New restaurant in Navy Yard named among best in America

Foodie news and review site Eater puts a Middle Eastern restaurant in Southeast D.C.’s Navy Yard neighborhood on its list of the 11 Best New Restaurants in America.

Albi, which opened in February 2020, focuses on Levantine cuisine, the region that includes Syria, Israel, Lebanon and Palestine, using the culinary tradition of coal-fired cooking.

It is the first solo restaurant for owner and chef Michael Rafidi, who comes from highly rated D.C. restaurants such as Arroz and Requin.

Of Albi, Eater DC editor Gabriel Hiatt writes, “Consider what makes a special-occasion restaurant sizzle: an utterly original point of view, top-tier service, and food that ignites conversation. Chief Michael Rafidi’s team hits every mark and then some with a health-centered Levantine restaurant marrying his Palestinian American experience and fine dining chops.”

Eater calls Albi’s kibbeh naya one of the best vegetarian dishes in D.C.

Albi’s wine list focuses on hard to get bottles from the Levant region.

Menu prices range from $16 to $65, and includes a $95 sampling menu for two, called Sofra, Arabic for “a set table.”

Albi, at 1346 4th Street SE, serves a dinner menu only, but hosts a daytime cafe named Yellow, with pastries, pita sandwiches and coffees.

Albi is one of more than 75 restaurants in Capitol Riverfront’s booming dining scene.

Eater’s 11 Best New Restaurants in America is posted online.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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