Best: Restaurant Eve
110 S. Pitt St., Alexandria, (703) 706-0450
2nd Best: Sonoma Restaurant and Wine Bar
223 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, (202) 544-8088
With an impressive variety of house-made sausage and other meat treats, Restaurant Eve offers the best charcuterie plate in the D.C. area, but Sonoma on Capitol Hill is a meataterian must-visit. Its evolving charcuterie menu features seasonal, local ingredients. Game meats steal the show on fall and winter menus; it’s an exciting departure from pork-dominated offerings found elsewhere. The pheasant pâte, made with pistachios and organic pheasant, is a silky gem and the most popular charcuterie order. Don’t overlook the rabbit rillette, a smoky, sweet dream of a dish that will have you scraping the bottom of the jar, cholesterol levels be damned. Chef Drew Trautmann buys time to play with these creations by shipping in less-inventive staples like bresaola and sopressata from artisanal sources like Salumeria Biellese in New York. Add accents like wine-steeped dried figs and cranberry chutney, and it becomes all too easy to rationalize a meal of preserved meats.