100 VERY BEST RESTAURANTS 2015: No. 72 Equinox

Reviewed By Todd KlimanAnn LimpertAnna SpiegelCynthia Hacinli

Chef/owner Todd Gray, a fixture on Washington’s culinary scene for two decades, has seen many a trend. And while he’s no stranger to enthusiasms of the moment—rosemary gougères, truffled risotto fritters—he’s also a locavore committed to letting ingredients speak for themselves.

Gray’s culinary empire has grown to include the Salamander resort and Market Salamander in Middleburg, but he’s still a presence at this earth-toned flagship. He has a way with noodles: delicate egg-yolk pappardelle is swirled over a luxuriant Bolognese, and an agnolotti of ricotta and chestnuts is just as refined—and just as wonderful.

The sturdier fare is successful, too. Seafood bouillabaisse is anchored by a flavorful lobster-anise broth, and balsamic-glazed short ribs have a meatiness that comes only from slow cooking—in this case for 36 hours.

Don’t miss:

  • Vegan parsnip velouté
  • Truffled mac and cheese
  • Chestnut brandy semifreddo
  • Heirloom-carrot cake


By Tom Sietsema November 28, 2014

The big difference between Sunday brunch at Equinox and at many of the restaurant’s competitors is not immediately apparent. Like other sources of the weekend ritual, the downtown fixture owned by chef Todd Gray pours its share of bloody Marys, sets out a colorful buffet and even serves live music, most recently reggae. Closer inspection of the occasion reveals what’s missing from the meal: bacon and eggs. Read more >


Dreading the thought of cooking for Thanksgiving? Don’t sweat it. Just make your reservation and dine out at D.C.’s Equinox Restaurant! We got a preview of what they’ll have on the menu on Good Day DC. Watch video >


Skip the pig and indulge in white and black truffles instead at Chef Todd Gray’s luxe vegan brunch and vegan tasting.

Sumptuous vegetable-centric cuisine has long been an important part of the menu at Equinox Restaurant. But now, Chef Todd Gray is taking produce-driven dining to a new level by incorporating rare white and black truffles into the vegan brunch and vegan tasting menus.

Veg-curious and vegan guests can celebrate truffle season with such delicacies as Truffled Risotto Fritters with Garlic Chive Veganaise, Truffled Lentil ‘Cassoulet’ with Slow Cooked Beets, and Shaved Truffles atop a Tofu Scramble. Chef Gray has even created a silky rich White Truffle Vanilla Anglaise that can be spooned over muffins and pastries.

In the evening, truffles are being added to the vegan tasting menu—from truffle oil to freshly shaved truffles on select dishes.

The menus, which changes weekly, features fresh seasonal ingredients sourced from local farmers and an assortment of desserts created by pastry chef Eddy Teixeira.

“Now that the brunch has moved from the Corcoran to Equinox—and we have use of a full kitchen–we have an amazing opportunity to take vegetable-centric dining to a whole new level,” says Chef Gray.

“Truffles are only around for a short time, and so we are celebrating this amazing delicacy while we can by offering something very special for vegans and omnivores alike.”

A pioneer in regional, local, and seasonal cuisine, Chef Gray has been featuring plant-based dishes on the Equinox menu for 15 years and continues to find new and innovative ways to showcase the region’s bountiful produce.

Inspired by their own efforts to lead a healthier, more plant-based diet, Chef Gray and his wife Ellen Kassoff Gray began offering weekly vegan brunches at their Muse Café at the Corcoran three years ago. Beginning in July 2014, with the closing of the Corcoran, their beloved vegan Sunday brunch moved to Equinox Restaurant.

The vegan brunch is $30 for adults and $15 for children under 12. The truffle supplement is $20. The vegan tasting menu is $65; the truffle supplement is $25.

Equinox Restaurant is located at 818 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington DC. For more information, visit http://www.equinoxrestaurant.com 

View the full press release >


via The Washington Post - “Most restaurants don’t give children many choices: chicken fingers. Tater tots. Or bland, cheese-laden pizza, accompanied by a cup of limp fruit salad. And some parents are getting tired of it.” – Read more >


Via Brightest Young Things - “The menu offers plenty of savory options. Truffled calypso bean soup is a deliciously creamy way to kick of the meal, rich without being heavy, with truffle shaved table side and sprinkled on top. Toasted couscous salad with burgundy poached “forbidden apple” (quince), spiced pumpkin seeds and hazelnut vinaigrette, as well as a spinach and radicchio salad make up the first course. The truffled lentil cassoulet with golden beets and caramelized Brussels sprouts was a hearty, delicious dish.” – Read more >



  • 4 Cups shelled fresh Calypso beans or white beans
  • 1 small yellow onion, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 parsnip, peeled and diced
  • 2 celery stalks , diced
  • ½ Cup celery root, peeled and diced
  • 1 Quart vegetable broth
  • 1 Quart home made almond milk or store bought
  • 1 TBS fresh chopped thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Truffle melange/ oil to taste


  1. Soak beans in water overnight
  2. Heat an 8 qt sauce pot to med temp
  3. Add oil, onions and garlic
  4. Cook 4 minutes till shiny and translucent
  5. Add all other vegetables and drained beans
  6. Add milk, stock, thyme, salt and pepper
  7. Gently simmer till beans are tender, approx. 30–40 min
  8. Remove 2 cups of soup and puree
  9. Add back to soup and incorporate
  10. This will give the soup body and texture.

Finish soup with truffle melange and serve with crusty bread


Via Been There, Eaten That - “If the word vegan makes you go “meh,” it’s time to reconsider. Vegan sometimes gets a bad rap. The vegan brunch at Equinox can help sway a non-believer to gain an appreciation for the no meat, no fish, and no dairy side of cuisine. If you think you need a little something extra to persuade you, how about truffles? The White Truffle Brunch at Equinox takes a quality vegan brunch and elevates it to another level.” – Read more > 



  • 2 medium Yukon gold potatoes
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons flax seed mixed with 4 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup matzo meal
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup canola oil


  1. Grate the Yukon Gold and sweet potatoes on the large-mesh side of a box grater or in a food processor. With your hands, squeeze out any liquid and transfer the potatoes to a medium-sized bowl. 2. With the same grater, grate the onion into the bowl with the potatoes.
  2. Add the flax seed mix (2 Tbs at a time check for consistency before using all of it), matzo meal, thyme, salt, and pepper. Using a wooden spoon or your hands, mix together until ingredients are well blended.
  3. Preheat the oven to 250°F.
  4. Heat a 12-inch nonstick sauté pan over high heat; add 1/4 cup of the oil and heat until it begins to smoke. Working in batches to cook 3 cakes at a time, shape the potato mixture into 5-inch round cakes about 1/2-inch thick, adding each to the pan as you do so.
  5. Lower the heat to medium and cook the cakes without moving them until brown on 1 side—about 4 minutes; turn them over and cook until the other side is brown—about 4 minutes more.
  6. Remove the cakes from the pan and transfer to a paper-towel lined plate to drain.
  7. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1/4 cup oil in the pan and shape and cook the remaining potato mixture.
  8. When the first batch of latkes has drained, transfer them to a serving plate and keep warm in the oven. Serve with the topping of your choice.

  (Makes six 5-inch latkes)