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Seasonal Pantry
1314 1/2 Ninth St. NW
202-713-9866
seasonalpantry.com

Every night, diners chef Dan O'Brien's homemade pickles while feasting on ambitious but grounded dishes like fried olives stuffed with pork confit or orechiette pasta with duck confit. 

Komi
1509 17th St. NW
202-332-9200
komirestaurant.com

It's probably no coincidence that the restaurant widely considered the city's best — and most expensive — is in Dupont Circle, but it's worth every dollar to experience Johnny Monis masterful nightly international culinary voyages. 

Mintwood Place
1813 Columbia Rd. NW
202-234-6732
www.mintwoodplace.com

This being Adams Morgan, the noise level is a little higher; the lights a little brighter; the food, less expensive and more eclectic, gleefully mixing French and American traditions into polyglot comfort food.

Dupont Italian Kitchen
1637 17th St. NW
202-328-3222
dupontitaliankitchen.com

Deliriously downscale, this gloriously old-fashioned dive serves up heaping portions of the kind of Italian food Mama Mia would have made if she'd only known how. Boozy brunches, cheap drinks and the friendly vibe have made this a gay favorite.