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Future inlaws coming to town

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I was hoping for some help. My future in-laws are visiting soon. I'd like to take them to some GOOD (interesting and fun) meals in the DC area.

Places we are considering ...
For dinner: Central, Colorado Kitchen, Ardeo Bardeo, Majestic
For lunch: Italian Store, A&J's (Rockville), Vace, Lebanese Taverna, Pho 75

Places they've been (and enjoyed): Dino's, Ceiba, Zaytinya, 4 Sisters, Jaleo, Palena, Afghan Grill, Oceannaire, Kinkeads & Lavandou.

What do you think? If you were in my situation, where would you take them? Thanks!

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  1. I might add Komi to the list. Or Tallula or Eve. But it looks pretty good. Get subs at the Italian Store, not Pizza IMHO.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ktmoomau

      Komi and Eve are both significantly more expensive than the places the OP is looking, though Tallula is a great suggestion. If you do have the option I'd go to Eve and sit in the bar for the 13.50 lunch special.

    2. Lunch: CF Folks, Lebanese Butcher instead of Taverna, I'd also throw in Joe's if they wanted Sichuan (disclaimer: I haven't made it to A&J's as I can't get past Joe's if I'm in the area).

      I'm not a fan of Pho 75 due to the pho, but the experience is neat if you've not been. Close in to the district I would vote for Nam Viet both for the pho and the rest of the menu.

      Also, how about some Korean, maybe Hee Been? That'd be a nice dinner.

      1. Seems like you have a pretty good list there. I might add Zola, Hook (excellent!!!), Eve, and Acadiana to the list.

        For lunch, CF Folks is a great idea if they like crab cakes and will be in town Monday-Friday (those are the only days they are open.)

        If they will be here during Sat and Sun and you are interested in brunch Ardeo has a nice brunch. I would also add to the list Bistro Bis and Tabbard Inn (good for dinner as well). For something different Heritage in Dupont Circle does a great Indian brunch on Sundays.

        I personally am not a fan of Labanese Taverna...but that's just me.

        1. Palena.

          great for that type of gathering, I think.

          1. 2941 for dinner (falls church but worth the drive)
            LeAuberge Chez Francois (great falls VA and also very much worth the drive)
            mini-bar ar Cafe Atlantico for dinner
            Citronelle for dinner
            pizzeria paradiso for lunch
            eat first or chanatown express in chinatown for lunch or dinner

            1. If you don't mind a drive out MacArthur Blvd, Black Salt might be a good option, too.


              1. Dinner... I might consider Obelisk. Expensive, but not insane. Unusual vibe (super-casual, but very high end). The best Italian in DC.

                Also Taberna del Alabardero, though that seems more controversial here...

                5 Replies
                1. re: whiner

                  what about Pesce? It's casual and the food is very good, winelist is weak though.

                  1. re: cleveland park

                    I would not recommend Pesce. It ain't bad, but it's not really great either. Other better places to try at the general price point suggested.

                    1. re: Pool Boy

                      Just out of curiosity. What is it that you dont like about the food at pesce? I havent been there since the relatively new chef arrived

                      1. re: cleveland park

                        It wasn't bad, it was rather decent actually. But the whole experience was just average to good for me. I haven't been in about 2, maybe 3 years though. When did the new chef start? I haven't tried Hook, but I'd clearly go to Black Salt many more times before heading back to Pesce.

                        And Elyssa, there's something odd about going to a place called Pesce and sticking with their pasta dishes. That's like going to a Steak place and asking for a vegatarian plate. OK, well not quite, but you know what I mean.

                      2. re: Pool Boy

                        I agree with Pool Boy here. I had a rather tasteless meal the last time I was there. My boyfriend has been a few times and said you should stick with their pasta dishes. Maybe I ordered wrong but still I was pretty disappointed considering that I also feel the prices are pretty high for what you get. Wasn't aware that there was a new chef...since when? Might have to try it again then---but still the price is a little over what I think it should be.

                        A much better fish option would be Hook

                  2. I'm going to second Palena for this, and also add DC Coast to the list. I think it's a fun DC place, and I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of my meal there during restaurant week. It's certainly not in the same league as an Eve or 2941, but it's worth considering for seafood. I know some people say it's slipped, but I think it's still going strong and a great place for out of towners.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: baconjen

                      Tabard Inn is a good option, especially if you can get a patio table while the weather is still nice. I'd also add the Oval Room to your list. Eve in the bistro or Majestic (with drinks at the PX) could be very good as well.

                      1. re: JRinDC

                        I might just throw in, I had a pretty bad experience at Tabard Inn a couple years ago (and haven't gone back for a meal), when I had a fairly large group of out-of-town guests (including people who had stayed there years earlier and loved it). It was brunch. The food was okay, but not memorable, there were service problems (getting orders wrong and not correcting them, eg). And then the server actually chased us down as we were leaving to demand a higher tip. I'm not kidding, this really happened.

                        I've mentioned this to others who say they've also had weird service there. But I know many really like it, so this is just FWIW.

                        1. re: mselectra

                          Service is mediocre somtimes---I find this more with brunch. I had only had brunch there for over a year and then decided to have dinner there one night by myself and had a wonderful experience. I had a nice ceasar salad with big anchovies and then a delicious salmon dish. It doesn't hurt that the outside courtyard is one of the most relaxing and beautiful spots in town.

                        2. re: JRinDC

                          Tabard Inn is so variable from night to night- we've had great and terrible service alike there. We've also had great to atrocious food there.