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Choose my night out with my favorite relatives.

Hello Trusty Food Soldiers. My favorite brother-in-law and sister-in-law are coming to DC for a visit. My thoughts are:
La Chaumiere
Restaurant Kolumbia
Cafe Atlantico

Please, no trashing of Dino. It's a Go To favorite for my husband and I. We live close and like the food and wine list. If anything, I might take it off the list so we don't feel like we haven't done anything special while my husband's brother and his wife are here.

Are Blacksalt and Obelisk pricier than the rest of the list? Haven't been to either. Going for upper middle scale, not a blow out night out and eat beans and rice for the next two months to compensate. (But man that sounds kinda good now. Hot sauce...Mmmmm)
Anyway, I may take Blacksalt off just because I'm not sure that a seafood focus is the thing for this night out. (But on that note, is Hook worth putting on the list?)

The only ones we've been to are Dino, La Chaumiere (great quenelles), and Komi (please no bashing. Been there only one time and will defend it to my death)

Been inside Restaurant Kolumbia but not far in. Never ate or drank there. Is the space too narrow, quiet and romantic for four thirty somethings who are spending the night bonding and yapping?

Alternative suggestions are always welcome. We don't wish to leave the city limits, and my husband and I will not tolerate a crappy wine list. I do not do American wines often at all. No offense intended, some of them are obviously great.

And don't bother suggesting Citronelle's new mid scale place whatever it's called. No thanks.

Thank you one and all!

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  1. Central sounds like a great option!

      1. re: jodik

        I'm just not a fan. Not interested in trashing it, it's just not on my list for this particular event. Will most likely give it a 2nd go. I figured there were plenty of other options on my mind but brought it up in the original post because I figured with an invitation for add-ons Central (and thank you for yanking its name off the tip of my tongue) would most assuredly come up.

      2. CityZen (if you want to drop the money) is the best in the city. Based on your post this is way too $$. Goes back and forth between Citronelle and CityZen
        Komi is impossible to get reservations btu with that new Best Young Chef it would be a good place to go since its hot.
        IndeBleu is overrated- been three times and was impressed once... it was overpriced based on the quality twice. Indian fusion almost.
        BlackSalt is very good, small place, not too showy, but the food is really good. ALL seafood and VERY fresh. Not going to break the bank too badly.

        1 Reply
        1. re: JRMorrisonJr

          Man, I got so stressed out after I read your post. I definately have Komi lust and we haven't been there in almost two years!!! I just called and got a reservation for the 11th. Part of this whole thing is that it's during Restaurant Week and I was afraid of issues because of that. Komi doesn't do Restaurant Week apparently and had only a few reservations left. I snagged one and feel like I just got the last Cabbage Patch Doll that was on the shelf during Christmas Eve circa 1983.

        2. I recently had a great dinner at Dino. Everything was fresh and prepared excellently. We enjoyed a wonderful barolo from their "wine book". Our dinner, with three courses, was under $200, half of which was spent on wine. The service was perfect and friendly.
          I'd go back in a heartbeat(if I didn't live in RI), especially as it's so reasonable. I see why it's your go-to place.

          1 Reply
          1. re: invinotheresverde

            Excellent! So glad you liked it. I love hearing great things about restaurants that are our favorites.

          2. I don't know about Cafe Atlantico for something like this. I've only been for the Latin Dim Sum brunch, but there is a number of more interesting items on the menu, made in interesting ways. I went with an out of town close friend, and I felt like we spent a lot of time figuring out the food, rather than actually catching up. Our service was also very shaky- our waiter appeared right away but then didn't come back again for 20 minutes, and our drinks arrived after our first courses. Also have no idea about the wine list. I guess my point is, I would not personally pick it for this type of dinner!

            1. Obelisk deffinitely is not the most expensive restaurant on your list, but it is more expensive than, say, Dino. It is prix fixe and the cost varies based upon the day. I have not been in a couple of years (because I moved to SF) but 2 years ago, it was always between $55 and $65 for a 4 or 5 course meal (number of courses also depends upon the day). There are 3 or 4 options for each course, but they do a good job of accomodating all possible tastes within those parameters. (eg. you can eat no fish and no organ meats and still be fine; you can be a fish-ok vegetarian and still be fine; you can be a strict vegetarian -- just call a day in advance, and they will prepare you a serious, well thought out, meal... with options!) It was my favorite Italian in the city (better than Tosca or Galileo -- or Dino.) Also, unusual in that it is a pretty expensive restaurant, but very casual. I believe there are 36 seats (which are wicker). The owner/server was in a nice t-shirt and jeans. Everyone there is there for a serious meal, but it has a homey feel that other restaurants of its caliber in DC do not have. Whe I was there, there was a guy in a suit and tie... but also one in shorts and a t-shirt.

              1. Of your list, I'd go to Komi, but it might be a bit on the pricier side than you'd like. But the food there is brilliant.

                I'd avoid Cafe Atlantico and Rest. Kolumbia. No slam on either place, I have dined at both places and I enjoy them, but I think there are better places on you list. Like Blacksalt for example. It is rare to find a good seafood place that truly understands the proper treatment of deep-frying seafood. A delicate touch is needed and the Blacksalt folks have it nailed, among other things.