3 Reasons D.C. Is Becoming a Foodie Capital

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The center of the emerging mid-Atlantic cuisine, Washington, D.C., is now on the map as a true dining destination.

Since the turn of the century, the nation’s capital has become known not only as a United Nations of menus but also for developing its own distinctive food style—dubbed mid-Atlantic cuisine—which was acknowledged by Michelin last fall with the publication of its first guide for the city. The concept employs local ingredients, such as Chesapeake Bay seafood, Virginia beef, Pennsylvania mushrooms, and Maryland produce, and they are often prepared with an international flair. “I moved here in 2008,” says Michael Santoro, the executive chef at Kingbird in the city’s Watergate Hotel and a devotee of cast-iron cooking, “and in the years since, the food scene has just exploded.” While acclaimed chefs such as Daniel Boulud have exported their brands to D.C. (2 years ago he opened DBGD Kitchen and Bar), the true landmarks on the culinary map seem to be homegrown.