There’s nothing like a fantastic meal to spark creativity in any cook, and in the past month I’ve had a few–thanks in part to my Top 10 list, which I compile every year based on Washingtonian‘s Top 100 Restaurants. The list arrives in January, and I pour through it and come up with 10 new restaurants that I want to try during the year.

Over the course of last year, I’ve had some excellent meals at Majestic (best meal I had all year), Eventide (get the venison), Tallula (homemade pastas, great pork shoulder, amazing desserts, and an economical wine list), Tabard Inn (best overheard conversations in DC, even if the menu was nothing to write home about), Vermilion (great five-course tasting menu), and even Againn (Their service is lacking where their kitchen shines–I won’t be returning). Other outings at Willow and Zaytinya were also enjoyable.

So where do I want to go this year? It’s kind of eclectic—a lot of my ‘must try’ places were taken care of in 2010, so this year I expanded out to a few things that sounded cool, looked delicious, or friends have raved about already. Let me know what you think of my list in the comments:

My Dreams:
VoltI’ve sent enough people here, it’s time to try it myself
KomiMaybe this year, maybe the next, but the occasion has to be special enough to go here.

When I’m Ready for a Road Trip:
Woodberry KitchenThey say it offers items that no place in Washington can. More than enough reason to try it out.

2 AmysI’ve been here for three years now! It’s time I try it.
In the Neighborhood:
Restaurant EveVery happy with my Majestic experience, now it’s time to try its fancier-half.
BastilleA neighborhood bistro with “soul-stirring French cooking”. Yum.
Brabo by Robert WiedmaierMussels! In Old Town! Plus they have a moderately priced tasting room next door and a Butcher’s Block market with wine and picnic items.

Next Restaurant Week:
RasikaI always remember this place during Restaurant Week, but the reservations are impossible. It’s my only goal in August.

Chris’ Picks: Considering he lets me take him to every other place I can think of, I thought I should give him a little say in the matter this year.
RisApparently she’s the nicest chef to work for in the area…and has a fancy resume to back up her cooking. Good enough for me.
Blue Duck TavernFamily style dinners that sound amazing.