Food & Wine Best New Chef 1998 Laurent Tourondel gives an insider guide to Washington, D.C., from the best brunch spots to the top bars.

By Ratha Tep
Updated: April 18, 2016

On Washington, D.C.

There’s something inspiring about being in our nation’s capital. In New York, business deals go down over memorable meals; in DC, it’s political meetings. BLT Steak is my adaptation of the American steakhouse (1625 Eye St. NW; 202-689-8999 or

Favorite Cultural Activity

I live in Harlem and DC’s U. Street corridor has the same energy. I like to go to the Bohemian Caverns, which always has amazing musicians—Miles Davis played there (2011 11th St. NW; 202-299-0800 or

Favorite Brunch Spot

I admire Barton Seaver’s dedication to sustainable seafood at Hook. All I really need there is the crudo flight and a Bacon Bloody Mary. I like to sit in the middle of the restaurant to see what other people have ordered (3241 M St. NW; 202-625-4488 or

Favorite Nightlife Spot

Cork Wine Bar because of its young, diverse neighborhood crowd. I drink either a Burgundy or a Bordeaux (1720 14th St. NW; 202-265-CORK or

Restaurant Recommendations

2 Amy’s for authentic Neapolitan pizza (3715 Macomb St. NW; 202-885-5700 or

Blue Duck Tavern. I get whatever whole fish is on the menu and the duck fat French fries (24 & M St. NW; 202-419-6755 or

Central Michel Richard, for the lobster burger and a side of brussels sprouts (1001 Pennsylvania Ave.; 202-626-0015 or

CityZen, where I love the braised Japanese short ribs (1330 Maryland Ave. SW; 202-787-6006 or

Sushi-Ko. The sashimi is always very fresh (2309 Wisconsin Ave. NW; 202-333-4187 or