WASHINGTON — With a slew of new restaurants in the D.C. area, Washington Post food critic Tom Sietsema says he had no trouble filling a list of the 30 top new restaurants that have opened in the past year.
“There were so many places. There were dozens and dozens of places that opened up this year. I thought that this is an obvious dining guide,” Sietsema told WTOP. “Usually, I look back at places that have been previously reviewed and bring readers up to date. This year, there was this tsunami of new places, and I couldn’t avoid it.”
And he said that the diversity is something that stood out.
“What’s nice about this is that there are new restaurants in practically every neighborhood around,” Sietsema said.
Topping his list is Elle in Mount Pleasant (3221 Mount Pleasant St. NW). The all-day cafe brings a little bit of everything together, offering cocktails and unique food combinations like a spicy apple salad.
“Elle features top talent from around town,” he said. “You’ve got one of the best mixologists, you’ve got a great chef, and you’ve got this superb hospitality — and it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, which I love.”
No. 2 on the list is Fancy Radish (600 H St. NE), which features an all-plant-based menu that’s open from breakfast through dinner.
“Even meat-eaters are going to love Fancy Radish,” Sietsema said.
The menu features items like rutabaga fondue with warm pretzel bread and a beet tartare.
“It beats any steak tartare that I’ve had recently,” he said.
But it can be a little difficult to get a table.
“I’m calling that ‘Hamilton’ for vegans. It’s hard to reserve and hard to get in, but it’s certainly worth your while,” he said.
See the entire 2018 spring dining guide here.