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Restaurant Guide: Best Restaurants in Washington, D.C.
 
 
B. Smith's
50 Massachusetts Avenue, NE
Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 289-6188
B. Smith's at Union Station features a combination of Cajun, Creole and Southern cuisine. Located in Washington, DC's Historic Union Station, B. Smith's grand Beaux Arts style dining room with its 30-foot ceilings, period chandeliers and turn of the century elegance, is a national landmark and has been called one of the most beautiful dining rooms in America. Executive Chef Rahman Harper's specialties of the house include Swamp Thing - a mixed seafood dish over southern style greens in a mustard based seafood sauce; Grilled Lamb Chops with mint-flavored au jus; Fried Green Tomatoes and Spicy Cajun Jambalaya. In it's own separate space, the bar at B. Smith's serves as a gathering place for Washington's political movers and shakers, celebrities and people who just want to have a good time. The restaurant features live, traditional jazz on Friday and Saturday nights as well as Sunday Brunch. Event planning is our specialty, Catering facilities are available for 12 to 500 people.
 
Michel Richard Citronelle
3000 M Street NW
Washington, D.C.
Phone: (202) 625-2150



Michel Richard thrives on change: Having started as a pastry chef in France, flourished as a chef in California, and experienced the trials of running a geographically dispersed restaurant chain, he has now settled into the glass-fronted kitchen of Georgetown's most ambitious restaurant. Roasted peppers may sound run-of-the-mill, but are not when they shimmer in a near-vaporous tomato basil oil. Foie gras seems new again when Richard presents it as a tartare, sandwiched with raw tuna, or nestled in a buttery mound of whipped potatoes (Richard is a potato magician, as his fans know). The menu is a roster of witticisms — shellfish fried into airy porcupines, "risottos" made of potatoes or apples, even a regal incarnation of a Kit Kat for dessert. Citronelle may not be the château Richard deserves: The toned-down California-hip hotel dining room comes complete with a color-changing "mood wall" and a waitstaff that oscillates between doting and snippy. The wine list tends toward grandeur, as do its prices, so be sure to consult with the sommelier. And don't be afraid to set aside the menu and ask Richard to surprise you. He will.
 
 

Obelisk
2029 P Street NW
Washington, D.C.
Phone: (202) 872-1180

Life is soothingly uncomplicated at Obelisk. In the dining room, a few tables surround a display of breads, cheeses, and a trove of grappas. The atmosphere is warm and personal, with quietly intelligent service. The menu is fixed-price, and there are only three courses — each with no more than four choices — before cheese and dessert. And the preparation is so pure that you wonder whether any of the dishes has more than four ingredients. There's antipasto — maybe stuffed squid, or spring's first asparagus, with a poached egg to transform the butter into a sauce. The pasta course is always the highlight: Peter Pastan's delicate ravioli — stuffed with the likes of fresh cod or bitter greens — and ribbons of noodle, dressed with baby peas, perhaps, or woodsy wild mushrooms. Main dishes include game or fowl — venison, roasted squab — and at least one pristine fish, accompanied by artichokes, morels, or some other sautéed elegance. Then there's a craggy parmesan as an excuse for more of Obelisk's memorable house-made bread, and a rustic seasonal fruit tart, maybe a custard, or biscotti with vin santo. This is what Italians mean by cooking. And this is what happens when a restaurant knows exactly how much is enough.
  


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