Northern Virginia Magazine Top 50 Restaurants 2012

Instead of hooks, a wrough-iron coat hanger uses wine keys and other assorted old steel tools as a resting place for jackets.

A random knife sported a fish fin and tail. And the women’s bathroom is decorated with a painting of a window silhouette, with a sink below, and a glass of wine to the side, for cheeky dishwashing scene.

The details manifest on the plate too. An adorable quail, singed and smoky, releases South American flavors next to a bacon-enhanced chunky, creamy corn tucked into a tamale, split open like a baked potato. Balsamic vinegar stains pasta shells in inky, sticky black-brown. Bright goat cheese brings tang and a pop of color and pine nuts with diced lardon slip into the shells’ crevices.

Pound cake feels fresh after it’s fried, and somehow manages to stay moist; a feat for pound cakes in any situation.

Must try: Gnocchi caprese