$
$28.22
 

★★

Average Value

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★★

Average Value

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Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Chef Ris Lacoste made a name for herself at the venerable 1789 in Georgetown. Her West End restaurant has much of the same refinement, but is a far more personal statement. It's a great place to go when you want a quieter atmosphere. In addition to the regular menu, there's also a small, fun, menu each day featuring the cuisine of a different country.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
2 Stars (5/13/2015) — 2015 Spring Dining Guide
"When Ris Lacoste rolled out her eponymous restaurant five years ago, the veteran chef promised a neighborhood restaurant that would be both rustic and elegant. She continues to make good on her word in a West End dining room that shares its building with the Residences at the Ritz-Carlton; Ris’s menu embraces cheeseburgers and crab cakes fancied up with sliced kumquats. ..." See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
No. 91 (1/8/2015) — 100 Very Best Restaurants 2015
"Ris Lacoste eschews the hallmarks of the 21st-century restaurant interior...in favor of bouquets of flowers and a room in which you can actually hear. Her menu resists change, too, and we appreciate that she's got the confidence to not mess with proven hits just for innovation’s sake. Lacoste excels with bistro classics—Julia Child was a friend, and you can sense her influence. We gladly return for the textbook onion soup, pot of mussels, and freshly ground cheeseburger. So, too, anything with a New England bent, whether fried scallops with slaw or an Italian grinder with pickled peppers, among the many worthy specials at the bar." See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Italic — Recommended
"A classic example of a restaurant that needed to "settle in," Ris LaCoste has a very refined palate, and Ris being excellent was just a matter of time."

Sweetgreen

2238 M St NW
Washington, DC 20037
202-629-2100

Salads
Healthy

 

$
$9.90
 

Cheap Eats
Excellent Value

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Cheap Eats
Excellent Value

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Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
This rapidly-expanding local chain with locations in the DC area, New York, Philadelphia, and Boston, offers healthy, good-quality salads. With its emphasis on fresh, local ingredients and calories posted on the menu, it's one of our picks for healthy "cheap eats."
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 

The Washington Post has not reviewed this restaurant.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Unrated (12/1/2007)
The last word from Washingtonian is this badly outdated review of the original Georgetown location. The chain has expanded up the East Coast and hosts a yearly music festival. But it still follows the same basic format: salads and yogurt, featuring local ingredients and numerous toppings. See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
 
Don Rockwell does not recommend 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 (*).