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Washington, D.C.: Mintwood Place
The scene: Rife with loud and crowded restaurants, bars and clubs, the Adams Morgan neighborhood has long appealed to congressional aides and interns. But this smart 80-seat bistro has brought in a much broader swath of Washingtonians, including the Obamas, who have joined the exceptionally diverse clientele crowding into the coffee-colored leather booths and shouting over the considerable din.
The food: Elevated Franco-American comfort fare. Steak tartare perks up with the crunch of finely diced fried potatoes, while seasonal shad roe comes anointed with a melting sheet of lardo rather than the expected bacon and veal reduction. Even with such upscale bistro offerings as cast-iron Amish chicken and duck breast au poivre, there’s still place on this menu for a delicious flame-grilled bacon cheeseburger.
(Photo: Mintwood Place)