Washington, D.C., is home to some of the best and most expensive restaurants in the country. Want a great, yet costly dine out?  Here are five that are high on the list:

1. minibar by José Andrés 

Minibar by José Andrés, a two Michelin-starred restaurant, exemplifies avant-garde-style restaurants. Each bite is designed to thrill the senses by pushing the limits of what we have come to expect from food. The creations combine art and science to deliver an imaginative and progressive-tasting menu.

The 12-seat Penn Quarter spot that ranks with Chicago's Alinea as one of the country's most celebrated purveyors of avant-garde-tasting menus. The restaurant has raised the price of dinner to $275 (up $25 from last year).
The 20-25 course tasting, after tax and 20 percent tip, will now cost $358 for one or $715 for two. Add on wine pairings at $95, and dinner for two rises up to $962. Opt for the $115 pairings, and dinner will run $1,014. Those who book seats at the semi-private "Jose's Table," where a longer tasting of 25-30 courses (plus reserve wines) runs $550, will end up spending $1430 for two. The experience could maybe be more than worth it.
405 8th St. NW 2nd Fl. Washington, D.C. 20004 202-393-0812 minibarbyjoseandres.com
  2. Pineapple and Pearls  The best steakhouse in town these days is the last savory course on the menu of this avant-garde dining destination on Capitol Hill. The chefs, who double as servers, are forever tweaking their performance. They are considered the premier example of awesome dining. Chef/owner Aaron Silverman has a prix-fixe ticket that includes inventive foods, excellent service, and great cocktails.

Pineapple and Pearls has now increased the price of its tasting menu from $250 to $280 per person.

The price, paid in advance of reservations through an online ticket system, will continue to include tax, tip, and drink pairings. Tickets for the bar, which don’t include drink pairings, will go up from $150 to $180. 15 8th St SE, Washington, D.C. 20003 pineappleandpearls.com  
  3. Marcel’s by Robert Wiedmaier  Marcel's is listed among the top 20 restaurants in the world by Zagat and tops Washingtonian's list of best restaurants. That’s because of the highly-perishable, expensive ingredients and skill required to prepare delicate fish and shellfish. The dinner menu's big-ticket item, the grand plateau ($150), arrives loaded with oysters, clams, prawns, lobster, and several styles of sashimi — all individually dressed.

Frequent patrons know they can create their own tasting menu — four, five, six, or seven courses — from any of the lot, for $90, $110, $130 and $150, respectively. “I don’t want to hold people food-hostage,” says Wiedmaier, who also lets diners order less, at a la carte prices.

2401 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20037
(202) 296-1166
marcelsdc.com

4. Métier   

Métier doesn’t ask you to make food decisions. Most diners get the same seven-course, $200 dinner, part of which you pay for when you make a reservation. Everything about the eating experience is a delight. You descend into the space via elevator, and the doors open to reveal a salon where diners are seated and served hors d’oeuvres before moving into the intimate main dining room for a seven-course meal.

The price tag also signals special-occasion: $200 per person including gratuity (wine pairings are an additional $100–$185, or you can order wines by the glass or bottle; tax also isn't included), as does the jacket requirement for men.

1015 7th St. NW Washington, D.C. 20001 202-737-7500 Métierdc.com   5. The Inn at Little Washington  The Inn at Little Washington — a restaurant roughly 70 miles from D.C., in Washington, Virginia, — earned  two stars in Michelin’s D.C.-Only Guide. One of three menus celebrates the “here and now” with foie gras mousse and sauternes gelee in a golden egg. Another list, “The Good Earth,” makes a world-class “meatloaf” out of local chanterelles. The herbed lamb carpaccio with Caesar salad ice cream tastes like something you've never imagined.

Not everyone has the cash to splurge on a meal at the Inn at Little Washington, where dinner starts at around $200 per person.

Soon you'll be able to get a taste of the food coming out of its kitchen for a lot less. The inn recently debuted a new farmers market in the scenic small town of Washington, Va., where it's been located since 1978. The Inn at Little Washington, in Washington, Virginia, won five-star ratings from Forbes for both its hotel and its restaurant. 309 Middle St. Washington, VA 22747 540-675-3800 theinnatlittlewashington.com      
Have you been to any of these restaurants? We'd love to hear about them!

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