Best Tasting Menus In Washington DC

July 24, 2013 8:00 AM

When Washingtonians can’t choose from multiple mouth-watering dishes, they go for the tasting menu. From raw to organic and even libations, these top five tasting menus highlight the best of DC’s dining culture.

See our previous Best Tasting Menus In Washington DC here.

Mandarin Oriental Hotel
1330 Maryland Ave. S.W.
Washington, DC 20024
(202) 787-6148

CityZen is the place to go when you’re looking for an elegant evening of gorgeous cutting-edge, modern cuisine. Offering solely tasting menus from the dining room to the bar, CityZen gives you three choices in the main dinning room: a six-course tasting menu, a six-course vegetarian tasting menu or a four-course menu. The tasting menus are visually stunning and highlight only the best of fresh, local, seasonal ingredients. The menu changes frequently due to the seasonality of the ingredients sourced, but CityZen will never disappoint. And for a special evening, its sommelier will pair your meal with libations for $85. If you want just a taste in a more casual setting, head to the bar where you can enjoy a three-course menu for $50 with an optional wine pairing of $25.

Columbia Room
1021 7th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 393-0336

Through an unassuming door in the hip Mount Vernon bar The Passenger, you’ll find a small exclusive speakeasy called the Columbia Room. True to DC’s reputation as a town that likes to drink, the Columbia Room serves up three craft cocktails in a sampling menu for the most discerning of tastes. The tasting menu starts with an opening drink to welcome you to the cozy room with only 10 seats. Then the second drink is paired with a seasonal, locally sourced bite from the kitchen, which finds inspiration in the freshest ingredients from the local farmers’ market to its own rooftop garden. The final drink is crafted for you based on your preferences. The tasting menu is $69. Reservations are an absolute must and fill up weeks in advance.

Elizabeth’s Gone Raw
1341 L St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 347-8349 

For those looking to gorge themselves on the healthiest tasting menu in town, there’s the raw tasting menu at Elizabeth’s Gone Raw. This six-course, plant-based menu consists of local, organic, seasonal ingredients that are never heated about 118 degrees. While those unfamiliar with raw cuisine may think that the tasting menu will consist of salad and crunchy vegetables, Elizabeth’s menu is a delight for the palate and the senses. The plates are gorgeous and the taste is unbelievable. Even something like the crab cake is entirely vegan and will have you thinking that you’ve never tasted raw food like this before. The six-course menu is $75 and can be paired with natural wines for an additional $50. Be sure to come early and enjoy a pre-dinner cocktail at the bar downstairs.

Related: Most Creative Cocktails In Washington DC 

818 Connecticut Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC 20006
(202) 331-8118

For the best in seasonal, local foods with an Italian twist, Equinox’s tasting menu by chef Todd Gray will leave you feeling like you’ve had the best pick of local farms. The five-course tasting menu changes with the seasons and reflects comfortable, yet sophisticated foods like a cassoulet or duck confit. The menu can be paired with wine for $120. Chef Gray is well known for his vegan brunch at his other restaurant, Muse at the Corcoran, so it’s no wonder that a vegetarian tasting menu would appear at Equinox. The five-course tasting menu consists of an elevated bounty of farm-fresh ingredients that are carefully crafted into a beautiful plate of deliciousness. The vegetarian tasting menu is $65 or $110 if paired with wine.

Restaurant Nora
2132 Florida Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC 20008
(202) 462-5143
www.noras.comFor an all organic experience, treat yourself to Nora’s. Nora’s is the first certified organic restaurant in America with French cuisine that is always in season and sourced from organic farmers. The tasting menu consists of four courses with a choice of two starters, salads, mains and desserts. Within each course, there is at least one vegetarian option. The tasting menu is $78 for the regular and $68 for the vegetarian. Everything is beautifully presented and Nora’s service is unmatched. There is not a wine pairing, but the sommelier can help you choose a bottle that will go best with the tasting menu.

Related: Best Sangria In Washington, DC

Jamie Hardin is the counter-culture Washingtonian in the know. Inspired by food, sustainability issues, and public health, she prides herself on finding DC’s off-the-beaten path treasures. When she isnt enjoying organic food or reducing her carbon footprint, Jamie’s traveling on her scooter or walking her two pit bulls. Her work can be found at