Best New Restaurant

Iron Gate
1734 N St. NW, (202) 524-5202
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Photograph by Darrow Montgomery
Iron Gate may have been D.C.’s oldest continuously running restaurant until it closed in 2010, but in its later years, it was better known for the romantic setting rather than food that could woo you. All that has changed since Neighborhood Restaurant Group renovated the space and reopened it in December with chef Tony Chittum in the kitchen. The Mediterranean-influenced menu with spit-roasted animals and housemade pastas at last lives up to the gorgeous converted stablehouse and wisteria-covered patio. The main dining room, complete with crackling fireplace, serves three prix-fixe options broken down by “garden,” “water,” and “pasture” dishes. For something more casual, the front carriageway bar and garden offer an a la carte menu, with hits like warm sesame-crusted feta with beets and aged balsamic or fried Jerusalem artichokes with yogurt-lemon dipping sauce. Also, don’t miss the intriguing Greek and Italian wine list, or the Nicolaki cocktail with vodka, Greek yogurt, honey, lemon, and rosemary.