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Need dinner rec. near 9:30Club (815 V St. NW)

Coming in from Boston late in December to see our favorite band (Citizen Cope) play at the 9:30 club. We're staying at Hotel Palomar (in Dupont Circle) and need a dinner spot before the show. I figure we're going to want to be at the club around 8:30 so an early dinner spot is needed. It's a Thursday night show.

We're looking for a fun place beforehand (we're in our mid 30's) to get us in the mood, but don't want to sacrifice food quality. No ethnic places. We'll be taking cabs so it doesn't matter if it's within walking distance.

Is Clyde's any good? Matchbox DC? Central Michel Richard?

Also, we'll be in the city Friday nite as well with no show to see. Looking for a more upscale place that has great food, great service and a hip vibe (like Mistral here in Boston for those that have visited). Is Kinkaids any good?

Thanks for your advice!!!

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  1. If you're an adventurous eater, I'd suggest going for Ethiopian grub at one of the spots near the 930 club. I've only been to Dukem so far, but hope to try Etete and Queen Makeda sometime soon. This area is known for its Ethiopian restaurants.

    2 Replies
    1. re: KWynn

      Whoops--submitted this too soon. Here are the links to the Ethiopian restaurants mentioned.

      -----
      Etete
      1942 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

      Queen Makeda
      1917 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

      Dukem Ethiopian Restaurant
      1114 U St NW, Washington, DC 20001

      1. re: KWynn

        Thanks for the suggestion, but Ethnic restaurants are out (see post).

    2. There is some good food to be found near the 9:30 Club. My suggestions would be to check out either Creme, Cafe St. Ex, or Busboys and Poets.

      In terms of Kinkeads I wouldn't compare it to Mistral. For really excellent seafood in a hip setting I would make a reservation at Hook in Georgetown. It's new and hot but one of the best meals I've had in a long time. The food is fresh and simply prepared but really packs the flavor. And the crudo appetizers are a lot of fun to mix and match.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Elyssa

        Or check out that new place Marvin. It's upscale soul food, kind of like Creme, but it also has a really cool bar/lounge, and it's also very convenient to the 9:30 Club.

      2. Hanks Oyster or Cashion's closer to your hotel to start, then cab over. Or, you can go very casual and hit the Irish place sort of across the street (to the left as you look at the club) - good fish n' chips and shepards pie (all we've had so far there).

        4 Replies
        1. re: Dennis S

          If you are looking for something closer to the hotel I would go for Hank's or Hudson.

          1. re: Dennis S

            You're talking about Duffy's. It's an option but wouldn't be my favorite. We went once and have no intention to return.

            1. re: KWynn

              I think I've gone 4 times. I've always ordered the fish n chips. One time was very subpar. The other three weren't anything to scream about overly, but I certainly would recommend. I now haven't gone in about 9 months or so - full disclosure.

              I also have to add Oohs and Aaahs if Ben's is going to be mentioned.

              1. re: Dennis S

                Oohs and Aaahs, yes! But just didn't seem like what the OP had in mind, I probably shouldn't have mentioned Ben's, either, really.

          2. Bummer about the "no ethnic food" restriction because you really will be in ground zero for some of the best Ethiopian food in the states. I'd recommend Viridian on 14th for dinner before your show and then Komi for Friday night. But if you want to eat at Komi, I'd make the reservation now.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Skittle

              Also on 14th not far are Cafe St Ex and Bar Pilar.

              I've gone to Ben's Chili Bowl before the 9:30 Club, too, but that doesn't sound like what you're looking for.

              I believe there are a couple of current and recent threads on eating near the Hotel Palomar, too.

              1. re: mselectra

                St Ex on a Friday will be packed, just like most places downtown on a Friday. Pilar is probably what the poster is looking for.

                Shame that ethic isn't an option; Pyramids is right around the corner and you could stuff yourself on amazing North African food.

                1. re: monkeyrotica

                  I think OP said it would be a Thursday night? Still good point, though.

                  I like the Marvin suggestion above, but I haven't been there and have been wanting to go. I don't know if that would be too close to "ethnic" (since ethnic encompasses so very many tastes, it's a little hard to know how to avoid whatever the objection is. I totally understand if Ethiopian (or other African) would be too out there for some, though. Oh, but it's so good!)

            2. I'd recommend Bar Pilar, it's not too far from the 930 - i've walked over and cabbed back before, the food and prices are just right (inexpensive and tapas style) pre-show, and we thoroughly enjoyed the people watching and photo booth!