Smoked ribs and beef with Texan sides at Hill Country in Penn Quarter

Hill Country smokes up Penn Quarter

We've long hoped that Marc Glosserman would have a homecoming.

Now, after taking New York by storm, the Bethesda native has opened Hill Country D.C. in Penn Quarter. Texas barbecue–cooked low and slow over oak–is the house specialty, and the restaurant is presided over by chef Elizabeth Karmel, who splits her time between both locations.

The menu includes marbled brisket ($22 per pound) and beer-can game hens ($10), as at the celebrated New York location, but here in the District, the team has added a stunning extra dish.

Bone-in short ribs (market price)–a rare and coveted special in New York–are a menu fixture here. Rubbed with a blend of cayenne, cracked pepper and coarse salt, the beef smokes for six to eight hours until pink in the center under its shell of crunchy peppercorns.

Pitmasters slice each single-rib order from the rack, with the smallest portion weighing around one pound. We recommend you split an order with companions to save room for sides like wilted collard greens with bacon ($5) or the off-menu chili mac, Karmel's favorite beanless chili over an exceptionally cheesy macaroni and cheese ($5).

If you have room, sample Karmel's light, silky banana pudding ($6) with Nilla Wafers, or a slice of the specialty layer cake ($10). This month, it's a towering, cocoa-dense red velvet cake tufted in cream cheese frosting.

Welcome home, Hill Country.

Hill Country, 410 7th St. NW (between D & E sts.); 202-556-2050 or hillcountrywdc.com