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Need DC Restaurant Recs


menton1
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I'm going to be in Washington for the Cherry Blossom festival-- (and some other sightseeing). Would like some recs for either French or New American cuisine-- would like a good area with pariking available, looking to stay under $45/PP. Thanks in advance!

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What would you like for $45? Are you thinking apps/salad, entree, and dessert? Does it include drinks and tip?

(Sitting for lamb chops)

Lamb: Ple-e-e-se Li-i-i-sa I thought you lo-o-o-oved me, lo-o-o-oved me

Marge: Whats Wrong Lisa? Cant get enough lamb chops?

Lisa: I can't eat this, I can't eat a poor little lamb.

Homer: Lisa get a hold yourself, that is lamb, not A lamb.

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What exactly do you mean by "a good area" - somewhere near your hotel (if so, where is that?)?

Last time I was in DC I remember that a large portion of the town "rolls up" by 6PM, even on weekends! I'm looking for an attractive, lively area, could even be in the 'burbs...

What would you like for $45? Are you thinking apps/salad, entree, and dessert? Does it include drinks and tip?

Yes.

Edited by menton1 (log)
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If you're looking for "lively", then I would probably recommend the Penn Quarter area (right near the MCI Center). There are several restaurants there for you to endulge in. There is Zaytinya, Zola, Cafe Atlantico, Jaleo, IndeBleu, and several others.

EDIT: Zaytinya, Cafe Atlantico, and Jaleo are all owned by Jose Andres who was named "Chef of the Year" by Bon Appetit.

Oops, I missed the part where you were looking for French or new American. Oh well. IndeBleu might meet your requirments.

Edited by mhberk (log)

(Sitting for lamb chops)

Lamb: Ple-e-e-se Li-i-i-sa I thought you lo-o-o-oved me, lo-o-o-oved me

Marge: Whats Wrong Lisa? Cant get enough lamb chops?

Lisa: I can't eat this, I can't eat a poor little lamb.

Homer: Lisa get a hold yourself, that is lamb, not A lamb.

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What exactly do you mean by "a good area" - somewhere near your hotel (if so, where is that?)?

Last time I was in DC I remember that a large portion of the town "rolls up" by 6PM, even on weekends! I'm looking for an attractive, lively area, could even be in the 'burbs...

What would you like for $45? Are you thinking apps/salad, entree, and dessert? Does it include drinks and tip?

Yes.

Hell, if you can find a good three course meal with wine and tip in DC for $45, and parking, please post the address -- the entire DC Board will be eternally grateful. :laugh:

eG's own John Wabeck runs the excellent and reasonably-priced Firefly, near Dupont Circle, a neighborhood that stays open late. His valet is your only reaal parking bet. And don't forget Ray's the Steaks, not far from the DC 'burb's hippest little beer district for a reminder of why steak is the one thing we will always do better than the French.

Someone's bound to post it, so I'll be the first to recommend the front room at Palena, in Cleveland Park. No reservations, though, so get there early. The parking sucks.

I actually had a pretty good meal at Buck's Fishing & Camping, came to a little over $110 for two, including wine and tip. Parking's not bad, but the neighborhood's kind of beat.

Cashion's Eat Place is good "New American," and its neighborhood goes all night. Parking sucks.

I'm partial to Pesce and Johnny's Half Shell for good seafood in an energetic neighborhood, where parking ...

On Capitol Hill, Montmartre, for excellent bistro food in a small and delightfuls setting, right next to eastern Market -- parking challenging, but doable. And for a more raucus backdrop for your steak frites, Bistro du Coin, in Dupont Circle.

PS, when seeing the Cherry Blossoms, try to get there as early in the day as possible: before breakfast, if the sun is shining.

Edited by Busboy (log)

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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Hell, if you can find a good three course meal with wine and tip in DC for $45, and parking, please post the address -- the entire DC Board will be eternally grateful. 

OK, let me revise my specs to "Entrees (Main dishes) $20 or less. Actually, we rarely eat dessert at restaurants, usually too full. But I would still prefer Lively neighborhoods. I assume DuPont Circle qualifes as one? Where else? Thanks.

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Hell, if you can find a good three course meal with wine and tip in DC for $45, and parking, please post the address -- the entire DC Board will be eternally grateful. 

OK, let me revise my specs to "Entrees (Main dishes) $20 or less. Actually, we rarely eat dessert at restaurants, usually too full. But I would still prefer Lively neighborhoods. I assume DuPont Circle qualifes as one? Where else? Thanks.

Adams-Morgan, Georgetown, or the U Street corridor. So crowded, nobody goes there any more.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Hell, if you can find a good three course meal with wine and tip in DC for  $45, and parking, please post the address -- the entire DC Board will be eternally grateful.  :laugh:

I live in the NY Metro and there are scores of restaurants here in that price range. I did not believe that DC was MORE expensive than NY, so I did a little digging, and it isn't. Just some cursory research turned up these places well within the budget:

America, Union Station

La Brasserie, Capitol Hill

La Colline, Capitol Hill

Monocle

Cafe Atlantico

Georgia Brown's

Kinkead's

Bistro Francais, Georgetown

La Chauminiere

Occidental Grill

I got this info from a "friend of a friend" who lives in DC; this is a short list, he said there are many more in this price range!

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That's a weird list, I have to say. And a few of those spots are jumping out at me as DEFINITELY not in that price range...sorry to disappoint.

I lived in New York for more than six years so I know what you mean re: quality cheap eats. For two years, I lived on Cornelia Street just across the street from Pearl and down the block from Po. Living on a sports marketing salary (all of the $$ goes to the athletes - trust me on this), my only option was to find restaurants that were interesting yet accessible on my limited budget.

But DC just isn't NYC in that regard.

I'm not trying to be difficult (well, not today anyway), but your post really rubbed me the wrong way. You don't live here, you don't know the dining scene here and yet you trust your "research" more than the advice of people who live here?

Let's go through a few of the places on your list.

Visit www.cafeatlantico.com to view the menu. Entrees presently seem to start at $18. You'll enjoy those entrees, but you won't stick to your budget.

A few of the places you listed are in Capitol Hill, a part of town most of us find disappointing in terms of food. Read more about that here.

Monocle doesn't get much play here so click here for the Post's review.

The Post didn't review America. Unless a place is brand new (America is not), the lack of review might be telling. Might not. You can try it and let us know. :wink:

La Colline also lacks a review. It does, however, have a $$ (out of $$$) designation which means that it won't qualify as inexpensive.

Kinkead's is expensive and reviews are mixed. This is one of Joe H's favorite places, but I'm sure even he will tell you that it'll be tough to get out of there for $45 pp (with parking). Kinkead.com doesn't list prices, but the Post says $$$ (and they don't fool around).

Edited by JennyUptown (log)
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I'm not trying to be difficult (well, not today anyway), but your post really rubbed me the wrong way.  You don't live here, you don't know the dining scene here and yet you trust your "research" more than the advice of people who live here?

Appetizer, $7

Entree $ 17

Glass of wine $7

Dessert $6

Tax $3.70

Tip $7.40

You're already at $48+

Getting 3 courses and wine for less than $48 at Kinkead's? Priceless.

I have to agree with Jenny about this. Your friend wasn't Rachael Ray, was it?

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Hell, if you can find a good three course meal with wine and tip in DC for  $45, and parking, please post the address -- the entire DC Board will be eternally grateful.  :laugh:

I live in the NY Metro and there are scores of restaurants here in that price range. I did not believe that DC was MORE expensive than NY, so I did a little digging, and it isn't. Just some cursory research turned up these places well within the budget:

America, Union Station

La Brasserie, Capitol Hill

La Colline, Capitol Hill

Monocle

Cafe Atlantico

Georgia Brown's

Kinkead's

Bistro Francais, Georgetown

La Chauminiere

Occidental Grill

I got this info from a "friend of a friend" who lives in DC; this is a short list, he said there are many more in this price range!

There are, I suppose, many restaurants in DC where you can chow down for $45 (dinner) including wine, tax and tip. The problem is that they mostly suck or, to put it more gently, are not places I would recommend to a fellow eGulletor who appears to share my affinity for certain eden-like stretches of the Cote d'Azure.

America, for one. Stay away!

A quick Internet search, to ensure that I haven't somehow lost my mind shows highlights like:

Occidental Grill: "Expensive" in Washingtonian Magazine, defined as $81-140 including tax and 15% tip, excluding vino.

Cafe Atlantico: Aps, $8-12; entrees $19-25. Assuming an $8 dessert and one (!) glass of $8 wine, you're over $45 before tax and tip and drink much less than I do on vacation.

Kinkeads: Earns a "very expensive" from Washingtonian Magazine, more than $140 for two, including tax and 15% tip, but excluding alcohol.

Bistro Francais: "Moderate" $51-80 without wine. That seems low to me, but it's a personal favorite and I recommend it highly. Note that it is in G'town and that it serves very late, making it a favorite joint for dinner after you go out drinking or culturizing (or doing a late-night monument tour.)

La Chaumiere: Another place I like, Thursday is Cassoulet Day. $20 entrees, $7 apps... you might get out for $45 each but I never seem to.

Your friend's friend is peddling bad dope. I mean, yeah, you can spend whatever you want to spend. But places like La Brasserie and the Monocle are a joke -- though the Monocle is a great Senator-spotting place when they're in session -- and Georgia Brown's appears to have passed its prime.

To get memorable, non-ethnic food in DC you're either going to have to spend more than than $45 per person, or order off the low end of the menu and keep wine consumption very low, which I hate to do on a vacation dinner.

Or go to the places I recommended above (add 2 Amy's to that list, though it's, again, in a slow part of town). :biggrin:

Good luck, have fun, report back and check all restaurant recommendations from your friend's friend with DonRocks before you go spending your money in them.

Edited by Busboy (log)

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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I'm not trying to be difficult (well, not today anyway), but your post really rubbed me the wrong way.  You don't live here, you don't know the dining scene here and yet you trust your "research" more than the advice of people who live here?

I don't want to be un-neighborly either, but why is it that people ask the opinions of locals, then try to pick a fight with them? This happens all the time on the Southeast Board when people want suggestions for South Beach. Guess what? South Beach Sucks! There, I've said it! And the people on this board know their stuff. Monocle? America? No self respecting local would even use their bathroom! The streets roll up at 6PM? C'mon New York!

Go to Bistro Du Coin to see how the locals do. You might even see Madeline Albright. (That's a joke.)

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I'm not trying to be difficult (well, not today anyway), but your post really rubbed me the wrong way.  You don't live here, you don't know the dining scene here and yet you trust your "research" more than the advice of people who live here?

I don't want to be un-neighborly either, but why is it that people ask the opinions of locals, then try to pick a fight with them? This happens all the time on the Southeast Board when people want suggestions for South Beach. Guess what? South Beach Sucks! There, I've said it! And the people on this board know their stuff. Monocle? America? No self respecting local would even use their bathroom! The streets roll up at 6PM? C'mon New York!

Go to Bistro Du Coin to see how the locals do. You might even see Madeline Albright. (That's a joke.)

I've never seen a Cabinet Secretary there, but I did sit next to famous White House Speechwriter (Bartlet Administration) Rob Lowe one night.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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Tangent alert!

I'm having a chuckle about this thread as I sit here, stomach growling, after a visit to Bardeo. Clearly it's not easy to stick to a budget in this town, even when you're cost conscious as I need to be.

Case in point: I paid $36, my friend paid $50 (includes tax and 25% tip). Peanuts, right? Not when you consider what we consumed.

Her:

* Goat cheese salad with beets (I've forgotten the price, but assume it was around $8)

* Two glasses of a fancy-pants Chardonnay ($13.50 per glass; somehow she missed this when reading the menu, but fortunately she loved it)

* Bottle of sparking water ($5.50, I think)

Me:

* A small piece of beef (filet), maybe 3-4 oz served atop a hash of butternut squash and scallions ($12-something)

* One glass of Kimball Pinot Noir

Dessert, a delicious chocolate caramel tarte with pear ice cream and pear compote, was comped as we are friendly with a Bardeo staff member. And yet the "meal" was $60...parking not included. :laugh:

[And before anyone accuses me of being a tightwad who doesn't just split bills down the middle, the division was at my friend's insistence.] :raz:

Edited by JennyUptown (log)
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DocSconz wanted high-end spots and places near tourist traps; you were looking for mid-priced spots and nightlife. As a result, you both got different reccomendations, but you may want to look over Doc's thread just to see what you can see, long as you're both going to the same city.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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Bistro du Coin, I think is a good recommendation as is the Afterwards Cafe just north of Dupont Circle, in the back of Kramer Books.  Johnny's Half Shell comes to mind also.

You can't be serious about Afterwards. Though, it is a historic bookstore in that it is the shop where Monica Lewinski bought the copy of "Vox" she gave to Clinton. The battle over Starr's subpoena of Lewinski's purchase records became a bit of a cause celebre for civil libertarians and one of the whole farce's more interesting footnotes.

There are many better places in that neighborhood within footsteps.

Edited by Busboy (log)

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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How about some of the places with pre-theater menus? Go there, have a great meal, and then elsewhere for drinks and nightlife type stuff. Cafe Atlantico (I think they still do this but not entirely sure) , Tosca, Chef Geoff's, Les Halles, and Melrose are all places that have some sort of pre-theater meal ranging from $22-$40 I believe.

Edited by laniloa (log)
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Wow, thanks folks! I didn't mean to be that provocative, but it seems that I got much better responses after my 2nd post than from my original topic-starter. Point of order-- We usually share an appetizer and rarely get a dessert. Nothing to do with price, just a matter of stomach capacity. I'll report back after the trip. Thanks again.

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