Tom Sietsema’s Spring Dining Guide for 2017 is here, and it includes major praise for new downtown French entrant Mirabelle, proclaiming that former White House chef and Palena alum Frank Ruta “spares no expense for his guests.” In all Sietsema presents a spread of 27 reviews, a bundle which contains a top ten list of new restaurants from the past year. No four-star restaurants (the highest possible rating) made this particular list, though some have yet to be formally reviewed.
Tom Sietsema’s top ten new restaurants have been revealed piecemeal over the past several days leading up to the release of the complete guide.
Here’s that list, in order:
5. Ambar - Arlington
6. Tiger Fork
8. Fish by José Andrés
10. Colada Shop - DC
Among his criteria for making the cut: “a restaurant had to be cooking something special, adding value to its neighborhood and (this is looking ahead now) serving as a role model on the scene,” he wrote.
Sietsema says his job is to save eaters the “heartache or indigestion of lesser restaurants,” so his spring guide is a mix of hits, misses, and “in-betweens” on the dining circuit. For example, he includes the half-starred Mitsitam Native Foods Cafe at the National Museum of the American Indian, where “quality and quantity is a far cry from what it used to be.”
Some inclusions are a trek from D.C., such as Charleston in Baltimore, which he calls “one of the Mid-Atlantic’s best restaurants,” as well as Harrimans at Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg, Va.