Preparing haute cuisine in small, stunningly beautiful packages is de rigueur for Métier's chef Eric Ziebold. Against the Darryl Carter-designed contemporary American concept in Mount Vernon Triangle, this restaurant offers up a seven-course tasting menu that has featured dishes like a morel and king trumpet mushroom salad and poached Alaskan halibut with coconut rice. 1015 Seventh St. NW, 202-737-7500
If you've never tried Chinese-French fusion—come on, admit it!—Kyirisan is your chance. Rising husband-wife restaurateur team Tim and Joey Ma, known for Water and Wall in Arlington and Chase the Submarine in Vienna—made the cross-Potomac journey in March. They've been delighting Shaw's senses (no easy feat) ever since. Try the deep-fried tofu with black pepper sauce to start. Follow with the sous vide duck confit and caramelized Brussels sprouts in an apple cider gastrique. 1924 8th St. NW, 202-525-2942
Call it "speakeasy soba" if you must. (You must.) Hidden in plain sight less than two blocks from U Street Station, Izakaya Seki has a massive sake list stacked with hard-to-find vintages. (It doesn't call itself "A Japanese Drinking Establishment" for nothing.) The best way to play here is to come off-peak, bring at least two companions, and order a self-curated flight to pass the first hour or so. What about the "restaurant," you ask? Yeah, there's that too. Try the unmatched house-made shime saba, a cured Spanish mackerel, or add the kushikatsu, pork belly on a stick, for whimsy. 1117 V St. NW, 202-588-5841
Bryan Voltaggio's Range is a personality-driven restaurant, for sure. But it also manages to blend four or five different concepts into one. Depending on your vantage, it can feel like a corporate cafeteria, sushi bar, upscale coffee shop chain, corner bakery, or unpretentious neighborhood dinner spot. Range's chameleon-like nature isn't a knock—Voltaggio pulls it off amazingly well. If you're hungry, pair a half-dozen oysters with a pork sausage wood-fired oven pizza. For a lighter affair after a long week, split a local greens salad (Bartlett pear, blue cheese, and pecans) and a bottle of Austrian white. 5335 Wisconsin Ave. NW, 202-803-8020
Ed Scott researches and reports on the hottest restaurants and attractions. When he’s not writing, he enjoys relaxing pool-side and cycling through the countryside.