just back from Recon in DC (long)
Okay my fellow Chowhounders from across the country. I have just returned from a few days of eating and drinking and sleeping in your fair city. My findings.
Swissotel: out dated, dirty, rude, mismanaged and ick - EXCEPT for Jeffery's, delightful, yummy, great staff and I saw the Sec.of transportation (geesh! he's short).
We ended up switching from the hotel from hell to the Hay-Adams - breathtaking! location is great and the staff was amazing!!!! I can hardly wait to have our event here. They have a terrace that is unreal, looks directly into the white house front yard, or is it the back yard, I always get confused. Didn't sample the food but hell it's across the street from the white house! and we're only doing one lunch there.
We ate at The Palm - and of course it was yum! Service outstanding and creamed spinach - outrageously fattening but worth it.
I had frozen custard at some random place on I street and 17th 'ish' and now am trying to figure out why we don't have frozen custard on the West coast, must having something to do with longer bathing suit weather.
We ate lunch one day at Teaism - again - stupendous and I wish we had a place like this in SF. I had the Bento box with poached salmon, cucumber salad and edaname - 7.95$ - hello! I can't even ride the metro in SF for that.
I must admit I never found my crab house BUT I also didn't surf while I was there. I'm going to take Asun's suggestion and go with Annapolis Grill for the rustic seafood experience.
We had a delightful meal at the Harbor Club? near Sequoia. It's WAY new and the staff is still raw, but the food was decent and the atmosphere was lovely - ask to see the fish tank - it's a wall.
Sequoia still has the location rating but the food, drinks and service - not so much. Disappointing - although they are getting me for a cocktail party because let's face it location is 99% of the game.
We grabbed a quick lunch at the Hotel Washington - more for the view than anything - and well this is a place where the view was great but the service and food was AWFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Even though the view was amazing - I wouldn't go back again. I asked about renting the terrace for a private party and she looked me up and down and said 'it's VERY expensive" = I felt like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. Silly lady - I gave the HA my deposit 30 min later for their terrace which is nicer anyhow.
Thank you all for your wonderful wonderful wonderful suggestions - now pray for sunshine!
I'm sorry you even tried to eat at Hotel Washington -- it is awful -- go there for view and the gin and tonics (no one, not even the Hotel Washington) can ruin those!
If you are ever in Milwaukee go to Kopp's. There are four of them and they have the absolute best frozen custard on the face of the earth. Culver's is franchising throughout the midwest and locally there are two locations of Milwaukee Frozen Custard. But the 16% butterfat Kopp's (Milwaukee Frozen Custard is 11%) is so over the top deliciously fattening that it's almost worth flying to Milwaukee just to have their Cherry Garcia.
Milwaukee with Rochester, New York a distant second, is ground zero for frozen custard.
re: Jim Zurer
Yes, Jim, for fans of frozen custard, Ted Drewes is the real deal. He's famous for his "concretes", a big cup of frozen custard that stays put when you turn your cup upside down. Most folks are too busy eating though, to test this out. When visitors would come to St. Louis, Ted Drewes would be a requested first stop, before going downtown to view the Arch. It's heresy, I know, but I'm not a big fan of frozen custard, although a small cup of it, topped with their hot fudge sauce and raspberry sauce, is not to be sneezed at!
re: Jim Zurer
I've actually been fortunate to have both Kopp's and Ted Drewes within 48 hours of each other. Although they both sell frozen custard they are really known for different things. I do believe that Kopp's base is both richer and tastier while Ted Drewes-which must be an 80 year St. Louis tradition and world famous-is known for its "concrete" which is basically frozen custard with cookies, reese's, etc. mixed and blended in. It's then turned upside down to show that it's that thick. Milwaukee Frozen Custard in Chantilly and Manassas has exemplery versions and Dairy Queen has also jumped on the band wagon.
Kopp's also serves seriously good hamburgers made with fresh meat and frozen custard that is extremely rich (as noted 16% butterfat). I'd go so far as to say that the Milwaukee lankmark, Kopp's (noted in the new Jane and Michael Stern Roadfood book as America's best frozen custard) is probably the best ice cream/frozen custard of any kind that I have ever eaten anywhere. This includes Bertillion in Paris, Vivoli in Florence, Graeter's in Cincinnati, Northampton Mass' Bart's and Out of a Flower in Dallas.
I have probably been as obsessed with ice cream and frozen custard as any one on earth for the past fifty years. When Gifford's was still around I was arguably their best customer. But the first time I stopped at Kopp's ten or so years ago I had a large dish of caramel almond cluster that was so good I went back and got a hand packed pint to go which I ate on the road to the Wisconsin Dells.
Two thousand calories and worth every single one. If I could have one last dessert before giving them up it would be a toss up between Kopp's (four or five flavors would vie for my favorite) and K-Paul's fresh coconut cake with Chantilly whipped cream.
Kopp's is THAT good.