WASH July 2015 : Page 75

5 CHEFS OF THE MOMENT 1. JAMIE LEEDS, HANK’S OYSTER BAR Instead of resting on her laurels, Leeds has reinvented herself and announced plans to open Hank’s Pasta Bar in Alexandria, Va., and Twisted Horn in Petworth. And her lobster roll ($25) remains the best in town. 1624 Q St. NW, 202.462.4265, hanksoysterbar. com 2. JOHN MELFI, THE OVAL ROOM Melfi is in great form at his new post. Lemon ricotta agnolotti with rabbit ragout, English peas and green almonds ($24); and petrale sole with celery-root puree, wild spring onions and fiddlehead ferns ($33) reflect a fresh and modern palate. 800 Connecticut Ave. NW, 202.463.8700, ovalroom. com 3. ERIK BRUNER-YANG, MAKETTO Maketto is a breath of fresh air, thanks largely to wunderkind Bruner-Yang’s brilliant cooking. Red snapper crudo ($10) and whole fried fish ($26) are divine, but the Cambodian yellow curry, ground chicken and fish-paste dip with crudités ($22) take top honors. 1351 H St. NE, 202.838.9972, maketto1351. com 4. ERIN CLARKE, CASA LUCA Chef Clarke, cooking for superstar owner Fabio Trabocchi, shows her mettle with seasonal dishes like crudo of abalone with white-asparagus confit ($18); spinach trenette with tiger prawns, sea urchin and mussels in spicy shellfish bisque ($27); and Alaskan king salmon with morels, anise hyssop and sunchoke crema 75 ($28). 1099 New York Ave. NW, 202.628.1099, casalucadc. com 5. FRANK RUTA, THE GRILL ROOM Run, don’t walk, to this outpost of class at the Capella, and partake in Ruta’s seasonal delights. This chef is one of Washington’s greatest talents; Amish rabbit en porchetta ($18), pappardelle with beef cheeks and guanciale ($18) and halibut with Meyer lemon and razor clams ($35) prove it. Consomme, often featured on the tasting menu ($125), is always brilliant and may be ordered a la carte. 1050 31st St. NW, 202.617.2424, thegrillroomdc. com DC JULY/AUGUST 2015

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