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Dec 18, 2006 02:25 AM

Fun, Casual Spot for Dinner (with a group of four or more)?

In DC, which restaurant is best for a casual dinner with a group of friends? (A group of mostly omnivores and at least one vegetarian.)

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  1. Montmartre near Eastern Market
    Dino's in Cleveland Park

    1 Reply
    1. re: Meg

      I second Dino's in Cleveland Park. I do not agree with the Fado's suggestion below. It can get loud and the food is chain quality.

    2. Montmartre is one of my favorite restaurants in DC, but it's very much a French bistro, meaning the tables are tightly packed, and seating a group of four or more might be uncomfortable in that small a dining room. And for a two-course meal and tip (without wine), it'll run you about $35-40pp; depending on your wallets, that may or may not still qualify as casual.

      Dukem (Ethiopian food) up on U St. might be a better bet. Around $20-25pp, you eat with your hands, it's family style, and there are a bunch of vegetarian dishes. The dining room is not as small, and the tables aren't as close to each other.

      The Old Siam (Thai) or Aatish on the Hill (Pakistani/Indian) nr Eastern Market are good too. Aatish even has a coupon on their website for 2 for 1 dinner, a pretty good deal. The Shahi Korma there is yummy.

      Fado is a fun little place in Chinatown for solid pub food, if you want some comfort. The soccer games are on the weekend during the day, usually, so weekend dinner shouldn't be too crowded. The veggie in your group can load up on stuff like no-chicken quesadillas and the salads, the tomato mozzarella baguette sandwich, or a mushroom bleu cheese burger.

        1. Jaleo for Spanish tapas is still the best place in town for a vegetarian. Everyone else should be well pleased too. Do a search on this board for recommended dishes.

          Etete for Ethiopian has a "fastening food platter" of vegetarian items that is one of the best meals in town.

          1. Dino would be my first choice. Jaleo and perhpas Zytinya would also be great.