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Eating and Shopping on Capitol Hill


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Capitol Hill is having its own Restaurant Week: Capitol Hill Restaurant Week Feb 21-Feb 27

According to a flier that I picked up (at the Ugly Mug), the deal is "buy 2 entrees and get the less priced entree free!"

Just thought I'd share.

Some of the restaurants participating:

TRATTORIA ALBERTO

Lunch Only

506 8th Street, SE

202-544-2007

CAPITOL HILL TANDOOR & GRILL

Lunch (not buffet) and dinner

419 8th Street, SE

202-547-3233

CAFÉ BERLIN

Dinner (up to $15)

320 Mass Ave., NE

202-543-7656

TUNNICLIFF’S TAVERN

LUNCH & DINNER

(up to $19)

222 7th Street, SE

202-544-5680

THE UGLY MUG

LUNCH & DINNER

723 8th Street, SE

202-547-UGLY

SZECHUAN HOUSE

Dinner Only

515 8th Street, SE

202-546-5303

LA PLAZA

Lunch and dinner

629 Penn. Ave., SE

202-546-5489

MEYHANE

Dinner Only

Turkish Cuisine/Tapas

633 Penn. Ave., SE

202-544-4753

WHITE TIGER

Lunch only (incl. buffet)

301 Mass. Ave., NE

202-546-5900

TAVERNA – THE GREEK

ISLANDS

Lunch and dinner (Sandwiches only)

305 Penn. Ave., SE

202-547-8360

garnish is a twist on the twist

garnish is another person's garbage

garnish is added

garnish is removed

garnish is like tying the ribbon on a present

garnish is a lovely warm "lollipop" pink

garnish is the person i would want by my side

garnish is the fun part of this soup

garnish is a speed bump on the road to bliss

garnish is described as an ornament or a decoration

garnish is an incredibly fussy little number

(garnish as googlism)

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CAPITOL HILL TANDOOR & GRILL

Lunch (not buffet) and dinner

419 8th Street, SE

202-547-3233

Has anyone ever been here? If it has at least average Indian fare, I'll go. But, given that it's on the Hill, I'm skeptical.

peak performance is predicated on proper pan preparation...

-- A.B.

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CAPITOL HILL TANDOOR & GRILL

Lunch (not buffet) and dinner

419 8th Street, SE

202-547-3233

Has anyone ever been here? If it has at least average Indian fare, I'll go. But, given that it's on the Hill, I'm skeptical.

I've been there a few times recently and liked it, though I am not a connoisseur of Indian food. It's nothing special, but I would say it merits at least "average". The service is friendly and welcoming. White Tiger is better.

Don’t you have a machine that puts food into the mouth and pushes it down?

--Nikita Khrushchev to Richard Nixon during the "Kitchen Debate" in Moscow, 1959

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We were at the Ugly Mug tonight. We live on the Hill and would love places like Ugly Mug to succeed because we are acutely aware of how bad the dining scene is here generally. And who wants to brave cross-town traffic to have decent food in a nice pub?

But, by the same token, who wants to return to a place that serves wet and sloppy martinis, bland chicken wings, and where the hostess-cum-server doesn't refresh your drinks or take your food order until you ask her to, and then does not return until you summon her again? (and then says, "Wasn't your server here?). The place was fairly full (good short term sign) but they had only one server for the whole floor (bad long term sign). The tables next to us as well, also Hill residents, shook their heads in that mixture of disappointment and frustration characteristic of the Hill restaurant patron. People do not return to places with flaws like this, at least not a third time, and we let people on hand know what was wrong (we were told the manager was not there). They were apologetic, said the place had opened way too early, etc. But in the end it boils down to one fact: people who have a bad first experience at a new establishment will return to it only out of generosity or neighborhood esprit de corps, if at all. That's a thin thread from which to hang the fate of a new restaurant--even on the Hill.

We went to The Ugly Mug on Monday night. The decor is odd - typical Capitol Hill wierd bar. However, the booths are comfortable and the food was really good, so I'll be back. The beer mugs did smell a little of detergent - that should be fixed - but other than that the meal was good.

It is obvious that the restaurant is still very new. When my pizza came without one of the toppings I ordered, the waitress took it back to the kitchen, then came back to tell me they could remake it (like my dining companion was going to wait another half hour to eat his pizza which was already on the table) or they could just plop the topping on top of the existing pizza. I told her just to bring the pizza back and take the one topping off the bill. My pizza came back with the topping added, and the waitress said she removed the whole pizza from the bill. I thought I had totally scored until I just read the post above about Capitol Hill Restaurant Week.

I will go back to try their mini-burgers soon. I'm excited to have Matchbox-esque pizza in our neighborhood.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Okay kids...It's RAINING IN my office right now. (Don't ask...)

I need a decent lunch. I have my car so I can drive somewhere nearby but I can't go far because the office is short-staffed today. I don't want to walk and get soaked....

Anyone been to Levi's on 8th Street SE on the other side of the freeway?

This is the kind of day where I need Sonoma to be open already.

Sigh...

Jennifer

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Went to Tapatinis on Thursday for drinks. Thursday happy hour specials were free wine for women, and all martinis for $5. I was wondering when we walked in why there were so many people drinking wine at a martini bar (and so many women, not that I was complaining) My friend did not avail herself of the free wine though, and we each had a couple martinis, which were pretty damn tasty, especially for $5. Service was atrocious - I couldn't tell if the holdup was the bartender or the wait staff, but I would see the wait staff just waiting around instead of going around and checking on us (i.e. we had empty glasses and wanted to drink more!). The only food we had were stuffed potato skins with zucchini, peppers, onions, and cheese, which was surprsingly quite good. The calamari that was going by also looked good, but my vegetarian-friend would have none of that - and we were also getting tired of the bad service. Overall, nice addition to the neighborhood, would go back if out that way - but not sure if I would make a special trip for it.

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  • 1 month later...

Hello everyone,

I have a group I am bringing to DC for a meeting in the Fall. The first evening they will dine at the Inn at Little Washington.

The second evening they will be dining in/around the Capital Hill area as they will be staying at the the Phoenix Park Hotel. We will be around 25 people and have had a long day. I think they would like something/place casual, relaxing and of course exceptional food.

Oh and the rub is this is on a Monday. But I might be able to book it for a group...

Thanks savvy ones!!

Kata

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Hello everyone,

I have a group I am bringing to DC for a meeting in the Fall. The first evening they will dine at the Inn at Little Washington.

The second evening they will be dining in/around the Capital Hill area as they will be staying at the the Phoenix Park Hotel. We will be around 25 people and have had a long day. I think they would like something/place casual, relaxing and of course exceptional food.

Oh and the rub is this is on a Monday. But I might be able to book it for a group...

Thanks savvy ones!!

Kata

Can't claim it's "exceptional" food, but for a group that obviously has means, Charlie Palmer Steak is walking distance from the hotel, has a great view of the Capitol at night, a nice wine list and is open Mondays. They're also used to handling large parties, as they're a big lobbyist/politico schmoozing destination.

Bistro Bis is even closer to hand, literally around the corner, though you'd want to check that they could handle your party all at once.

Edited by iamthestretch (log)

"Mine goes off like a rocket." -- Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, Feb. 16.

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Welcome to eGullet, mfkWisher.

As you've probably picked up, the Hill is considered something of a restaurant wasteland, though Bis is very good and Charlie Palmer's is well-regarded. Along with cult-favorite :wink: Ray's the Steaks out in Arlington, it is the favorite of the Washington Post's main food critic; having met their chef the other night, I know that they take their meat very seriously there.

Of course, the night after a long dinner and long drive at the Inn, you may want to just go to the bar in your hotel -- The Dubliner is pretty much a Hill landmark -- or around the corner to its divier neighbor, The Irish Times, to munch corned beef and hoist a few pints. :biggrin:

Has anybody been to La Colline since I was last there in, oh, 1987?

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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Has anybody been to La Colline since I was last there in, oh, 1987?

1996 probably isn't too helpful either, so I can't help there.

Just to chime in that I thought Charlie Palmer was very good on my recent visit and they have at least one good sized private room and probably more than that. It is more causal and a much more modern feel than the Inn, but I wouldn't exactly call it casual either.

Bis is a little more casual but a also more upscale than most typical bistros.

Edited by bilrus (log)

Bill Russell

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Bis is open on Mondays and tends to be not so busy on that day. We also have a number of private rooms that can be a good choice for a party of that size as I am not certain we can accommodate 25 people in the dining room all at once. Call Annee Gillette, our event coordinator, at 202-661-2700.

Resident Twizzlebum

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I would recommend keeping your list of options short: to either CPS or BB. You won't go wrong with either, and both would be quite delicious and memorable for your group.

I had an excellent dinner recently at Charlie Palmer Steak (I would say, in the top 3 meals of the last 12 months). It would be a very different atmosphere than the ILW, and the menu, although it has about 6 or 8 different incredible meat offerings, it also has numerous fabulous non-meat/seafood things as well. I am not sure of the guest minimum needed, but CP Steak also has a killer view from their private rooftop garden, quite a treat for even the locals with the view of the capitol dome in all its glory...(nighttime illumination is stunning). Very sleek, modern and elegant place, whites and neutral tones, not the usual dark wood clubby atmosphere of most steakhouses. Wine list is all American. Service was excellent and professional.

Bis is also a good choice, and would give more of that intimate atmosphere you will get at ILW. Delicious French bistro fare, but with a decidedly upscale twist.

I like to cook with wine. Sometimes I even add it to the food.

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Has anybody been to La Colline since I was last there in, oh, 1987?

1996 probably isn't too helpful either, so I can't help there.

Just to chime in that I thought Charlie Palmer was very good on my recent visit and they have at least one good sized private room and probably more than that. It is more causal and a much more modern feel than the Inn, but I wouldn't exactly call it casual either.

Bis is a little more casual but a also more upscale than most typical bistros.

Ok, I was at La Colline back in December. Lunch was entirely acceptable, but I'd think CPS or Bis would hold up better in comparison to Inn at Little Washington.

"Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cookbook! Little Red Cookbook!" --Eddie Izzard
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Thanks everyone. Seems to be quite a consensus here!

What excellent feedback too. Well it won't be til September,

but I can certainly let you know how our large group fares at

these places. It is nice to know they will have a comfortable

landing after dinner at ILW.

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  • 1 month later...

Tunnicliffs finally has its new menu. I can't speak for the whole thing, but I liked the seared tuna appetizer. It's $12, I think. It's got a wasabi cream sauce and seaweed mix with cabbage. Very nice.

They have a couple of other tuna items on the menu that are similar (sesame, seaweed, wasabi), but I don't know how they are. Most of the menu didn't change much, except a lot of offerings went up by a buck. They've also got a pigs in a blanket app that looked interesting (fairly substantial).

Now that I've had an appetizer, I plan to try pizza at Sonoma for dinner. I'm not full yet, really. :wacko: . Bring it on. We want good food on Capitol Hill. Bring it on!

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My Hill dining is limited to Tortilla Grill Cafe, Aatish, and a Turkish place on Penn (Anatolia, maybe?) -- all basically low brow, but reasonably tasty. Oh and a French place whose name I also can't remember (might have been La Colline), but they had a lovely leek tart. Very nice for a lunch sitting outside trying to forget how painful participating/listening to Senate hearings can be, at least if it's not swamped by politicos.

At Tortilla, the pupusas and accompanying salad rocked. And you can not beat the price.

Anatolia -- it's been a while, so I can't offer specific comment.

Recently met a couple of friends at Aatish for dinner with my 2.5 year old. My daughter LOVES pappadam. The waiter was somewhat alarmed that she would eat them since they're a tad spicy. I assured him that she was accustomed to the heat -- no biggie. Then she started playing with the container of coriander sauce, basically just looking at it. The waiter really freaked out then and nearly ripped the dish from her hand. I felt like saying, "Stop trying to tell the Americans not to eat Pakistani food in the Pakistani restaurant." Luckily he had other tables seated about that time and had less time to hover over us. Sheesh.

Bridget Avila

My Blog

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Speaking of Tunnis -- can anyone confirm that the owners of Tunnicliffs are also the owners of the soon-to-be-closed Stoneys? I heard that a while back. With Stoney's closing it makes sense that Tony and Mo are putting more into Tunnis. Didn't want to jump to a conclusion though.

The owners of Tunnicliffs and Stoneys are the same

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My Hill dining is limited to Tortilla Grill Cafe, Aatish, and a Turkish place on Penn (Anatolia, maybe?) -- all basically low brow, but reasonably tasty.  Oh and a French place whose name I also can't remember (might have been La Colline), but they had a lovely leek tart.  Very nice for a lunch sitting outside trying to forget how painful participating/listening to Senate hearings can be, at least if it's not swamped by politicos.

You need to branch out on the Hill! First Anatolia is closed and is now Meyhane (sp?)

Other spots:

Montemartre (french bistro)

Sonoma (newly opened in old Il Raddiccio space)

Pacific Grill (try the grilled lemon chicken with noodles or grilled pork with noodles)

Ugly Mug (pizza and mini burgers by former Matchbox chef)

La Plaza (cheap El Salvadoran food)

Belga (Belgium bistro fare)

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You need to branch out on the Hill!

Well, I've never lived in DC, and thankfully no longer work there either (woo hoo! no more commute!). But I will keep your suggestions in mind when I visit my friend who lives on the Hill.

Edited by bavila (log)

Bridget Avila

My Blog

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Ugly Mug (pizza and mini burgers by former Matchbox chef)

I heard second hand this weekend (but from a source I trust) that Graig Glufling has left Ugly Mug.

Bill Russell

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I heard second hand this weekend (but from a source I trust) that Graig Glufling has left Ugly Mug.

That is correct. Ugly Mug is a great bar, but that is just what they want to be -- a bar. Graig wants to cook, so they parted ways.

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