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Jan 25, 2007 01:21 PM

Where to eat in Dupont Circle?

I am coming to D.C. from San Francisco next week, and would like some restaurant suggestions near my hotel in Dupont Circle. I am not necessarily looking for the hot new restaurant of the moment, but rather for good food, decent service, not so noisy that you can't hold a conversation. Thanks for your help!

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  1. You don't mention any particular kinds of food, so I'm going to assume you're open on that. I'm a fan of Pesce - fresh seafood cooked in interesting ways in a small place where the menu changes daily. Cashions and La Fouchette (not far from Dupont up in Adams Morgan) are both very good. There are tons of places in that area, and I'm sure you'll get lots of great suggestions. I hope you have a good trip.

    7 Replies
    1. re: LulusMom

      Am I the only person who is really not a fan of Pesce? I went there with my bf this past fall and was seriously disappointed considering the average price of a dish. My cod was practically tasteless and I thought the service was so-so. My bf got a pasta that was quite good though and I should have probably headed his advice and stuck to the seafood pastas. If you go there...get pasta, not cod.

      1. re: Elyssa

        I'm not a fan of Pesce. Ate there for the first time last week. And the last time.
        First of all - the olive oil they serve for the bread - was bitter

        A got a black bean soup - watery and so-so. Italian are so good at soup, but this isn't an example.

        I ordered branzino. Now this is a pretty standard dish in a good Italian restaurant. And any Italian waiter knows how to de bone a roasted branzino. I had to ASK the wait to de bone it (really? You mean you normally serve it that way?) And it was done - poorly. Got a mouth full of bones in one bite. Frustrating trying to eat and then fishing the bones out of your mouth. A couple bones always make it past, but this wasn't a couple.

        The accompanying spinach with roast mushroom (porcini? Not sure) - would have tasted good if it wasn't for the salt. I like salt, but this way over-salted.

        So, sayonara Pesce!

        Maybe this is a D.C. thing - maybe D.C. is all bad, or so bad that this place is relatively good. But I ate at The Source tonight - loved it, and CityZen the other night - loved that too.

        No love for Pesce.

        Pesce Restaurant
        2016 P St NW Ste 1, Washington, DC 20036

        CityZen Restaurant
        1330 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20024

        1. re: foodiemahoodie

          I'm not a huge fan of Pesce either but I don't think it's suppose to be a straight Italian restaurant.

          ANd I woudln't consider DC's dining scene all bad based on one restaurant. You went to the Source after all and had a great meal.

          Pesce Restaurant
          2016 P St NW Ste 1, Washington, DC 20036

          1. re: foodiemahoodie

            Great olive oil is frequently bitter. For some Americans, it's an acquired taste.

            1. re: foodiemahoodie

              There are many restaurants that do not, as a matter of course, bone whole fish, both in Italy and the US. Not a comment on Pescebecause I have not been in years, but just as a lover of whole fish served on the bone.

              1. re: fudizgud

                Pesce is not an Italian restaurant, BTW. Some dishes have Italian influence, clearly, but brie salad, dijon sauce, and hummus indicate quite a few influences. The website no longer indicated who the chef is, but he used to be a French friend of owner Regine Palladin. not a single Italian wine on their wine list!

                I agree; I am not surprised about getting whole fish on the bone and I have no expectation that the waiter there will debone it for you. It is not that kind of a place at all.

                Pesce Restaurant
                2016 P St NW Ste 1, Washington, DC 20036

                1. re: Steve

                  I think the original owner was her husband, the much missed Jean-Louis Palladin.

                  And I'm with the people who don't expect their whole fish to be boned. That said, my original recommendation of the place is more than 3 years old now, and I haven't been back in that time, so can't really speak to how it is these days.

        2. just search DuPont on here. You'll have loads of results.

          1. Try the Tabard Inn on N Street. Nice atmosphere and probably one of the best brunches in town.

            Both P Street (where Pesce is located) and 19th Street south of the circle have a number of good places.

            1 Reply
            1. re: CMACDC

              Brunch can be very very loud.

            2. Can't say I agree about 19th st. Levante is an idea of Turkish food only an Austrian chain restaurant could create. Although Mai Thai is farther down, and a great Thai place for food and conversation. I agree about Pesce, and also recommend Mourayo, an innovative well-run Greek-ish restaurant a few blocks up Conn ave. Etrusco is in the same direction, a quiet, pleasant Italian place, with well-made food.

              1 Reply
              1. re: moreskordalia

                But at lunch during the week there is CF Folks for one of the best crab cakes you'll ever have.

                Agree with Hanks Oyster Bar, including service. Also with Obelisk (though it's been a few years now for me) and Pizza Paradiso.

                I'll back Childe Harolds if you're just looking for a beer and a burger.

                A small trek to the north part of Adam's Morgan on Columbia RD is Cashion's Eat Place. These same people own Johnny's Half Shell, formerly of DuPont but now of Cap Hill. I actually prefer Johnny's over Cashion's, but the latter is walkable and still quite good. Both are not cheap but not overly expensive (both suitable for a very nice upper mid priced meal).

              2. Childe Harold on the circle.

                Pizzeria Paradiso on P west from the circle.

                2 Replies
                1. re: CDouglas

                  I wouldn't eat at Childe Harold to save my life. Poor bar food at best.

                  1. re: jpschust

                    Couldn't save its own life, apparently --- Childe Harolde closed in November: