Beef Chow foon noodles
Chef Irvin Van Oordt’s rendition of this Cantonese classic is pure Chinese comfort food. Richly marbled Maryland brisket gets a 24-hour soak in black vinegar, ginger, and garlic, then is seared in a hot wok with bean sprouts, scallions, and fat, chewy rice noodles. Attention, vegetarians: An off-menu eggplant version is just as satisfying. 922 N St., NW; 202-733-1152.
New England Smash Burger
The Salt Line
Chef Kyle Bailey is an avowed hamburger geek, but we’re glad that he had the confidence to play it simple when coming up with his own rendition at this Navy Yard restaurant. His take features two salt-and-peppered patties smashed on the griddle and gilded with squares of American cheese. The fanciest thing about it? The house-made bread-and-butter pickles that accompany the thick tomatoes and shredded iceberg lettuce on a soft, squishy bun. 79 Potomac Ave., SE; 202-506-2368.
Fried Chesapeake Catfish
Jeremiah Langhorne’s Shaw dining room celebrates all things Mid-Atlantic. This family-style platter comes with a decidedly Vietnamese accent—fistfuls of mint and cilantro, along with bread-and-butter-style pickled jalapeños. Grab a hunk of the beautifully fried fish, wrap it in a johnnycake, and don’t be sparing with those toppings. 122 Blagden Alley, NW; 202-450-1015.