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Need DC Restaurant Recs


menton1
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Les Halles DC, in my experience, sucks.  But the price is right.

Just curious, but when was the last time you were there? What did you have? It has been getting decent talk of late if I am remembering correctly.

Wearing jeans to the best restaurants in town.
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Les Halles DC, in my experience, sucks.  But the price is right.

Just curious, but when was the last time you were there? What did you have? It has been getting decent talk of late if I am remembering correctly.

It was early in the basketball season (my boss occasionally picks it as a pre-game meal spot) so November. I typically stick with the hangar steak.

It's not the food (which is OK, not great) that turns me off - it's the whole experience. Atmosphere, service, etc.

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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.

I am actually very serious about Afterwards. Their salads are excellent, outstanding sea bass, fairly priced main courses in the mid teens. For a family, for a local this is a very good meal for the money. Nondescript atmosphere but if its warm enough, sitting outside if fine.

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The cafe at Palena would qualify for both good food and good prices. That wonderful roast chicken is 10 dollars. And it serves two people easily. Add a salad or soup or appetizer -- even from the restaurant menu and you are under Menton's budget.

You can also do Cashion's for 45 a person. And Rice.

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I'm not a native DC person. I lived in Fairfax for the last 3 years and I've tried a bunch of those restaurants. I hate Firefly because it's not worth the money. Foods good, just not worth it.

The only place I've been to that's great is Cafe Atlantico. It's expensive, but it's one of the few places in DC that will blow you away. And when I spend $40 a person, I expect to be blown away by the food.

I might just be a food crank though...

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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!

Concur with what most people have already said - America, blech!! there's one in lower Manhatten also, so no need to come here to eat there.

Monocle, Georgia Brown's, Kinkeads, Occidental Grill - all well above the price range.

Jaleo is a good suggestion and kid friendly with teens and the little one.

Matchbox is only a couple more blocks from Jaleo - right near Gallery Place - good casual place for mini-burgers and pizza. or Ella's for more "traditional" pizza.

I second Nadya's Komi suggestion.... Corduroy at 12th and K is also excellent.

Another place in the price range is Sette Osteria in Dupont Circle - someone's already mentioned Johnny's Half Shell - for just fish, Pesce is just next door.

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I've never escaped Cashion's for less than $60.  And I'm not sure about the parking situation - can anyone comment?

While most of the entrees or in the mid twneties, there are always one or two for 20 or under and some appetizers in the 9 or 10 dollar range. They don' t eat dessert. So I think Cashion

just makes his budget.

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Interesting quote from this week's Weekly Dish:

"D.C. is lacking in neighborhood restaurants,"

I cracked up when I saw that quote. Of course I wish Ms. Leeds, and especially her sous chef the lovely Tess Moseley (a local legend) the best of luck. But you could not have a more neighborhood restaurant than Trio's Subs. They've been there for like a hundred years! And there aren't too many places where those who put together their change for a steak and cheese; drag queens from across the street, college students and drunk/hungover locals mixed in a fun (but admittedly shabby) hole-in-the-wall. Their neon sign is a classic. But as long as Trio's coffee shop is still there, along with Fox and Hounds for happy hour, I guess we'll be all right.

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Interesting quote from this week's Weekly Dish:

"D.C. is lacking in neighborhood restaurants,"

I cracked up when I saw that quote. Of course I wish Ms. Leeds, and especially her sous chef the lovely Tess Moseley (a local legend) the best of luck. But you could not have a more neighborhood restaurant than Trio's Subs. They've been there for like a hundred years! And there aren't too many places where those who put together their change for a steak and cheese; drag queens from across the street, college students and drunk/hungover locals mixed in a fun (but admittedly shabby) hole-in-the-wall. Their neon sign is a classic. But as long as Trio's coffee shop is still there, along with Fox and Hounds for happy hour, I guess we'll be all right.

Amen.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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Interesting quote from this week's Weekly Dish:

"D.C. is lacking in neighborhood restaurants,"

I cracked up when I saw that quote. Of course I wish Ms. Leeds, and especially her sous chef the lovely Tess Moseley (a local legend) the best of luck. But you could not have a more neighborhood restaurant than Trio's Subs. They've been there for like a hundred years! And there aren't too many places where those who put together their change for a steak and cheese; drag queens from across the street, college students and drunk/hungover locals mixed in a fun (but admittedly shabby) hole-in-the-wall. Their neon sign is a classic. But as long as Trio's coffee shop is still there, along with Fox and Hounds for happy hour, I guess we'll be all right.

Well put. And yes we still have the coffee shop with the turkey and bacon club and chocolate milkshakes. :smile:

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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  • 1 year later...

We are a family of 4 coming for a weekend of fun in DC. I would love some advice on lunch and dinner spots. Kids are school age and they have sophisticated palates, so we will not be needing kids menus or bland food. I think we will be seeing as many Smithsonian museums as we can stand and maybe some of the typical tourist activities yet to be determined. Ethnic food, anything not to miss?

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We are a family of 4 coming  for a weekend of fun in DC.  I would love some advice on lunch and dinner spots.  Kids are school age and they have sophisticated palates, so we will not be needing kids menus or bland food.  I think we will be seeing as many Smithsonian museums as we can stand and maybe some of the typical tourist activities yet to be determined.  Ethnic food, anything not to miss?

Try the Garden Cafe in the West Building of the National Gallery. Nicely prepared food, wonderful atmosphere. I just looked at their website and they seem to be doing some sort of British thing in honor of a current exhibit: http://www.nga.gov/pdf/garden_cafe_menu.pdf. I am not sure that they will be offering the typical menu items which are usually lighter.

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We are a family of 4 coming  for a weekend of fun in DC.  I would love some advice on lunch and dinner spots.  Kids are school age and they have sophisticated palates, so we will not be needing kids menus or bland food.  I think we will be seeing as many Smithsonian museums as we can stand and maybe some of the typical tourist activities yet to be determined.  Ethnic food, anything not to miss?

Mitsitam in the Native American Museum is unique and quite good-highly recommended-although the museum itself is oddly bland (except for the architecture). Ethiopian food is big here-there's one on 18th St in Adams Morgan called Meskerem that's pretty accessible (if you're headed to the Phillips-I know it's not part of the Smithsonian, but viewing the permanent colection is free. Renoir's 'The Boating Party' is here-sorry, I love this place.) Jaleo has great Spanish tapas (7th & E). Full Kee is a classic in Chinatown (great HK-style noodle/dumpling soups and some oddities) at H St bt 5th and 6TH. I could go on. You might want to flip thru some DC foodie sites like donrockwell for more details. Edited by Miami Danny (log)
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You might also consider Zyatinya if Jaleo doesn't work out. Both are easy to get to on the METRO at Gallery Place.

It depends on where you will be staying. If you don't have a problem with using the METRO there are lots of great places to eat. If the kids like Italian, go to Dino in Cleveland Park. For Indian, try Indique.

If they are adventurous, try an Ethiopian restaurant. While most folks say go to Etete or Dukem, and I agree that both are good, with kids I might want to go to Adams-Morgan to see the scene and go to Meskeerem instead. In Chinatown, try Tony Cheng's Mongolian BBQ for something different.

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If you like modern art, you are in for a treat. A JAspe Johns retrospective just opened at the national Gallery and it probably the biggest post-WWII show since I've lived here.

Go early, then have brunch. Jaleo is great, but if you're feeling a tad more adventurous, hit Cafe Atlantico . Nor as conststent as Jaleo, but a little more on the edge. Both owned by the same chef, btw. Egg with black beans. A conch fritter with liquid conche soup in the middle, that sort of thing.

Again on the art/brunch combo, MiamiDanny's suggestion of the Phillips collection is dead on (Often worth a detour is the Textile Museum on S threet, and the Woodrow Wilsonm House, if you're feeling guilty about being too far from the Smithsonian). While no one confuses Bistro du Coin, three blocks from the Phillips, with a fine dining destination, I've seen everyone from DC's best French chef -- Michel Richard -- to the guys from the Dupont Circle Farmers market brunching there. You can get all the usually bistro stuff from their regular menu, plus a few brunch specials. Actually BdC is great anytime except prime dinner time 7-9 PM when it should be avoided like the plague.

I have diverge from the Meskerem consensus. I think that place peaked about 1994, and it's where you take relatives that are a little nervous about eating African food. The cab drivers don't hang out there any more, always a bad sign. 9th Street between T and U -- AKA Little Ethiopia -- is the place to be. I'm big on Abitti, on 9th, and also like the aforemention Dukem.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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Where are you staying, btw. Weekday or weekend? Schoolage 7-9 or school-age 14-17?

Also, consider Old Ebbitt for basic stuff near the White House on a setting that is quite cool in a bygone days kind of way, with white table cloths and no dress code (oh, but dress kind on nice anyway, just for me.) If you are a shellfish fan, the raw bar is half price early and late, check for details.

And the Circle Bistro at the Washington Circle Hotel sells great burgers at lunch and great steak frites (and excellent fish) all the time. Near the Phillips, walking distance from the White House, Kennedy Center (kind of boring but free music every single night at 6PM -- Check the "Millenium Stage" and G'town.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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Wow! You guys are great! So much information, so many responses, so quickly!

My kids are 8 and 11. They eat a wide variety of food. Favorites are sushi, tapas, chinese (real chinese, not americanized strip mall chinese) and they are open to trying new things.

We will be in town Fri, Sat, Sun, Mon, Tues. We are staying at 23 and N street, two blocks from Washington Circle. I have no knowledge of the neighborhoods in Washington. All of your advice including Washington restaurant sites, places to see and things to do are greatly appreciated. Is there a particularly good neighborhood to try to stay in with regard to eating? We are currently booked at a hotel that serves full breakfast, which limits choice but does get you going more quickly in the morning.

The Ethiopean food sounds interesting, as does the tapas, Indian and Mongolian Barbecue. Are there any bakeries to seek out?

I am psyched about the Jasper Johns exhibition. We saw the Rauschenberg exhibit in New York at the Met (last year?) and it was fantastic. My older son likes modern art. We will have to get to the Phillips. I've never heard of it before. Here in Philly we have the Barnes collection and it is the most breathtaking collection of impressionist art work.

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Wow! You guys are great! So much information, so many responses, so quickly!

My kids are 8 and 11.  They eat a wide variety of food.  Favorites are sushi, tapas, chinese (real chinese, not americanized strip mall chinese) and they are open to trying new things.

We will be in town Fri, Sat, Sun, Mon, Tues.  We are staying at 23 and N street, two blocks from Washington Circle.  I have no knowledge of the neighborhoods in Washington.  All of your advice including Washington restaurant sites, places to see and things to do are greatly appreciated.  Is there a particularly good neighborhood to try to stay in with regard to eating?  We are currently booked at a hotel that serves full breakfast, which limits choice but does get you going more quickly in the morning.

The Ethiopean food sounds interesting, as does the tapas, Indian and Mongolian Barbecue.  Are there any bakeries to seek out? 

I am psyched about the Jasper Johns exhibition.  We saw the Rauschenberg exhibit in New York at the Met (last year?) and it was fantastic.  My older son likes modern art.  We will have to get to the Phillips. I've never heard of it before.  Here in Philly we have the Barnes collection and it is the most breathtaking collection of impressionist art work.

No good bakeries that I know of, but you've a taste for fine French pastries you could wander over to the Dupont Circle Farmers Market (20th and Q) between 10-1 on Sunday and look up the Napoleon Balery for some fine, you know, Napoleons (and other stuff, too). Get there early.

Your hotel is in a bit of a dead zone -- mid-80 development of what had been a warehouse district -- but two blocks in any direction and you're in business. Georgetown is overpriced and touristy, but fun and just west (numbers getting higher) of your hotel. Think Mendocino Grill or Bistro Francais. Avoid almost everything lese (but people-watch).

NE is Dupont Circle, where all the Phillips-collection restaurants are, plus a great little stretch of P Street between 20th and 22nd that has an excellent fish joint (Pesce, a decent Thai spot (Sala Thai) and a mixed review French (Montsouris -- a little more pricy and formal than nearby Bistrod du Coin).

It suddenly occurred to me that if it was between 4 and 6 PM and I was about tired of museum hopping for the day and I was at the Dupont Metro (almost as close as Foggy Bottom, but on the Red Line) I'd wander over to the Tabard Inn, on N street between 17th and 18th, set my tired self and children down on the antique couches in the dark room with the big fireplace, have one of the 20 or so wines they offer by the glass and maybe a nosh or two, and think to myself that I was having a pretty good day. (Still fun after 6, but crowded).

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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