The Washington Post

Tom Sietsema’s Spring Dining Guide by the numbers

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.

Tom Sietsema takes a fresh look at 13 restaurants he has previously reviewed

Somen noodles with pickled cherry blossoms, mountain vegetables and green beans at Makoto. (Joseph Victor Stefanchik for The Washington Post)

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.

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