2015 Fall Dining Guide

Tom Sietsema says the bar is set higher this year, and so are his expectations.

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Masseria's courtyard is a gateway to one of the city's best -- new or otherwise -- dining experiences. (Dixie D. Vereen/For The Washington Post)
Masseria's courtyard is a gateway to one of the city's best -- new or otherwise -- dining experiences. (Dixie D. Vereen/For The Washington Post)

If you blinked this year, you probably missed a restaurant opening.


In the 15 years I’ve been covering the Washington dining scene for The Post, I can’t recall a time when so many newcomers popped up, and restaurants in general tried so hard. Not every idea is a good one, of course. As such, my 16th annual Fall Dining Guide is a celebration of the scene, not a collection of also­-rans.


As a sign of just how much the landscape has changed, my Top 10 favorites this year carry over only four restaurants from last fall’s guide. See which established players are pushing themselves to new heights, and which newcomers are making an early impact.

Chef Aaron Silverman’s no-reservations dining room dares you to eat differently.
It’s difficult to separate Ashok Bajaj’s superlative Indian dining rooms, which share the No. 2 slot.
The more airy and playful of Ashok Bajaj’s twin restaurants -- which share the No. 2 slot -- has a few special talents of its own.
One of the best newcomers in the city still feels like a secret.
The surroundings are tony, but Patrick O’Connell’s retreat bursts with levity.
Michael Schlow’s follow-up to Tico is a glamorous hotel supper club.
Chef Rob Weland has given Capitol Hill another true dining destination.
If you’ve only ordered the excellent sandwiches here, you’re missing a standout feast.
Frank Ruta’s kitchen is producing some of the most sophisticated plates in the region.
Nick Palermo, a veteran of the Old Angler's Inn, is running the kitchen with confidence.
A salad for lunch? You won’t mind at José Andrés’s fast-casual eatery.
It won’t win any design awards, but take one bite of Bete’s kitfo and you won’t care.
Chef George Vetsch has reinvigorated the menu at the cozy Georgetown retreat.
Mark Furstenberg’s Van Ness storefront has more to offer than baked goods.
The chartreuse-colored bar lets you drink as well as you graze.
The Vienna kitchen shines under chefs Jonathan Krinn and Jason Maddens.
Mayra Lopez’s kitchen produces fare that is both homey and impressive.
Chef Robert Sonderman’s smoker keeps turning out top-tier brisket and other meats.
It’s a pleasure to watch chef Hiroshi Seki work behind the sushi counter.
The siren songs are plentiful in this sunny, seafood-focused Ballston eatery.
The cheery 60-seat storefront offers guests a taste of hospitality from two cultures.
Robert Wiedmaier’s West End dining room has few close competitors in the city.
2 stars | Restaurant Eve veterans Jeremy and Michelle Hoffman have set out on their own.
2 stars | The Filipino restaurant is helping the city develop a taste for a challenging cuisine.
2 stars | Chef Andrea Pace’s creations are worth whatever obstacles a diner may encounter.
3 stars | Chef Scott Muns has continued with Bryan Voltaggio began in 2008.
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