1. Logan Tavern1423 P St NW, Washington DC
2. The Source575 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington
3. Evening Star Cafe2000 Mt Vernon Avenue, Alexandria
4. Barrel613 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Washington
5. Oyamel Cocina Mexicana401 7th St NW, Washington DC
6. RANGE5335 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington
7. Del Campo777 I Street NW, Washington
Located at Logan Circle, Logan Tavern is a bustling tavern and restaurant that dishes out American comfort food like Southern fried chicken, grass-fed burgers, and meatloaf. The Bloody Mary menu -- which lets you choose your vodka (or tequila if you're going for a Bloody Maria), type of juice, flavor add-ons (wasabi, Old Bay seasoning, horseradish), and edible accompaniments (pickles, celery, crispy potato strings, smoked bacon, fried onion rings) -- is the recipe for a perfect brunch.
The name Wolfgang Puck attached to this Penn Quarter restaurant should tell you two things right off the bat -- this place isn't messing around with its culinary technique, and dinner here isn't going for cheap. The sleek dining area, brightened by cheerful yellow accents and floor-to-ceiling windows, is always full of people (many of whom are tourists, given the location) vying for a taste of Asian-inspired cuisine like chili oil-poached Nordic Cod or soy-marinated lamb chops. On the other side of the restaurant, the bar and lounge are a little bit calmer and offer a slew of classic and specialty cocktails along with, of course, an impressive wine list.
The most Judas Priest-inspired restaurant name since You've Got Another Wing Coming Chicken Shack, Evening Star (third track on Hell Bent for Leather, look it up) is now back after renovation with a 60-seat dining room done up 1950s diner-style, and serving mod American entrees like buttermilk fried chicken with braised collards, crispy black drum and sautéed Brussels sprouts, dry-aged duck breast, and dirty rice with chicken livers.
If you're in Capitol Hill and you like bourbon, this Southern bar is for you. The bar menu features two full pages of bourbon varieties, and if brown water is too strong for you, there are also 16 domestic beers on tap, and a few wines. The two-level space includes a downstairs hideaway called Elixir Bar, where you can scan shelf after shelf of the impressive whiskey collection. Though Barrel is definitely a drinking spot, the kitchen serves a menu of Southern comfort-inspired food like fried chicken, mac & cheese, and bacon fried rice.
Because an expertly-prepared cucumber-infused margarita is nothing without a plate of salsa verde-topped pork tacos, Oyamel is an essential D.C. destination for all varieties of Mexican cuisine. From the extensive menu of ceviches and traditional antojitos (Mexican small plates) to the wildly eclectic selection of available tacos -- ranging from sautéed Oaxacan grasshoppers to braised beef tongue and seared mahi-mahi -- the kitchen makes sure to pay homage to the miraculous diversity that defines traditional Mexican cooking. The corn tortillas are hand-made, the meats are smoked in-house, and the bar prepares all of its own creative infusions. And last but very very far from least, the colorful blue-tiled eatery offers a daily happy hour featuring 1$ beers, 2$ tacos, and 5$ margaritas (which means for 20$ you can have a balanced meal of three margaritas and two tacos).
With 300 tables, two open kitchens, and a menu that borrows from both Italian and American cuisine, Bryan Voltaggio's newest restaurant shows some truly impressive range (sorry). Stationed in the Chevy Chase Pavilion, the sleek 14,000sqft eatery boasts a rotisserie-equipped wood-oven, a raw bar, and a separate in-house Salumeria for the careful treatment of locally-sourced poultry and game. The menu offers plenty of inventive small plates (alongside house-baked bread), an impressive list of Mid-Atlantic oyster options, and a variety of wood-fired pizzas. The meat-centric entrées like rotisserie pork shoulder topped with apple cider-mustard reduction are inventive (and tasty), and the expertly curated wine list is designed carefully around Range's staple menu items -- while the space is clean and minimal, the cuisine is nothing if not complex.
Using a wood-fired grill is one way to cook a steak, and at Del Campo, that smoke helps add another level of flavor to the meat. This upscale Argentinian restaurant in Chinatown is a beautiful tribute to Argentinian grilled meats, all served in an elegantly rustic space outfitted with oak wood floors and leather sling-back barstools- perfect for enjoying the 48oz ribeye on the menu.