Best new restaurant &
Best date restaurant: Le Diplomate
1601 14th St., N.W.
Feel like you’re dining at a restaurant in Paris without leaving the District. Authentic French food like escargot and a selection of cheeses make for a rich meal. Pair with an extensive wine list of whites and reds for the full Parisian experience. (MC)
Runner-up (new): Mothership
Runner-up (date): Hank’s Oyster Bar
Best ethnic restaurant: ThaiTanic
1326-A 14th St., N.W.
Runner-up: Lauriol Plaza
Cake Love cupcakes
1506 U St., N.W. (one of four regional locations)
Runner-up: Key Lime pie at Logan Tavern
Best brunch: Level One
1639 R St., N.W.
Runner-up: Freddie’s Beach Bar
Best wine bar: Floriana
1602 17th St., N.W.
Best chef: Stephanie Wilson
Stephanie Wilson became executive chef at Level One (1639 R St., N.W.) this past summer. However, her passion for cooking developed long before that.
Wilson always had a love for cooking. She went to culinary school at L’Academie de Cuisine in Gaithersburg, Md. From there she worked in kitchens over the weekends. Eventually she worked her way up to full-time sous chef. Her experience led her to learn some cooking tips.
“Beginning chefs should have patience and practice. Mistakes happen but that’s how you learn,” Wilson says.
Her favorite Level One dish isn’t easy to pin down. “I love all the dishes because they’re mine what can I say?”
But Level One’s brunch menu is wildly popular with dishes such as “Gurl, It’s a Brunch Bowl” — a hash brown casserole with chopped apple wood bacon, sour cream, scallions, cheese and a fried egg. More traditional dishes such as eggs benedict and blueberry pancakes are also available. In general, Wilson recommends their appetizers and sandwiches for brunch. (MC)
Runner-up: Delian DiPietro, Logan Tavern
Best late night restaurant: The Diner
2453 18th St., N.W.
Best coffee shop: Tryst Coffeehouse
2459 18th St., N.W.
Runner-up: Peregrine Espresso
Best Rehoboth restaurant: Blue Moon
35 Baltimore Ave.
Rehoboth Beach, Del.
Runner-up: Cultured Pearl
Best caterer: Patrick Vanas Events
Runner-up: Windows Catering Company
Best pizza: 2 Amys
Neapolitan style pizzeria that could rival Italy’s finest. Think big portions, thin crust and a plethora of toppings to make your mouth water from arugula to cherry tomatoes. The best part is no one will judge you for chowing down hard because everyone else will be too.
3715 Macomb St., N.W.
Runner-up: Matchbox 14th Street
Best burger: Elevation Burger
Build your own custom burger to suit your every whim. Choose a beef, vegetarian or vegan patty or combine a beef patty with a vegetarian or vegan patty in the “Half the Guilt Burger.” Pick from a long list of toppings from traditional ketchup and mustard to Blue Cheese dressing. Even add extras to your fries with cheese and hamburger toppings.
5501 Baltimore Ave., Hyattsville, Md.
Runner-up: Black & Orange
Best Baltimore restaurant: City Café
American cuisine doesn’t have to be boring. Enjoy traditional dishes with a twist like yellowfin tuna salad with red potatoes, goat cheese and garlic basil vinaigrette or espresso rubbed lollipop lamb chops. The striking modern design of this restaurant in the heart of Baltimore’s Mount Vernon Cultural District makes it the perfect backdrop for eating in style. The original coffee bar is currently being renovated and a new, expanded cocktail bar is being introduced later this year. (MC)
1001 Cathedral St., Baltimore
Best food truck: DC Empanadas
Have diverse empanadas roll to a neighborhood near you. Try the Sunday Dinner empanada, diced beef with onions, potatoes, peas and carrots covered in beef gravy, or The Goodfella, chicken and peas covered in Alfredo sauce. Vegetarians can enjoy their own delicious meal with selections like the Thai’d Up Veggie, broccoli, onions, garlic, carrots peas, Thai peppers and Thai basic covered in a coconut red curry sauce. (MC)
Runner-up: Red Hook Lobster