Four Days in DC in Mid July
Yes, we Bostonian know it will be hot. But our kids went to school there many moons ago, (we are lively senior citizens), and we have great memories of delicious food and drink. We will be staying at the Marriott in Arlington, and will be using the Metro. Give us some ideas for a blow out meal, a great bar, some nice neighborhoody places, and such. We love to eat and enjoy. What's hot and what's not? We'll be happy to return the favor should you come up north.
If you'll be here on a Friday evening, one of the most impressive events is the Sunset Parade at the Marine Barracks on Capital Hill. The Commandant's House there is the oldest continuously occupied official residence in the US since the White House was burned by the Brits during the War of 1812. The Silent Drill Team performance is spectacular and the "President's Own" provides the music, much of it by John Philip Sousa, who lived in the neighborhood and was the first director of the Marine Corps Band.
Then you'll have your choice of dozens of restaurants on Barracks Row, including some great neighborhood joints, Belga Café's Belgian food, Banana Café Caribbean menu, good Thai, Salvadorean, and much more. The street is one long sidewalk café.
Nearby Montmartre on 7th Street has excellent French bistro fare. Tunnicliff's is a good neighborhood hangout.
Eastern Market Metro gets you there. http://www.mbw.usmc.mil/parade_sunset... for reservations to the Parade.
I'd definitely recommend the neighborhood, Marines and Belga, but I have to veto Banana (so-so food) and Montmartre (service that gives us French a bad name). For a blow-out brunch I can recommend Georgia Brown's (McPherson Square/orange line). You might also enjoy the Tabard Inn just east of Dupont Circle. The nearby Beacon Hotel on Rhode Island has a nice (and rare for DC) rooftop bar.
A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to go into DC for a really great meal with my mother. It was Mother's Day, we're originally from San Francisco.....so we're used to a lot of really good, quality food.....she wanted something not too too expensive, but very good at the same time. After hours of searching for something, I kept on seeing a place called Corduroy being mentioned. Everyone raved about the food, they had some reservations about service. I decided to give it a shot. Oh my god.....I tell you I don't regret it for a minute. It was absolutely amazing. It was cheaper than a lot of places that were serving similar dishes, but from what I can tell, probably just as good. I had the mozzarella porcupine (mozzarella wrapped in phylo strips and then deep fried.....strange sounding but amazing), roasted lamb tenderloin served with a red wine reduction and the most amazing creamed spinach, and finally the chocolate tart with caramelized bananas. My mother had the lobster salad (also exceptional), braised pig cheeks, and a creme brulee. The food was amazing and the service was easily some of the best I have ever had. My waiter was incredibly attentive, knowledgeable, and was able to answer my specific questions about different menu items. If they did have a service issue, it wasn't present when I was there. I highly recommend you give Corduroy a shot.
Corduroy is a fantastic place to eat. Tom Power is doing wonderful things with food there and the service is excellent. They also have a very nice wine list that is reasonably priced. Another nice place is Dino in Cleveland Park, good Italian food, and one of the best, and best priced, wine list in town.
If you want a fancy meal, that is absolutely delish, make a reservation at Palena (the back room not the Cafe) for some of the best cooking in town.
Maestro, in the Ritz Carlton in Tysons Corner, is world class. If you are looking for a blow out meal, that is one of the best you could ever try.