Staying at Hotel Monaco for wedding - any nearby recs for LA hound?
Coming into DC next Thursday and staying through the weekend. Staying at the Hotel Monaco. As I've never stayed there (indeed, I've never been to DC at all), I was hoping you all could pass me some recommendations for places nearby that would be worth checking out in my brief stay.
Wouldn't mind some Chinese food (LA is barren unless I want to drive way out in to the San Gabriel Valley), but I'll eat anything recommended.
I've always enjoyed Zatinya (sp)- mezze nearby - haven't been for a couple of years (in NYC now) but maybe DC CH's can chime in.
The Hotel Monaco's restaurant, Poste, can be very good, and has a great bar. I hear good things about its brunch also. Zaytinya is good, as is Jaleo (tapas), one block away, and Cafe Atlantico (Caribbean)--all Jose Andres's restaurants. Atlantico has great mojitos and a reasonable pre-theater menu. For Indian, check out Rasika near 7th and D. The Monaco is close to DC's Chinatown, but its not the best Chinese food to be found (need to go to the burbs for that). Most prefer either Full Kee or Eat First, and the Chinatown Express (?) on 8th St. has pretty good dumplings. I like Burma, just a few doors down from there, for a different Asian experience.
I'd like to offer a dissenting note on Burma, which is lousy compared to other Burmese options in the area.
On a positive note, near the U St. metro, just a few stops from where you're staying, you can find some great meals at Etete, Pyramids, Oohs and Aahs. If you've got a chance to go out of the way, Colorado Kitchen is one of DC's gems.
We stayed at the Monaco a few months ago. The service at Poste was so horrible at breakfast that we never even tried them for dinner.
We had really good food at Andale (just south of there) and Bistro D'Oc (not far to the southwest). We also liked Ten Penh, which isn't too terribly far from the Monaco.
One warning: check the MCI/Verizon Center schedule. When there's a concert there, all the restaurants for blocks around will be packed.
We had dinner at Poste on Sunday evening early. We thought the food was very good, but not great. The service was fine. It's a nice space. And if it's warm enough you can eat outside.
Full Kee in Chinatown has duck stuffed with shrimp paste as a special, oyster and ginger caserole, leek flowers, and pan fried domplings.
Other options in the area are Zengo on 7th and H, Clydes which is a chain and pretty decent, DC Chophouse which has a superb burger and nice steaks.
As for Chinese, I find that Eat First Chinese Restaurant on 6th and H is the best in Chinatown - and i've been to every place in the area. Full Kee is good too though.
You are only a 15 minute metro ride form Dupont Circle and other areas of town so lots of options are around
Here are some others within walking distance. But then I live in the city so walking distance to me is different than it might be to someone from LA. The furthest is 9 blocks from your hotel. Many are much closer.
Several are very expensive but really worth it. Often named among the tops in DC by the Washington Post critic. Several are inexpensive and still raved about. Check with the concierge.
A tip: some of the Chinese restaurants have at least two menus - one that they give to Westerners, one that they give to Chinese patrons and sometimes daily specials that aren't written.
Acadiana (9th and NY)
Bistro Bis (15 E St)
Butterfield 9 (14th and F)
Capital Grille (601 Penn)
Ceiba (14th and G)
Corduroy (1201 K, inside hotel)
IndeBleu (707 G St)
Johnnny's Half Shell (400 N. Capital)
Le Paradou (678 Indiana Ave)
Les Halles (1201 Penn)
Matchbox (713 H St)
Occidental (14th and Penn)
Oceanaire (12th and F)
Ristorante Tosca (1112 F St)
Ten Penh (1001 Penn)
The Spy Museum near your hotel is terrific!!!
Other Chowhound options are the Farmfresh farmers market on Thursday afternoons on the street right in front of your hotel,
Cowgirl Creamery cheese shop (919 F) and a trip to Eastern Market (7th and Penn, SE on Capital Hill) on Saturday morning for another local food market.
Most of these are fine choices. Le Paradou is very good but may be the most expensive restaurant in town -- and not worth it, in my opinion. Les Halles has seen better days, and I have seen (I think on this board) rumblings that Ceiba may be going down hill. We had a horrible lunch at IndeBleu during Restaurant Week -- lukewarm food and poor service. I may give it another try, though. They got good reviews and may simply have been overwhelmed -- an all too common occurrence during RW.
Surprised no one has mentioned Zola - nearby, good food, cool setting, in/next to the Spy Museum. Tosca is wonderful - kinda fancy. Love the pizzas at Matchbox, Corduroy rocks and Ceiba is wonderful.
Zaytinya mezze is good. Room is very loud and trendy. Long wait for table.
Hotel Monaco bar and outdoor cafe has good tea and pot de creme.
Cowgirl Creamery nearby is cute for cheese and really awesome bread.
You have to go to the suburbs for decent Chinese.
Matchbox is good for pizza and mini-burgers (decent beer and wine too) but if you don't want to deal with the masses, Alberto's in Dupont and Pizza Paradiso in G-town/Dupont are good too.
The Washington Post's Annual Dining Guide is in tomorrow's Sunday Edition and is already on line at WashingtonPost.com.
Critic Tom Sietsema included some of the restaurants we've named among his "Restaurants To Be Reckoned With," including a couple of 3 stars. None of us mentioned Minibar however which he gave the highest rating in the neighborhood close to your hotel - 3 1/2 stars.
You'll have plenty to choose from among the updated reviews.
BTW, let us know where you end up eating and what you think, please.