Todd Gray, former chef de cuisine at Washington's renowned Galileo, has made his own restaurant, Equinox, a destination for New American cuisine and a favorite of D.C. powerbrokers. Applying his European training to local ingredients, Gray, for example, does Chesapeake rockfish seared and finished in the oven with a reduction of shellfish, saffron, and tomato; and breast of wild Scottish pheasant on a bed of Alsatian-style cabbage with hen-of-the-woods mushrooms and a pheasant reduction. As an amuse bouche, he may offer a selection of canapés, such as spring asparagus with truffled fonduta cheese on a brioche, foie gras with rhubarb purée on an artichoke chip, or citrus-cured salmon with hearts of palm and blood orange. An amiable Southerner, Gray often stops at tables, taking requests, answering questions, and calling everyone "sir" or "ma'am." The tranquil, earth-toned room, with wall sconces shaped like spring onions, garlic, and chanterelles, encourages slow dining. Dinner, $100. At 818 Connecticut Ave. NW; 202-331-8118; fax 202-331-0809.