Time to dish: What are D.C.’s 40 essential eats?

#40eats

It's been a year since we discussed the Washington area's 40 essential eats, those must-eat dishes for every local, tourist and transient Hill staffer attempting to conquer Washington's dining scene.

But the time has come to revisit the entrees, appetizers and the odd milkshake that made the list, with an eye toward the dozens of new restaurants and food trends that defined 2012.

So tell us: Where have you found the most addictive pork bun, mind-blowing Brussels sprouts or -- if you absolutely must -- healthiest green juice of the past year? Which new restaurants turned out must-try dishes? Which old favorites continued to wow you?

Leave out none of the finger-licking details and we might use your pick in the upcoming list. Make your nomination in the comments, by e-mail, on Twitter at @goingoutguide (#40eats) or Facebook. Just make sure we can reach you if necessary.

To spark your inspiration, look over a few of our caloric obsessions from 2012:


Forest Gnocchi at Ambar features globules of ‘gnocchi’ formed from chocolate mousse, bitter orange cake, orange gelee and tarragon cream atop a layer of salted ground chocolate, covered in a passion fruit espuma with black tea sauce.  (Goran Kosanovic)

The Costanza Burger at Kangaroo Boxing Club is made from a blend of Angus beef and smoked pastrami. Too much of a good thing? Naw. (Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post)

The tacos de aguacate at Tacos El Chilango are crispy, thanks to cheese crisped on the griddle, yet creamy with cool avocado. (Lavanya Ramanathan/The Washington Post)

The fiery Khao Tod (crispy rice with mint and peanuts) at Little Serow has us reaching for another bite, and then the water glass. (Joseph Victor Stefanchik for The Washington Post)

The Elote Callejero at El Chucho:  Charred to perfection, slathered in a brown butter aioli and sprinkled with cotija cheese and cilantro. (Lavanya Ramanathan/for the Washington Post)
Lavanya Ramanathan is a professional eater/drinker/thinker for Weekend and the Going Out Guide. University of Texas. Northwestern University. Rap fan.
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Alex Baldinger | January 25, 2013