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5 meals in DC

My wife and I will be in Dc from Sat night to Tues Afternoon, what should we not miss. Price is not really a concern but we don't want to bring dress clothes or worry about going back to the hotel to change .We are staying in Arlington and will probobly use the metro or cabs.

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  1. I wouldn't worry about dress clothes.Only three restaurants in Washington require a jacket for gentlemen, and they will all provide a blazer if you forget. Not to miss (the usual list): Cafe Atlantico Minibar (if you can get in), Cityzen, Citronelle, Komi, Restaurant Eve, Maestro. Next tier: Black Salt, Makoto, La Paradou, Rasika, Zatinya, Jaleo, Obelisk, Bistro Lepic.

    I should prgram a function key to automatically paste these, the question is asked so often. Others will add a few, nit pick these, but this is basically the list.

    1. Forget Minibar if you are from Chicago or NY, there's better where you are from. I'll echo CityZen, Citronelle, Komi, Restaurant Eve, but add Asia Nora (I still think it's better than TenPenh or howevever you spell it), 2941, and I'd try to get at least a breakfast in at the Hay Adams. Mainly for the history but the food is excellent as well.

      1. I understand your comment in regards to Chicago (Moto is similar but not better) but was is similar in New York (where I dine frequently)?

        PS: I agree with you about 2941 and Asia Nora (which is perennially under rated; TenPenh is for tourists).

        11 Replies
        1. re: Dakota Guy

          Wow, I must have ordered terribly at Asia Nora, or it has significantly improved, because my two visits in the late 90s were thoroughly mediocre enough that I have not returned and have no real intention of returning.

          I don't know that I would necessarily say TenPenh is for tourists...I don't have an official count but I would be quite surprised if Jaleo, and most likely Zaytinya, didn't draw an equal or greater proportion of tourists to their tables.

          And as I have posted before, Jaleo is hardly worthy of a "top 5" visit in my opinion. Probably the best tapas place in this area, but nothing too special as compared to the best in many other cities. If you want to do a small plates thing and/or José Andrés place, and you can't get into minibar at Atlantico, Zaytinya is a better pick IMO.

          1. re: Lowbar

            Call me crazy, I like Asia Nora and Nora. Both are probably only two stars but I like them both.

            See my comment below re TenPenh.

            1. re: Dakota Guy

              2 stars for Asia Nora? Are you on crack? It's easily a 3-3.5 star place.

              1. re: jpschust

                I meant that they are both perennially (under)rated at 2 stars or so. I already said I liked them both VERY much but they are not in the Citronelle, Cityzen, .... league. Your name isn't Nora is it ? :-)

                1. re: Dakota Guy

                  Nah, I'm not Nora, I'm just an Asia Nora fan. I prefer Asia Nora to Restaurant Nora, but both are excellent. I'm just Jonny :)

                  1. re: jpschust

                    I went to Asia Nora last year and had an sub par experience. We had a reservation.... but had to wait 20 minutes for our table w/o any acknowledgement of that fact. Our server knew nothing about wines and did not offer to bring anyone more knowledgable to help us out. My main dish (the only vegetarian one on the menu) was the same dish from 3 YEARS before. And it was sickly sweet. The only thing that redeemd our meal was going to Komi for dessert. At Nora we had the opposite experience... so I am not sure but I will not go back to Asia Nora

                    1. re: gooseterp

                      I'm sorry to hear about your subpar experience. I've eaten there probably 8 times in the last 18 months and had wonderful experiences every single time. Their tofu on that veggie dish is still the best tofu I've ever had in the area.

                      1. re: jpschust

                        Have you been to Thanh Son Tofu? You can get 20x as much tofu for the price and its excellent. Not a fine dining experience at all but it is some pretty remarkable tofu when had freshly prepared.

                        1. re: Lowbar

                          I haven't, but you've given me somewhere new to try :)

          2. re: Dakota Guy

            Every restaurant in downtown DC is for tourists when it comes down to it. Without them, downtown is deserted on weekends.

            We enjoy Tenh Penh greatly, as do the guests we take there. OTOH, we find 2941 to be an overrated, boring, hotel-like monstrosity, with mediocre service.

            -- Larry

            1. re: pltrgyst

              Fortunately, so many different opinions is one reason that so many different restuarants flourish. You have Tenh Penh and I have 2941 ; we are each happy.

          3. I dunno about that "tourists" pot shot on TenPenh... I think their Crispy Whole Fish is consistently great.

            1. Ethopian food on U St. (I vote for Etete but there a lot of good choices!)