Philly Hound visiting DC this wekend and needs recs...
My husband and I visit DC fairly often and always have great meals,but also wind up visiting the same places. Jaleo for tapas, Brickskeller for burgers and beer, etc. Any recs for some great new restaurants we can try this Friday night and also for lunch on Saturday and Sunday? We are staying in the Dupont Circle area. We love most any kind of food but are looking for somewhere with great atmosphere, great food and wine, and modest prices. Any suggestions will be welcome!
Dino's in Clevelend Park fits your criteria nicely.
While not as cool as the BYOB authentic Italian joints in Phili, it's pretty darn good for DC.
If you are willing to Metro around a bit:
You might consider trying 2 Amys for lunch/brunch on Saturday or Sunday--get there early (11:30 or so) to avoid a long(ish) wait. During brunch, they've got the full pizza/small plate menu available, and some really awesome donuts.
I also like the Dubliner, over by Union Station, for lunch on the weekends. The Beef O'Flaherty is hearty, as is the Guinness.
The front room of Palena is (somewhat) reasonably priced, and has some really amazing things on the menu.
If you haven't been, check out Restaurant AV on NY Avenue, a short walk from the Chinatown Metro or 10 minutes by cab. It won't be around this time next year. The last of the oldschool Italian restaurants, red-check-tablecloth atmosphere (Mario Lanza and Dean Martin on the juke), very reasonable prices, and great white pizza.
For something a little newer, do a search on Pyramids off Florida Avenue.
While I agree with your review of AV Ristorante, sending someone from Philly there doesn't jive, to me. They still have tons of old-school Italian places, and probably the best white pizza on the east coast at Tacconelli's.
I think Dino or the front room at Palena are great suggestions. You can also dine reasonably inexpensively at the bars at Corduroy or Restaurant Kolumbia. In Dupont proper, Pesce serves up some well prepared very fresh seafood, at respectively reasonable prices.