The Michelin Guide accidentally released its list of 2020 Bib Gourmand picks for D.C. this afternoon, and three of the city’s most popular restaurants should be elated to be left off. Making the Bib Gourmand list, which highlights restaurants that “serve high-quality food available at a reasonable price,” means a business is ineligible to receive a coveted star — or two or three — in the upcoming city guide (released October 1 this year).
After publishing an article a day earlier than scheduled with an error that stated Washington Post critic Tim Carman was the co-owner of new Bib wearer Taqueria Habanero, Michelin corrected the information and put the list back online.
Bad Saint, Doi Moi, and Maydan were all conspicuously absent from this year’s Bib Gourmand list after being included last year, meaning all are still in the running to receive Michelin stars. Tim Ma’s French-Asian restaurant, Kyirisan, and Caribbean barbecue spot Spark also fell off the list because both have closed to the public.
Since opening Bad Saint four years ago, chef Tom Cunanan has drawn heaps of praise from seemingly everyone but Michelin for his treatment of Filipino standards inside a tiny Columbia Heights dining room that consistently draws huge lines. Cunanan won Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic at this year’s James Beard awards. Bad Saint also earned a place on Bon Appétit’s Best New Restaurants (No. 2 in 2016) and Eater’s list of America’s 38 Essential Restaurants (2017). It’s been on the Bib Gourmand list since Michelin came to Washington.
Maydan, which opened late in 2017, similarly commanded national attention with a unique dining room centered around a raging fire pit cooking dishes from throughout North Africa and the Middle East.
Doi Moi, a Bib Gourmand regular that used to focus on Thai and Vietnamese food, has been reinvigorated over the past year under the leadership of chef Johanna Hellrigl, who has broadened the menu to incorporate dishes form other parts of Southeast Asia like Laos, Malaysia, and Timor-Leste.
Growing to 44 restaurants total, the 2020 Bib Gourmand list for D.C. also brought on 10 new additions: American Son in the Eaton hotel downtown; Sichuan cocktail bar Astoria in Dupont; Trinidadian rum bar Cane on H Street NE; Federalist Pig barbecue in Adams Morgan; Laos in Town in NoMa; Lao bar Hanumanh in Shaw; the Primrose bistro in Brookland; Stellina Pizzeria by Union Market; Taqueria Habanero near Columbia Heights; and Zenebech Ethiopian in Adams Morgan.
Here’s the full list of 2020 Bib Gourmand selections:
*denotes a newcomer
Ivy City Smokehouse
Joselito’s Casa de Comidas
Laos in Town*
Napoli Pasta Bar
Pearl Dive Oyster Palace
The Red Hen
Timber Pizza Co.