Tom Sietsema, Washington Post food critic: In alphabetical order: Anju, Emilie’s, the Imperial, Mama Chang, Piccolina, Queen’s English, Rooster & Owl, Seven Reasons, Thamee (I could easily include half a dozen more places, but you get my drift. It was another banner year for D.C.).
Ann Limpert, Washingtonian food editor and critic: I can’t get enough of Anju (The kimchi pancake! The beef tartare!). I also really love what Peter Prime is doing at Cane. D.C. needs more great daytime cafes like Piccolina. And I’m still craving Katherine Thompson’s desserts over at Thompson Italian.
Jessica Sidman, Washingtonian food editor: Green Almond Pantry is a delight. It’s only got eight counter seats, and it’s only open for lunch. (The market, however, stays open ‘til 7.) The food is perfect in its simplicity, whether a slice of focaccia, a whole fried artichoke squeezed with lemon, or a puntarelle salad with anchovy dressing (If you like anchovies, BTW, this is your place). Oh, and the chocolate cake! One time, when they were out of the whipped cream, the woman behind the counter took out a bowl and whisked the cream by hand. That’s dedication!
Tim Carman, Washington Post food writer: I’m going to stick to the restaurants that I’ve visited frequently this year. I think you need to eat at a place several times before you can truly judge its merits. With that said, here are some of my favorites from the year: Silpancho’s House in Alexandria, CB Chinese Grill in College Park, Republic Cantina in Truxton Circle, Stellina Pizzeria in the Union Market area, Tino’s Pizzeria in Cleveland Park, Green Almond Pantry in Shaw, and Lanzhou Hand Pull Noodle in Gaithersburg.
Lori McCue, DCist food and arts editor: The two stars of the fried octopus and burrata panini at Stellina Pizzeria are my winner for unlikeliest, most delightful sandwich-mates. That plus the much-ballyhooed cacio e pepe pizza make Stellina one of my MVPs of the year. Honorable mention goes to Don Ciccio & Figli, the new bar and tasting room I’ve found myself recommending most this year for an afternoon cocktail.
Rebecca Cooper, Washington Business Journal digital editor: Rooster & Owl was a great surprise, Stomping Ground re-launching dinner (it’s a gem). As for bars, Walter’s — I feel like it forced everyone’s hand to actually do happy hour specials by the ballpark
Lori Gardner, Been There, Eaten That blogger: This was quite a year for openings that made a splash. The ones that made me smile most were Anju, Emilie’s, Nina May, Seven Reasons, Stellina Pizzeria, Punjab Grill, and Mama Chang.
SOURCE: DC Eater