Washington-area residents are lucky to live in a region where fresh seafood from the Eastern Shore is a regular delicacy and dairy, produce, and meat are easily sourced from local farms. We asked local foodies to dish on their favorite places to dine on high-quality, locally sourced meals.
I find myself returning to Bar Pilar all the time for Justin Bittner’s snout-to-tail, farm-to-table cooking. I always get the chicken liver pâté on grilled bread, the pork shoulder, Spanish anchovies, the 45-minute egg (on everything), and the buttermilk pie. The unpretentious attitude belies the passion and art that go into the menu here. This kind of humble yet creative and consistently satisfying cooking is hard to find in DC—and anywhere else, for that matter. 1833 14th St. NW, 202-265-1751
I think Woodberry Kitchen is the best restaurant in the Mid-Atlantic. When I think about Woodberry, I see a beautiful Chesapeake oyster selection, house-made pickles and charcuterie, rich seafood stews, wood-oven-baked breads, and hearty main courses. Beyond that, chef Spike Gjerde is doing things to highlight heirloom Chesapeake ingredients [such as fish peppers and oysters] and build a thriving and sustainable local food system around Baltimore, which very few others in the country can match. 2010 Clipper Park Road, #126, Baltimore, 410-464-8000
I like restaurants that reference where the ingredients come from and that have a knowledgeable staff. When I ask if the crabs on the menu are from Maryland, I hope that the staff has been trained to know the answer and that the place is proud to serve local ingredients. Right now, I am really loving Table, the newest addition to the Shaw restaurant scene. Table is serving seasonal and fresh ingredients, and even in the few short months it has been open, the restaurant has already changed the menu multiple times to incorporate new items. 903 N St. NW, 202-588-5200
Beuchert’s Saloon on Capitol Hill sources their chicken, eggs, and a good amount of their produce from East Oaks Organic Farm in Poolesville, Maryland—which is actually run by the family of one of Beuchert’s owners, Brendan McMahon. The list of house-made items is seemingly endless: pastas, pickles, charcuterie, sausages, pie crusts, ice creams and sorbets, and dessert syrups. When they first opened, they were featuring a fresh orange soda that was surprisingly divine for such a simple concept. They now have a strawberry soda that is, somehow, even yummier. Everyone—from the owners Brendan, August, and Nathan to Executive Chef Drew Markert to the bartenders and busboys—always makes me feel totally at home here. 623 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, 202-733-1384
I appreciate restaurants that take a farm-to-table approach without defining their restaurant that way…. and those [that] get very specific with their sourcing, even going as far as to name the farm where a particular ingredient comes from on the menu. The best meal I’ve had at a farm-to-table restaurant in the past year or so was at The Ashby Inn & Restaurant in Paris, Virginia. The chefs are very committed to the concept and find unique ways to showcase ingredients in season (still thinking about the chestnut soup I had during the winter). The wine list reflects that passion. 692 Federal St., Paris, VA, 540-592-3900