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Tom Sietsema's 10th Dining Guide October 2009

Meals & Memories

Tom Sietsema looks back at a decade in Washington dining and shares his 50 current favorites.

Live Chat: Ask Tom

Sietsema dished about the guide in a live discussion on Oct. 21.

 
 

Browse The Guide

Afghan
Falls Church, VA
2 Stars
$
Belgian
Washington, DC
2 1/2 Stars
$$
Burmese-Chinese
Gaithersburg, MD
2 1/2 Stars
$
Chinese
Rockville, MD
2 Stars
$
Cuban
Burtonsville, MD
2 Stars
$
Contemporary American
Rockville, MD
2 Stars
$$
Washington, DC
4 Stars
$$$$
Washington, DC
3 Stars
$$$
Washington, DC
2 1/2 Stars
$$
Arlington, VA
2 1/2 Stars
$$
Washington, VA
4 Stars
$$$$
Washington, DC
2 1/2 Stars
$$$$
Washington, DC
4 Stars
$$$$
Washington, DC
3 1/2 Stars
$$$$
Washington, DC
2 1/2 Stars
$$$
Washington, DC
3 Stars
$$$
Alexandria, VA
4 Stars
$$$$
Washington, DC
2 1/2 Stars
$$$
Clifton, VA
2 1/2 Stars
$$$
Falls Church, VA
3 1/2 Stars
$$$
Frederick, MD
3 Stars
$$$$
Washington, DC
2 1/2 Stars
$$$
Ethiopian
Washington, DC
2 Stars
$
French
Woodbridge, VA
2 1/2 Stars
$$
Washington, DC
3 Stars
$$$
Washington, DC
3 Stars
$$$$
Washington, DC
3 1/2 Stars
$$$$
German
Hagerstown, MD
2 Stars
$$
Greek
Washington, DC
3 Stars
$$
Indian
Washington, DC
2 1/2 Stars
$$
Washington, DC
4 Stars
$$
Italian
Washington, DC
3 Stars
$$$$
Washington, DC
3 Stars
$$$$
Japanese
Washington, DC
3 Stars
$$$$
Korean
Annandale, VA
2 1/2 Stars
$$
Mediterranean
Washington, DC
2 1/2 Stars
$$
Mexican
Washington, DC
2 1/2 Stars
$$
Pakistani-Indian
Silver Spring, MD
2 Stars
$
Pan-Asian
Washington, DC
3 Stars
$$$
Peruvian
Rockville, MD
2 1/2 Stars
$$
Pizza
Washington, DC
2 1/2 Stars
$
Washington, DC
2 1/2 Stars
$
Portuguese
Chevy Chase, MD
2 Stars
$$
Spanish
Arlington, Bethesda and Washington
3 Stars
$$
Steak
Arlington, VA
2 1/2 Stars
$$
Thai
Wheaton, MD
2 1/2 Stars
$
Traditional American
Fairfax, VA
2 Stars
$$
Washington, DC
2 Stars
$
Vietnamese
Falls Church, VA
2 1/2 Stars
$
Falls Church, VA
3 Stars
$
Browse by Map
Alexandria, VA
Contemporary American
4 Stars
$$$$
Annandale, VA
Korean
2 1/2 Stars
$$
Arlington, VA
Contemporary American
2 1/2 Stars
$$
Spanish
3 Stars
$$
Steak
2 1/2 Stars
$$
Bethesda, MD
Spanish
3 Stars
$$
Burtonsville, MD
Cuban
2 Stars
$
Chevy Chase, MD
Portuguese
2 Stars
$$
Clifton, VA
Contemporary American
2 1/2 Stars
$$$
Fairfax, VA
Traditional American
2 Stars
$$
Falls Church, VA
Afghan
2 Stars
$
Vietnamese
2 1/2 Stars
$
Vietnamese
3 Stars
$
Contemporary American
3 1/2 Stars
$$$
Frederick, MD
Contemporary American
3 Stars
$$$$
Gaithersburg, MD
Burmese-Chinese
2 1/2 Stars
$
Hagerstown, MD
German
2 Stars
$$
Rockville, MD
Contemporary American
2 Stars
$$
Peruvian
2 1/2 Stars
$$
Chinese
2 Stars
$
Silver Spring, MD
Pakistani-Indian
2 Stars
$
Washington, VA
Contemporary American
4 Stars
$$$$
Washington, DC
Indian
2 1/2 Stars
$$
Traditional American
2 Stars
$
Contemporary American
4 Stars
$$$$
Pizza
2 1/2 Stars
$
Contemporary American
3 Stars
$$$
Contemporary American
2 1/2 Stars
$$
Ethiopian
2 Stars
$
Belgian
2 1/2 Stars
$$
Contemporary American
2 1/2 Stars
$$$$
Spanish
3 Stars
$$
Contemporary American
4 Stars
$$$$
French
3 Stars
$$$$
Contemporary American
3 1/2 Stars
$$$$
Italian
3 Stars
$$$$
Mexican
2 1/2 Stars
$$
Italian
3 Stars
$$$$
Contemporary American
2 1/2 Stars
$$$
Contemporary American
3 Stars
$$$
Indian
4 Stars
$$
Mediterranean
2 1/2 Stars
$$
Pan-Asian
3 Stars
$$$
Japanese
3 Stars
$$$$
Contemporary American
2 1/2 Stars
$$$
Pizza
2 1/2 Stars
$
Contemporary American
2 1/2 Stars
$$$
Greek
3 Stars
$$
Wheaton, MD
Thai
2 1/2 Stars
$
Woodbridge, VA
French
2 1/2 Stars
$$
4 Stars
Washington, DC
$$$$
4 Stars
Washington, VA
$$$$
4 Stars
Washington, DC
$$$$
4 Stars
Washington, DC
$$
4 Stars
Alexandria, VA
$$$$
4 Stars
3½ Stars
Washington, DC
$$$$
3 1/2 Stars
Washington, DC
$$$$
3 1/2 Stars
Falls Church, VA
$$$
3 1/2 Stars
3 Stars
Washington, DC
$$$
3 Stars
Washington, DC
$$$
3 Stars
Arlington, Bethesda and Washington
$$
3 Stars
Washington, DC
$$$$
3 Stars
Washington, DC
$$$$
3 Stars
Washington, DC
$$$$
3 Stars
Falls Church, VA
$
3 Stars
Washington, DC
$$$
3 Stars
Washington, DC
$$$
3 Stars
Washington, DC
$$$$
3 Stars
Frederick, MD
$$$$
3 Stars
Washington, DC
$$
3 Stars
2½ Stars
Woodbridge, VA
$$
2 1/2 Stars
Washington, DC
$$
2 1/2 Stars
Gaithersburg, MD
$
2 1/2 Stars
Washington, DC
$
2 1/2 Stars
Washington, DC
$$
2 1/2 Stars
Washington, DC
$$
2 1/2 Stars
Arlington, VA
$$
2 1/2 Stars
Falls Church, VA
$
2 1/2 Stars
Annandale, VA
$$
2 1/2 Stars
Washington, DC
$$$$
2 1/2 Stars
Rockville, MD
$$
2 1/2 Stars
Washington, DC
$$
2 1/2 Stars
Washington, DC
$$$
2 1/2 Stars
Arlington, VA
$$
2 1/2 Stars
Wheaton, MD
$
2 1/2 Stars
Washington, DC
$$
2 1/2 Stars
Washington, DC
$$$
2 1/2 Stars
Clifton, VA
$$$
2 1/2 Stars
Washington, DC
$
2 1/2 Stars
Washington, DC
$$$
2 1/2 Stars
2 Stars
Rockville, MD
$$
2 Stars
Fairfax, VA
$$
2 Stars
Falls Church, VA
$
2 Stars
Washington, DC
$
2 Stars
Burtonsville, MD
$
2 Stars
Washington, DC
$
2 Stars
Silver Spring, MD
$
2 Stars
Rockville, MD
$
2 Stars
Hagerstown, MD
$$
2 Stars
Chevy Chase, MD
$$
2 Stars
Washington, DC
4 Stars
$$$$
Washington, VA
4 Stars
$$$$
Washington, DC
2 1/2 Stars
$$$$
Washington, DC
4 Stars
$$$$
Washington, DC
3 Stars
$$$$
Washington, DC
3 1/2 Stars
$$$$
Washington, DC
3 1/2 Stars
$$$$
Washington, DC
3 Stars
$$$$
Washington, DC
3 Stars
$$$$
Alexandria, VA
4 Stars
$$$$
Washington, DC
3 Stars
$$$$
Frederick, MD
3 Stars
$$$$
Washington, DC
3 Stars
$$$
Washington, DC
3 Stars
$$$
Washington, DC
2 1/2 Stars
$$$
Washington, DC
3 Stars
$$$
Washington, DC
3 Stars
$$$
Washington, DC
2 1/2 Stars
$$$
Clifton, VA
2 1/2 Stars
$$$
Falls Church, VA
3 1/2 Stars
$$$
Washington, DC
2 1/2 Stars
$$$
Rockville, MD
2 Stars
$$
Fairfax, VA
2 Stars
$$
Woodbridge, VA
2 1/2 Stars
$$
Washington, DC
2 1/2 Stars
$$
Washington, DC
2 1/2 Stars
$$
Washington, DC
2 1/2 Stars
$$
Arlington, VA
2 1/2 Stars
$$
Annandale, VA
2 1/2 Stars
$$
Arlington, Bethesda and Washington
3 Stars
$$
Rockville, MD
2 1/2 Stars
$$
Washington, DC
2 1/2 Stars
$$
Washington, DC
4 Stars
$$
Arlington, VA
2 1/2 Stars
$$
Hagerstown, MD
2 Stars
$$
Washington, DC
2 1/2 Stars
$$
Chevy Chase, MD
2 Stars
$$
Washington, DC
3 Stars
$$
Falls Church, VA
2 Stars
$
Gaithersburg, MD
2 1/2 Stars
$
Washington, DC
2 Stars
$
Washington, DC
2 1/2 Stars
$
Burtonsville, MD
2 Stars
$
Washington, DC
2 Stars
$
Falls Church, VA
2 1/2 Stars
$
Silver Spring, MD
2 Stars
$
Rockville, MD
2 Stars
$
Falls Church, VA
3 Stars
$
Wheaton, MD
2 1/2 Stars
$
Washington, DC
2 1/2 Stars
$

A Look Back at a Decade of Dining

2000

Dining Guide theme: Where I Spend My Own Money

IN THE NEWS
Phyllis C. Richman retires in May after nearly 24 years of reviewing restaurants.
Her replacement introduces himself via a review of a Washington classic, the Prime Rib. (Read the full review.)
Former White House associates Frank Ruta and Ann Amernick open Palena in Cleveland Park.

2001

Dining Guide theme: Where to Find the Best (Fill-in-the-Blank)

IN THE NEWS
Maestro sets sail in the Ritz-Carlton in Tysons Corner.
Chef Jean-Louis Palladin, the visionary behind Jean-Louis at the Watergate, dies at 55. (Read Tom Sietsema's appreciation of Jean-Louis.)
Two Amys opens, raising the bar for local pizza purveyors.

2002

Dining Guide theme: A Restaurant for Every Week of the Year

IN THE NEWS
Wazuri opens in Dupont Circle, adding a sophisticated African accent to the scene.
Lobbyist Jack Abramoff launches Signatures, where he mixes business with (ahem) monkey business.
Jonathan Krinn, his bread-baking father and a dazzling dining room entice food lovers to Falls Church and 2941 restaurant.

2003

Dining Guide theme: An Introduction to Star Ratings

IN THE NEWS
José Andrés surprises patrons with Altoids on fish and syringes as utensils at the experimental Minibar in Cafe Atlantico.
Nectar opens to great applause near the Kennedy Center.
A 24-year-old unknown, Johnny Monis, opens Komi in Dupont Circle.

2004

Dining Guide theme: My Little Black Book/Restaurant Secrets Revealed

IN THE NEWS
Restaurant Eve, two dining rooms under one roof, debuts in Old Town.
Eric Ziebold leaves Napa Valley and the French Laundry for Southwest Washington and CityZen.
The movie "Sideways" sends sales of pinot noir skyrocketing.

2005

Dining Guide theme: In the Mood for (Romance, Tradition, Bargains, etc.)

IN THE NEWS
W Domku Bar & Cafe dishes out Scandinavian and Eastern European flavors in Petworth.
Rock Creek tries to get diners to eat healthfully with "conscious cuisine" in Bethesda.
The debut of Hank's Oyster Bar ups the food ante on 17th Street NW.

2006

Dining Guide theme: State of the Plate/Washington Emerges as a Top-Tier Food Town

IN THE NEWS
Todd Thrasher, one of the country's foremost bar chefs, starts shaking and stirring at PX, a speakeasy in Old Town.
Johnny's Half Shell leaves Dupont Circle for Capitol Hill and much larger digs.
In Georgetown, Birreria Paradiso gives beer the status of wine.

2007

Dining Guide theme: Monumental Tastes/50 Compelling Restaurants

IN THE NEWS
Michel Richard opens a bistro, Central Michel Richard.
Robert Wiedmaier opens a brasserie, the Belgian-themed Beck.
Previously restaurant-poor, the Atlas District, Columbia Heights and Logan Circle become neighborhoods to watch for food.

2008

Dining Guide theme: Where to Eat Now/Sure Bets in Tough Times

IN THE NEWS
Ray's Hell-Burger lights up its grill in Arlington.
Superstar chef Alain Ducasse opens Adour at the St. Regis.
Sound ratings are added to restaurant reviews in the Magazine.

2009

Dining Guide theme: Tom's 10th Anniversary Issue

IN THE NEWS
Sushi Taro removes seats, hikes prices and starts serving the best Japanese food in town.
Sign of the times: The pricey Le Paradou closes.
Roberto Donna announces plans to open Galileo III downtown.
RATINGS CODE: A Guide to Tom Sietsema's Star Ratings and Decibel Levels
WEB EDITOR: Julia Beizer, DESIGNER: Noel Smart - The Washington Post