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    washington, dc
  1. Corduroy over at 12th and K is about a 8 block walk from Topaz. Big enough to handle your group.... excellent food; nothing "wild". Similar to Pesce/Johnny's Half Shell, Hank's Oyster Bar at 17th and Q, good, but could be very hard pressed to squeeze 12 in there. Spezie over at Connecticut and L, just 3-4 blocks away is a good Italian place; I've taken groups of 10 there before.... they have a back room that fits 12 comfortably that you could reserve.
  2. Just down the street from the Courtyard (which is in the same bldg as Gordon Biersch), there's also Ella's for pizza. I prefer Matchbox, but that's probably for the mini-burgers. Chinatown is not a far walk, and I second the Full Kee recommendation. For lunch one day, goto Capital Q (next to Matchbox) for some BBQ (get the brisket). Also cheap is Kanlaya, a Thai place in chinatown. For Mexican, I've also liked Andale over at 7th and D. For a little bit of a splurge, Poste is also a possibility.
  3. I'm sure I'm too late with this post. Kanlaya should be able to do 12 and is well within the price range. McCormick & Schmick's can handle it, and is probably close to the edge of the price range.
  4. Buddy's is always busy -- it's right on Main Street, where you will probably end up anyway. It's been awhile since I've been there, but if you are looking for straight-up crabs, I think you'll be happy. Annapolis is a great town -- enjoy! ← Buddy's is the default downtown. If you go there, order the crabs, don't settle for the buffet table crabs. Maybe you can catch a water taxi to Cantlers. Just go down to the City Dock and catch one. The concierge at Loews should be able to help you out with that. That's the place to go.
  5. Crabs may be a bit tough w/o a car. For non-crab seafood, I suggest O'Leary's over in Eastport - it's a bit of a walk, but worth it. It's also on OpenTable. A bit closer in State Circle, I've heard Harry Browne's is very good. For the morning coffee, goto 49 West just a couple hops, skips, and a jump away from the Loews. It's got great desserts also.
  6. In the past, I've been most pleased with my RW meals at DC Coast (choice of 3 salads/soups, almost every main entreee, choice of 3 desserts - summer 2004), Corduroy (entire menu with a couple upcharges - winter 2005), and Palette (small menu - choice of 3 salads/soups, 3 entrees, 3 desserts; but very tasty - summer 2004). RW did the job too, because I've gone back to both DC Coast and Corduroy and paid the regular prices, and not been disappointed either time. Smith and Wollensky was good for RW (winter 2004). I ended up ordering off the RW menu (I couldn't resist chateaubriand), but the RW menu was decent, if small - choice of salad, filet or chicken or fish, and dessert. My dining companions were pleased with their choice and thought it was definitely good value. Oceanaire I remember being very disappointed with the choices and ended up ordering off the regular menu (winter 2001?). Butterfield 9 was satisfactory(winter 2005) - I was glad I went to try it, but was glad I paid RW prices. They also had a special menu (3 selections for each dish, except for dessert which had 2 choices). I've researched Sam and Harry's and Caucus Room before for steak, and they were just serving medallions (or chicken or fish) - I'm disappointed to hear that CP steak does the same thing. Anyone ever been to Taberna del Albardero for RW (i've never been there ever and have been meaning to try it). How about the trio of Italian places (I Ricchi, Teatro Goldoni, and Tuscana West)?
  7. The Hill's review from a couple weeks ago. Says it's only going to be open another year. I also like Al Tiramisu. A bit cheaper is Sette Osteria, north of Dupont Circle.
  8. 25 is a lot of people for some of the neighborhood places, particularly if you're looking for decent food <$40 total/head. It doesn't get much press here, and I admit I've only been here for lunch, but over at 6th and NY (a couple blocks east of the convention center) is AV Ristorante, which could certainly fit your group. They've been there for something like 50 years and have their share of politicos going there. Their white pizza for a dinner appetizer would be very good. I second Kanlaya, Jaleo, and Zaytinya - but don't know if they can accomodate your crowd. Zaytinya probably could, but is probably also on the upper end of your price range, after you factor in drinks. Some other possibilities: Old Ebbitt Grill (15th and F), Chef Geoff's (13th and E), and McCormick & Schmick's (9th and F). Up by the ACS building, you could also consider 15 Ria and maybe even Corduroy, though that may also be getting you on the upper end of your price range.
  9. Logan Tavern has good brunch on P St across from the Whole Foods. I'm also partial to Chef Geoff's downtown. Surprisingly, Gordon Biersch is also very good. Firefly also, but not sure if you can get out of there <$20/head.
  10. Was here on Saturday night for the first time. The space is quite nice. After spending a little time at the bar, our party of 9 was seated in the back. Even though I heard a lot of noise in the place, there was really no problem having a discussion, or feeling like you were bothering other tables. There was a replacement steak tonight - instead of a NY strip, they had hanger steak - same presentation - coffee crusted with mashed potatoes and haricot vert. Me and a friend had that. Medium rare - came out probably a bit closer to medium but I was quite pleased with how juicy and tender it was. The coffee was not overwhelming. I would definitely get this again, but I kind of wonder if we lucked out with hanger steak instead of a NY strip. The mashed potatoes were also excellent. I started with the conch chowder. I never had it at SBC cafe so have nothing to compare it to.... but it was flavorful, a little more watery then I care for, when I think of chowder. Other starters at the table included the curry crusted scallop w/ coconut grits and pineapple chutney, the olives, olive oil, and foccacia. There was another appetizer which included rabbit, but I can't recall all the details. Also, the smattering of salads. Everyone seemed pleased. The other main courses included the duck with strawberry sauce and mushrooms (I didn't get any of that), the cajun meatloaf (or this), porcini dusted rockfish, lamb shanks, and lamb chops. The lamb was good, but I admit I'm not a big lamb fan....only once in awhile. The rockfish was very good - not overdone, good sauce. I guess after I had a bite of my hanger steak, everything else paled in comparison. One of my friends had ordered the Cantonese Beef Stew, but it wasn't until the food was almost ready that the kitchen realized they didn't have enough for a full entree. To their credit, the waiter came out, apologized profusely and asked my friend if he'd like something else (which ended up being the meatloaf). But then they brought out the remains of the beef stew to tide him over (while the rest of us were served) and then a few minutes later brought him the meatloaf. Then they took the entree off the bill, which was a bit of a surprise, but was certainly appreciated. Desserts - I did not partake...... 3 folks ordered the flourless chocolate cake. I agree whole heartedly with what Nadya said..... I would've expected more from a meal that had gone so well so far. Cake did look like strips of fudge..... everyone ate it and was pleased but I'm kind of glad I didn't have any. Wasn't tempted at all. Wine selection left a bit to be desired. We had 2 bottles of 2001 Chateau Souverain Cabernet and 1 bottle of Pinot, I think it was the 03 Avila. Passable, but not at about $40/bottle. But overall a great time. Service was attentive but we never felt rushed. We had 830pm reservations, so we were among the last ones out at about 1100p. Will definitely go back. It's a nice addition to the area in a price point with cooking that doesn't feel dull and like it's being done in the immediate neighborhood.
  11. rbh

    15 Ria

    I think it's Hank's (little bit of discussion here.. Jamie Leeds was still there when I ate there last week (or was it 2 weeks ago? taking advantage of the beginnings of the nice weather). Service was slow on the patio. I had some quite yummy roast pig with mac&cheese. Friend was pleased with her salmon. I did notice the web page is nowhere to be found now though.
  12. Komi can be a nice dinner - excellent food - great service. and a lot closer to Logan Circle - near 17th and P. see the thread here. Al Tiramisu has that dim lighting thing going for it and is also quite nice. Has anyone suggested Tabard Inn?
  13. There's a Kam Sam market in Annandale also, off 236 on Markham Road - in the same tiny shopping mall as A&J and Maria's Bakery (yum!).
  14. Go all the way to Twinbrook - goto Seven Seas in Federal Plaza or Tony Lin's at Montrose Crossing (where the Giant and Old Navy are) or A&J (ok that's a bit of a hike). Or goto Rockville and go to Bob's Noodle.
  15. Went to Tapatinis on Thursday for drinks. Thursday happy hour specials were free wine for women, and all martinis for $5. I was wondering when we walked in why there were so many people drinking wine at a martini bar (and so many women, not that I was complaining) My friend did not avail herself of the free wine though, and we each had a couple martinis, which were pretty damn tasty, especially for $5. Service was atrocious - I couldn't tell if the holdup was the bartender or the wait staff, but I would see the wait staff just waiting around instead of going around and checking on us (i.e. we had empty glasses and wanted to drink more!). The only food we had were stuffed potato skins with zucchini, peppers, onions, and cheese, which was surprsingly quite good. The calamari that was going by also looked good, but my vegetarian-friend would have none of that - and we were also getting tired of the bad service. Overall, nice addition to the neighborhood, would go back if out that way - but not sure if I would make a special trip for it.
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