Taking my 10 year old son to Washington DC
I am a Los Angeles ChowHound. My 10 year old son and I will be in Washington DC from June 18th till the 22nd. He and I are both into food and would like some local guidance. We will be staying at the Hotel Rouge in Dupont Circle. We are seeking some Good Fast Breakfast spots near our hotel (he loves Bagels) also we are seeking the Best Pizza spot, Chinese, Italian, and perhaps a fine dining one night. Any recs near the sights and our location would be fine. We will be using the Metro so we are mobile as well. If you think we would like it just let us know.
Thanks in advance..
You will not find any good bagels, or traditional breakfasts, anywhere near your hotel -- or, indeed, throughout most of D.C. But you and your son will probably enjoy Teaism on R Street for breakfast -- great salmon, eggs, tofu scramble, etc., as well as tea, salty oat cookies, and more.
The best pizza spot is not exactly reachable nby Metro -- it's 2 Amys, and you'll both love it, but it entials travel by bus or (not too expensive) cab. Pizzeria Paradiso is also very good (order the Atomica), and it's walking distance from your hotel.
For Chinese, there's nothing like what's available in L.A. The best in the city is a Cantonese place downtown, Full Kee (focus on the soups and other items on the laminated cards, and seafood). There are a few really good sichuan places now open in the suburbs, but they're a schlep.
I'll let others speak to Italian -- there are several near your hotel, at various price points and of varying quality. But I think I'd opt for the Italian-inspired tastings in the bar section at Palena, in Cleveland Park (five minutes by Metro). Lots of info about it on this board and at donrockwell.com.
For fine dining, try to get a reservation at Komi. If not that, then perhaps Obelisk.
I second Full Kee. My favorites are the duck stuffed with shrimp paste (maybe not on the printed menu, but order it anyway) and try one of the casseroles: either oyster and ginger or chicken and eggplant. Good potstickers as well.
For fine dining, you might want to consider the lounge at Citronelle. It's a la carte, no reservations necessary, so you are not stuck with ordering a multi-course meal. I recommend the mushroom cigars, the tuna napoleon, and the vegetable pearl pasta. Check out the website below:
I'm trying to recall...not in your hotel area...it's been a couple of years since I was there in DC. Local people may correct me if I'm wrong but it seems to me that a fun place to eat with a 10yr old is the food court at Union Station...no? There are other restaurants there as well.
I agree w/ others that the Chinese food here isn't comparable to LA's. My kids really enjoy the cafe at the Smithsonian's Native American museum. It can get overwhelming with the choices but they always find something new that they like.
Don't take him to the food court. There are a few decent finds in there, but it's not that different from anything in a mall.
Consider taking him to Matchbox, near the Gallery Place Metro. The mini-burgers are extraordinary, the pizza is very good, and it's a really fun setting. Very different from LA.
Other fun places that are good for an adventurous young man and which he wouldn't find in LA are famed chef Jose Andres's restaurants, Jaleo (DC's original tapas restaurant), Oyamel (unusual Mexican, like the grasshopper tacos) and Zaytinya (mezze).
For a nice meal, consider Central, from Michel Richard, who runs Citronnelle. For an 8-year-old, it's a great way to sample an expert chef's food, but will be more approachable. Have fun!