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Need DC Restaurant Recs


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Both Bistro du Coin and Bistro Francais are certainly open quite late and are good options.  But it doesn't sound like you're really going to be super late.  Most of the downtown hot-spots seat until 11pm or so on Friday nights, and the kitchens are generally open until midnight or beyond -- I know this is the case with Zaytinya, and I think also with Atlantico, DC Coast, Tenh Penh, etc.

Maybe best to look at something near your hotel so you don't have to rush -- what part of town are you staying in?

Eric

We're staying at the Hotel Madera on Dupont Circle so Bistro du Coin sounds perfect for our Saturday night dinner.

We're planning to hit Zaytinya for lunch one day - after the Spy Museum!

Any breakfast recommendations?

You might try Kramerbooks and Afterwards on Connecticut, just north of Dupont Circle. It's a historic site: Monica Lewinsky bought the smutty book she gave to the president there. My favorite spot is a little farther from your hotel: Trio's at 17th and Q. Diner food, eclectic crowd, more eclectic staff.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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Both Bistro du Coin and Bistro Francais are certainly open quite late and are good options.  But it doesn't sound like you're really going to be super late.  Most of the downtown hot-spots seat until 11pm or so on Friday nights, and the kitchens are generally open until midnight or beyond -- I know this is the case with Zaytinya, and I think also with Atlantico, DC Coast, Tenh Penh, etc.

Maybe best to look at something near your hotel so you don't have to rush -- what part of town are you staying in?

Eric

Actually, my experience is that very few places really seat until 11, regardless of what their posted hours are. We've had Symphony tickets for many years now, and finding late eats afterwards -- even on a Friday -- has been quite frustrating. Tenh Penh specifically declined to ask us over when called 10:30-ish, and I have a vague memory of DC Coast and Zatinya closing earlier than I'd expected, as well.

Central Michel Richard claims to serve until 11:30 -- I haven't been there late to test it, but I suspect they're a good option. The best food of the bistro lot, but you may need a reservation. The chefs hang at BdC on Saturdays, by the way. Fridays it's just us civilians. (If you choose BdC, ignore the wine list on the menu and look for the specials posted above and to the right of the bar. Not cheap -- $30-50 -- but usually excellent price/quality ratios).

If you're not up for the bistro thing, Rasika serves fairly late and offers up very good Indian food in very hip surroundings. Sette Osteria is in walking distance of your hotel (as is Bistro du Coin and, on a pleasant night, Bistro Francais). They, too have been known to close the kitchen earlier than thier posted hours, but if you're feeling Italian they fit the bill. And, of course, if you just want some good old burgers and martinis, there's the good ol' Old Ebbitt Grill.

Botton line, though: Unless you're going to one of the Bistros, call first and gauage the enthusiasm of the voice on the other end of the line. No point being rushed through a meal because the host was more enthusiastic than the kitchen staff.

Busboy, you've absolutely hit on my concerns. There is nothing worse than being the last people in a restaurant where you are clearly not wanted!

So, back to BdC - I'm a civilian - will I be okay there on Saturday? And thanks for the tip on the wine list.

By the way, Busboy - I hear that I missed a very good time with you and your wife during your visit to Seattle. Do you get out our way often?

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Both Bistro du Coin and Bistro Francais are certainly open quite late and are good options.  But it doesn't sound like you're really going to be super late.  Most of the downtown hot-spots seat until 11pm or so on Friday nights, and the kitchens are generally open until midnight or beyond -- I know this is the case with Zaytinya, and I think also with Atlantico, DC Coast, Tenh Penh, etc.

Maybe best to look at something near your hotel so you don't have to rush -- what part of town are you staying in?

Eric

Actually, my experience is that very few places really seat until 11, regardless of what their posted hours are. We've had Symphony tickets for many years now, and finding late eats afterwards -- even on a Friday -- has been quite frustrating. Tenh Penh specifically declined to ask us over when called 10:30-ish, and I have a vague memory of DC Coast and Zatinya closing earlier than I'd expected, as well.

Central Michel Richard claims to serve until 11:30 -- I haven't been there late to test it, but I suspect they're a good option. The best food of the bistro lot, but you may need a reservation. The chefs hang at BdC on Saturdays, by the way. Fridays it's just us civilians. (If you choose BdC, ignore the wine list on the menu and look for the specials posted above and to the right of the bar. Not cheap -- $30-50 -- but usually excellent price/quality ratios).

If you're not up for the bistro thing, Rasika serves fairly late and offers up very good Indian food in very hip surroundings. Sette Osteria is in walking distance of your hotel (as is Bistro du Coin and, on a pleasant night, Bistro Francais). They, too have been known to close the kitchen earlier than thier posted hours, but if you're feeling Italian they fit the bill. And, of course, if you just want some good old burgers and martinis, there's the good ol' Old Ebbitt Grill.

Botton line, though: Unless you're going to one of the Bistros, call first and gauage the enthusiasm of the voice on the other end of the line. No point being rushed through a meal because the host was more enthusiastic than the kitchen staff.

Busboy, you've absolutely hit on my concerns. There is nothing worse than being the last people in a restaurant where you are clearly not wanted!

So, back to BdC - I'm a civilian - will I be okay there on Saturday? And thanks for the tip on the wine list.

By the way, Busboy - I hear that I missed a very good time with you and your wife during your visit to Seattle. Do you get out our way often?

You'll be fine as a civillian -- it's not like the place is overrun or exclusionary or anything. Another tip: if you want beef and fries, be sure to get the onglet, as the other cuts are more expenmsive and less tasty.

(Regarding Seattle, I was looking forward to getting there this fall, but then my son got the thin letter from UW. Bummer, but I hear they take take transfer students willingly. Seattle is an old haunt from my days in politics -- Patty Murray in '92 -- and I have had the good fortune to get out a couple of times in recent years, but not as often as I'd like.)

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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I hope you have a great time. :smile:Teaism, on R Street just off Connecticut has good breakfasts, and the Luna Grill, on Connecticut just south of Dupont Circle used to be a reliable breakfast option (I haven't been there in a few years though so YMMV). Trio is legendary - I recommend the turkey and bacon club (yes, for breakfast!) and watch out for the brutally strong bloody marys. For a more elegant weekend bruch you might try the The Blue Duck Tavern at 24th and M Sts.

I'd also second (or third, or fourth) Bistrot du Coin as a good late night option.

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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Perhaps I'm the heretic here but I prefer Les Halles (1212 Pennsylvania NW) over Bistro du Coin. Good food with a decent server staff. I'm there at least twice a month - and I drive in from Baltimore.

Bistro du Coin is a nice choice - and since you're staying around DuPont Circle it's a bit closer to your hotel than Les Halles.

But I really recommend Les Halles over du Coin. And they actually will seat you at 11pm (been there, done that).

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Considering we will have just gotten off the plane, the idea of walking somewhere is very appealing to me. Bistrot du Coin sounds perfect.

Heather, thanks for the breakfast recs. I love bloody mary's so I'll be sure to have the one at Trio. I'm having troubles finding their hours online. Does anyone know offhand what time they open during the week? And if they are open Mondays?

I've been told that I need to have blue crab while I'm there. I can't believe that it is better than dungeness, but I have it on good authority that it is. Is there a season for blue crab? Will I be able to try it next week? Is it regularly on menus, of will I need to seek out someplace specific to try it.

I've also been told that, here in Seattle, we have no idea what a good bagel tastes like. Any recommendations on where to have a good bagel?

Edited by LEdlund (log)

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Good bagels are hard to come by here, unfortunately, but Georgetown Bagel Bakery on M St. has a passable version.

I am not a blue crab fan, so can't help you there. Too much work for too little reward. But, softshell crabs are starting to come in season now. Those are worth looking out for.

I'm not certain that Trio ever closes. :huh: Busboy? It's a diner, and is open early and late.

Edited by hjshorter (log)

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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Bagels are not something DC is known for. Correct coast, but a bit too far south. New York/New Jersey have the best, so I recommend you nix that from your "to find" list.

Ethiopian on the other hand, is where DC shines and should be enjoyed while your here. I'm sure if you're intersted, you can get great recommendations.

I have an interesting and different idea for breakfast: Dupont Farmers Market on Sunday morning. The market is fun and lively and has wonderful vendors who bring thier own products, not cartons of fruit and such from Costco. These are commited folks with quality products.

I like to grab a Starbucks coffee (on the Circle) and graze through the market. In particular, Bonaparte Bakery has amazing croissants both sweet and savory, as well as bread and pasteries. Or, perhaps, grab a baguette from a vendor and local artisinal cheeses chosen after you've sampled :wink: . Yes, good samples at many stalls.

That will give you a wonderful sense of experience of what we DelMarVa foodies do. Additionally, many Sundays there is a local chef or restaurant doing a demonstration and sharing with the crowd.

http://www.freshfarmmarkets.org/markets/dupont_circle.html

Edited by monavano (log)
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Good bagels are hard to come by here, unfortunately, but Georgetown Bagel Bakery on M St. has a passable version.

I am not a blue crab fan, so can't help you there.  Too much work for too little reward.  But, softshell crabs are starting to come in season now.  Those are worth looking out for.

I'm not certain that Trio ever closes.  :huh:  Busboy?  It's a diner, and is open early and late.

Not really crab season yet and even in full season they can be hard to find in town. When I'm in the mood we usually just make them ourselves, not a good option in a hotel room. Sadly, the environmental depredations of recent years seem to have hit the Chesapeake Bay much harder than they've hit wherever dungeness crabs grow up, so blues are increasingly rare and expensive even in full summer.

In general, I'm not the kind of person to ask what time things open -- I was 36 before I discovered that there was a 10 o'clock in the morning, too. :laugh: But based on a very, very late night several years back, I'm pretty sure that Trio's opens at 8 and closes 10-ish, and is open 7 days.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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Goodluck and welcome!

I'd be sure to go to at least 1 chinatown restaurant to get a flavor of that area. Maybe Full Kee, Tony Chang's or New Big Wong...

Also I took my inlaws to Philip's Seafood it overlooks the water and is fast/cheap/hit n miss tasty seafood and other foods...good for parking & brunch. ($5.00 cash for parking and you can walk most anywhere from there or walk a short bit to Jefferson Memorial or buses/shuttles!)

Also I'd make sure to go to Zatinya and Jaleo for their Tapas and Mezes dishes. Lastly any Michael Richard place such as Citronelle? or Central? something like that... I think there are a few but he always gets raves from foodies and the like. Most of the real good restaurants are in Northwest DC just be careful around DC in the evening you don't want to end up in the worst areas.

Goodluck and if you need a quickie tour of DC email me privately! I moved here in August but give a kick butt "van tour" of DC in under 90 minutes. DC I know, Virginia - shrug - :cool::laugh:

I'm a bit mobility impaired so I like to drive to the sites and walk only if I have to but car-based photography and views work for me quite well.

Stacey C-Anonymouze@aol.com

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JUST say NO... to CENSORSHIP*!

Also member of LinkedIn, Erexchange and DonRockwell.

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Bagels are not something DC is known for. Correct coast, but a bit too far south. New York/New Jersey have the best, so I recommend you nix that from your "to find" list.

Ethiopian on the other hand, is where DC shines and should be enjoyed while your here. I'm sure if you're intersted, you can get great recommendations.

I have an interesting and different idea for breakfast: Dupont Farmers Market on Sunday morning. The market is fun and lively and has wonderful vendors who bring thier own products, not cartons of fruit and such from Costco. These are commited folks with quality products.

I like to grab a Starbucks coffee (on the Circle) and graze through the market. In particular, Bonaparte Bakery has amazing croissants both sweet and savory, as well as bread and pasteries. Or, perhaps, grab a baguette from a vendor and local artisinal cheeses chosen after you've sampled  :wink: . Yes, good samples at many stalls.

That will give you a wonderful sense of experience of what we DelMarVa foodies do. Additionally, many Sundays there is a local chef or restaurant doing a demonstration and sharing with the crowd.

http://www.freshfarmmarkets.org/markets/dupont_circle.html

Good to know on the bagels - I'm sure they were recommended to me because we do have such crappy ones here in Seattle. I've had great ones in NYC so I won't go out of my way searching for them in DC.

I understand that Seattle and DC are the two places in the US to sample ethiopian - so I think I'm good to go in that department.

I love the idea of the farmers market! We'll definitely taka a stroll through there on Sunday. Please tell me I won't have to grab coffee from a Starbucks though :biggrin:

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I'd be sure to go to at least 1 chinatown restaurant to get a flavor of that area.  Maybe Full Kee, Tony Chang's or New Big Wong...

Just last night I was out with friends and they told me about a place in chinatown where the guy makes these fantastic noodles and dumplings. Anyone know the name?

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I'd be sure to go to at least 1 chinatown restaurant to get a flavor of that area.  Maybe Full Kee, Tony Chang's or New Big Wong...

Just last night I was out with friends and they told me about a place in chinatown where the guy makes these fantastic noodles and dumplings. Anyone know the name?

Chinatown Express, at 6th and H Sts. NW. New Big Wong is sort of a dive, albeit with tanks of fish and various other live seafood, and Tony Cheng's is a tourist trap, IMO. "Chinatown" is an obsolete moniker as the best Chinese food is now in the 'burbs.

Believe it or not, Starbucks is about the best you can do for coffee in Dupont Circle area. Washington is not a haven for good coffee like Seattle.

Edited by hjshorter (log)

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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I'd be sure to go to at least 1 chinatown restaurant to get a flavor of that area.  Maybe Full Kee, Tony Chang's or New Big Wong...

Just last night I was out with friends and they told me about a place in chinatown where the guy makes these fantastic noodles and dumplings. Anyone know the name?

Chinatown Express, at 6th and H Sts. NW.

That's it! Thanks, Heather.

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Bagels are not something DC is known for. Correct coast, but a bit too far south. New York/New Jersey have the best, so I recommend you nix that from your "to find" list.

Ethiopian on the other hand, is where DC shines and should be enjoyed while your here. I'm sure if you're intersted, you can get great recommendations.

I have an interesting and different idea for breakfast: Dupont Farmers Market on Sunday morning. The market is fun and lively and has wonderful vendors who bring thier own products, not cartons of fruit and such from Costco. These are commited folks with quality products.

I like to grab a Starbucks coffee (on the Circle) and graze through the market. In particular, Bonaparte Bakery has amazing croissants both sweet and savory, as well as bread and pasteries. Or, perhaps, grab a baguette from a vendor and local artisinal cheeses chosen after you've sampled  :wink: . Yes, good samples at many stalls.

That will give you a wonderful sense of experience of what we DelMarVa foodies do. Additionally, many Sundays there is a local chef or restaurant doing a demonstration and sharing with the crowd.

http://www.freshfarmmarkets.org/markets/dupont_circle.html

Good to know on the bagels - I'm sure they were recommended to me because we do have such crappy ones here in Seattle. I've had great ones in NYC so I won't go out of my way searching for them in DC.

I understand that Seattle and DC are the two places in the US to sample ethiopian - so I think I'm good to go in that department.

I love the idea of the farmers market! We'll definitely taka a stroll through there on Sunday. Please tell me I won't have to grab coffee from a Starbucks though :biggrin:

I know, Starbucks! Iwish I could guide you to a fantastic nearby barrista, but I know of none. There is a Starbucks literally steps from the market and another about 1 or so blocks down the street. So, the convenience of having a really hot cup of joe makes up for the ubiquitous and over-priced commodity!

Edited by monavano (log)
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One thing to note: Firefly has a new chef.  That's not necessarily a bad thing, but you should be aware that things are in flux.

Yeah, I meant to ask about that....has anyone been since the new chef started? Is it still a worthy place to go?

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Coffee in DC?

Still a bit tough - especially if you're used to the icons of Seattle coffee, such as Hines, Zoka, Lladro, Bauhaus, Victrola and Vivace.

But, if you're willing to trek a little, head on up to Capitol Hill's Eastern Market and visit Murky Coffee (www.murkycoffee.com). The owner was originally trained by David Schomer of Espresso Vivace and their crew is really into coffee.

A plus: Montmartre, a French restaurant, is right next door and quite tasty.

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Forget BdC and Les Halles - those are loud, worn out impersonators. Drop your bags and head over to Montsouris - its a true Bistro, and its right off of Dupont Circle on P St. It will be open late, and you WILL get very good French fare (much like Seattle's Le Pichet, that I've enjoyed twice now).

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Forget BdC and Les Halles - those are loud, worn out impersonators.  Drop your bags and head over to Montsouris - its a true Bistro, and its right off of Dupont Circle on P St.  It will be open late, and you WILL get very good French fare (much like Seattle's Le Pichet, that I've enjoyed twice now).

It's inarguable that BdC's chief appeal lies in people watching and atmospherics. It's not an impersonation, it's a local bar in a cool neighborhood -- a clubhouse that serves decent bistro fare. It's fun.

Montsouris is more serious endeavor, which I much wanted to like. My one experience there was decidedly mixed though, and noticeably more expensive. And one hears that the waiters at Montsouris are just as surly as those at BdC (though BdC's seem strangely mellow, of late) and the room just as loud.

It's a bit of an apples and oranges thing, and I would happily go to either depending on mood.

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I have been to Montsouris twice. Both times the food was better than at Bistrot du Coin, but the service was terrible. The slightly better food is not worth the higher price tag and terrible service, IMO.

And what they do to steak tartare ought to be against the law.

Edited by hjshorter (log)

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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Yeah, I was just reading about the cheese on the steak tartare. I have to say, that was a real turn off for me - and I love cheese! That coupled with the attitude of the servers makes me think it's not the place for me.

On the other hand, I just got an email from a fellow eG'er who at at BdC on her last visit and didn't like it much....tables too close together, uncomfortable chairs, etc. She compared it unfavorably to our local fav, Le Pichet, mentioned by MiFi above.

I'm torn! Tell me more about Les Halles. Is the service better? More comfortable? How does the food compare?

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