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Leaving DC in 10 days...places to hit before leaving?

I am leaving DC in 10 days and have no plans of returning. What are some must hit restaurants in the DC/VA/MD area? I have a car so public transportation accessibility is not an issue. Breakfast, lunch, dinner options are all welcome.

My favorites in the DC area so far are Komi and Farrah Olivia. I've been to Palena, Central, Citronelle, Cafe Atlantico, Bebo, Jaleo, etc...My experience at these places have been just so so...

Some places I've been thinking of checking out are:
Tabard Inn (been for brunch but not for dinner; heard chef changed...still good?)
Farrah Olivia (would like to go for dinner for their tasting menu, any thoughts?)
Pasta Mia
Blue Duck Tavern
Cashion's (been for brunch but not for dinner; is it worth it?)

Any thoughts yay or nay on these restaurants? Any other recommendations?

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  1. I'm in the same boat, though I'm a touch further off than you. I would not miss Restaurant Eve (tasting room if you can swing it, if not go to the bar for the 13.50 lickety split lunch).

    If I liked Etheopian food I'd try and hit Dukem or Etee one more time before leaving town.

    I'd never skip Dino before leaving town, but I'm sure you've been there.

    Hank's is a well added seafood stop.

    Tabard in is skippable for dinner. Pasta Mia just serves big portions that are cheap, it's not wonderful. Cashion's I think is great, though I know a few who have had spotty service there- I usually sit in the bar. Rasika was nothing special to me if not heavily overpriced and underflavored.

    1. If you are in Reston, I'd hit El Manantial. It's one of my favorites...relatively inexpensive, always good quality, nice selection of Spanish wines.

      1. I lived in DC about 3 years ago, right near Adam's Morgan, and went to Cashion's quite often. Their oven-roasted chicken with pearl onions is amazing, and I rarely order chicken. I would definitely check it out. In the same area, Pasta Mia is good, not great. I just saw that Galileo remains closed for renovations, and that was probably my favorite meal in DC next to Citronelle. Another place worth checking out is Vidalia if you haven't been.

        1. Forget Pasta Mia.

          After the 9-course tasting menu at Eve, I could die a happy monkey.

          1. I would def. give Cashion's a try for dinner. Both the brunch and dinner are excellent and I've always had friendly service there. I recently had dinner at Tabard Inn in the outdoor area and had a lovely experience. The food was good---not spectacular---but the ambiance made up for any short comings.

            I personally LOVED Blue Duck Tavern when I went so I would give it a shot.

            Pasta Mia is good but you can usually find something like it in other cities.

            If I was leaving town I would return to some of my favorites. If you've only been to the back room of Palena go to the bar area and order to famous burger...I love it!

            1. We were at Hook last week and not impressed, very loud, and the food was good but not great. Other recs....

              Brasserie Beck
              A la Lucia - Old Town (Italian)
              Montmartre - Capitol Hill (French)

              1. In addition to some of those big name restaurants, I'd consider aiming for restaurants that you're unlikely to find anywhere else, like Zengo or 2941.

                1 Reply
                1. re: katecm

                  Zengo is a part of a chain out of Denver.

                2. Citronelle, even the bread basket is spectacular
                  Cafe Milano, when the pasta is good, it is excellent and top shelf people watching to boot
                  Oriental East, Silver Spring --Dim Sum madness, if you are willing to wait an hour for a table, Sticky Rice in lotus leaf is worth the wait
                  Ernie's Crabhouse. Alexandira -- an institution!!!! Bang out Happy Birthday with your mallet
                  Ben's Chili Bowl, dogs are supremely digestable and delicious, you'll be glad you did
                  Cake Love, cupcakes to die for
                  La Chaumiere, old school DC, a veritable den of gentlemen and ladies and good French food
                  2 Amys, Peter Pastan's other place, wonderful concoctions

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: kgd

                    If a Cake Love cupcake was my lasting memory of eating in DC, I'm pretty sure I'd never come back.

                    1. re: AndrewF

                      Haha! I agree! I'm sure this has been debated time and time again on this board but those cupcakes are not as good as people make them out to be.

                      What we desperatly need in DC is for the cupcake craze that has swept NYC and LA to take off here! I would LOVE a Sprinkles or Magnolia Bakery type place to open in DC.

                      1. re: AndrewF

                        The cupcakes are OK, they are just too $ for what you get. I know, I could take my $3 and buy a mix to make my own dozen, that's not it. I would pay $5 for one that had more taste and substantial frosting! At least DC is trying, but I agree with Elyssa. Other cities have us beat!

                      2. re: kgd

                        If you want to avoid the wait at Oriental East arrive 15 minutes before opening--10:45 (if schedules permit of course). You'll make it in to the first seating and only have to wait 15 minutes. nb: they usually (always?) open early (10:30) on holidays.

                      3. I don't see Black Salt on anyone's list - a great eating experience.

                        Since I saw Ben's, I have to add Oohs and Aahs.

                        Eden Center if you haven't been. Review threads on Eden Center specifically to target where to eat - but make sure there's some time to wander around.

                        Joe's Noodle House if you haven't been.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Dennis S

                          Yes, I just heard rave reviews of BLACK SALT from my colleagues.

                          1. re: Dennis S

                            To Joe's and the Eden Center (specifically Huong Viet), I would add:

                            A crab feast at the Quarterdeck in Arlington.
                            Peking duck and dim sum at Mark's Duck House.
                            A trip to the Lexington Market in Baltimore (Faidley's crabcakes and oysters).
                            Ray's the Steaks (black 'n blue ribeye)
                            The Tasting Room in Frederick (local beef and foie gras)
                            A brace of goat tacos, fried yuca and maduros (fried bananas) from El Charrito Caminante.
                            A steak, cheese and mushroom sub (large) from Mario's in Arlington.

                          2. Since you have a car how about heading to Cantler's near Annapolis for a crab feast.

                            1. Seems like you have blinders on. The best eats are out in the suburbs. Go to either Joe's Noodle House in Rockville or Hong Kong Palace in Falls Church for Sichuan cuisine. Do a search on Chowhound for some of the fabulous meals we have had at these places. Myanmar in Falls Church for Burmese, Ruan Thai in Wheaton, Shiney's in Annandale for Pakistani snacks and sweets, Sweet and sour seafood soup at Huong Viet in Eden Center, the chicken wings alone at Bombay Curry Company in Alexandria are enough to blow everything else out of the water (how's that for a mixed metaphor?).

                              1. Kincaid's for seafood
                                Typhoon for Thai
                                Asia Nora for organic

                                1. I'll second or third the suggestions of Joe's Noodle House in Rockville (though chef left recently, still should be good), Ben's Chili Bowl (gotta get you a half smoke before you go!), Blacksalt (I'd argue that few, if any, places in DC treat deep frying seafood any better than here), Cashion's (been a few years but we've always enjoyed it), etc.

                                  I'd also suggest grabbing some Crisp & Juicy chicken in any of their burbs outlets. And if you haven't been to Maestro and don't mind blowing the bank, it's a must.

                                  My wife went to Rasika not too long ago and RAVED about it. I'd also suggest giving Palena another try, because I can think of no better restaurant in the city that is consistently good, seasonaly fresh and inventive. Ignore the sometimes lapses in service there and become one with the food.

                                  And lastly, I know I will get flamed for this, but I think Restaurant Eve is rather overrated. We went once for the 9 course tasting menu. It had its moments, but too many of the courses were decidedly average and not creative. Too many were too sweet for me, and these were courses that were meant to be more on the savory side. I live in Laurel, MD so I haven't bothered to go back and try it again since it's too much of a schlepp to bother.

                                  1. Taberna del Alabadero #1
                                    Obelisk #2

                                    If you haven't been to Dino...