New York chowhound in D.C. for the weekend - good spots for solo dining
I've just recently moved to New York from Switzerland. This weekend I'll to do my first ever trip to D.C.
Can you recommend a couple of places with great chow that are good for a woman dining solo? No restrictions on price or cuisine. Just good food and a nice and/or fun atmosphere.
I will be staying in the Jury Normandy Inn in Adams-Morgan, but for great places I'm willing to travel.
Thanks so much.
It depends on whether you want to meet/interact with people or just be treated decently while you enjoy your solitude.
If the former, what about minibar? Reservations are required, as there are only 6 seats per seating (there are two seatings, at 6 and 8:30, I think), but I've had luck in the past getting a spot at the last minute if there are cancellations. It's not cheap ($85 minus drinks and tip) but you can get wine by the glass or by flight and the ingredients are topnotch.
It's also great fun--the 23-course (don't worry, they're bite-sized courses and the total amount of food is reasonable) tasting menu is served to you, one course right after another, by two sous-chefs who do the final prep and plating right in front of you. They're very open to chatting and will answer your questions about the ingredients and technique. If you're open to anything, foodwise, it would be a fun night out. If you're interested, you should call Cafe Atlantico (they have a website) and ask if anything is available.
The Cafe itself has a nice, lively bar and Latin fusion food, including lots of small plate choices. Have only had drinks there, but liked the bartender and waitstaff very much.
If you don't mind being hit on, try Cafe Milano in Georgetown. It is quite a scene, very bustling busy and fun. It's "see and be seen" for DC - which means a lot of politicos. If you like sushi, try the sushi bar at Kaz on 18th Street, where Kaz himself (if you're lucky) will treat you to whatever is best at the moment. You can also try the wine bar upstairs at Bistrot Lepic, in North Georgetown. They have terrific food as well. Very French.
Pizzeria Paradiso (Dupont Circle location, P at 21st) has excellent pizza -- there is usually not a wait for the seats at the bar/counter, and you get to watch them make the pizza from there. The front area at Palena (Cleveland Park) is tasty and casual.