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DC one night only - suggestions please - (french bistro fare?)

A few of us are coming from Baltimore for the day and are going to hit up a couple galleries/museums. Having lunch at Old Ebbitt's Grill as I've been told by a few (not all that trusty) sources. If this is a problem let me know! But we need a recommendation for dinner. We're probably going to be little pooped, and won;t have anywhere to change/freshen up, and probably won't want to drop too much money (definitely keep it under 40-50 bucks/person for dinner and drinks), so something super nice is unnecessary. I love old school french in a more relaxed bistro setting at the end of a tiring day -- anything recommnedable in DC? i should mention we'll eat anything, so if you have any fun ethnic fare that shouldn't be missed, lemme know. or something uniquely DC, lemme know.

thanks for any help!!!

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  1. If you're hitting the Corcoran or Renwick, try Breadline for better than average sandwiches at lunch.
    Old Ebbitt is good for burgers and sandwiches at lunch. Good selection of oysters and beers on tap. Atrium is noisy.
    M & S Grill or Ollie's Trolley nearby also have burgers and quick lunches.
    Jaleo at 7th and E has good Spanish tapas which would be a great lunch stop and is close to the Archives and Smithsonian Museums on the Mall as well as the Art Museum at Gallery Place.
    Zola at the Spy Museum is also fine for lunch.

    For supper, since you specified French bistro fare, it is hard to beat Montmartre on 7th Street, SE, at Eastern Market. Consistently excellent food with a good wine list. Casual attire is fine in a neighborhood favorite that is good enough to draw people from across town.
    Bisto d'Oc also gets raves from lovers of French comfort foods.
    La Chaumiere on the eastern edge of Georgetown has good French classics in a comfortable country style setting.
    All have websites for you to check.

    1. Recently ate at Le Chat Noir for the first time and had what I considered to be a fairly authentic French bistro experience (and I speak French). Crepes, escargot, steak and pomme frites - all quite good. Upper Wisconsin Avenue. Have fun!

      1. If you are in the museum area, I recommend Les Halles (12th and Pennsyvania). It is causal and has great mussels, roasted chicken, hanger steak, and fries. There are better bsitros but this is convenient, casual, within walking distance, an dhas good food [just not great].

        1. Yeah, I have a problem with Old Ebbitt's Grill. It's institutional food in a noisy crowded setting, 90% clueless tourists. I'm not sure you can do worse.

          If you want something that is DC and excellent, then Jaleo for Spanish tapas is near the museums and your best lunch bet. For dinner: Etete for Ethiopian or Pyramid for Moroccan or Colorado Kitchen for Homestyle cooking or 2 Amys for Napolitan pizza and Italian small plates or Nam Viet for Vietnamese.

          For further info about any of these places, I suggest you do a search on Chowhound.

          1. I strongly agree with the suggestions to go to Breadline and (especiall) Montmartre. Montmarte does NOT have a working website, but don't let that deter you.

            http://thebreadlinedc.blogspot.com/

            1 Reply
            1. re: Rosco1

              I agree the Breadline can be excellent (especially any sandwich on a ciabatta), but the OP should be aware that it is open for midweek lunch only.