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Where to eat near Hotel Palomar?

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My husband and I are booking a room at the Hotel Palomar in a few weeks for an in-town getaway. He is early 30's and I am late 20's and we rarely get to eat in DC proper. We are looking for a delicious dinner relatively near the hotel (prefer not to Metro, but we will have a car or can take a cab). I do not eat meat but I do eat seafood and my husband loves meat and seafood. We both love Italian. We have enjoyed 1789 but are looking for something a little younger in feel where we can leisurely enjoy our meal and not feel rushed since this will be the part of the weekend we're looking forward to the most.

We are planning on spending up to about $150 including cocktails/wine. Thanks for any suggestions!

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  1. My husband and I stayed at Palomar two weeks ago. Great hotel. We walked to Obelisk, just down the street -- fantastic Italian. I had an incredible goat cheese gnocchi and a good shrimp appetizer plus some cheeses to die for. The wines were also quite good. We also had a nice late night meal at Firefly, also walking distance just around Dupont Circle, which was a lot of fun.

    1. I really enjoyed Brasserie Beck last week. It's definitley a hip, young crowd with good food. They have alot of fish options for you and good meat for the hubby.

      It's got a great Belgian beer selections. I think you'll like it.

      www.beckdc.com

      You could walk it...I walked it there and took the metro back from Farragut North just one stop to Dupont Circle which will be the closest metro for you.

      1. I haven't been to Obelisk but have heard wonderful things about it. Also another place that I haven't been but has been getting good reviews is Eric Ripert's new restaurant West End, which is certainly within walking distance to you.

        I really enjoy Hudson and you certainly will be able to get out of there under budget. Chic decor with a nice menu and good drinks.

        Right across from you is also Mark and Orlando's which has a nice menu. And if you are into French there is Montrois.

        For something more upscale a wonderful, romantic restaurant within walking distance is Equinox. It's pricey but incredibly worth it.

        Also, not to far of a walk is Cashion's up in Adams Morgan. Should be able to cater to both your and your husband's taste.

        7 Replies
        1. re: Elyssa

          You might also be interested in trying Pesce on 22 and P

          1. re: cleveland park

            If you go to Pesce I would say stick to the pasta dishes. Twice I have not heeded my boyfriend's suggestions to get pasta and have gotten some very bland fish. The pastas are nice though. I find the place a tad over-priced but its still pretty good.

            Also right next door is Al Tiramisu if you are interested in an Italian restaurant. It gets overlooked a lot but I think they have great pasta and it's romantic. The gnocchi is great there.

            1. re: Elyssa

              On the other hand .. my GF and I have eaten at Pesce many times and have always had great seafood. It is in the top 5 on my list for seafood in DC and very reasonabley priced. If you want pasta, go next door to Al Tiramisu; but if you want very good Italian, go acros the street to Obleisk.

              1. re: Dakota Guy

                Perhaps I have just ordered the wrong dishes. In terms of fish though I really prefer Hook over Pesce.

                Also I have been getting good seafood at Grillfish on NH Avenue. I often eat at the bar or get takeout. I just really like their trout and sweet onion relish sauce. Not to expensive either. But the service there is pretty bad so I never recommend it.

                1. re: Elyssa

                  I have never had a bad experience at Pesce, yea their wine list is weak, deserts could be better and the decor is not pretty, but the food is really good and they always creative flavor combinations. Strangely enough I have never had the pasta there as I don't really consider it a pasta place, but pesce has been very good to me and I can't understand why i dont go there more often.

                  1. re: Elyssa

                    I have never been to Grillfish. I agree about Hook; it and Black Salt are my #1 and #2 for seafood. Pesce and Hank's Oyster Bar are probably 3 and 4. I used to like Johnny's Half Shell until it moved to Capitol Hill. Ocenaire is looks and feels like a steakhouse chain that serves seafood; emphasis on quantity instead of quality. Kinkead's is always a disappintment, although I liked Colvin Run Tavern until it closed. D'Aqua was a disppointment. Of course I am omitting all Japanese restuarants most of which serve better seafood raw than most American seafood restaurants can cook it.

                    1. re: Elyssa

                      Grillfish is gross and I always feel like they're trying to charge for not very high quality ingredients. I really am not a fan of Logan Tavern, Mercado and The Heights. At all of these places I've had bland, poor quality food. They get by due putting their restaurant in "weak" locations, and havind decent atmospheres.

            2. Go right downstairs into Urbana - a fantastic restaurant with a warm ambiance. A good crowd - mostly older 20's and young 30s. My husband and I have been several times, once for dinner. The food and service was amazing. We've been back for drinks and really enjoy the cozy atmosphere. A great place for a romatic date, or to go with close friends.

              1 Reply
              1. re: hungryhumboldt

                Update! We went to Urbana for a snack when we checked in and found they have a great happy hour menu. $5 prosecco and a $7 margherita pizza! I wasn't expecting much for that price, but everything was delicious and it was the perfect setting to start off our one night vacation.

                We took a cab to Zola for dinner which was another great experience. We started with the grilled asparagus and mussels. While the mussels were good, I think we both were more impressed with the grilled asparagus. I got the scallops and my husband tried the pork loin. We shared the basil creme brulee. Service was terrific.

                We went back to Urbana for breakfast the next morning. We had great service and both enjoyed our breakfasts. Next time I will try the vanilla French toast.

                Thanks for all of the suggestions!