Bad Saint Lands 2nd in Bon Appétit’s Top 10
Don’t expect the lines waiting to snag a table at Bad Saint, 3226 11th St. NW, to die down anytime soon. Bon Appétit magazine on Tuesday named it the second best new restaurant in the United States this year.
Co-owners Genevieve Villamora and Nick Pimentel opened the 24-seat, no reservations Filipino restaurant in Columbia Heights last fall.
“Their food is personal, but it’s so much more than just dishes they ate as kids,” wrote restaurant editor Andrew Knowlton. “Bad Saint is the kind of place I spend all year searching for.”
The announcement came a week after the magazine named Washington, D.C. its Restaurant City of the Year. Bad Saint was bested only by Atlanta’s Staplehouse restaurant. Other area restaurants in the running included The Dabney and Tail Up Goat, neither of which made the Top 10. In 2014, the magazine named Rose’s Luxury its best new restaurant that year.
Knowlton raved about chef Tom Cunan’s ukoy, a freshwater shrimp fritter with sweet potato and cilantro dipped in chile and vinegar sauce. “It was as addictive as a Bloomin’ Onion, but 50 times more delicious,” he wrote. (Bon Appétit published Cunan’s ukoy recipe so you can try it at home if you don’t want to wait in the hour-long line for a table.) And he called Villamora “the most gracious host I met all year.”
Cunan was previously executive sous chef at Cleveland Park’s Ardeo+Bardeo before joining Bad Saint and worked at Occidental Bar & Grill before that.
Knowlton said he canceled his second dinner the night he ate at Bad Saint, something he doesn’t normally do. “I wanted more adobong dilaw, a tangy stew of chicken, turmeric and burnt coconut – I’d never had adobo like this before,” he wrote.
Bon Appétit’s Hot 10:
- Stapleshouse, Atlanta
- Bad Saint, Washington, D.C.
- Lord Stanley, San Francisco
- Morcilla, Pittsburgh
- Baroo, Los Angeles
- South Philly Barbacoa, Philadelpiha
- Oberlin, Providence, R.I.
- Wildair, New York
- Buxton Hall, Asheville, N.C.
- N7, New Orleans
Bad Saint is open from 5:30-10 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday, 5:30-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and closed Tuesday.
Editor-in-Chief Mark Heckathorn is a journalist, movie buff and foodie. He oversees DC on Heels editorial operations as well as strategic planning and staff development. Reach him with story ideas or suggestions at dcoheditor (at) gmail (dot) com.