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Suggestions needed for first-time traveller to DC


cwyc
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I've read through a lot of the restaurant suggestions on this forum for restaurants in the Washington area. But I'd like to revisit it once again. Suggestions welcome.

I'll be staying in the downtown area for six days, of which two days will be on my own time. I'd like some bistro recommendations as well as good, casual fare. I'll probably go to Georgetown on the weekend, so anything around there and downtown (I'm staying at the Sofitel) would be appreciated.

Anything interesting in Chinatown or Dupont Circle?

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Bistro-wise, there's Bistro D'Oc downtown, which was discussed here and here.

The best known bistro in DC is probably the cavernous Bistro du Coin, on Connecticut Ave just north of Du Pont circle. It gets mixed reviews, and my experience mirrors that. A very nice steak frites one visit, a dry tasteless roast chicken the next. But it's a good place to sit at the bar with a simple glass of wine or a Belgian beer.

I'm sure you gathered this from reading through other threads, but you really must stop in at at least one of Jose Andres's places. Zaytinya and Jaleo both offer small plates, the former Turkish, Greek, and Lebanese, the latter Spanish Tapas. For weekend brunch, the Latino Dim Sum at Cafe Atlantico is unbeatable.

In Chinatown the only good Chinese food I've had are the Hong Kong style noodles at Full Kee. Last time I checked it was closed for remodelling. I'm not sure if it has re-opened yet. If you do head to Chinatown, try the mini-burgers and wood oven pizza at Matchbox. There's a new competitor a couple blocks away called Ella's, which I hear makes a good pie too.

You have to be careful in Georgetown. The main drag along M street is lined with a series of steak/burger/raw bar/bloody mary brunch type of places, none of which really stands out for any particular reason. I would probably stop in for a sandwich at Dean and Deluca rather than visit any of them. It won't be a cheap sandwich, but the ingredients will be some of the best available in the area. That is unless you want to increase your budget to a higher level, in which case a trip to Citronelle would be hard to beat.

Chief Scientist / Amateur Cook

MadVal, Seattle, WA

Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code

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My partner and I had a very good meal at Nora a couple of years ago. However, since we were with a large group (ah, DC politics!) which had reserved the wine cellar room some time in advance, I can't say that our experience was typical. (We had our own team of waiters, and the menu offered the group was limited to just a couple of choices per course, a sensible move on the kitchen's behalf.) What's the current word on Nora?

We'll not discriminate great from small.

No, we'll serve anyone - meaning anyone -

And to anyone at all!

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Casual in Dupont (both seafood) I would recomment Pesce and Johnny's half shell.

Georgetown: Sea catch is pretty good, in an old building overlooking the canal and the Bistro Francais is a reasonable Bistro too. Neither are exceptional. Vengroff is correct that most of the rest are pretty dire. Also have to second the recommendations for Jaleo, Atlantico and Zaytinya all a couple of blocks from Chinatown. I have yet to try Bistro D'Oc.

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Skip Georgetown and take the metro down to old town Alexandria instead. Get some good eats at King Street Blues on St. Asaph.

Georgetown has become overpriced, overrated and overpanhandled.

=Mark

Give a man a fish, he eats for a Day.

Teach a man to fish, he eats for Life.

Teach a man to sell fish, he eats Steak

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Remind me again...where is Cafe Atlantico?

And which direction is Alexandria?

The Chinatown suggestions sound really interesting. So, the miniburgers located in Chinatown are good, but not Chinese obviously? Any good dim sum places?

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Cafe Atlantico is in the Penn Quarter, on 8th Street at about E Street or so, just south of the Chinatown area.

Alexandria is across the river in Virginia, south of National Airport. You can take the Metro to the King Street station, but you'll have to walk back towards the river a ways to get to the main part of Old Town.

Chief Scientist / Amateur Cook

MadVal, Seattle, WA

Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code

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