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LA HoundNeeds Help-Recs for the Best of DC Dining Please

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We'll be in DC on a Thurs & Fri night next month, probably staying in the Dupont Circle/Foggy Bottom area. Need some recs for great places for dinners. We love old school, i.e. red leather & dark or hip, but not too trendy. Food must be great. Lean toward lighter fare, fish, ethnic, grilled meats. NO French with sauce & stuffy ambiance please. :( Anybody got the word on Zaytinya?

Thanks much!

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  1. Zaytina appears to be hip, and the food (middle eastern) is very good. The blow-us-away dish was the spanakopita, of all things. It is served in an eggroll shape and the filling was an order of magnitude better than standard spanakopita. The kibbe (we had the cooked version) was also much better than standard.

    1. Zaytina is very good but check on their reservation policy if you don't want to spend time waiting at the bar.

      If you are in Foggy Bottom try Notti Bianche, Italian but simple and delicious. The space is a little unusual but the food is excellent.

      2 Replies
      1. re: DCFresser

        No reservations after 6:30 at Zaytinia - the food is great (I just love their taramosalata) but it is trendy. You can hang at the bar and order a trendy cocktail while you wait - the space and design is lovely. Notte Bianchi has wonderful food, and is a quiet, serene place. Other good options are metro accessible - Palena comes to mind.

        1. re: beachgirl54

          I've had bad experience with service at Notte Bianche, but the food was delicious. Palena is a great idea. And just next door is Dino, which is terrific Italian. For light fare, I'd recommend Pesce on P Street in Dupont Circle. Bistrot Du Coin is old school but since it's a French bistro, they do serve French food. Oceanaire is very old school as well. A bit pricey, but great fish, and delicious oysters at their bar. Enjoy!

      2. They all sound delicious. Thank you for the recs.