The selection for the MICHELIN Guide Washington, D.C. 2020 Bib Gourmands has been announced, featuring a grand total of 44 restaurants. Up from 39 in 2019, this year’s addition features 10 new restaurants. Bib Gourmand restaurants are selected by MICHELIN’s inspectors because they serve high-quality food available at a reasonable price.
“Chef Tim Ma’s love letter to his parents is honest, heartfelt and posted on each menu,” state MICHELIN inspectors of American Son, located in the Eaton Hotel DC in Downtown. At this newly-minted Bib Gourmand, Ma, a second generation American, serves up flavors of his Asian heritage via French techniques.
Primrose, the French-inspired wine bar in Brookland by Sebastian Zutant, Lauren Winter, Greg Algie and Nate Beauchamp, is also new to the Washington, D.C. Bib Gourmand list. “With its sharp wine list, gracious hospitality and seasonal cooking, Primrose has the makings of a neighborhood essential,” state inspectors.
The District is home to a number of stellar Ethiopian restaurants including Chercher and Ethiopic, among others. Adding to this list is family-owned Zenebech in Adams Morgan. Run by Zenebech Dessue and Gebrehanna Demissie, dishes here include fried sabusa pastries stuffed with lentils, ground black peppers, onions and garlic; curry goat stew with onions, garlic and Ethiopian herbs; and chickpeas simmered in berbere with beef.
Federalist Pig, also in Adams Morgan, is home to all things ‘cue. Here, pitmaster Rob Sonderman delivers brisket, pork spare ribs, pork shoulder, a variety of sandwiches and jalapeño cheddar sausages from local Logan Sausage Co.
Just outside of Columbia Heights lies Taqueria Habanero, where husband-and-wife duo Dio Montero and Mirna Montero-Alvarado serve up traditional Pueblan fare including a variety of tacos and tortas, grilled chicken with Puebla-style mole and a sizzling molcajete of nopales, bell peppers, chicken, shrimp, Mexican pork sausage, steak, fresh cheese and a smoked green sauce.
Cane, the stylish newcomer from chef/owner Peter Prime in H. Street Corridor, serves up Caribbean specialties like cumin-spiced pork belly, 12-hour marinated and pimento-smoked jerk wings and a pepperpot of oxtail, brisket and beef tendon. Per inspectors, “His approach includes using fresh coconuts to make coconut milk; using spices and wood to infuse enticing flavors and even serving smoked coconut soft-serve ice cream for dessert,” making this a welcome addition to the Bib Gourmand family.
Two Laotian restaurants in D.C. have been bestowed with a Bib Gourmand designation: owner Nick Ongsangkoon and chef Ben Tiatasin’s Laos in Town in NoMa, serving up dishes like herbal pork sausage and tender chicken in a spicy dill stew, and Hanumanh in Logan Circle, brought to you by chefs Seng Luangrath and Bobby Pradachith, the team behind Thip Khao.
Restaurant co-owners and Italy natives, Antonio Matarazzo and Matteo Venini’s Stellina Pizzeria near Union Market District boasts a menu giving a nod to street food from Italy’s southern coast. “We loved the simplicity and affordability of the menu, as well as the expert execution,” state inspectors.
At Astoria DC in Dupont Circle, co-owner Chu Yi and team dish up well-executed family-style Sichuan fare—“one dish per person is good for a snack; two for a meal; three if you’re hungry”—per the restaurant’s website. Pro tip from the inspectors: “The cocktails are a great part of the experience.”
The star selection for the MICHELIN Guide Washington, D.C. 2020 will be announced on Tuesday, October 1. Congratulations to all Bib Gourmand-designated restaurants. View the full list below.