50 Best Restaurants 2018: Clarity is No. 5

A Modern American restaurant in Vienna

Photo by Rey Lopez

Clarity is the culmination of a lifetime in the kitchen figuring out exactly how to make a modern American restaurant. It’s credit to industry vet Jon Krinn (25 years behind the stove) and his Vienna project (four years old this spring).

Clarity, based on seasonality but positioned for longevity, is for those who want to eat well, and don’t care about the newest Instagrammable spot. Find this ethos in a nubby cavatelli, ridged and rolled onto itself in a goat Bolognese, straddling the line of comforting home cooking and professional artistry. Porgy is surrounded by mussels, octopus, shrimp, beans and artichoke—all cooked with different techniques, be it sauteed, sous vide or braised—in a red curry-lemongrass, scampi-like emulsion.

Desserts range from flourless dark chocolate ganache cake to a raspberry mousse paired with pink peppercorn ice cream and broken pieces of charcoal meringue whose studied, muted color palette would look at home on a Pantone inspiration board.

Modern American | $$$
442 Maple Ave. E, Vienna

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