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In on biz and need some help!

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I will be in DC next week staying at the Swisshotel planning a week long sales meeting in June. I need some help from locals - please! Every meeting we have had has been a food disaster - being that I am a total Chowhound, I've been voted "most likely to please them".
I need the following:
* Amazing steak house : thinking Caucus Room but am open to all feedback.
* Crab house, tables covered in brown paper? Someone said Harris's but it's far, yes?
* on the water/river place for outside cocktail party?
*what's the scoop on the Roof top terrace restaurant above the Kennedy Center?

Okay - that's a start...
thanks so much and I'll gladly return the favor if you are headed to SF.

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  1. I will let the others answer the steakhouse and crabhouse questions. For your river/water cocktail party, the definitive answer is Sequoia. With its cascading lights from the trees and elegant/chic interior design (along with decent food), this location is a hotspot on the Potomac.

    1. You can get a good steak without going out of doors -- Jeffrey's at the Watergate. It has Ernie's beat all hollow. If you want a steakhouse per se, I suggest Les Halles on Penn Ave.

      1. I don't know about a crab house with brown paper-covered tables, but if you want good seafood try Johnny's Half Shell.

        1. I don't know about a crab house with brown paper-covered tables, but if you want good seafood try Johnny's Half Shell.

          1. Best bet for Crabs is to head to Annapolis or Baltimore. But in town, I think you should head to the Quarterdeck in Arlington. Right over the bridge from Georgetown.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Tugboat

              Another possibility is Bethesda Crab House, but it is also a hike from DC and is somewhat small.

              Just for your information, there's a new place in town that serves crabs called the Annapolis Grill (it's on 1160 20th street). I've not had crabs there, but I know the owner is from the Annapolis area. Maybe you'd like to check it out while you're on your scouting mission?

            2. The Dancing Crab on Wisconsin Ave might be what you're looking for...

              1. Lee,

                Some of these may be redundant to other suggestions, but these are where I would go...

                Steakhouse: The Prime Rib (the Caucus Room is also a fine choice, but is run by the fellas from Sam and Harry's of which I am not as big a fan of.)

                Crabhouse: Quarterdeck

                Riverfront Party: Sequoia (they have a great private room that leads out to the patio on the river). If it is booked try one of the next door establishments like Tony and Joe's

                1. 1. Go to the Caucus Room or the Prime Rib. They are both locally owned (original Prime Rib is in Baltimore). The Prime Rib is swanky, older, very sophisticated and a tie is necessary along with a jacket. The food is very good but not as good as the Caucus Room. The Prime Rib does have very good crab cakes and excellent crab imperial to go along with good sides and, prime rib. Steaks are decent. Morton's, Palm, Capitol Grill, Ruth's Chris are all chains. Sam and Harry's can be excellent. It can also be merely good. But over the years I have had very good success with the Prime Rib. It is unique and while you will have had the same food elsewhere the atmosphere makes it special. Think black leather, mirrors, chrome and leopard print along with a pianist.
                  2. Harris' in Baltimore was good advice. Better advice if you want a real Maryland crab eating experience is to not eat crabs within thirty miles of D. C. While the Bethesda Crab House and the Dancing Crab and others are perfectly fine they lack the experience that you get at, say, Jimmy Cantler's in Annapolis which is where you should go after renting a car. Alternatives would include a number of places on the Chesapeake Bay or eastern shore as well as Pope's Creek in southern Maryland. NOTHING takes the place of eating on a deck or a pier outside with boats docked nearby and eating crabs off of brown paper, drinking beer.
                  3. Sequoia is fine, excellent suggestion. But remember you are going for atmosphere and don't expect a lot of the food.
                  4. The view is terrific as is the view from the top of the Hotel Washington. Again, go for the view.

                  The closest you will come to Gary Danko, Fifth Floor, Elizabeth Daniel, etc. here is Citronelle. If Michel Richard is there you will have found their equal. D. C. also has excellent Italian with the 32 seat Obelisk and the much larger Tosca and Laboratorio which unfortunately has communal tables.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Joe H.

                    Just one point of clarification. I'm sure Joe H meant to say that Harris Crab House is on Kent Island, which is east of Annapolis, not Baltimore. Great crabs though I hear.

                  2. You guys are amazing - thanks a bunch, I'll keep you posted.