Feature

Four-star dining in Washington, D.C.

CityZen, and Restaurant Eve's Tasting Room

The top restaurants in the greater Washington, D.C., area all take different routes to excellence, said Tom Sietsema in The Washington Post Magazine. Diners find romance at the Inn at Little Washington and dazzling culinary magic tricks at Citronelle. Two other four-star treasures among the capital’s elite:

CityZen Chef Eric Ziebold, formerly of the French Laundry in Yountville, Calif., is this restaurant’s “force for greatness.” The service can seem merely rehearsed, and the amuse-bouche always offers up the same old mushroom fritter. But anything by this Iowa native that features pork is outstanding, and his “slowly cooked duck is extraordinary.” Blissful desserts include a tangy yogurt surrounded by “a winy moat of dark berries” and a soufflé of carrots with a tiny ball of cream cheese sorbet on a wisp of ginger cookie. 1330 Maryland Ave. SW, in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, (202) 787-6006

Restaurant Eve’s Tasting Room The latest four-star establishment in town seduces patrons with “soulful cooking” and “some of the best libation ever to cross your lips.” Many restaurants talk about local ingredients, but Restaurant Eve uses herbs from its own garden, and the fresh pot of butter placed on your table might have been made by a friend of chef Cathal Armstrong. Five- and nine-course tasting menus offer French-influenced American dishes. These include Shenandoah Valley lamb; a Stilton tartlet with caramelized onions and bacon; sautéed softshell crab with chorizo and soft-boiled egg cream; and roasted wild chanterelles served on Parmesan-dusted sourdough bread with sun-dried potato jam. The blackberry cheesecake and rhubarb tart with peppermint sorbet stand out among the desserts. 110 South Pitt St., Alexandria, Va., (703) 706-0450

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