1050 Connecticut Ave. NW. 833-3846. L price-fixe $22 (4 courses) or $28 (5 courses), D price-fixe $50 (5 courses) or $68 (6 courses). L Daily ex Sat. D daily. Closed Sun. AE, CB, C, DC, MC, V. Res req. Valet parking. Full bar.

An ever-changing light, from the full blaze of noonday to the twinkle of night, pours into an art gallery on the mezzanine level of the new Washington Square building, but the art is on the plates rather than the walls. It is art that changes like the light, performing art rather than museum art, with owner-master chef Yannick Cam in the kitchen and his wife Janet Cam greeting patrons at the door. The menu is different every day, so prepare yourself for a delicate meal of constant surprises rather than a particular dish. The ambrosial portions are often small (too small, some say), but the meal is a medley, building course by course, contrast by contrast, to an almost invariably triumphant conclusion in Cam's desserts, which are better than ever. A full dinner with wine, tax and tip is likely to cost $80 or more a person, but what you will have bought will almost surely be an unforgettable occasion.