Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Four Restaurants That Set the Bar for International Cuisine in D.C.

Rasika West End

by Jenna Brown (Contributing Editor)

The nation’s capital is peppered with incredible places to visit and restaurants to eat. Whether you’re after the roaring nightlife of the West End or a more family-friendly tour, Washington, D.C. will deliver.

Many vacationers - and even some D.C. locals - are unfamiliar with the city’s formidable selection of international cuisine. Adventurous eaters and those who love exposing their palette to all kinds of new textures and exotic flavors will find themselves in culinary heaven while touring D.C.'s dining scene.

Here are a few restaurants with a reputation for serving delicious and authentic ethnic food:

1. Keren Restaurant
This is a must-visit for both lovers and newcomers of Ethiopian food. When trying a new kind of ethnic cuisine, you want to make sure it’s properly prepared so your first impression isn’t soured.

Keren offers a wide range of authentic and flavorful Ethiopian food with something to offer every kind of eater, whether you’re vegetarian, vegan, or a die-hard meat lover. This type of cuisine is best known for sourdough flatbread, also called injera, which is topped with dollops of meat, lentil, beans, or vegetable stew-like dishes. And if you’re a beer aficionado, you can try the selection of imported Ethiopian brews.

2. Montmartre
Washington, D.C. is known for its fast-paced lifestyle, so it’s tough to find delectable food in a laid-back atmosphere. The French seem to know the value of taking one’s time to sit back and enjoy a leisurely meal. Few restaurants exhibit this culinary approach as well as Montmartre.

Montmartre’s large and varied menu makes it the perfect place for brunch, lunch, or dinner. The restaurant offers classic French dishes such as duck, rabbit, muscles and frisé, as well as delicious crepes and pastries.

3. Zaytinya
The Mediterranean lifestyle is all about bringing people together to enjoy lovingly prepared, delicious, and nourishing food. If your idea of Mediterranean cuisine is simply pitas and hummus, then you’re in for a big surprise of colorful and flavorful food from a region rich in edible resources, such has fresh herbs, olives, fish, lamb, chicken, seeds, nuts, fruits, and vegetables.

The chefs at Zaytinya prepare Mediterranean dishes with care and finesse. With attractive presentations and regional wines to go with your meal, it’s the perfect place to jump into the Mediterranean mindset by savoring wonderful food with friends and family.

4. Rasika
The flavors of India are among the most varied and complex due to the number of indigenous spices found in the region. For this reason, Indian cuisine can be both exciting and intimidating.

Rasika provides the perfect place to dive into Indian dishes. This modern Indian restaurant provides detailed descriptions of menu items, and the staff is more than happy to steer you in the right direction. With a wide selection of Indian barbecue, curries, hot pots, tandoori and masala, Rasika is well prepared to satisfy both experienced Indian food lovers and those who are looking for their first introduction.

If you want to experience some regional flavors and specialties, these four restaurants are sure to deliver. Of course, in a city that is so rich in international influence, you're bound to find even more gems along the way.