Editors' pick

Ripple

American
$$$$ ($25-$34)
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Editorial Review

One of the best food and wine pairings in the city: Marjorie Meek-Bradley and Danny Fisher. They’re the executive chef and wine director, respectively, at this cozy art statement across from the Uptown theater. You may be bored with bone marrow by now. Meek-Bradley makes the trend taste new, lining the crevice of the bone with her own bacon, brioche crumbs, chimichurri and fresno peppers. Pow. (And wow.) Summer squash stuffed with ricotta cheese and beet greens, brightened with orange zest and delivered with fluffy grains and a puddle of yogurt, reminds customers the chef used to cook at the Greek-themed Zaytinya. Potato gnocchi draped with duck ragu tastes like a dish she brought over from Graffiato, another restaurant on her résumé. Fisher, who also serves as the general manager at Ripple, ensures the drinking is as engaging as the cooking. His list, featuring mostly small producers, runs to 50 wines by the glass and more than 300 by the bottle. Fisher’s recommendations are anything but run-of-the-mill; of the white wines, he’s inclined to trot out Ilori, a blend of gros manseng and petit courbu from Domaine Brana in southwestern France, a producer Fisher has visited. There are fresh reasons to linger over dessert these days. Watch for sparks once the sugar-dusted hand pies filled with seasonal fruit and the butterscotch pudding showered with toffee bits land on the table. Cleveland Park suffered a blow when Palena went dark this year. Ripple, almost by itself, keeps the neighborhood relevant, and well-fed.

2013 Fall Dining Guide

2013 Fall Dining Guide
By Tom Sietsema
October 10, 2013

It would be easy just to drink dinner at this dashing attraction in Cleveland Park, where the sophisticated cocktails and carefully curated wine list elevate Ripple from the neighborhood-restaurant norm. Chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley makes you want to stick around for a meal. Plum sweetness on rich sweetbreads is countered with the pleasant sting of pickled turnips and stamps of corned veal heart (a great organ recital, if you catch my drift). Roasted squash with plump figs on a brushstroke of more squash makes an eye-catching salad. The chef's cioppino is a tamer version of what you'd find in San Francisco, although I like the smoky coins of andouille in the bowl. And blushing lamb gets welcome sidekicks of grilled Asian pear and caraway-laced red cabbage.

Desserts are more curious than cause for finishing every last crumb; cookies and milk (for real) are more satisfying than the fancier stuff.

Any wrinkle at Ripple is offset by its abundant pleasures, including an interior every bit as arty as what comes out of the kitchen.