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Stolen Steaks!

Coming off the summer menu: Wild local striped bass with red wine-poached egg and champ potatoes (an Irish dish of Yukon Gold potatoes, butter, capers and parsley).

Coming on the fall menu: Game meats. By October, smoked squab with a potato and onion tart. Bison with Yorkshire pudding.

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Sleeper hit of the summer: Soft-shell crab and tuna tartare duo. "It's a hot and cold dish. The cold tuna tartare is served in a timbale with watermelon and yellow tomato ice, and the soft-shells are served hot and crispy on a bed of cucumber noodles. I wasn't sure people would like it, but it's really taken off."


Firefly, Dupont Circle

Best thing he ate this summer: The $24 lobster burger at Citronelle. "A bunch of friends and I ordered the tuna burger and the lobster burger. We drank a '93 Pommard. There was nothing not to love."

Coming off the summer menu: Cold pea soup. "It's water-based with onions, garlic, yogurt, curry oil and baby peas, all pureed. It's been selling so well, I'm reluctant to take it off."

Coming on the fall menu: Slow-cooked lamb stew. Portobello mushroom cacciatore for vegetarians. Vegetable and herb combinations for dessert, like tomato tart.

Sleeper hit of the summer: Truffle fries for $9.50. They're tossed with truffle oil, Parmesan and chives, and served with Thousand Island dressing made from scratch. "Never in my life did I think that one day I'd be selling $10 fries with Thousand Island dressing."

Customer story of the summer: "Our back room only fits 16, but this guy wanted to bring in a party of 30. So he made reservations under three different names and then, when the whole group wouldn't fit, he went around trying to get other customers to move."


Andale, Penn Quarter

Best thing she ate this summer: Turtle fudge from Rehoboth Beach, Del.

Coming on the fall menu: Salsa made from heirloom tomatoes and served with grilled fish.

Surprise hit of the summer: Carnitas. Boneless pork shoulder is slow-cooked until it's crispy and served with charro beans seasoned with bacon, tomatoes and garlic. "It's a big pile of meat. It's not a light, summer dish, but it just flies out of here."

Customer story of the summer: "During Restaurant Week, customers would come into the restaurant and expect burritos and chimichangas, which we don't make. We'd send them up the street to Austin Grill."


Nectar, Foggy Bottom

Best thing he ate this summer: The Ped Ka Pow (crispy duck in red basil sauce) from Basil Thai in Georgetown. "I have to have it every Monday when I'm off work. It's my reward for the week."

Coming off the summer menu: Chilled cucumber soup. "It's bright green, icy cold, with baby beets, yogurt and a touch of dill."

Coming on the fall menu: A return of last year's popular pumpkin soup with crispy sweetbreads and yogurt.

Surprise hit of the summer: Chunks of chilled crab tossed with ginger aioli, pickled ginger, fresh grapefruit and a little mustard oil. "It's like a refreshing, chilled salad. I can't keep enough of it on hand."

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