"I went to more than 80 restaurants, some multiple times, just to be sure they merited inclusion in a collection of favorites," Sietsema says, "which, by the way, are highly personal and therefore different than a round-up of 'best' places to eat."
4restaurants fell out of the top 10 in 2015: Mintwood Place, Red Hen, Fiola Mare, Le Diplomate, the Partisan and Boss Shepherd's.
- 1 restaurant was promoted into the top 10 in 2015: Komi.
The top 10 isn't merely a measure of star-power, which explains how a 2.5-star G by Mike Isabella, for example, can place higher at No. 8 than the lauded, 4-star Komi at No. 9. "What I like so much about G by Mike Isabella is how approachable and accessible the operation is: Great sandwiches by day, fine-dining at a fair price by night," Sietsema says. "Komi, on the other hand, is something you have to plan -- and budget -- for. It's a rarer treat, whereas I can enjoy G on a regular basis."
- 4 restaurants made the top 10 in both 2014 and 2015: Rasika, Rose's Luxury, Inn at Little Washington and Little Serow.
- 6 restaurants made the top 10 after not being in the guide at all in 2014: Rasika West End (sharing No. 2 this year with Rasika Penn Quarter), Masseria, the Riggsby, Garrison, G by Mike Isabella and the Grill Room.
"What impressed me most this year was how many good new restaurants came on the scene, and how some veteran establishments worked to get even better," Sietsema says. "It’s hard to stay on the top, but Rose’s Luxury and Little Serow, among other destinations, did just that by improving on already successful game plans."
"One thing is clear," Sietsema adds: "Washington has never looked or tasted better."
For reference, the 2014 and 2015 top 10 lists are below.
2015 top 10
4. Little Serow
6. The Riggsby
10. The Grill Room
2014 top 10:
4. Red Hen
6. Little Serow
7. Fiola Mare
8. The Partisan
9. Le Diplomate
10. Boss Shepherd's
Correction: This post has been updated to reflect the correct number of restaurants that fell out of the top 10 for this year.