One of things that’s improved the most in the Washington, DC area is the variety and quality of the restaurants — not just in DC but also in Fairfax, Arlington, Alexandra and Montgomery.  So today’s topic for “What I like about Washington, DC” is food.

Since DC is the most international city in the US … with so many international residents working for the various embassies as well as multi-national companies … there’s a wide array of food options.   Nearly whatever one wants, it’s available — Italian, French, Indian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Jamaican, Ethiopian, etc.  Also, from all parts of the US — southern, cajun, barbecue, etc.

One other important item is the quality of restaurants has increased dramatically in the past two decades.   This year’s “James Beard Outstanding Chef of the Year” was awarded to DC’s Jose Andres, the Spanish chef who’s the mastermind behind minibar, Cafe Atlantico, Jaleo, Zaytina, Oyamel, etc.    And, another great DC chef, Michel Richard of Citronelle and Central, was awarded the James Beard chef of the Year award in ’07.  So, it’s pretty good that DC has two of the most recent most outstanding chefs operating in DC.

I’m certainly not a “foodie,” but I eat out often with family, good friends, clients, students and mentees.   This is just my opinion, but there’s the list of my favorites in DC:  Japanese – Tachibana, Korean – Honey Pig, Chinese – Meiwah and Peking Gourmet, Italian – Cafe Milano, Seafood – Hook, Steakhouse – Ray’s the Steaks, Pizza – Pizzeria Paradiso, sandwiches – Italian Store, Vietnamese – Pho 75, Mexican – Rosa Mexicano, Indian – Raskia, Southern – Vidalia.   Other notable favorites are Proof, Central, and BLT.  And, of course, the old stand-by’s that I’ve been frequenting forever … Tombs, Clyde’s and Houston’s.