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Good restaurants with easy parking near Kennedy Center?

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I am going to the theatre on Sunday night with someone who will be on crutches so parking is critical but so is great food. Does anyone have any ideas? How is the restaurant at the Kennedy Center? Thanks!

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  1. I'm not sure about parking, but Dish, which is only a few streets over from the Kennedy Center is really good. It's in a hotel as well I believe so maybe they have valet parking. If you are lucky you can find street parking but that might be difficult

    1. Marcel's (French) has a pre theater dinner for $48, and they will take you to and from the Kennedy Center in an "executive" car.
      Notti Bianche (Italian) is also nearby and recommended. It's also a hotel restaurant, I believe.

      1 Reply
      1. re: monavano

        I ate at Notti Bianche recently and really can't figure out the hype. The monk fish I got was so disgustingly fishy I should have sent it back. Maybe I should have just stuck to their pasta. They are owned by the same folks that own Dish and I liked Dish much better.

        Although I think Notti is getting a new chef so who knows...hopefully it will improve.

      2. Resist any and all temptation to go to the Brasserie at the Watergate! It's close and there's parking but it's terrible. They know they'll get traffic from the KC and therefore they make no effort to attract customers.

        1. For someone on crutches, Marcel's is perfect. Great food pre-theater and you can have a drink in the piano bar after the performance. If you are seeing Carnival, I saw it last night and it was fun. If you are going to see Don Quixote, so am I [we are going to Aquarelle first but Marcel's is better for you].

          1. There is also a shutle bus from the GWU stop right to the K Center. So you can expand your horizons if you are willing to Metro. We often do so when we are on the way to the KC.

            1. We always go to the cafe on the top floor of the Kennedy Center. They have different stations so everyone in your party can get whatever food he/she desires (I tend to go for the salads, salmon while others in my family like the grilled items). We park in the basement of the center so that once we're there we can relax, enjoy a light meal and then make our way to our seats. We've never tried the restaurant only because we don't want a heavy &/or rich dinner before sitting through a performance (but that's just us! :)

              2 Replies
              1. re: anova

                Anova is right that the most convenient are the KC Cafe (which he/she described) and the Roof Terrace Restaurant, both located on the top floor (Terrace) of the Kennedy Center. Their only attraction is location. I have eaten at both many times for that single reason. The food is over-priced and of mediocre quality. There is far better quality [at comparable prices] at amost any of the nearby restaurants (Aquarelle, Dish, Notti Bianci, Marcel's, Circle Bistro). Only the 600 Restaurant at Watergate [across the street] has equally bad food and service. Amazing that the three closest restaurants are the worst. I guess they figure peole will pay anything for poor food and surly service if they don't have to walk far for it.

                1. re: anova

                  With your positive feelings about the KenCen cafeteria, I'm going to assume you attend performances with early start times and that you arrive early to eat in the cafeteria. We have eaten lunch at the cafeteria under those precise conditions and the experience has been acceptable -- food and experience. (We've long abandoned eating dinner there.)

                  Otherwise, your comment about a relaxed experience doesn't remotely match our experience. We've found that the place gets crowded very quickly and that the hunt to find a free table can get fierce. Ditto for the wait at self-serve or employee-served food stations.

                  We've never had to eat in the hall with the overflow tables. However, I've found the noise echoing in that gigantic space as we've walked to the elevators to be sufficiently jarring that I'd hate to eat a whole meal there.

                  Last week, we ate at the Roof Top Restaurant for the first time since it had remodeled and two-three weeks after the WASHINGTON POST review. The frigid weather was enough to make us give the restaurant a try. Problems cited in the POST review had not been corrected. My husband adores mussel and calamari salad, an appetizer which got dinged in the POST as having been served at icy temps. When he ordered, he asked the waiter about this problem, the waiter said that if my husband didn't like the appetizer, he could order a substitute. Good thing. The dish was teeth-chillingly cold and flavorless. My husband's substitute citrus fruit and lettuce salad was lovely. My lettuce, julienne apple and blue cheese salad was really delish. I can't say the same about the sablefish which got a good mention in the POST. The fish was exquisitely cooked -- moist and flavorful -- but I was really turned off by the sweetness of the orange-vanilla sauce. My husband's verdict of his lobster risotto "Pretty good."

                  Next time, we'll bundle up better and head to our usual pre-KenCen restaurant, Aquarelle.