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Where to dine in D.C? All types-From cafes, quick breakfasts, to fancy dinners...

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Where to dine in D.C? All types-From cafes, quick breakfasts, to fancy dinners...

Old Apr 30th, 2006, 02:08 PM
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Where to dine in D.C? All types-From cafes, quick breakfasts, to fancy dinners...

Hi All,
Would love your input on where best to dine in D.C.

Interested in places to grab a quick hot breakfast, good brunch, relax with a coffee and cake, a nice dinner out (moderately expensive, no more than $25 for a dinner entree), fun nighttime dining--maybe with some music, and maybe even an Afternoon Tea....

What are your favorite spots?

I'll be near the Georgetown/Dupont area at night, and during the day both Georgetown and the touristy D.C. central area (by the Smithsonian museums, Union Station etc.). So, I would appreciate your input on eateries in both general areas.

As far as types of food...American, Continental, Eclectic, 'Nouveau', French, Italian, Seafood, South American/Cuban, Thai, etc. (Not interested in Japanese, Chinese, Mexican, tex/mex, or Steakhouses)

Luckily I've gotten a bit of advice thru conversations on other threads, but I've never actually titled a dining thread for D.C. (so I was hoping to catch more great advice).

There was a great place I went to a few years ago in Georgetown, it was off a side street, seemed near a canal, beautiful place, moderately priced, with a violinist playing, I think it had two floors or was up a level...would love to find that place, or a place like that...any suggestions?

Thank you for all your input! Really appreciate your help in this.
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Old Apr 30th, 2006, 02:40 PM
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Have you tried chowhound.com?
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Old Apr 30th, 2006, 03:07 PM
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I think if you come to DC, you should try food that DC is uniquely good at or proud of.

There are more Ethiopians in DC than any place outside of Africa. Thus, we have great Ethiopian restaurants. It's unusual, but you should try it one. There are good restaurants in G-town and a number in Adams Morgan.

DC also has a disproportinately large number of good Thai restaurants. Most of the best ones are in the suburbs, but Thaiphoon and Sala Thai in the city are both good. A Thai restaurant in Arlington--Bangkok 54--was listed in Food and Wine as one of the best new restaurants on the East Coast.

For the pure fun and significance, a lunch on U Street--especially at Ben's Chili Bowl--is in order. This is the heart of DC's Black history and now one of the hottest neighborhoods. Ben's is greasy and loud, but a local institution.
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Old Apr 30th, 2006, 03:16 PM
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A few other suggestions.

You should try to go onto Capitol Hill for a meal, just to see the hood which includes the House, the Senate, and the Supreme Court as neighbors. It's not a great restaurant neighborhood, although Banana Cafe (cuban) is a good choice. It's near the 8th and I Marine base, which is lovely. An interesting nieghborhood.

G-town has some good, reasonably priced French restaurants. I like Bistro Francias, which is open late. It's also reasonably priced.

You should try a restaurant in the Penn Quarter, near Chinatown. There's no good Chinese food, but some really interesting Continental food. Poste at the Hotel Monaco, Zola, Zatinaaya, Jaleo, Cafe Atlantico are all good choices.
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Old May 1st, 2006, 04:01 AM
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This is a really open ended question - rather than list 500 places, I will limit it to three areas/locations in the interest of not overwhelming you.
1) By the Mall/Smithsonian museum:

Jaleo at 7th & E st. NW (Spanish tapas/entrees - everything on the extensive menu is great):

www.jaleo.com

2) By the Capitol/Supreme Ct./LOC: Montmartre Casual, upscale French in the heart of the Capitol Hill neighborhood (327 7th St. SE) - divine!!
Eastern Market Metro
Reservations recommended
Phone 202/544-1244 (currently no website)

3) In the heart of U st. neighborhood (a great place to explore day or night):
Dukem - one of the more popular Ethiopian DC spots - very good.
http://www.dukemrestaurant.com/
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Old May 1st, 2006, 07:03 AM
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In the Dupont Circle area, we recently enjoyed Heritage India - it was really good and the service was terrific.

We dined at Zatinya in the Penn Quarter area in February and thought it was fabulous. It is a Turkish/Middle Eastern place with small plates (like tapas). Our selections were delicious and our server excellent.

Good luck and have fun!
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Old May 1st, 2006, 07:29 AM
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I live in DC.
My favorites are:
1) Al Tiramisu (Italian) - small place, not super smart, but the best Italian in town. Dupont Circle. Beware of the specials--usually very expensive.
2) Zaitinya (Middle Eastern food) - super trendy, great food, lively bar scene.
3) Heritage India (Indian Food)- they have two locations. The one in Dupont turns into a club late at night (I'm not sure on what days); the other location--on Wisconsin Avenue--is actually my favorite (I prefer the decoration).
M.

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Old May 1st, 2006, 08:07 AM
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Have to give another vote for Jaleo. Wonderful Spanish tapas, reasonably priced (for DC) and live Flamenco guitarists some nights of the week. Have had many a pleasant meal.
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Old May 1st, 2006, 09:51 AM
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We really liked Le Lavandou, near Georgetown if not actually in it. If you like Mexican food, Guapas (sp?) is excellent--same general area.
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Old May 2nd, 2006, 01:44 PM
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Thanks for your input. Any more suggestions? Would love to hear more of your fave places (don't worry about overwhelming me). Also, anyone recommend a place for Afternoon Tea?
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Old May 2nd, 2006, 02:40 PM
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Afternoon tea at the Willard is said to be very nice.
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Old May 6th, 2006, 06:15 PM
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I'd like to hijack the thread a little if I could. Are any of these restaurants good for solo diners? I'm most interested in the exotic stuff that I can't get in Hawaii--Dukem, Heritage India, Zatinya, maybe Jaleo. But I will most likely be by myself so I don't want to feel uncomfortable.

Also, any other good breakfast spots?
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Old May 6th, 2006, 09:58 PM
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I often travel to DC for business and am often a solo diner. I've eaten alone at Jaleo, Les Halles and Georgia Brown, and never really felt weird about it. Often times, I'll just order food and go back to the hotel.

I've only eaten at Zatinya with a bunch of friends, but it does seem like a nice place to have a solo dinner.

Wish I could help with Georgetown. 10 years traveling there, not a clue where to eat there!
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Old May 7th, 2006, 06:45 AM
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If you are comfortable eating by yourself, in general, you will be comfortable eating at any of the places you mentioned.

As for breakfast, DC is not a breakfast town. Unless you want high end places, people go to Starbucks, Caribou Coffee, and COSI for breakfast. Not a lot of sit-down, reasonable places for breakfrast.
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Old May 7th, 2006, 08:51 AM
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Huh! who knew? not me! okay, I guess I'll settle for a coffee spot for breakfast.

Also, what do you think of Corduroy?
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Old May 7th, 2006, 10:10 AM
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Corduroy is nice and would be fine to eat alone. It's in a hotel, so eating alone isn't unusual. DC has also banned smoking in restaurants--but not bars. Many restaurants, however, are not allowing smoking in their bars, so you can always eat alone at the bar.
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Old May 7th, 2006, 10:54 AM
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another vote for Georgia Browns - I love the fried green tomatoes and pork dishes - tried to replicate from the web site but never as good as at the restaurant! gbrowns.com
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Old May 7th, 2006, 02:38 PM
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Afternoon Tea at the Four Seasons in Georgetown is elegant and delicious. The pastries and tea sandwiches are all high quality and you can add a glass of Champagne for a fee. It is a bit expensive but you will feel very pampered and it's fun to see the older Georgetown wealthy ladies who seem to be regulars. It doesn't have a cutesy British tea-room feel to it, though.

In Old Town, Alexandria, across the Potomac, there is a true British-style tea room. This is a cute colonial town if you are looking for something different, with many dining options. Our favorite is the tasting room at Restaurant Eve for an amazing dining experience. They also have a wonderful wine list and lots of extremely creative cocktails.

Also look for Teaism. There is one near Dupont Circle and maybe two or three others in the city. Very nice for health-conscious light food and exotic teas.

MelissaHI- I think you would feel comfortable dining at Dukem alone, especially on the nights when they have their floor show of Ethiopian dance and music. I love their food, especially the combinations platters which give you a chance to taste a range of dishes. I would recommend taking a taxi for a woman alone. I love the U Street area, but near Dukem it can be a little shady-seeming. (I am a bit of a wimp, though

Kramerbooks at Dupont Circle is fun for brunch, or late night snacks, though a bit overpriced sometimes.
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Old May 7th, 2006, 06:30 PM
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Wow, thanks! I was interested in Dukem's coffee ceremony too, but I see it's about 5 hours long.

Just to share--I do have one evening where I will meet a friend from Hawaii and her family. However, her husband and kids only eat "normal" food.....and this means they don't even eat Thai! So I guess we'll be going to Cafe Creme or 2 Amys. Otherwise, I'd drag her to Dukem! Sad.
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Old May 7th, 2006, 06:52 PM
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I would strongly second (or third) the votes for Zaytinya and Heritage India. Both on my lists of top choices. I also love the Breadline close to the White House for lunch. Yes it is crowded and a bit zany, but the food cannot be beat! Much of the best ethnic food is in the suburbs. If you have a car, it might be fun to go to Eden Center in Arlington - the largest complex of Vietnamese restaurants and retail outside Vietnam. Another wonderful arrival in VA is Restaurant Eve in Old Town Alexandria, which is getting great reviews. The Tasting Room is a splurge but worth it. Went to Creme and then out to Jazz this weekend in U Street area. Great scene, although the food not as good as at some other places.
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