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Experts Name Their Top Restaurant Newcomers

Missy Frederick is the Cities Director for Eater.

As is the tradition at Eater, our closeout of the year is a survey of friends, industry types, bloggers, and readers. This year, we asked the group eight questions; all will be answered by the time we turn off the lights at the end of the week. You've already heard them share their thoughts in such categories as Restaurant Standbys. Next up: Their Favorite Newcomers of 2013. Responses are related in no particular order; all are cut and pasted herein.
[Photos: R. Lopez]

Stefanie Gans, Northern Virginia Magazine dining editor and critic: Like everyone else, I find Rose's Luxury and Red Hen completely adorable, but in terms of Virginia, I'd say Water & Wall is the best new restaurant. NoVA didn't see many high-profile openings this year, but the second restaurant from the team behind Maple Ave (which was my favorite restaurant in 2013) impressed me after my first visit, especially the chicken liver pate with duck prosciutto. 

Jessica Sidman, Young and Hungry columnist and food editor, Washington City Paper: I can't just pick one right now: Barmini, Daikaya, The Red Hen, and Rose's Luxury

Warren Rojas, Heard on the Hill: If I'm bending the elbow, I'd like to be doing so at Bluejacket or Mockingbird Hill. When hunger strikes, my mouth would be happy to be at B Too, Rose's Luxury or Del Campo.

Nevin Martell, freelance food writer (@NevinMartell) Hands down, no quibbles or second thoughts — Rose's Luxury. Inventive, irreverent and soul satisfying. 

Svetlana Legetic, co-founder and publisher, Brightest Young Things: It has obviously been an insane year for newcomers but I am personally very impressed by what Rose's Luxury brought to the city. Runners up would include: Etto, Doi Moi, Kapnos, Eat the Rich and Ghibellina, in my book. Excited to get to know Bluejacket and Iron Gate a little better too.

Jenna Golden, EatMore DrinkMore: It's so hard to pick one, but I have to give it to Red Hen.

Russell Warnick, food writer: 2 Birds 1 Stone, no one said new restaurant, right? It may be underground (albeit below one of DC's newest trendiest restaurants, Doi Moi) but there is nothing secretive or obnoxious about 2 Birds— Adam Bernbach and his crew are as welcoming as any joint in town. With a weekly rotating cocktail menu, hand-drawn by Bernbach himself is a reflection of old and new imbibes, whether it's the weekly "punch du jour" or his signature "gin daisy" (gin, lemon and grenadine) there are enough hand crafted cocktails to satisfy any palate. My drink of choice: the Paloma, as it comes, trust me.

Tim Carman, Washington Post food writer and "The $20 Diner" columnist: I suspect everyone will say Rose's Luxury, but my cheap eats gig has kept me away from the place so far. The best newcomer I've tried is probably Doi Moi. I say "probably" because I also had a really fine meal at Kapnos, but I think Doi Moi is more original.

Sara Pepitone, food writer: Besides me?

Prince of Petworth Dan Silverman, founder of PoPville: My favorite new comer for 2013 was Le Diplomate — the food, drinks and atmosphere are tops.

Michael Martinez, producer, The Kojo Nnamdi Show and The Politics Hour, WAMU 88.5: Red Hen. I love everything about this place.

Eun Yang, NBC4 anchor and Emmy award-winning host of Foodies DC. Casa Luca, Etto, Doi Moi

Jennifer Nycz-Conner, editor, Washington Business Journal: See my previous answer. Unless there's a new Dogfish Head I'm unaware of.

Tom Sietsema, food critic, The Washington Post: Rose's Luxury radiates pure joy. Capitol Hill got lucky this time. 

Mary Kong-Devito, Girl Meets Food: I love Doi Moi.  The food is incredible and it looks like a Restoration Hardware bomb went off in there. I like interior design bombs.

Michael Birchenall, Editor and Publisher, FoodService Monthly: The Red Hen is about modern comfort food … that's where I am right now, on the savory side of the bell curve.
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