Your mother warned you about walking down dark alleys, but shush her voice in your head and traipse down Blagden Alley to The Dabney. It’s like finding the end of the rainbow—make your way inside to discover a chic farmhouse-style interior, boasting an open kitchen, wood-fired oven, as well as a young, eclectic and well-dressed crowd. And then there is the food, which is nothing short of stellar. In fact, Chef Jeremiah Langhorne—who interned at Noma and cooked at McCrady’s in Charleston—is the patriarch here. As if that weren't enough, this Virginia native is the king of mid-Atlantic fish, local dairy, creamy grits, and other classic American ingredients. This chef-driven menu is a successful marriage of traditional and contemporary flavors. If the likes of pan-fried Chesapeake catfish, dressed up with a mildly spicy hot sauce and served with calypso beans, bacon, wilted spinach, and brown butter foam ring a bell, then you're starting to get the picture. Flame-kissed from the grill and garnished with fried shallot rings, soy, and chili, grilled bok choy is far from a side dish. A buttermilk pie crowned with strawberry jam and yogurt foam makes for a divine finish.
- MICHELIN guide inspectors