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21st in DC

I'm looking for a good $20-30 price range restaurant to celebrate my birthday. I'm only here for the summer and haven't tried out many restuarants. I would like a place that has somewhat healthy fresh foods, but still a fun atmosphere. (Somewhere that has special festivities for birthdays..maybe.) I like almost all foods, but my favorites are seafood, sushi, and italian food. We will need to go somewhere that is metrolink accessable. Some of my friends are stil 21, so it will also have to be a place that allows for all ages. Anything come to mind?
Thanks!

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  1. When is your birthday? DC Restaurant Week is coming up. All week long, you get three courses for $30. http://www.washington.org/restaurantwk/ Make your reservations early, because the best restaurants fill up.

    Also, if it's in July, Oya has a similar special all month long, but it comes with champagne. I had it for lunch last week and was pleasantly surprised. The menu is lovely.

    Considering your preferences, and assuming you want somewhere more festive and fun than quiet, I'd recommend Oya in July or Zengo (expensive, so better during Restaurant Week), Zola, or any Jose Andres restaurant (like Zaytinya, Oyamel, Jaleo, etc).

    3 Replies
    1. re: katecm

      I like Zengo for this. Depends on how much you're drinking, but I disagree on it being expensive. I went with a group of girls and we did a lot of sharing of apps and entrees. Also had a bottle of inexpensive wine. We got out of there spending $35 each, including tax and tip!

      1. re: KWynn

        That's impressive! I get so carried away ordering extra appetizers and ceviches, it ends up being much pricier. I guess it all depends on restraint. But it's definitely a fun, festive place to go, and the excellent cucumber mojito would be a great 21st birthday drink.

        1. re: katecm

          Yeah, the cocktails are where they get ya. They end up averaging about $10 a pop.

    2. Is the $20-$30 price range for entrees, or for everythings -- food, drinks, tax and tip?

      1. My birthday is friday the 6th.

        1 Reply
        1. re: scarls

          I'd say, then, Oya or Zengo. Because of the three-course deal at Oya, you can do really well in the price department, and it's a gorgeous, swank space to boot. Plus, the free glass of champagne will add some festivity. I recommend both of the sushi rolls as appetizers. They're fantastic.

          A lot of restaurants have three-course pre-theater menus that offer good deals, but I doubt you want to celebrate before 6:30.

          And happy birthday!

          1. re: scarls

            For a younger crowd and easy on the wallet, I would recommend Lauriol Plaza. The margaritas are fun and it is an easy walk to Dupont, U St or Adams Morgan if you want to out to the bars without driving. They are used to larger groups of friends.

            1. re: hopeinmee

              Yes...and the wait times on weekend nights, especially for larger groups of friends, are legendary.