Click the arrows to browse more stories.

Keep an eye on Katie Busch. Better yet, try her cooking at Bistro Vivant in McLean. She’s the third chef to head the kitchen of the spare suburban French restaurant, and by far the best yet. While the former line cook at the Modern in New York hewed to a traditional French script when she came aboard in December, impressing diners with her crisp duck confit and comforting beef bourguignon, lately she’s been branching out to do more of her own thing, often with very satisfying results. Grilled baby octopus with tender cuttlefish on a puddle of shocking raspberry vinegar, alongside a puree of English peas, is a harmonious marriage of surf and spring, while her ricotta gnocchi, garnished with shaved bottarga, almost defy gravity. Lamb navarin nestled with new potatoes, onions and fava beans keeps me reaching for the bread basket to sop up their rich sauce, hinting of guajillo chili. On the lighter side, whole grilled dorade is a fine piece of fish made exciting with an electric herb salad. Even desserts, so often an afterthought for restaurants, show attention. Clafoutis with seasonal fruit proves a textbook example. Watching over the dining room, notable mostly for its giant chalkboard menu, is owner Aykan Demiroglu, quick to make a wine recommendation and chat up a regular. But where’s the crowd? I can’t help but think this place would be packed if it were in Washington — which is where this D.C. dweller selfishly wishes Vivant were located.