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Where to eat in Washington DC 2006


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TallDrinkOfWater and I will be in DC, my first time ever, next month for 5 nights. We really want to go to restaurants that reflect the city! Can't do 5 nights of over the top of expensive but we like to eat and drink well. We're staying in Dupont Circle but will cab around.

Citronelle is on the list and I've heard good things about Courderoy? What would you pick as the restuarants that are unique to DC?

We eat everything! Preferences run French, Italian, Local/Fresh, Seafood, etc. I really can't think of a type of meal we don't like. We love a good wine list too. Oh and cocktail lounges are needed also!

Thank you :smile:

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In an effort to make life easier for all those looking for a solid meal in DC, I'm going link many existing threads to this post, and merge all subsequent non-ridiculously-specific info requests into this thread -- at least until 2007. If any of the links below are even remotely related to your specific request, please revive them, to make searching easier for those who follow. If you have a general request, please attach it to this this thread. Likewise, comments and feedback are appreciated by all of us, especiall the next stranger to come through town.

And, don't forget the ISO Thread, if you're stuck in a hotel room and are looking for a local drinking buddy (ISOs should only be used withing a day of your Happy Hour quest, but if you're looking for general information you can mention you can mention that you'd like to grab a beer in your post, with subsequent discussion to be done by PM). We can be a friendly group here in The Nation's Capitol.

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Lunch near the Museums

Eating in Dupont Circle

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TallDrinkOfWater and I will be in DC, my first time ever, next month for 5 nights. We really want to go to restaurants that reflect the city! Can't do 5 nights of over the top of expensive but we like to eat and drink well. We're staying in Dupont Circle but will cab around.

Citronelle is on the list and I've heard good things about Courderoy? What would you pick as the restuarants that are unique to DC?

We eat everything! Preferences run French, Italian, Local/Fresh, Seafood, etc. I really can't think of a type of meal we don't like. We love a good wine list too. Oh and cocktail lounges are needed also!

Thank you  :smile:

Just a few random thoughts...

Relatively new (may not have been on earlier threads) and worth checking out, many have threads here that you can search for.

Oval Room: Undergoing a revival under new chef Matt Seccich

Circle Bistro: Upscale bistro food on Washington Circle, not far from Dupont.

Notti Bianchi: Informal but upscale-ish excellent Italian near the Kennedy Center. Chef and Maitre d' just got nominated for local resto association awards.

Rasika: Extrememly hip and very good Indian joint in Penn Quarter, which is an excellent neighborhood for cocktailing with the beautiful, the near beautiful and the occasional conventioneer who got lost on their way to the Hard Rock Cafe.

Dupont Circle

Swank: Marcel's. Simply one of the best places in town, but a step down in price from Citronelle (though not cheap). You can eat the regular menu plus bar selections in the bar, and listen to the jazz piano.

hip: Firefly, something of a trifecta with good food, an well-priced and -chosen wine list, and a cool bar seen. Chef John Wabek is also getting some exotic wine-guru certification, and the list is quite swell. He has a weakness for Chablis, if you run into him. He cooks good, too. Maitre d' and former mixmaster extraordinaire Derek Brown has instilled a cocktail nation spirit in his staff; go for swank custom concoctions and the lively scene.

Fish stuff: Three of the best fish places in town are in the Circle neighborhood: Pesce has a very cool European feel, a blackboard menu and great fish. Johnny's Half Shell -- four doors down from Pesce, near 21st and P -- is louder, feels like a tradional East Coast fish house, and has a bar where you can get bivalves and hold for a table. A friend from New Orleans says that the Po' Boys are better than most, even in NO, and you can probably get a good crabcake. I'm boycotting Hanks because they took over the space of my favorite Cheesestake greasy spoon, but it is very well liked and, on a warm night, offers patio dining. Don't try to get a seat at prime time. 17th and Q.

Euro stuff: Sette Osteria for Italian, the salumi and cheese plate, passable wood-bruning pizzas, the young and the cool. Connecticut and R. Hit Bistro du Coin for the onglet/frites, the mussels, the occasional dose of Gallic charm and/or attitude, and the sheer joy of the joint. I like the bar, too. Connecticut and S.

Suggestion: If you're going to be here on a weekend night, use the west coast body clock to your advantage and don't eat until 8:30-9 (or later) to avoid the mobs. Speaking of which -- when I used to fly in from Denver and land at 10PM, hungry, I'd head to Bistro Francais in Georgetown. It serves a full menu until 2AM and is pretty darn good, the steak tartar is widely beloved. Given your sig, it may not be walkable :wink: ; but if you're willing to wear flats you could have a nice nightime stroll from Dupont to Georgetown.

Have fun!

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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hip: Firefly, something of a trifecta with good food, an well-priced and -chosen wine list, and a cool bar seen.  Chef John Wabek is also getting some exotic wine-guru certification, and the list is quite swell.  He has a weakness for Chablis, if you run into him.

And I thought his weakness was for chenin blanc! :laugh:

Seriously, While I am not acquainted with all the places Busboy has recommended, those that I am familiar with I entirely agree with so that I would definitely trust the others as well. Hell, based on his track record, i would trust them anyway :wink:

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You can get a great wine list, cocktail access, and small Italian plates at either Dino (Cleveland Park) or Sonoma (Capitol Hill). Both also serve main courses, but are great for grazing, and serve a wonderful variety of wines by the glass (or less than a glass, for true samplers.)

Hit Firefly for their Wined Down Happy Hour for delicious wines by the glass, and/or have one of those gorgeous cocktails. It is just south of Dupont Circle and is almost certainly within walking distance of your hotel. Love the cheese plate, too.

I would also consider Corduroy a must; it falls in the fresh/local category and it's also just really darn good. Get the lamb with mini ravioli if it's on the menu. Or the scallops. Or... okay, it's all good.

For snacks, there is a branch of Teaism in Dupont Circle right behind one of the Starbucks locations, they have delicious teas as well as ginger scones, salty oat cookies, and light lunch foods with an Asian accent.

If you do indeed eat everything I think a trip to DC isn't complete without trying some Ethiopian food. We are quite proud of our variety and quality in that area. The Ethiopian thread linked above should give you quite a few ideas.

For a non-expensive night, there is a great little Afghan place called Afghan Grill in Woodley Park, just one metro stop from Dupont. There are also tasty pizzas to be had at Pizzeria Paradiso (tiny in Dupont, larger in Georgetown) or 2 Amy's (great food, but a location that's not close to anything, except maybe the Cathedral -- go off-peak hours and midweek, it gets crazy crowded.)

Enjoy DC and I hope you'll eat well every day you're here!

Cooking and writing and writing about cooking at the SIMMER blog

Pop culture commentary at Intrepid Media

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Little ms foodie, you beat me to it! Mr. Duck and I are going down to DC at the end of May, and I was going to post a similar request within the next few days. We’re only going to stay for a weekend, so I want to make the most of our dining. (Thanks, Busboy for making this search easier for us.)

A friend of ours mentioned Sequoia. A few older threads here gave it less-than stellar reviews, but that was more than a year ago. Does it still exist? Any thoughts?

Karen C.

"Oh, suddenly life’s fun, suddenly there’s a reason to get up in the morning – it’s called bacon!" - Sookie St. James

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For a non-expensive night, there is a great little Afghan place called Afghan Grill in Woodley Park, just one metro stop from Dupont. There are also tasty pizzas to be had at Pizzeria Paradiso (tiny in Dupont, larger in Georgetown)

1) You know, I noticed there was something open in the upstairs location once occupied by Khaybar Pass, one of my favorite places long ago.

Can others vouch for quality?

2) Pizza at Paradiso is fine, olives better, and it's fun off-hours on non-peak nights at Dupont (small, crowded). However, I just can't get over tomatoes that seem to have been taken straight out of the can, patted dry, then placed on top of the pies.

Edited by Pontormo (log)

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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Minibar?? still going a good job?

Oh heavens yes. Can't believe I forgot to mention it. So three of your five nights should go to minibar, Corduroy, and Citronelle... that schedule does fill up fast. You'll want to call now for reservations to minibar, and you'll probably have better luck on a weeknight than a weekend. 12 seats a night, clearly, ain't much. If they're already booked, have them put you on the waiting list, that's how I managed to get the night I wanted.

I join in the anti-recommendation for Sequoia. Good for large events, but far from your best option for a cozy delicious dinner.

Cooking and writing and writing about cooking at the SIMMER blog

Pop culture commentary at Intrepid Media

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Don't worry about cabs, you can use the METRO too.

You should hit Palena if you get the chance. Kaz Sushi Bistro is excellent if you like sushi. Marcel's is an excellent suggestion, as are Corduroy and Dino. We ate at Citronelle last night, and yes it is expensive ($85 per for the three course, $150 for the tasting menu) but worth it. Great wine list too.

Other places to try are City Zen, Zyatinya, and Tosca.

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Definitely don't miss dinner in the front room of Palena (right near a Metro stop) or a meal at Zaytinya!!

"I'm not eating it...my tongue is just looking at it!" --My then-3.5 year-old niece, who was NOT eating a piece of gum

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Thanks. We'll definitely avoid Sequoia.

How's Jaleo?

We'll actually be staying in Crystal City. We're near a Metro stop, and have no problem taking public transit. (In fact, that's my preferred method of transportation.) I haven't oriented myself to the city, but we'll go almost anywhere.

Karen C.

"Oh, suddenly life’s fun, suddenly there’s a reason to get up in the morning – it’s called bacon!" - Sookie St. James

Travelogue: Ten days in Tuscany

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Thanks.  We'll definitely avoid Sequoia. 

How's Jaleo?

We'll actually be staying in Crystal City. We're near a Metro stop, and have no problem taking public transit. (In fact, that's my preferred method of transportation.)  I haven't oriented myself to the city, but we'll go almost anywhere.

I saw mention of Jose Andre's restaurants and did you know 2 of them are IN Crystal City?

They are: Oyamel

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?n...ies=Restaurants

http://oyamel.com/

Jaleo:

http://jaleo.com/crystalCity.html

Edited by monavano (log)
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Ok, we obviously need another week in DC in order to hit all the restaurants! :raz:

But we don't have the time on this trip so here is where we are at:

Fri- dinner at Corduroy

Sat- dinner at The Oval Room

Sun- dinner at Citronelle

Mon- still deciding...

Tues- Jaleo for tapas after the baseball game

You guys have been a HUGE help! Too good actually!! Anyway thank you and feel free to let me know if you ever need recomendations for Seattle!

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Ok, we obviously need another week in DC in order to hit all the restaurants!  :raz:

But we don't have the time on this trip so here is where we are at:

Fri- dinner at Corduroy

Sat- dinner at The Oval Room

Sun- dinner at Citronelle

Mon- still deciding...

Tues- Jaleo for tapas after the baseball game

You guys have been a HUGE help! Too good actually!! Anyway thank you and feel free to let me know if you ever need recomendations for Seattle!

After those first three nights, I'd contemplate fasting or Ethiopian for Monday, lest you suffer from gout or bankruptcy. :laugh:

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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