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May 15, 2007 02:32 PM

NYC Hound DC Bound

My Fellow Friends of Food,

I will be visiting our country's great capital this weekend and am a bit anxoius about finding great places to eat. As I will be staying with my boyfriend's sister (and I am not sure if I should be entirely trusting of her taste) I would like to have as many suggestions up my sleeve as possible, so that I can be sure my dining experiences are as enjoyable as can be. She lives NE but we'll have a car so traveling is fine

Mostly I am interested in where you think a visiting foodie should go for brunch (most importantly) and also lunch and dinner, where to get the best cupcakes (or other baked goods) or cocktails (or other beverages), maybe where there's outdoor dining... really just looking for the delicious side of DC, you know?

Thanks so much in advance.


[For those of you familliar with the New York dining scene some of our local favorites might help to garner some recs

in manhattan we love:
Employees Only, Westville East, Spotted Pig, Sugar Sweet Sunshine.

in brooklyn:
Dumont (Burger or Original), Marlow and Sons, Enid's, Dressler, St. Helen's]

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  1. Hi! Hope you enjoy your visit this weekend.

    For brunch, I love Boulevard Woodgrill in Arlington, or Carlyle in Shirlington. Politics and Prose near the Dupont Circle Metro is supposed to great as well, though I've never been. I live in NE as well, and though it may be tempting to head to Bread and Chocolate on Penn Ave for brunch since it's so close, DON'T DO IT! It's terrible.

    Right by Union Station is a place called White Tiger that has great Indian food as well as outdoor seating. Banana Cafe on nearby Barracks Row has Latin food, outdoor seating and really good sangria.

    Good luck!

    1. I think the latin Dim Sum brunch at Cafe Atlantico would be a good choice. Take a look at the sample menu on their web site and see if that interests you:

      Indigo Landing (down the GW parkway from DC on the water) is getting good brunch reviews from chowhounds lately, although I personally haven't tried it yet (going to do so on Memorial Day weekend).

      As for dinner, my current two favorites are Palena and Komi - but too late to get in for the weekend unless you stumble upon a cancellation. I also like to recommend the tapas/small plate places in Penn Quarter to visitors - Jaleo, Zaytinya, and Oyamel. Plus, DC has a lot of Ethiopian places - if you haven't had that before, it might be worth a try..

      1 Reply
      1. re: baconjen

        I would do Colorado Kitchen for Brunch (search the board here for suggestions, there are tons of threads on this)

        For a fun atmosphere with good food check out Zaytinya (which also has a good bar scene) - it's tapas

        Since youre going to be in DC I agree with baconjen, get some Ethiopian food while youre here. I highly recommend Etete. Get the Fastening Platter and Derek Tibs (since this is your first time, presumably)

      2. More suggestions so you have as many up your sleeve as possible:

        Brunch: Seconding Carlyle very good, also Tallulah in Arlington, Georgia Brown's (an excess of southern food), Bistro Bis has nice brunch very good french onion soup, great lamb although a little salty, Chef Geoff's has ok brunch. I imagine Old Ebbit's has brunch, but I have never been.

        Lunch: Tony and Joe's or Sequoia on the DC waterfront are good for people watching the food is not like must eat in DC, but it is definately fun and the food is by no means bad.
        Seconding Zaytinya which has outdoor seating, but they won't take reservations for it. The food is wonderful very mediteranean so good with a group because you can try so much and highly reccomended for summer as their dishes are light and refreshing.

        Seconding Palena, if you can't get reservations try the front cafe/bar section the chicken is to die for, the goat cheesecake is superb (of course you expect this from someone who was the pastry chef in the White House) and there gnocchi tastes like light fluffy whipped melt in your mouth butter. It still has very nice ambiance even in the "cafe/bar" which is much nicer than the term sounds. And it has a small section of outdoor seating.

        Restuarant Eve in Old Town Alexandria is one of the greats not to miss. Excellent food and ambiance.

        Also the big names in DC other than Palena, Eve and Komi: Central, Citronelle, Marcel's, Maestro... so many names these days, and it doesn't help to look up menus because it all sounds good.

        Tallulah has great dinner, as well.
        Zola is really nice and has good cocktails and food, as well as, TenPenh which has great food and cocktails. Poste has an outside section and good food/cocktails. Agraria has a seasonal menu and I haven't been lately, but it was very good before not extremely creative but very fresh well prepared food. They have a good website they keep up to date. They are in the Georgetown waterfront too, I don't think they have outdoor seating, but you can wander to the other bars there and the waterfront is always nice on weekends.

        Baked Goods: there is this place around 13th and U st which has really good cupcakes I have no idea what the name is any help?

        The Hotel Washington has a great patio on the top with a bar that has excellent views of the white house. I don't know if they serve food I wouldn't think it was excellent food, but it has really nice views of the white house and monument and would be good for drinks. Kind of a touristy thing to do don't know how often you have been to DC so... maybe they even do lunch I don't know worth looking up.

        Anyway there are some more choices, my brain has hit a wall now.

        2 Replies
        1. re: ktmoomau

          Second Restaurant Eve, particularly the tasting room. Their cocktails are also excellent, but PX up the street takes it up a notch in formality.

          The cupcake place on 15th and U is Cakelove. Some people think they're wonderful, others think they're overpriced, dry, and just plain bad.

          1. re: ktmoomau

            I've been to Old Ebbitt for brunch--I think this is where they excel (other than their oysters, from what I've heard, but I don't like oysters). We took my husband's cousin and his wife when they were in town, and they were quite impressed. Plus it's right near the White House--you can walk by after. Their eggs chesapeake (like eggs benedict, but over crabcakes instead of canadian bacon) are always great.

            The baked good place on 13th and U is Cakelove. I tried their cupcakes, and while they were good, they're nothing close to Magnolia or any of the other NY cupcakeries. I'd skip it and wait until you get back to New York.

          2. Try Eastern Market on Capital Hill. The Historic South Hall recently had a tragic fire forcing that part of the operation outdoors. What was once a really big outdoor market on Saturdays and Sundays is now a huge street market. There are vendors of all sorts plus sidewalk caf├ęs on Seventh Street a well as on nearby Barracks Row. Try for reservations at Montmartre for lunch or dinner - the most upscale place - for wonderful French - or sit on Tunnicliff's covered patio for good American and watch the goings on. Several good coffee shops, nice baked goods at the Sweete Shoppe displaced from inside the market but operating from a stall outside, as are several other "inside" vendors.
            In 2006, the Washington Post named this as the Best Place to Take Out-of-Town-Guests for good reason.