Alright Nomsters, you’re in for a treat. David Ortiz aka @dcfoodfreak is guest posting on the blog today, and I couldn’t be more excited. He’s one of my favorite foodies – and one of my favorite people – so I’m pumped he agreed to write about his favorite places in the Capitol. Keep reading to see which restaurants made his top 5!
When asked to write something about my favorite DC restaurants I couldn’t help but think what a perfect moment to contemplate this. I just came back from one of my usual Michelin Star Restaurant runs. Having just hit some of Chicago and NY’s best, it set the tone for what I liked here back home. There was a time I would say you had to travel for a certain level of fine dining. But returning home I can safely say not in today’s world. DC is delivering on all counts. Here are some of my favorite picks.
1. Minibar by Jose Andres
Easy choice. Minibar is not only my DC favorite but also in the world. Disclaimer, I prefer a chefs counter tasting menu so that’s a factor. And of course it’s all about the food. The Dishes are amazing in taste, presentation and whimsical in most cases. The beverage program equals as well. And of course service! Perfection at every step from entry to ending with cocktails in Barmini. Also just the genuine warmth of the people on the team and ability to exceed all expectations.
At Minibar you will arrive to a cocktail reception and then proceed to dining. The room itself is created so that you are basically in the kitchen. The entire team is interactive. Its immersive dining. The dinner has about 20 courses but all sized right to create a perfect meal. Don’t be shocked if something is not what it appears to be. And there will be Champagne and Caviar! Easily the best choice for world class dining experience that will be as perfect an evening as you can ever have. Currently Two Michelin Stars but I truly believe deserving of three.
2. Pineapple and Pearls
Another easy pick as it stands out easily with its tasting menu and amazing service. P&P does have a chef’s counter that seats 8 but also has a dining room as well as Bar seating. This lets you choose from some variety in experience. If like me and you want the chef’s counter and full tasting menu it’s there. If you want a table for 4 and the tasting menu you can go that route. And a great option as well is the smaller tasting menu on the bar. You have to love options! All of these choices promise to be an excellent dining experience. Currently Two Michelin Stars.
Tough pick for me because to be honest I think it’s a tie between Fiola, Fiola Mare and Del Mar. I love all three equally. I can take friends from NY or elsewhere in the world to any of these three. Each hold its own as world class service, food and dining rooms that are spectacular. But yes if I have to pick one Fiola just nudges out as far as a formal and very refined menu. Here its formal table dining with choices between A la carte and tasting menus. Great beverage program and Desserts shine here as well. Currently one Michelin star and a lot of love from me.
Now to be fair these are more of what I would call special occasion dining versus that weekly fantastic dinner. Because of that I have separated them. So given that here is what I consider favorites in the regular excellent dining category.
The most exciting Chef in DC right now! The food is amazing. More of a Brasserie feel in all the good ways. It’s not trying to be super formal but the food is in that caliber. The menu lets you order A la carte and even has a tasting menu choice. Currently One Michelin Star.
Easily my most comfortable go to in the city. Aaron, Seth and the entire team deliver wonderful food with real warmth. Not fancy, comfortable! And any place that has my Negroni working as I hit the door will always win me over. Along with my other favorite, this a place I call home because it’s that good. The menu has small, mid-sized and couple of large plates. Usually a great pasta as well. Currently One Michelin Star
My other top favorites right now are Himitsu, Reverie, Mama Changs, Maydan and Seven Reasons. Luckily there are many more great ones out there too. But this list alone makes me love living in DC for its wonderful dining choices.
A huge, HUGE thanks to David for sharing some of his favorites with us. If you’re not following him yet, what are you even doing? Haha, I’m kidding…kind of. Click HERE to follow his adventures on instagram. So, have you guys been to any of these restaurants? If yes, let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment below. For more DC eats, make sure to click here.