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Jan 13, 2008 01:49 PM

Romantic Bistro or Italian

looking for a moderately-priced, romantic restaurant in dc to celebrate my 2 yr anniversary. my boyfriend is really into bistro-style cuisine (we're from montreal) and also italian. any suggestions?

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  1. For romantic, I like the Little Fountain Cafe in Adams Morgan. For French bistro-esque, Montmartre or Bis, both near Capitol Hill. For Italian, I like Tosca in Penn Quarter.

    9 Replies
    1. re: tennisgal1206

      il tiramisu in Dupont had good Italian food with a nice atmosphere.

      1. re: tennisgal1206

        Tosca is my favorite Italian place in D.C., and I've had excellent meals at Al Tiramisu. Both are pretty quiet (AT is darker/cozier, in my opinion). I'd say they are on the higher end of "moderately priced," though. Definitely not bistro-style.

        1. re: humblegourmand

          ^^I agree A.T. isn't really bistro style - but good italian food none the less. I've heard good things about Brassiere Beck (for Bistro) - but i've never been so I can't offer a review.

          1. re: beauxgoris

            Brasserie Beck has excellent food but I wouldn't necassarily call it romantic.

            1. re: Elyssa

              Agreed - Brasserie Beck is really good, but not romantic. It was really loud when I was there.

              What about Piccolo in Georgetown? I have also been to PapaRazzi, and it was moderately priced good Italian food.

              1. re: ALLex16

                Do not go to Paparazzi. It is terrible compared to the other great options in the city. If you are going to go for Italian in Georgetown you might as well go to Filomena.

                1. re: Elyssa

                  I have been to Filmomena, and I don't know if it was due to RW or not, but I had a terrible experience there. I would not recommend it to anyone. While what I ordered at Paparazzi was simple, I thought they had good bread and my meal was good.

                  1. re: ALLex16

                    I had an underwhelming RW experience at Filomena, too, but I don't think it had anything to do with RW, since the place was nearly empty on a Saturday afternoon. The tuna was soooo overcooked and I realized when I was eating it that I made the same dish a few nights beforehand, except with chicken instead of tuna. I'm not a braggart, but mine was much better and I don't think that says a lot, since I'm just an Italian 20-something who likes to cook and I'm presuming my Filomena meal was prepared by an actual chef. Bleh!

                    Anyway...back to the original post. What about Rosemary's Thyme Bistro in DuPont? I find it very cozy and romantic! And it's got a great happy hour menu:

                    Rosemary's Thyme Bistro
                    1801 18th St NW Ste 1, Washington, DC 20009

                    1. re: SouthShore

                      I was not at all impressed with food or atmosphere at Rosemary's I think I would go for French in DC, there are lots of good options that are romantic. Bistro Bis isn't exceedingly romantic, but it isn't bad.

                      Le Paradou has great french, but I don't know that is over the top romantic, as well.

                      I think certain seating areas of Bistro Francais can be romantic. Little Fountain Cafe, too.

                      Marcel's would be a better choice than it's brother Brasserie Beck for romantic and good food, but it isn't as moderately priced.

                      Spezie might not be bad if you really want Italian the new renovation isn't real romantic and warm, but isn't bad, but for that kind of atmosphere I really think you are better off with some of the French places in the city.

      2. For wonderful french bistro cuisine in a charming atmosphere my boyfriend and I always go to Bistro D'Oc. Their food is excellent and if you make a reservation beforehand, request a romantic table in the corner on the first floor. There is even a cute one near the window.

        Another non-Italian option might be Tabard Inn. A mix of American cuisine in a truly romantic and cozy atmosphere. Before or after dinner you can enjoy a cocktail in their lounge, beside the fire place.

        Al Tiramisu is a great idea for romantic Italian. Wouldn't necassarily call it bistro-style but the food is great and the atmosphere is romantic.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Elyssa

          What about Lavandou on Conn. ave?

        2. thanks for all the suggestions! i finally made a reservation at al tiramisu. their menu looks basic and delicious. now, if anyone can help me figure out what men want for anniversaries, i'll be all set.

          1 Reply
          1. re: crandland

            You could get him a GC for the grooming lounge for a hot lather shave or etc before he meats you for the big night out. I have heard from my best friend (male) that it is incredible and so relaxing, he goes often now. I guess it is the male version of mani/pedi and I imagine a smooth good looking man for you dinner at Al Tiramisu wouldn't be a bad thing.

          2. Tiramisu is romantic, teeny tiny, cozy and very Italian. Another choice very nearby, that is, in my view, even more romantic, and is definitely less expensive but every bit as correct (food, service and prettier, maybe more elegant) is Etrusco. Appeals to young and old, but is often overlooked (the sign is small, the name is an obscure reference to the original inhabitants of Tuscany evidently, and many people think--incorrectly--that it's Greek). In the past few weeks, I've eaten at 1789, Oyamel, Mourayo and Etrusco (and others not worth mentioning). As good as all are, the last is the real winner for me for quality and price. Happy anniversary!