2018 Spring Dining Guide

With so many new restaurants in D.C., who can keep up? Tom Sietsema reviews 30 places that opened in the last year, including his top 10.

Angel eggs at Little Pearl. (Deb Lindsey /For The Washington Post)
Angel eggs at Little Pearl. (Deb Lindsey /For The Washington Post)

Washington’s crush of new places to eat, in almost every neighborhood, is an embarrassment of riches. That’s why this spring, rather than revisiting old restaurants, we are celebrating only those destinations that have opened in the past year.

Not every fresh face is toast-worthy. (An obvious contender, Requin from Mike Isabella, was dropped from consideration when the restaurateur was sued for alleged sexual harassment and his chef left last month.)

That still leaves a lot to celebrate. My Top 10 list alone includes a mouthwatering tavern, two all-day cafes and a game-changing, plant-focused destination. 

My advice: Strap on the feed bag and eat up the scene.

An all-star cast serves stellar breads, pastries and plates in the former Heller’s Bakery.
There are no animal products in sight, but eaters of all stripes will love Richard Landau’s cooking.
The Trabocchis take their luxurious cooking, decor and service to the Wharf.
Baltimore star Spike Gjerde opens his first D.C. restaurant in the Line hotel.
It’s the easiest way yet to experience the genius of Aaron Silverman.
With her second place, Rose Previte proves she’s got the magic touch.
After years of working for others, Haidar Karoum opens his own place in Navy Yard.
David Deshaies serves killer breakfast sandwiches by day and elevated comfort food by night.
The ground-floor bar below the formal steakhouse is the place for moderately priced fun.
Crab cakes, coddies and ham biscuits that hit the mark make every night homecoming in College Park.
Generous portions and excellent bread make Jeff Black’s restaurant a Montgomery County standout.
Go heavy on the fine appetizers at this Loudoun County restaurant.
District Winery’s restaurant is now serving made-in-D.C. rosé.
The venture from Ashok Bajaj packs in more than the Cleveland Park original.
Omar Masroor and his family serve Afghani food with a side of warm hospitality.
For inventive food on 14th Street, book a seat at Ryan Ratino’s spot.
Erik Bruner-Yang fills the Line hotel lobby with whimsical food and drinks.
In the space that once housed Vidalia, Hamilton Johnson shows off his technique.
The waterfront seafood spot comes from the team behind Restaurant Eve.
Cathal Armstrong showcases Filipino, Thai and Korean dishes at the Wharf.
The Penn Quarter dining room ups the drama.
Missteps are holding back Kwame Onwuachi’s restaurant.
New York chef Roberto Santibañez brings great margaritas, enchiladas and more to the Wharf.
The intimate Mount Pleasant haunt excels in the personal touch.
It’s a looker of a wine bar, with food, drink and service to match.
Don’t pass up the dumplings, chops and roasts at this Alexandria newcomer.
Restaurateur Ashok Bajaj’s latest spotlights the flavors of the Middle East in Cleveland Park.
Chef John Critchley gets to strut his stuff in the Darcy hotel.
In a former fire station, Peter Prime cooks the food of his native Trinidad.
This taste of Georgian food and wines doesn’t quite measure up to memory.
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