This week, the Post's food critic released a baker's dozen of new star ratings in his annual Spring Dining Guide, which takes a second look at previously reviewed restaurants. The places you'll find included are definitely deep cuts from the archives, names that may not be on the tip of your tongue, but destinations worth knowing about -- or avoiding, as the case may be.
The list includes a bucolic farm setting that's a more budget-friendly way to have an Inn at Little Washington experience (and likely a shorter drive); a museum cafeteria on the Mall where the menu changes seasonally; a 25-seater that bans shorts, shoes, phone calls and excessive cologne or perfume; and a "sprawling zoo" of a restaurant that Sietsema calls a cross between the Cheesecake Factory, Taco Bell and spring break.
Let's go inside the ratings:
Highest: 3 (out of 4 stars) for Makoto
Lowest: 1/2 star for Lauriol Plaza (that aforementioned "zoo")
Biggest jump: Wit & Wisdom, up one star (to 2½) since it was reviewed in 2012
Biggest drop: Cubano's, down one star (to 1) since it was reviewed in 2003
Loudest: Al Tiramisu (91 decibels)
Quietest: Restaurant at Patowmack Farm (64 decibels)
Before you dive into the guide (which is just as pretty looking on your smartphone or tablet), watch this video about a museum cafeteria like none other. The video includes your best chance to get a glimpse of that man of mystery, Tom Sietsema.