IndeBleu or DuPont Circle Dining

Old Oct 30th, 2007, 09:14 AM
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IndeBleu or DuPont Circle Dining

We have made our reservation to stay at Hotel Palomar but we find the menu an decor at IndeBleu to our liking (like trendy but different ethnic cuisines). What are your thoughts....is it worth the taxi ride to head to IndeBleu, any wine bars or lounges for afterwards or can you provide some unique, good dining/nightlife in DuPont. Thanks for all your help!
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Old Oct 30th, 2007, 09:22 AM
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I can only say that I loved IndeBleu the one time I was there. Very creative and delicious food and nice atmosphere.
 
Old Oct 30th, 2007, 09:24 AM
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Komi's on 17th Street is recommended by the Post's critic.
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Old Oct 30th, 2007, 02:23 PM
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It is not that big of a deal to get from Hotel Palomar to IndeBleu - you can also walk the two blocks from the hotel to the Dupont metro station, take the red line 3 stops to Gallery Place/Chinatown, then walk about a block to the restaurant.

Also, if you're looking for other "trendy but ethnic" restaurants during your stay, try Zaytinya, also in Penn Quarter (directly across the street from the Gallery Place/Chinatown metro). It's a beautiful, trendy space, and their menu is sort of a "middle eastern tapas" concept - food is great.

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Old Oct 30th, 2007, 02:32 PM
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Also, what exactly are you looking for as far as nightlife? I work in Dupont about a block from your hotel and have quite a few suggestions, but it would help to know what you're looking for - loungey bar? Mega-club? Super trendy? Sports bar?

One favorite of mine is Firefly, which is about 4 blocks from your hotel, south of Dupont Circle on New Hampshire Ave. It has a nice upscale loungey but not pretentious feel, and their cocktails are fabulous, especially their seasonal specialty cocktails. The bar is small (it's also a restaurant) but it's a nice place for an early drink before heading elsewhere.
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Old Oct 30th, 2007, 04:00 PM
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We enjoyed Zaytinya, and even better, we loved Etete Ethiopian Cuisine on 9th and U St...we took the Metro from Dupont Circle to U St stop and then walked to get to 9th and U. Other people have recommended other Ethiopian restaurants as well.

Happy dining.
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Old Oct 30th, 2007, 04:19 PM
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Agree that's its very easy to go by metro from the Hotel Palomar to IndeBleu. Love Indebleu. Another place to consider is Rasika
http://www.rasikarestaurant.com/
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Old Nov 5th, 2007, 07:43 AM
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Thanks for all the input....I am now trying to find out more about Rasika but it's website won't come up. We did Enthiopian in the past and would probably like a nicer, lingering type meal. Then after dinner to a lounge style (or trendy, wine bar, etc) type spot or two in either Penn or DuPont area. Not into dance clubs nor pubs....just somewhere to have a good cocktail, people watch and chat. So recommendations would be appreciated.
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Old Nov 5th, 2007, 10:46 AM
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For a nice, lounge-y bar in Dupont, in addition to Firefly, the wine bar in the Hotel Palomar, Urbana, is quite nice and has a good selection of wines by the glass. Science Club, a few blocks south of Dupont Circle on 19th St. has got a nice, swanky lounge vibe.

Helix Lounge is also swanky and fun (but it's closer to Logan Circle than Dupont, and so about a 10 minute walk from your hotel). Topaz, on N St., is similar.

For something kind of different, try Russia House, which is just north of Dupont Circle on Connecticut Ave. It draws a cosmopolitan crowd, has a comfortable private clubby feel, and about a millon vodkas to choose from, including yummy infused vodkas that make great cocktails.

There are also a few options on Connecticut Ave. just south of the Circle, but they tend to be a bit more pretentious and with a pretty strict dress code and cover charge, especially for men: MCCXXIII (aka 1223) - sort of a Euro-trash crowd. Also Eighteenth Street Lounge, which was quite the place to be a few years ago, but IMHO has gone downhill. It's an unmarked doorway next to a hardware store (look for the bouncer/velvet rope), which leads to a stairway up to a converted townhouse, lots of couches, fireplaces, etc.

In Penn Quarter, the place that comes to mind is Poste in the Hotel Monaco. Nice atmosphere, good drinks, but the service in my experience is always super slow. Zola, the restaurant attached to the spy museum, also has a nice bar/lounge area.

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Old Nov 11th, 2007, 10:33 PM
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hlg22, what have you heard about the restaurant at Urbana, as opposed to the bar? The chowhound comments are not very positive about the food. We're also staying at the Palomar soon. Zaytin and Jaleo are calling to me...

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Old Nov 12th, 2007, 01:11 PM
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mlgb,
I haven't eaten at Urbana so I have no experience with their food first hand, but I've heard very mixed things from friends. Tom Sietsema, the Wash. Post's food critic, also did not care for it.

On the other hand, I almost always take out of town guests to Zaytinya, Jaleo, or both, and haven't had a complaint yet (except perhaps about the wait if going on a weekend night).

Also, if you like sushi, there is a great, inexpensive neighborhood sushi place almost right across the street from the Hotel Palomar on P Street, called Sakana. The address is 2026 P St., and it's a tiny little basement restaurant. It's not fancy, but has consistently great sushi - I go there probably twice a month for lunch. Their tempura roll (or, as I call it, junk food sushi) is perhaps my favorite food ever.
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Old Nov 12th, 2007, 04:59 PM
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Thanks for the reply. Urbana will be at the lower end of my list. We are pretty well supplied for sushi here in LA, but Spanish, Greek and Turkish are hard to find. As well looking forward to crabcakes and I thought Pesce might be worthwhile since I like fish.
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Old Nov 12th, 2007, 05:16 PM
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U might check out Oyamel-great tapas.
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Old Nov 13th, 2007, 05:57 AM
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An important clarification to the above comment: Oyamel is not tapas - it is small tapas-size portions, but the food is Mexican, not Spanish. Oyamel, Zaytinya and Jaleo are all owned and run by chef Jose Andres.

Oyamel is good but more uneven than the other two, though it has gotten better since moving from Crystal City - for my money, and especially being from LA where you can get great Mexican food, I would pick Zaytinya or Jaleo.

Seafood/crabcakes...Pesce can be good, you may also want to try Oceanaire, Kinkead's, or DC Coast. I'm partial to Kinkead's, though I have had good meals at all of them -Oceanaire is the only one of the four where I've tried the crabcakes, and they were excellent. For a much more casual experience, the Bethesda Crab House can be very fun and is metro accessible, but their menu is basically crab, crabcakes, shrimp and coleslaw, and you get a pile o'crab dumped on your table.

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Old Nov 13th, 2007, 09:59 AM
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That is correct about Oyamel--not tapas but antijotos. You can now reserve at Jaleos on Open Table, so no more standing in line and waiting for a table.

I have never had a great meal at Oceanaire, but it is popular on this site. I agree that Kinkeads is top notch for seafood and also have enjoyed many a great meal at Pesce. Don't think the crabcakes at Bethesda crab house are outstanding... hard shellcrabs are generally good there though if that is what you are looking for. Johnny's Half Shell used to have good crabcakes. Haven't been there since they moved to Capitol Hill, but they would also be accessible by Metroing to Union Station.
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Old Nov 13th, 2007, 08:48 PM
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Thanks for the added recommendations, I had already scratched Oyamel because yes, not any shortage of the real thing here in LA!

Taberna del Alaberdero for 1/2 price appetizers weekday happy hour sounds good, any experiences with that one?
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Old Nov 14th, 2007, 05:13 AM
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I have been meaning to try Taberna del Alabardero - thanks for the info about their happy hour prices. I've heard very good things about their food, but their tapas are quite a bit pricier than Jaleo, and since Jaleo is so good I've always headed there instead. The happy hour prices make it worth a try, if I can ever get out of work early enough to make it there. Reputation wise, I'd say Jaleo is the more hip and modern of the two, while Taberna has the reputation of being more traditional, but hopefully someone else who's actually eaten there can speak to the food.

Oh, and one other note about Jaleo/Zaytinya - yes, Jaleo does now accept reservations as an earlier poster pointed out, but only pre-theater from 5-6:30. Zaytinya has recently started to accept reservations throughout the night, but only have a few available - they keep most slots open for walk-ins. At 7 or 8 on a weekend, you'll have quite a long wait at either restaurant.
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Old Nov 14th, 2007, 02:30 PM
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I've eaten at Jaleo often, and always enjoy it, although I wouldn't rate it quite as highly as some do. I've only eaten at the Taberna del Alabardero once, and that meal was absolutely fabulous. Hard to judge a restaurant on one meal, though. . . . Hope that helps!
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Old Dec 9th, 2007, 09:28 AM
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Just an update, the half off tapas in Taberna del Alabardero was quite a nice deal. It's available only in the bar area, which is fairly small with I think 3 tables. The Sangria was also half off. My favorite tapa was the quail.

Jaleo and Zaytinya: I enjoyed the food, the atmosphere was more casual, like an upscale fast food venue.

Was going to eat at Urbana on Thanksgiving but they decided to close it for the holiday. Also was hoping for a lunch at Mark and Orlando's or Pesce on Friday but again holiday closures.
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