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Don't Count Out Cleveland Park

Washington DC Dining DC
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When Frank Ruta’s Palena bid farewell earlier this year, it spawned questions about whether Cleveland Park could remain a dining destination without its flagship restaurant. Dino’s also said goodbye and re-emerged in Shaw—a neighborhood with significantly more buzz. Fortunately, the remaining neighborhood gems have upped their game, including Ripple and Ardeo Bardeo, so don’t count out Cleveland Park.

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Ripple, from chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley, hit on the local/sustainable food trend before it spread like a juicy secret. Because of the restaurant’s commitment to local cuisine, the menu is constantly in a seasonal state of refresh. We snapped Marjorie’s Border Springs lamb tartare with chanterelle mushroom puree, pickled mustard seeds, and matsutake mushrooms. The RAMMY Award-winning restaurant will also be serving roasted beet agnolotti, beef cheek bourguignon, and olive oil poached golden tilefish this fall.

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A few doors down, chef Matt Kuhn is cooking inspired food at Ardeo + Bardeo. Take this Carolina Gold Rice Congee: Rice porridge is ornamented with house Andouille sausage, salt-pepper shrimp, octopus, dashi, and a 63-degree Japanese egg. It’s draws on the chef’s Southern heritage and his late night meals at Chinatown’s New Big Wong—a favorite among chefs. The bowl (that would cure any hangover) is a part of a bountiful fall menu. Other highlights: maple-braised pork cheek on spaghetti squash and boudin blanc-stuffed quail.