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Help with DC tourist food itinerary

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I've been using these boards to cobble together my food itinerary for an upcoming trip to DC. So far, I know we'll be hitting Teaism and Capitol City Brewery for lunch (can you guess which one is hubby's request?) and Jaleo and Etete for dinner.

However, I'm having trouble filling in the spots for the day we arrive. We're staying at the Sheraton Four Points Downtown and will be visiting the Holocaust Museum in the afternoon. So a lunch rec that is accessible by metro somewhere close and/or along the way would be great. We're also stumped on where to go for dinner. Again, would need to be accessible by Metro.

Our particulars: Unfortunately, we're on a budget. I'm drooling over Citronelle and CityZen, but they're not in the cards this year. We're hoping to spend $30 for lunch and about $75 for dinner. (And dinner would have to include one beer!) Hubby won't do french bistro fare or sushi. I'd love a romantic place for dinner, preferably with a limited amount of kids since we'll be leaving ours at home. :) But that may be too much to ask...

Oh, and any comments about the restaurants we've already "picked" are welcome!

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  1. Since you're drooling over Citronelle, try Central, Michel Richard's new place at 10th and Penn, NW. A lot of the same food in a much more casual atmosphere. It will also satisfy your husband's beer lust. It might also be a way to talk him gently out of Capital City Brewery which is a disappointment for food and not all that on the beer front either. Central has a good beer list and it's not too Frenchy.
    Near Capital City Brewery is the Dubliner which has much, much better food and lots of great ales, stouts, and beers. A serious Irish pub.

    The Morrison Clark Inn has a lovely seasonal menu and a very nice atmosphere for a quiet dinner. Located in an historic building near the Convention Center.
    Seacatch in Georgetown has wonderful seafood and a fireplace. In an old warehouse along the C&O Canal, it's a pretty, quiet restaurant where I don't remember ever seeing kids.

    1. Actually, Corduroy, the restaurant in the hotel you are staying in is excellent, and not affilitated with the hotel.

      2 Replies
      1. re: dinwiddie

        I second this. I wouldn't call it a "romantic" spot, but I fully concur with all the raves the place gets.

        1. re: Geoff

          It's romantic if you enjoy the ambiance of an airline hanger.

      2. I am new here, but I'll suggest Martin's Tavern in Georgetown which is beer drinker friendly, but also has decent food and is an interesting place to be.

        http://www.martins-tavern.com/

        1. Do not miss Zaytinya. We have tried 16 or 17 items from their menu and everything has been wonderful. They serve Med. small plate items, so you can choose a mix if you have different tastes.

          http://www.zaytinya.com/

          1. For me, when I travel, I try to get to at least one neighborhood restaurant. I want something off the beaten path where the locals are, and the tourists aren't, so I'm going to make the following two suggestions to you for dinner.

            1) Go to dinner at Dino in Cleveland Park- a metro ride away from you or a short cab ride. Approximately 3 stops. Dino is a great small Italian restaurant, and for a bit more of a romantic feel I'd ask to sit upstairs. http://www.dino-dc.com

            2)Go to Little Fountain Cafe in Adams Morgan- a cab ride only or a long walk if the weather permits. Little Fountain Cafe has great food, and while not exquisite and over the top, all the food is wonderfully prepared and is exactly as is described on the menu. The beer selection and wine selection there is minimal, BUT, after dinner walk across the street and up a half a block to The Reef for one of DC's finest tap selections.

            One thing to be forewarned about- go to Capital City to have a beer, but scurry out of there before you eat. The food is absolutely terrible. It's not even good pub food. If you are looking for a place where you can have a decent bite and have some good beer I'd suggest either Bourbon in Adams Morgan/Glover Park, Bierria Paradiso in Georgetown, or Saloon on U Street (this is metro accessable). Each of these places has significantly better food that Capital City Brewery and each has as good if not better selections of beer.

            3 Replies
            1. re: jpschust

              I want to pile on here too. Concur with the recommendations......especially about Cap City. don't waste your time or money on the food! If you're going to be in that general area at lunchtime, how about a nice lunch at Bistro Bis. It definitely doesn't have to be expensive. if you go, i'm a little partial to the French Onion Soup.

              1. re: jpschust

                I was going to suggest Dino, but I get accused of pimping for Dean all the time on this board, so I resisted. However, the food is very good, the wine list (and wines by the taste or glass) is extensive and very well priced, and the ambiance is good. My wife considers it romantic, thought she does tend to roll her eyes whenever we go there because Dean and I tend to talk wine a lot. It is an interesting neighborhood, and only one block from the Cleveland Park Metro stop.

                Getting around in DC is really simple, the METRO, regardless of how we locals complain is very reliable and safe, and there are so many great places to eat in DC it is difficult to choose.

                If the hubby is really into beer, try the Brickskeller. I don't know how thier food is, but the beer choices will keep him busy for a couple of hours.

                1. re: dinwiddie

                  Inedible would be a compliment to Brickskeller's food.

              2. Kinkead's downstairs for lunch, is another one to consider. It's near the Farragut metro stops. Probably out of your price range for dinner.

                1. Ditto on the Dino recommendation. Wonderful authentic Italian/Tuscan cuisine. It fits all of your requirements, particularly the budget one. With so many wonderful small plates, and options for dried meats, cheeses and half orders of pasta, it's easy to avoid the typical $25 - $30 per entree trap of many DC restaurants. It's also very conducive to sharing which, depending on which male you ask, can be very romantic.

                  If you can arrange to go on a Sunday night, all bottles of wine are 1/3 off.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Meg

                    Meg... that is all bottles over $50 a bottle... Sunday and Monday.

                  2. We just got back from a weekend in DC and went to Etete and Teaism. Both were great and under $30 for two. At teaism we had cilantro scrambled eggs, tea cured salmon, all served with naan. We also ordered a salty oat cookie, ginger scone, and an iced mint tea. Great quick breakfast for two. At Etete we ordered the vegetarian platter (Add the fish!!!!) and Derek Tibs. Aboslutely order the vegetarian platt with fish. The Derek Tibs were good, but if something else sounds good, order that.

                    1. You guys are fabulous. Thanks so much for the thoughtful recommendations.

                      I don't think I'll be able to talk hubby out of Capitol City for beer...but I will put my foot down when it comes to the food. We'll find something else in the general area, for sure! At least I can comfort myself in knowing we won't have to go to ESPN Zone, which was his first choice.

                      Again...many, many thanks for the recommendations.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: short_eliz

                        If oyu would like to combine great eats with beer drinking, then head on over to Pizzeria Paradiso in Georgetown one evening. They have a Birreria downstairs - or will serve upstairs- that will cater to your husband. The Atomica pizza packs a wallop.

                      2. Yikes! ESPN Zone! No wonder you were willing to settle for Cap City! So let him have his beer and then within easy walking distance you can get a good burger and a wide choice of more beers at the Dubliner. Or if it's a weekday, there may be some Senators and staff to see at the Monacle where there are good burgers and stiff drinks. Bistro Bis also gets a lot of the Senate and lobbyists and has excellent food. Johnny's Half Shell has good seafood and you can eat at the bar. All within walking distance of Cap City.

                        1. Another thought: If you want to save up for dinner and optimize your sight-seeing time on the Mall, the cafeteria in the American Indian Museum near the Holocaust Museum has an excellent variety of various native ethnic foods for lunch, as well as items like lobster rolls. I think you can get booze there, too. It's the best place on the mall and cheaper than ESPN Zone or Cap City.