The Power of One

Georgetown's Unum offers a singular take on American cuisine

The 50 individual states have a big say in this tiny District.

But their varied food heritages all come together in Georgetown: At Unum–as in "E pluribus unum"–chef-owner Phillip Blane pulls flavors and traditions from across the country for his eclectic menu.

The best way to begin your stateside appreciation is with a mix-and-match board of cheese and charcuterie, showcasing standouts like silky chicken-liver mousse, Alpine-style cheese from Appalachia, and razor-thin slices of Iowa prosciutto ($15 for four).

Blue Point oysters ($12) are served three ways: with a Washington State-style apple mignonette, poached in pungent garlic cream, or fried to a Southern crisp with tangy tomatillo cocktail sauce.

House-made tagliatelle is a meaty tribute to the Midwest. The ribbons of pasta are capped with a generous chunk of boneless short rib ($20), which was braised in red-wine jus to temper the meat's burliness. Blane turns to the smoker to prepare duck breast ($22). The chef cooks the bird to a rosy medium, then offsets it with pomegranate sauce.

For dessert, fresh-from-the-fryer beignets ($7) are rolled in sugar and served with a cardamom-blueberry sauce that would have any Maine native hungry for summer.

It's an all-American craving.

Unum, 2917 M St. NW (at 29th St.); 202-621-6959 or unumdc.com