♦ READ: Tom Sietsema's Fall Dining Guide 2013

The big news about Tom Sietsema’s Fall Dining Guide 2013 is how new it is. The Post’s food critic points out that only 15 of the 40 restaurants in the guide were also in last year’s edition, and that’s because there's been a bumper crop of openings in the past year -- many on 14th Street. You’ll see that it’s the neighborhood with the most restaurants (five) represented in the guide, followed by Penn Quarter and Dupont Circle. Eight restaurants, all newcomers, are being reviewed with a star rating for the first time.

While the restaurants are fresh, their star ratings mainly are staying consistent with those from Sietsema’s previous reviews. Seven restaurants fell from their earlier ratings, while two, Estadio and DGS, bumped up by half a star. Oval Room had the biggest demotion, falling one full star from 3.5 to 2.5 stars. Range dropped a half star, accompanied by a longer review describing Sietsema’s methods and how he received drastically different service when he went in deep disguise.

This year’s guide also features what’s good for your wallet: Sietsema picks 10 great tastes for $10 or less, and a handful of restaurants in the guide fall into our lowest price tier.