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DC restaurant for this Saturday night

My husband and I will be in DC this Saturday night and staying at the Mayflower (Marriott). We're planning to go to dinner with another couple and looking for a fun, trendy restaurant. Any suggestions? Preferably close to the hotel if that's possible. We're open to all food - Italian, etc. Thanks!

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  1. Vidalia is trendy with good food and is on M between 19th and 20th, three blocks or so from the Mayflower.

    1. Not too far from your hotel is Brasserie Beck, the new belgium bistro. The food is excellent and if you and your dining partners enjoy to sample various types of beer, this is the place for you.

      For Italian you can head up to Dupont Circle for good food at Sette Osteria.

      1. More of the trendy restaurants tend to be in Chinatown - a cab ride away from Mayflower. There you can choose among several trendy options: Proof, Poste, Zola, Zaytinia, Oya, etc., which are frequently discussed on this board.

        If you are trying to stay within walking distance of the Mayflower:

        Bombay Club just a few blocks away at 17th and I streets and serves well prepared Indian classics in a classy setting. Probably less trendy than elegant, but it is a fun atmosphere with large bamboo chairs and live music on occasion.

        For more trendy, how about Todd English's DC Italian place, Olives over on 16th and K. I would request seating upstairs if you can to take in the nicer atmophere.

        Firefly is another trendier option. They have a tree in the restaurant and have seasonal, american food and good wine options.

        1 Reply
        1. re: dzherbst

          The options are to walk 2-3 blocks to the Dupont Circle area, or walk 2-3 blocks to the area around Olives, Bombay Club, Equinox (Todd Gray's place) and Kaz Sushi Bistro. I recommend either option -- this time of year the walking is pleasant. I happen to prefer the cluster of restaurants in the southerly direction, listed here, but the restaurants in the northerly direction, Dupont Circle, are fine and dandy.

        2. If you are carnivores and wine lovers, and not familiar with the Brazilian churrascaria steakhouse experience, Fogo de Chao at 11th and Penn is lots of fun! There are only 10 of them in the US - essentially it's all you can eat, but they come to your table and slice off various cuts of excellent meat entrées: beef, lamb, pork. My favorite cut is "picanha," but they have fillet, sirloin, leg of lamb, more. Plus an AYCE "salad" bar that is so much more than salad: palm & artichoke hearts, fresh mozzarella/ tomato, smoked salmon, prosciutto. I have never been disappointed. $50 per person. And wine, real good wine.
          11th & Penn is easy from the Mayflower, though not walking distance. DC cabs are zoned not metered, so anything in cab Zone #1 is the same price ($6.50 base fare plus 1.50 per add'l person.) Cabs sit in front of the Mayflower. Or Fogo is a block from a Metro stop, as is the Mayflower, if you want the subway ($1.35 per person each way.)

          1 Reply
          1. re: caminowalker

            I think it depends on what you mean by walking distance. I'd walk from the Mayflower to pretty much anywhere that's been mentioned on this thread so far -- I don't think Fago is very far, really, for example. Check the map to see if it's too far for you. (And, walking from the Mayflower towards the trendy Penn Quarter neighborhood takes you by the White House, etc., FYI).

          2. I like Vidalia in that area it is clean cut and trendy inside, but Penn Quarter has some good options. I think Brasserie Beck is a little more cozy than trendy feeling, but it is good. Central would be a cab ride but trendier and very good food, and Poste is very trendy with a cool bar area. Penn Quarter is def more trendy also there are Zola and Zaytinya both look trendy.

            1. Make sure you have a drink in teh Town & Country bar at the mayflower...totally cool if you are into retro, dark wood & gentleman's club atmosphere. For food what about I Ricchi? It's spendy but really good Tuscan food & wine. There is also Sam & Harry's right there or even Melting Pot.

              3 Replies
              1. re: DCDOLL

                Oh, I really wouldn't recommend I Ricchi. Search the board on that one!

                1. re: DCDOLL

                  Yeah, I would also add even more so I wouldn't recommend the melting pot. I would rather even eat at I Ricchi than there... It takes all kinds, I guess.

                  1. re: DCDOLL

                    Eccccccccck! I Ricchi is terrible! After my last experience there I will never return. Snobby waiters, disappointing food and then a smokey dining room when the brick pizza oven backdrafted but no one from management decided to do anything about it for at least 15 minutes until everyone left smelling like smoke.

                    If you want Italian there are at least 6 other places that are far better.

                  2. The top places within walking distance are Vidalia, Tabard Inn, Oval Room, Equinox, Bombay Club, Obelisk (for Italian). The furthest of these is Obelisk on Dupont at 20th and P. Vidalia is superb, 3 star southern influence cooking by a James Beard chef. Oval Room is cooking terrific food by NY chef Tony Conte, a serious talent. Bombay is the best in the city for Indian (with the possible exception of Rasika, which is more trendy). Equinox is Todd Gray's wonderful regional restaurant specializing in fresh ingredients by local purveyors. Tabard Inn is simply a reliable favorite -- superb regional food in a quaint dining room tucked away on a quiet block of N Street in a boutique hotel. Obelisk, best Italian in the city hands down, but call now. It's tiny.

                    If you want sushi, Kaz is your destination. A little further walk, but for sushi, that's where you want to go.

                    Regarding some of the other recommendations. Olives? Gimme a break. If you want a chain restaurant with giant portions from a celebrity Boston chef, fine. I don't. Might as well go to Mortons (also across from the Mayflower). Penn Quarter restaurants -- yes, this is the trendy destination and there's some fun cooking. Zola, Brasserie Beck, Proof, Zaytinya, Rasika. Fun, young, hip, loud, dress pretty. I don't consider them walking distance unless you're into walking for a good half hour. I do it all the time, but would I trek over there and turn down the restaurants named above which truly are close? No. Fogo? Does nothing for me. Brazillian steak house. I Ricchi. Um, no.

                    I'd rather eat a hot dog than at the Melting Pot. Boil my own dinner for $50 a head? I think not.