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Uber Swanky DC restaurant

foodieforever Jan 15, 2007 04:13 PM

Taking my VERY trendy cousin out to dinner for her birthday. Looking for a swanky interior and great food.

Any suggestions?

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  1. d
    Dakota Guy RE: foodieforever Jan 15, 2007 04:33 PM

    The usual swanky suspects: Citronelle, La Paradou, Cityzen, 2941, Gerard's Place and Marcel's deserve a mention, as does the under-rated 701 Restaurant. There are other places with very good food that I wouldn't class as "swanky," for example, Komi, Obelisk, and Restaurant Eve.

    On the other hand, if she (you) want "trendy," I'd take her to a place like Indebleu, Zatayina, or Rasika.

    So many choices, so little time ...

    3 Replies
    1. re: Dakota Guy
      Jacey RE: Dakota Guy Jan 15, 2007 04:37 PM

      I agree that Indebleu would be a nice choice. Food is pretty good, awesome ambience, funky decor and hot waiters.

      1. re: Dakota Guy
        jpschust RE: Dakota Guy Jan 15, 2007 04:54 PM

        I'd skip Zatinya- expensive, only acceptable food, only trendy in decor and price. Indebleu is a good option, though again very expensive for food that is often mediocre. I might go with CityZen if you really wish to impress. Also, Viridian seems to be coming up in the world and that has some swank appeal.

        1. re: Dakota Guy
          Meg RE: Dakota Guy Jan 15, 2007 05:02 PM

          In terms of decor, if you're looking for hip and trendy, not just swank...Gerard's Place, Marcel's nor Obelisk qualify.

        2. c
          Chownut RE: foodieforever Jan 15, 2007 05:11 PM

          Never been there before, but I've heard Cafe Milano in Georgetown is one the swankiest joint in this area. Many of the aforementioned places in this area have power people showing up, but none have the power players, stars, celebrities, royalty, etc. Food is supposedly average though.


          6 Replies
          1. re: Chownut
            Dakota Guy RE: Chownut Jan 16, 2007 01:28 AM

            Cafe Milano seems to be where people go to "be seen." The food is not worth the trip but perhaps you will see someone who wants to be seen.

            1. re: Dakota Guy
              Chownut RE: Dakota Guy Jan 16, 2007 04:31 AM

              I assume you've eaten there before?

              1. re: Chownut
                Dakota Guy RE: Chownut Jan 16, 2007 12:31 PM

                Of course, or I wouldn't comment on the quality of the food.

              2. re: Dakota Guy
                MMRuth RE: Dakota Guy Jan 16, 2007 11:28 AM

                We were always pleasantly surprised by the food at Milano's when we lived in DC and have gone back a couple of times since - we found that by avoiding ordering the specials w/o checking the prices, and being careful with "extras" - bottled water, espresso, etc., we could keep the bill relatively reasonable.

                1. re: Dakota Guy
                  Pappy RE: Dakota Guy Jan 18, 2007 04:56 PM

                  The food at Cafe Milano is outstanding. That includes the pastas, the salads, the pizzas and the specials. I have never had anything but the finest meals there, both lunch and dinner. Better than Tosca, Oblisk, Tiramisu, Bebo, etc. They certainly have their assets and liabilities, depending on your perspective, but they certainly have a fabulous kitchen.

                  1. re: Pappy
                    Chownut RE: Pappy Jan 18, 2007 05:17 PM

                    That's a heckuva counterpoint. Never heard it before.

              3. d
                dcs RE: foodieforever Jan 15, 2007 05:36 PM

                I've always thought of Poste as "trendy," for good or for ill.


                1. johnb RE: foodieforever Jan 15, 2007 06:26 PM

                  The best food of all, and certainly swanky, would be Maestro, but I wouldn't call it trendy, at least in terms of decor and ambiance (food, yes very trendy). It draws mostly a rich/expense account crowd.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: johnb
                    Dakota Guy RE: johnb Jan 16, 2007 01:28 AM

                    I fogot Maestro on my list. Definitely worth considering.

                  2. j
                    Jacey RE: foodieforever Jan 15, 2007 07:52 PM

                    I forgot to add that Oya in Chinatown might be a good option. It's a fusion of French and Japanese food, and has a very modern decor.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Jacey
                      beachgirl54 RE: Jacey Jan 15, 2007 08:29 PM

                      Skip Oya - cool setting but the worst service ever, and uneven food preparation. I prefer Zaytinia.

                    2. b
                      brianV RE: foodieforever Jan 15, 2007 07:57 PM

                      While I'd recommend Obelisk for food (still my favorite restaurant in town), for swank I'd suggest Taberna del Alabardero (perhaps mis spelled). Very good food (have the roast suckling pig); excellent wine list and good service; but best of all looks and feels like a Madrid club circa 1958. Quite unlike anything else in the city.
                      If you feel retro, I'd also recommend the Prime Rib--a very old fashioned lobbyists' restaurant.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: brianV
                        tsmithdc RE: brianV Jan 27, 2007 11:58 AM

                        The Prime Rib IMHO is SOOOO dated and SOOO weak in the food department...I am forced to go for business dinners and I SWEAR I have tried everything and been disapointed...like eating at your unhip grandmother's without the apple pie...Old fashioned yes...living on reputation...absolutely...you can geta better steak at Applebees

                      2. m
                        MASH RE: foodieforever Jan 16, 2007 02:03 AM

                        New Heights in DC is always delicious, a beautiful setting and the menu changes with the seasons. I think they have valet parking, too.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: MASH
                          LulusMom RE: MASH Jan 16, 2007 12:40 PM

                          but far from trendy. I think for food AND trendiness, Zaytinya and Rasika are good options. Good luck.

                        2. m
                          MReader RE: foodieforever Jan 18, 2007 03:26 PM

                          Does Ceiba qualify as trendy (haven't been there yet)? What's your thoughts on the food there?

                          1. r
                            round hound RE: foodieforever Jan 18, 2007 03:43 PM

                            PS7 and Central are two of the newest and trendiest, with decor to match. CityZen would be where I'd go though.

                            1. m
                              MakingSense RE: foodieforever Jan 18, 2007 05:06 PM

                              Central is new and trendy but not swanky. We were there last night and many people were in really casual clothes, despite downtown DC locaion. The menu is informal. Lobster burgers and fries. Fried chicken.

                              1. m
                                madigank RE: foodieforever Jan 19, 2007 02:23 PM

                                CityZen by far is the best. An elegant, trendy affair!

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: madigank
                                  johnb RE: madigank Jan 19, 2007 09:43 PM

                                  I agree that CityZen is the best choice. There are several swanky places, many places with good food, and many many trendy ones, but CityZen is the only one I know of that combines them so well.

                                  Note the OP didn't specify trendy, just that cuz is a trendy lady.

                                2. m
                                  msbo78 RE: foodieforever Jan 19, 2007 09:08 PM

                                  CityZen, Rasika, Zaytinya are all good choices -- hip, young. Taberna, Maestro, Marcels may be fancy (though, after a dinner at Maestro with co-workers two of them commented separately on how much they hated the decor, how it felt very much like a hotel restaurant), but if your cousin is young and trendy, probably not her kind of places.

                                  1. s
                                    supergirl_sf RE: foodieforever Jan 21, 2007 02:05 AM

                                    Simple: Citronelle, hands down.

                                    1. n
                                      novasupra RE: foodieforever Jan 28, 2007 11:51 AM

                                      Swanky? Hands down, without a questions, definitely Blue Duck Tavern. Total NY vibe.


                                      1. l
                                        laurentobias RE: foodieforever Jan 28, 2007 09:21 PM

                                        Blue Duck is definitely a swanky, trendy place that does not feel too swanky or trendy. Agree that a lot on this list are not trendy except by DC standards - Cafe Milano among them. Seeing political stars only counts as hip in DC and not for visitors. Marcel's is delicious but pretty old school. City Zen is lovely, but as far as trendy, I'd definitely go with Blue Duck or Rasika's.

                                        1. s
                                          sbr929 RE: foodieforever Jan 29, 2007 01:56 PM

                                          blue duck certainly has that swanky feel to it, but in decor only. the food, while fabulous, is very homey and has a cozy family style feel. not a place i would order, for example, a trendy martini or something like that...

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: sbr929
                                            Chownut RE: sbr929 Jan 29, 2007 02:28 PM

                                            You're very right. Even Tom Sietsema says the homey fare clashes with the contemporary decor.

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