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Retaurant Recomendations Dupont Circle?


mdbasile
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I am hosting a work dinner for 12 2 nights next month in March. We are staying in the Dupont Circle area, at the Topaz, and would like a place fairly close by(though taking taxis are not a problem).

Quality of food is important, but it can't be too small and intimate, and needs to be able to handle and serve our group with ease. Often this can be a problem with smaller fine establishments. Ethnicity is not an issue, though I don't know the eating habits of all the attendees, and don't want to go too "wild." Again quality is more important to me than being unique.

I will need a place for a Sunday and Monday night....

Thoughts??

BTW-- I am not trying to impress anyone.... just want the goods.....

Thank you,

Mark

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Hi,

A couple of choices near the Topaz, depending on your budget and inclinations:

Firefly (in the Madera hotel) and Nora are smaller places on the pricer side, but both are fan-tastic. 12 might be a really big number for them though.

A little bit up Connecticut is Bistro Du Coin, which is bigger, and a bit louder -- straightforward french bistro stuff, steak frites etc... Lots of fun.

Lots of steak places: Ruth Chris' up on Connecticut. The Palm in Foggy Bottom (15-20 min walk, maybe?). Kincaids if you want to go even deeper into the Foggy Bottom area.

The Dupont Grille (I think that's what its called, the one that's basically on the circle and Rhode Island) looks nice, but I've never eaten there. I had a nice (if somewhat stodgy) meal at the dining room in the Mayflower hotel.

The rest of the places are a bit more student-y and sports bar. One problem with Dupont is that you either have to go high-end, or totally low brow. Very little middle ground.

Sander

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My first choice would be getting a private room at the Tabard Inn -- which is more or less next door to the Topaz. Very good food and the rooms feel like somebody's parlour, (which they likely were) you don't feel exiled like you do in some private rooms. Just went to a birthday there and they offered the full menu to 10-12 people which is nice. The bar and the lounge are spectacular and everybody with any sense loves hanging out there.

On steakhouses: my last meals at Ruth's Chris and Smith and Wollensky more or less sucked. The Palm is a cool "Washington" Place with good steaks, but better known for it's atmosphere. You may see Important People hanging at the bar. Ask for the back (main) room if you want to eat with the cool kids. I like Sam and Harry's, across the street from the Palm, both about 5 minutes from your hotel.

I don't know if they have the facilities, or if you'd be comfortable booking a fish house, but both Johnnies Half Shell and Pesce, on N and 21st, are excellent.

Firefly is excellent, as is the Circle Bistro, about a 15 minute walk from you, on Washington Circle. Nora is considered inconsistent and expensive, but I like it. They used to have a second room under a greenhouse ceiling that they used for large groups.

I love Bistro du Coin but would never bring strangers or businesspeople there -- potential for disaster just too high.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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Also, you might consider legging it five minutes up 17th Street to Komi. Very hip, excellent food. Not for the stodgy.

Washingtonian's 100 Best Restaurants, while not as reliable as eGullet (criminally excluding Firefly) :laugh: is a good resource, and it gives addresses and phone numbers.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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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.

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Firefly (in the Madera hotel) and Nora are smaller places on the pricer side, but both are fan-tastic.  12 might be a really big number for them though.

Not to speak for Firefly, but I'm pretty sure they can handle 12 in the back room with enough advance notice.

But like a lot of places - 12 or more might trigger you going into a limited menu. I'm sure they'd do a good job with it though.

Bill Russell

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I thought Topaz only offered small plates. I know that was the case back when they opened. Fine for a snack, not so fine for dinner.

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I've had some wonderful meals at the Circle Bistro in Foggy Bottom. I'm in love with a frissee salad with a grilled poached egg that they serve. Their desserts are also very tasty and creative -- had an Earl Grey creme brulee there recently that was great.

Rebecca Hassell

Cookin' in Brookland

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