Help! I've read so many mixed reviews about Notti Bianchi in Foggy Bottom. Should I go or not? If so, what are the best items on the menu? I was looking for a pre-Kennedy Theater restaurant that can easily be walked to from the Foggy Bottom metro-stop. Any other suggestions?
Notti Bianchi has not recovered from losing its chef several months ago. Best restaurant in the area is Marcel's--1/2 block from the Metro and they'll take you to the Kennedy Center in their limo after dinner. Also consider Aquarelle at the Watergate Hotel; it is the place we now go most often pre-theater. Others in the area are Circle Bistro (ok but not great), Dish (not worth going), Terrace Restaurant at the Kennedy Center (bad service, so-so food, high prices).
I went there with my boyfriend last fall because we kept reading about the good reviews and ratings and we were horrified by how terrible it was. We had one decent dish which was a pasta with a rabbit ragu. The appetizers were decent but the monkfish I got was so fishy that the fish had to have been past its selling date.
The original chef left a few months ago so I can't speak to how it is now, but I know we will never return.
I did go to it's sister restaurant Dish (only a few blocks away) before a Kennedy Center show with my mother and we both loved it. This was about 2 years ago though. At the time it was the summer and the menu really reflected that. I had this delightful dish which was a take on the "summer picnic basket" and had some of the best fried chicken I've ever had. The atmosphere is nice and simple and the staff was friendly. The thing is, the restaurant shares the same chef at Notti Bianchi and is also in transition so I don't know how the food is now.
Maybe someone else on the board has been to Dish more recently.
Another option would be to go to Kinkeads and then take the shuttle to Kennedy Center from the Foggy Bottom metro...you can probably walk too but it might be a little farther then Dish or Notti Bianche.