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Eater selects the "essential 38" restaurants in DC


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Eater online selects 38 restaurants that it considers "essential" to the DC area, and invites nominees for replacement.

 

It's not a bad list, with Atlas, Palena, Pho 75, Barley & Birch, Ray's The Steak, Ben's Chili Bowl, Hank's Oyster Bar, Zatinya, etc. But the omits are equally interesting. No Jaleo, Old Ebbitt (the essential DC), CityZen, etc...

 

 

 

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I'd agree with RP's take - not a bad list as far as these things go.

 

I'd say that the omission of Old Ebbitt is the major failing. Not that it's a great place, but it is one of the most well known DC restaurants for those outside DC.

 

No Jaleo is somewhat of a surprise, but at least Zaytinya is there to give Andres a nod.

 

I'd say CityZen is pretty far from essential. Well prepared food, but with no character. I'm hard pressed to remember anything that I've eaten there 5 minutes after I walk out the door. There's just nothing about it or its place in the DC dining scene that screams "essential".

 

They included 3 restaurants from H St NE, none of which I think of as being important in any way.

 

Room 11 and The Passenger may have some food, but to call them "restaurants" is a real stretch. They're bars. Great bars. Really great bars. Stupendous bars.

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Eater explains the "essential 38" this way:

 

It's time to update the Eater 38, your answer and ours to any question that begins, “Can you recommend a restaurant…” This highly elite group covers the entire city, spans myriad cuisines, and collectively satisfies all of your restaurant needs, save for those occasions when you absolutely must spend half a paycheck.

 

Each of the various cities covered in Eater has a list, and many generate the "why would this restaurant possibly be on your list..." from experienced eaters

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They included 3 restaurants from H St NE, none of which I think of as being important in any way.

 

I haven't been back to Ethiopic really recently but have been to Atlas Room within the past month, and I can see why they're both on the list. The last meal I had at Ethiopic was the best Ethiopian I'd had in some time. Given the limited number of slots, I'm not sure why the Argonaut is on the list except that it's kind of a community anchor. Perhaps that fits with their definition of essential. I haven't been back there since the fire, but someone told me a while back that the food was better than ever. But, I would wonder why that community anchor was included as opposed to another one somewhere else in the city.

 

Other than the raw bar, I don't think the Old Ebbitt is very good foodwise. Again, this goes to the definition of "essential," but I wouldn't put it on this list.

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