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.