Need help wading through the never-ceasing string of new arrivals to the D.C. area dining scene? These are eight spots vetted by Washington Post writers that are worth your time and money.
Chef and restaurateur Michael Schlow's fifth local dining room is in the Kimpton Glover Park Hotel. This one focuses on coastal Italian fare, particularly of the seafood variety, along with pasta and very good pizza.
Aaron Silverman of Rose's Luxury nails it at his prix fixe outpost, which is the first restaurant awarded four stars by Post Food critic Tom Sietsema straight out of the gate. "Heaven? Close," he says.
Chef Michael Santoro is sending out some appealing plates -- tempura soft-shell crab, rack of lamb -- at the Watergate in Foggy Bottom, which just opened after a years-long, multi-million dollar renovation.
You might recognize two of the celebrity backers at this swanky Italian restaurant in Mount Vernon Triangle: Bill and Giuliana Rancic. But Sietsema says: "Even in its infancy, RPM Italian shows signs of promise."
"Sophisticated but not stuffy, Hazel feels like the right restaurant at the right time," Sietsema says. On the menu: A Korean-style seafood pancake (served with house-made Fire Panda hot sauce), zucchini bread with foie gras and "gnocchi bokki."
"There is nothing else quite like it in the region," The Post's Maura Judkis says of this Rockville restaurant. The menu is inspired by the chef-owner's native Tajikistan and includes smoked fish, salo (a plate of cured pork fat) and lagman (a Central Asian soup prepared Uyghur-style with noodles).
This Chinatown eatery is no copycat of nearby sibling Daikaya. Not only does it specialize in chicken ramen, Bantam King makes a mean fried chicken.
"When they keep it simple, Suma can feel as welcome as a popsicle in August," Judkis writes.