When it rains it pours, but lucky for us, it's raining good news in D.C.! Bon Appétit just released their much-anticipated "Best New Restaurants" list, which includes 50 semi-finalists who will be narrowed down to the "Hot 10" winners on August 15. Last year, three D.C. institutions were included (The Dabney, Tail Up Goat and Bad Saint) before Bad Saint snagged the number two spot in the country and D.C. was named the "Restaurant City of the Year" by the magazine. And the tradition continues in 2017, with Himitsu, Pineapple & Pearls and Timber Pizza Company making the top 50 cut. It's worth noting that both Himitsu and Timber are Petworth neighbors on Upshur Street, and both Pineapple & Pearls and Himitsu were also recognized by the James Beard Foundation Awards, with Best New Restaurant finalist and Rising Star Chef of the Year semifinalist(Kevin Tian) nods respectively.
The restaurants are divided by region, and D.C. falls in the Mid-Atlantic category, along with other hot foodie destinations such as Philadelphia, Charleston and Nashville; Philly had two restaurants on the list, while Charleston and Nashville both had three. The Mid-Atlantic category was rounded out with one restaurant each from Raleigh, Louisville KY and Marietta GA. New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Portland each represented their regions with four restaurants making the list.
Read on to see what Bon Appétit has to say about all three of these D.C. darlings, including what the magazine recommends you order when you go!
A no-reservation D.C. spot that isn’t afraid of a little fermented spinach powder. GO HERE: for an imaginative Japanese-inspired meal that isn’t preoccupied with tradition. Yes, there’s a solid selection of nigiri and sashimi for those who want to play it safe, but we recommend heading for more unfamiliar territory—like uni paired with Alabama white sauce. ORDER THE: dishes that are denoted with emojis on the menu—those are co-owners Carlie Steiner and Kevin Tien’s current favorites. If the fried, shell-on shrimp are available, they’re the perfect salty-crispy snack to start off dinner.
The café slash fine-dining restaurant from the folks at Rose’s Luxury. GO HERE: for an unforgettable celebratory meal. Chef Aaron Silverman goes all out at his follow-up to Rose’s Luxury, our best new restaurant of 2014. He integrates the pitch-perfect hospitality his first spot is known for into a more structured tasting menu–only setting. You’ll feel like a VIP from the minute you’re greeted with a sparkling cocktail until the end of the night, as you’re sent home with an orange "Creamsicle" juice and house-made breakfast bar for the next morning. ORDER THE: tasting menu ($280 in dining room; $180 at bar). The meal traverses a staggering range of cooking styles—sweetbread tacos on made-in-house tortillas, a flawless French omelet, caviar-topped beef tartare—each matched with a thoughtful wine pairing. WINNER, WINNER: P&P doesn’t just serve dinner! Stop by in the morning for coffee and precious teacakes, or at lunch for the legendary fried chicken sandwich.
Your (dream) neighborhood pizza joint. GO HERE: for blistered, bubbly, farmers’-market-produce-laden pizzas fresh from the ripping hot wood-burning oven. What began as a roving food truck is now a fixture of D.C.’s Petworth scene, with Argentine chef Daniela Moreira at the helm. ORDER THE: Green Monster pie (fresh mozz and green things in season, such as zucchini and kale); the Julia (a salad’s worth of snow peas, asparagus, and pea-shoot pesto on a white pie); or, if you’re feeling more classic, the Pretty in Pepperoni (which still gets a bit of green, thanks to fresh basil). There’s one dessert—a gelato sundae topped with wood-fired cones—and, yes, you want it. SHARING ECONOMY: Order your pizza “half-and-half” so you can try double the toppings. THE VIBE IS: chill, laid-back, casual—the type of place you can drop into for a bite or hang all night at one of the communal tables, drinking red wine on tap or growlers of local 3 Stars IPA.