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Elle Is No. 1 in Tom Sietsema’s Spring Dining Guide

The critic’s new roster of spring reviews drops Thursday

The honey goat cheese cake at Elle.
Joe King/Joe King Photography
Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

Tom Sietsema’s Spring Dining Guide for 2018 is here, and it includes major praise for Mount Pleasant newcomer Elle, where “an all-star cast serves stellar breads, pastries and plates in the former Heller’s Bakery.” In all, The Washington Post restaurant critic presents a spread of 30 reviews, spearheaded by 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.

Sietsema’s top ten list has been revealed piecemeal over the past several days leading up to the full release. This year, he’s doing things a little differently by only naming newbies across the entire guide. “Washington’s crush of new places to eat, in almost every neighborhood, is an embarrassment of riches,” he writes, so this year’s lineup doesn’t revisit any old spots.

Here’s the 2018 top 10 list, in order:

1. Elle

2. Fancy Radish

3. Del Mar

4. Rake’s Progress

5. Little Pearl

6. Maydan

7. Chloe

8. Unconventional Diner

9. The Tavern at Rare Steak and Seafood

10. Old Maryland Grill

The balance of the guide is a mix of (mostly) hits and in-betweens on the dining circuit, so not all inclusions are full-blown recommendations.

Many mentions are part of the Wharf development (Kith and Kin, Mi Vida, and Kaliwa).