Jump to content


Welcome to the eG Forums!

These forums are a service of the Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to advancement of the culinary arts. Anyone can read the forums, however if you would like to participate in active discussions please join the Society.

Photo

Looking for HIP dinner place in DC


  • Please log in to reply
21 replies to this topic

#1 Kim Shook

Kim Shook
  • participating member
  • 2,988 posts
  • Location:Richmond, VA

Posted 01 October 2012 - 08:27 AM

I'll be meeting friends in DC for a birthday celebration. We were all raised in the area, but mostly live away now. The birthday boy lives in LA now and requests a very hip birthday dinner. Here's his request: " whenever we hit NYC my #1 priority is to always dine at the hottest spots in town for energy/atmosphere/scene. Food needs to be good but scene is my goal when I'm an out of towner. I can rattle off the top NYC spots today; but again have zero clue on DC...so if you guys can help get rez's on the 18th somewhere cool like that I would love it!"


So that's his request. If food was the most important thing, I'd have lots of ideas. But hip? We are all in our 50's - I didn't think that I had to worry about hip anymore :biggrin: . So my dear, food-loving, and - I hope - hipper than me friends, what places would you suggest? I'm guessing that by 18th he means Dupont and Adams Morgan. Thank you so much!!

#2 weinoo

weinoo
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 6,549 posts
  • Location:NYC

Posted 01 October 2012 - 11:06 AM

Mintwood Place in Adams Morgan, perhaps?

Little Serow is as hip as possible, but you'll have to stand on line for an hour or more as they (sadly) don't take ressies.

Isabella's Graffiato draws them in.
Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"
mweinstein@eGstaff.org
Tasty Travails - My Blog
My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs
Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

#3 Hassouni

Hassouni
  • participating member
  • 2,159 posts
  • Location:DC Area/London/Beirut

Posted 01 October 2012 - 11:51 AM

Toki Underground is certainly hip and quite delicious, but it's not in Adams (it's on H St NE)
The Brixton would also be hip, and allegedly has good food. You could add any Hilton Bros establishment to that list (Marvin, American Ice, and this new place Blackbyrd come to mind)
Estadio is another possibility, as are Pearl Dive and Agora

If "The 18th" means 18th Street, I'd say forget it, Adams Morgan is just a shitshow and there's not much good in Dupont besides Paradiso and Moby Dick, neither of which really fit the bill from the sound of it

#4 Busboy

Busboy
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 4,426 posts
  • Location:Washington, DC

Posted 01 October 2012 - 12:06 PM

Avoid Adams-Morgan. I'd head towards the 14th St. Corridor, as it seems to have the best hip/food quotient (H Street and Columbia Heights are probably hipper, but the food is not as good). if you want reservations, Estadio and Pearl Dive are probably out, though both offer pretty good eating. Masa 14 might be a good bet, as might Cork -- especially if you're interested in wine as well as hippitude.
I'm on the pavement
Thinking about the government.

#5 Alex

Alex
  • participating member
  • 2,223 posts
  • Location:Grand Rapids, MI

Posted 01 October 2012 - 12:34 PM

Are you sure by "the 18th" he didn't mean the day?

And yes, you do still have to worry about "hip" -- the one you might break if you're not careful.

Mintwood is good (and is one of the current "in" spots), but I don't know if I'd call it hip.

As Busboy mentioned, Masa 14 and Cork are good choices, as is Birch & Barley/Churchkey, especially if your friend is into beer.
Gene Weingarten, writing in The Washington Post about online news stories and their readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

"A vasectomy might cost as much as a year’s worth of ice cream, but that doesn’t mean it’s equally enjoyable." -Ezra Dyer, NY Times

#6 Hassouni

Hassouni
  • participating member
  • 2,159 posts
  • Location:DC Area/London/Beirut

Posted 01 October 2012 - 12:56 PM

Oh, forgot about Birch & Barley/Churchkey

so hip it hurts

But yes, 14th St is my rec, many of the places I mentioned plus those of Busboy are all there

Edited by Hassouni, 01 October 2012 - 12:56 PM.


#7 Busboy

Busboy
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 4,426 posts
  • Location:Washington, DC

Posted 01 October 2012 - 01:17 PM

And, while we're on 14th Street, if you're in the mood for a hip cocktail joint, you might want to try The Gibson, a neo-(pseudo-?) speakeasy where tattoed bartenders whip up excellent, original cocktails. Prime time entrance generally demands a reservation, but getting their early or late often works as well.

Also, being polite and patient to the guy at the door seems to help.

Mitch probably has a more nuanced view of the place, if he cares to weigh in, but I think it's an excellent place to kick off a 14th Street crawl.
I'm on the pavement
Thinking about the government.

#8 Hassouni

Hassouni
  • participating member
  • 2,159 posts
  • Location:DC Area/London/Beirut

Posted 01 October 2012 - 01:50 PM

Passenger! Passenger! Passenger!













Sorry, I really dislike Gibson.

#9 weinoo

weinoo
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 6,549 posts
  • Location:NYC

Posted 01 October 2012 - 02:03 PM

Are you sure by "the 18th" he didn't mean the day?


That's what I think he meant.

Mintwood is good (and is one of the current "in" spots), but I don't know if I'd call it hip.

This issue, as I see it, is that nothing is really that hip. That will also work for a bunch of people of, ummm, a certain age.

As Busboy mentioned, Masa 14 and Cork are good choices, as is Birch & Barley/Churchkey, especially if your friend is into beer

Birch & Barley is my favorite restaurant in the district, and the chefs have lots of tattoos. Churchkey is awesome, but also annoying enough just to get a seat.

And, while we're on 14th Street, if you're in the mood for a hip cocktail joint, you might want to try The Gibson, a neo-(pseudo-?) speakeasy where tattoed bartenders whip up excellent, original cocktails. Prime time entrance generally demands a reservation, but getting their early or late often works as well.
Mitch probably has a more nuanced view of the place, if he cares to weigh in, but I think it's an excellent place to kick off a 14th Street crawl.

Evidently, the bar manager from the Gibson is now at the newly reopened and renovated Firefly. I look forward to giving it a try next week.

Firefly regulars can also look forward to a new cocktail program led by former Gibson general manager Jon Harris and a new menu at the bar.


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"
mweinstein@eGstaff.org
Tasty Travails - My Blog
My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs
Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

#10 Busboy

Busboy
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 4,426 posts
  • Location:Washington, DC

Posted 01 October 2012 - 03:28 PM

Passenger! Passenger! Passenger!


Sorry, I really dislike Gibson.

Depends on my mood, though four times out of five I'd join you at The Passenger. Alas, though, it's a hike from there to 14th Street, hence my reccomendation.
I'm on the pavement
Thinking about the government.

#11 weinoo

weinoo
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 6,549 posts
  • Location:NYC

Posted 02 October 2012 - 01:27 PM

Per Todd Kliman, in The Washingtonian:

Izakaya Seki, DC
Arguably the most exciting restaurant to debut this year. Hiroshi Seki and his daughter, Cizuka Seki, have fashioned a spare, intimate izakaya from a former barber shop on V St. It's a no-frills setting that suggests a gallery and serves as an ideal backdrop for beautifully simple dishes that all but command you to slow down and focus. Hop a seat at the wraparound counter that consumes the entirety of downstairs to watch Seki, a sushi master with 50 years experience, work with grace, speed, economy and calm as he executes his repertoire with a small team of cooks: thick slices of veal-tender beef tongue with a painting of mustard-miso sauce; succulent filets of grilled mero, the Japanese term for Chilean sea bass; springy soba noodles with flakes of nori and tempura; and some of the most exquisite cuts of aji (horse mackerel) and yellowtail you'll find.


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"
mweinstein@eGstaff.org
Tasty Travails - My Blog
My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs
Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

#12 Hassouni

Hassouni
  • participating member
  • 2,159 posts
  • Location:DC Area/London/Beirut

Posted 02 October 2012 - 03:16 PM

Yeah, it just seems expensive for what they're offering...izakaya are meant to be humble affairs...

#13 mkayahara

mkayahara
  • participating member
  • 1,853 posts
  • Location:Guelph, Ontario

Posted 02 October 2012 - 03:32 PM

Yeah, it just seems expensive for what they're offering...izakaya are meant to be humble affairs...

Yes, but so are bistros. :wink:
Matthew Kayahara
Kayahara.ca
@mtkayahara

#14 weinoo

weinoo
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 6,549 posts
  • Location:NYC

Posted 02 October 2012 - 04:19 PM


Yeah, it just seems expensive for what they're offering...izakaya are meant to be humble affairs...

Yes, but so are bistros. :wink:

And so are burgers... :wink: .
Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"
mweinstein@eGstaff.org
Tasty Travails - My Blog
My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs
Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

#15 weinoo

weinoo
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 6,549 posts
  • Location:NYC

Posted 02 October 2012 - 04:21 PM

Yeah, it just seems expensive for what they're offering...izakaya are meant to be humble affairs...


I think this is just looking for an excuse. We have members here who go to cocktail bars where the drinks are $14, and we hear no such thing.
Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"
mweinstein@eGstaff.org
Tasty Travails - My Blog
My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs
Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

#16 Hassouni

Hassouni
  • participating member
  • 2,159 posts
  • Location:DC Area/London/Beirut

Posted 02 October 2012 - 07:42 PM

Yeah but usually my total bill at those bars is a lot less than what I could expect to spend at Seki. Their stuff is small plates, right?

I don't know, I may go yet, I was just hoping for a DC version of some of those St Mark's joints in NY, where you can get $1.50 draft Japanese beer and tasty snacks for a pittance.

PS, I don't jive with burgers over about $10 or $12 max :smile:

#17 weinoo

weinoo
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 6,549 posts
  • Location:NYC

Posted 02 October 2012 - 08:02 PM

I'm hoping that the food at Seki is quite a step up from the food on St. Mark's. But I haven't been yet, so I can't say.
Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"
mweinstein@eGstaff.org
Tasty Travails - My Blog
My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs
Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

#18 Kim Shook

Kim Shook
  • participating member
  • 2,988 posts
  • Location:Richmond, VA

Posted 08 October 2012 - 08:31 AM

I'm an idiot! Of course he meant the 18th of the MONTH :rolleyes: ! Thanks for noticing that. And for all the good information. I'm sorry to take so long to respond, but I've been in an out of town a lot visiting my grandmother in NC who is in a nursing home. I'm going to research everything and ask my friends for input and will pick a place. I really appreciate everything and will report back!

LATER

Ok, here’s the short list:

Mintwood Place

Graffiato

Marvin

Agora

Birch & Barley


This is one of my oldest friends and I know what he wants – he wants to recreate nights out when we were in high school and college and used to wander around Georgetown and Old Town Alexandria, popping into different places for a snack and a drink and finally settling down to eat somewhere ‘cool’. Since we are now older, I do want to make a reservation (which I can do at any of these places), but I know he’ll still want to do a bit of wandering. Are any of these restaurants in neighborhoods that would facilitate that? Thanks so much!

Edited by Kim Shook, 08 October 2012 - 09:25 AM.


#19 Hassouni

Hassouni
  • participating member
  • 2,159 posts
  • Location:DC Area/London/Beirut

Posted 08 October 2012 - 09:30 AM

I'm an idiot! Of course he meant the 18th of the MONTH :rolleyes: ! Thanks for noticing that. And for all the good information. I'm sorry to take so long to respond, but I've been in an out of town a lot visiting my grandmother in NC who is in a nursing home. I'm going to research everything and ask my friends for input and will pick a place. I really appreciate everything and will report back!

LATER

Ok, here’s the short list:

Mintwood Place

Graffiato

Marvin

Agora

Birch & Barley


This is one of my oldest friends and I know what he wants – he wants to recreate nights out when we were in high school and college and used to wander around Georgetown and Old Town Alexandria, popping into different places for a snack and a drink and finally settling down to eat somewhere ‘cool’. Since we are now older, I do want to make a reservation (which I can do at any of these places), but I know he’ll still want to do a bit of wandering. Are any of these restaurants in neighborhoods that would facilitate that? Thanks so much!


Not sure where the other two are, but Agora, Marvin, and Birch and Barley are definitely within walking distance (17th & Q, 14th & U, 14th & P? respectively). If you want tasty wandering snacks and good drinks I may also recommend El Centro DF (14th btw S&T, next to Black Cat)

#20 Kim Shook

Kim Shook
  • participating member
  • 2,988 posts
  • Location:Richmond, VA

Posted 07 November 2012 - 02:47 PM

Well, we ended up at NONE of the places on my short list :rolleyes: ! He picked Cashion's from some online list of 'must see DC restaurants'! That was fine with me - I love Cashion's and we had a lovely meal and a nice wander around the neighborhood afterwards. Thanks so much - I'm keeping my list so that we'll have some ready ideas for the next time we go up. Thank you again!

#21 Hassouni

Hassouni
  • participating member
  • 2,159 posts
  • Location:DC Area/London/Beirut

Posted 07 November 2012 - 08:08 PM

Well, Mitch, I went to Seki. Had to wait forever, and paid quite a bit, but the food was very good and eclectic - I went with a Japanese friend and she ordered her favorite weird stuff on the menu, like chopped raw octopus with wasabi.....(that was my least favorite). The sake and shochu list were really impressive, I'd go back just for that.

#22 weinoo

weinoo
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 6,549 posts
  • Location:NYC

Posted 08 November 2012 - 07:07 AM

Sounds good!

There's another brand new ramen place (ramen becoming the new burger maybe) on Columbia Road in Adams Morgan that we tried last night - which looks like it may turn into a zoo at some point, since upstairs is a lounge area. It's called Taan, and it was all high tops and uncomfortable stools downstairs. The ramen was okay, but I prefer Sakuramen on 18th.

And the night before we were at Mintwood, where I had one of the best game dishes I've had on this side of the Atlantic - wild Scottish wood pigeon breast, wrapped in a force of its own liver, heart and dark meat, then wrapped in Savoy and bacon, cooked perfectly rare and a real slam-dunk. Place was packed, as was Cashion's.
Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"
mweinstein@eGstaff.org
Tasty Travails - My Blog
My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs
Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?