i spend the most decadent weekends in nyc and i am in desparate need to find dc replacements for my fave nyc eats. the list follows, any suggestions are accepted:
1) vodka/martinis at pravda
2) pho at nha trang
3) pizza from lombardi's or difara's or grimaldi's
4) blueberry bread pudding from m&r bar
5) dim sum at golden unicorn
6) best $3 meal at dojo's
7) crab dumplings at joe's shanghai
this is the list
more will follow.
do use this list if you plan a trip to nyc as well.
I would stay away from "fortune" [wherever it is in Va] and head to "New Fortune" in Gaithersburg, MD. There is a *huge* difference in quality between the two. I've heard that Fortune used to be owned by the New Fortune owners but don't know for sure.
Also, while there's little that's sexy or chic in D.C., I think the bar at Neyla in Georgetown is okay when you're in the "wear black" mood.
Pizza slices appear to be well-covered on this list, so while you keep in mind that nothing will match a NYC slice, Via Reggio in Dupont Circle and Georgetown Bagelry sell pretty good slices in the District.
I may be able to help you with a few things on your list...
In terms of "pho", I have never been to Nha Trang, but I think you will have hard time beating the soup at the Pho 75 chain--Rockville, Langley Park, just outside of Rosslyn and a couple of other locations.
Pizza...it is not quite "abandon hope" but it is close. My DC favorite is Pizzeria Paradiso at Dupont Circle and I really like the "vongole" pizza (called cockles) at 2 Amys. But don't expect Di Fara's....
For the rest, you will have to depend on the kindness of others...or save up for your return visit to NYC.
As a fellow Columbian (judging by your email) let me chime in on the subjects I know something about. Golden Unicorn is hard to match in DC, but if you venture into the suburbs, to Fortune (in Seven Corners and Reston, VA) or Maxim (in Bailey's Crossroads) you should be satisfied. There is also a place in MD somewhere (name escapes me) that I think is even better (that should elicit a number of responses here soon).
As for Joe's Shanghai's dumplings, I am afraid that I have yet to find anyplace that matches them. However, there is a place called A&J (locations in Annandale, VA, and Rockville, MD) that has something I have never found in NYC--authentic northern-style dumplings and 'dimsum'. Truly outstanding, and a bunch of Chowhounds plan to go there this weekend.