The Counterpoint

Chef Eric Ziebold Dishes on D.C. Dining

By Sara Bliss・Featured photo courtesy of Fiola Mare・June 20, 2017

Chef Eric Ziebold Dishes on D.C. Dining

By Sara Bliss・Featured photo courtesy of Fiola Mare・June 20, 2017


Washington’s restaurant scene has gone from boring to buzzy. Kinship chef Eric Ziebold explains what’s behind the resurgence.

It’s no secret that the dining scene in Washington has shifted of late. Chef Eric Ziebold, who runs downtown’s Kinship and its upstairs tasting-menu hotspot Metier, has watched the District transform from being an “expense account dining city full of safe choices for a work meal” into a veritable food destination, where diners shun what he terms “vanilla dining experiences.” Luckily, there’s a ready supply of local talent to keep up with demand. Tom Cunanan’s Filipino joint Bad Saint landed the number two spot on Bon Appétit’s list of best new restaurants in 2016, for example, and Aaron Silverman’s Rose’s Luxury sees waiting lines of up to four hours. Last year, Michelin published its first guide to the city, confirming the world-class status of the capital and its chefs. “What makes D.C. such a great dining city is the incredible group of chefs who have decided to create a rich variety of cuisines and styles,” says Ziebold, who received a Michelin star for Kinship in the inaugural guide. Here, Ziebold shares what he loves most about dining out in D.C.:

We have one of the greatest seafood restaurants in America:

Fiola Mare has a great setting overlooking the Potomac River and the food is really impeccable quality.” says Ziebold of James Beard Award–winning Fabio Trabocchi’s restaurant in Georgetown. “It’s the type of place where you go and get dressed up.”

Fiola Mare: 3100 K St NW; 202-628-0065

Photos courtesy of Fiola Mare.

Even our bakeries are ambitious.

“When Mark Furstenberg opened Bread Furst, his intention was to have a neighborhood bakery. But when an aspiring baker opens a place like that, everyone is excited to try it,” says Ziebold. “Don’t miss the ancient grain breads, and the baguettes are to die for.  My daughter agrees the pain au chocolat is as good as any we’ve had in France.” Critics have taken notice as well, and Furstenberg received the award for Outstanding Baker from the James Beard Foundation this spring.

Bread Furst: 4434 Connecticut Ave NW; 202-765-1200

Photo by Scott Suchman.

 

You’ll find inventive takes on classic cuisine:

“One of my favorite spots is the Greek restaurant Kapnos. Mike Isabella has taken small-plate dining into the modern era, and his food feels more contemporary than other tapas-style restaurants, says Ziebold. “Start with a cocktail and dig into the terrific dips and spreads while you decide what to order.”

Kapnos: 2201 14th St NW; 202-234-5000

Photos courtesy of Kapnos.

But you can still have a extraordinarily good French meal

Marcel’s is more on the classic side of French cooking, and has been a D.C. mainstay for 15 years,” says Ziebold. “The Dover sole is exquisite, the ingredients are luxurious and expensive, and they offer an amazing menu. I recently went with my wife and we said, ‘Thank God Marcel’s is in D.C.’ I kicked myself for having waited so long to go back.”

Marcel’s: 2401 Pennsylvania Ave NW; 202-296-1166

Photos courtesy Marcel’s.

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