DC for Valentine's Day
My boyfriend and I are going to DC for Valentine's Day. We'll be there for three days and would love some recommendations for lunch or dinner. Moderately priced, maybe something a little nicer for Vday.
We've been to DC a couple of times, so we are pretty familiar with the city. Since we’ll be going to different spots (Georgetown, Fed Triangle, Alexandria) location isn’t that important but being accessible by Metro is preferred.
We love Spanish/Hispanic types of food (tapas (lunch), Mexican, Brazilian, Columbian), Italian and American. Were going to try Old Ebbit Grill but not sure now…
We are mid-twenties so any recommendations for getting a drink at night would be great. We aren’t club goers so a casual bar would be best for us. Was thinking of trying RFD Washington?
For good "cocktails" over beer, go to PS7s...great bartenders. even better happy hour 'til 7.
Fados isn't bad. Just be forewarned that if you're going to drink lightly, and use a credit/debit card, they put a $40 preautorized hold on your account WITHOUT telling you (I found out the hard way, for 1 beer!). So just to let you know that.
if you're looking for a nice place for VDay dinner, Jaleo would be fun. So would Cafe St. Ex.
as one sox to the other I have two recommendations although they may be hard to come by for V Day. Both are in Chinatown which is also stacked with great places to drink - first for mexican would be Oyamel. Really fantastic and the best margaritas in town. Second is latin but is somewhat fancier - Cafe Atlantico. The food there is really amazing and creative. There is a 3rd option - Jaleo which is a Spainish tapas place also in Chinatown. Now all three are owned by the same person (our own celebrity chef Jose Andres) but they are all pretty different. As for drinks in Chinatown I like cocktails as Rasika or for just a decent beer in a low key place I would second the advice to go to Fado's.
Outside of Chinatown if you are looking to go out for a beer there are a million places in Dupont/Midtown area that you can bounce around. Some of them lean towards a just out of college vibe (Front Page, Sign of the Whale, Porters) some are a bit more low key (Big Hunt). Hope you have a great time in DC!
I would second Cafe Atlantico for Vday. Food is great, if you get there early you can do the pre-theatre menu, and its a lovely setting. I've had nothing but perfect service and unlike many of the other resturants in the area, you can hear what the person next to you is saying. They also have wonderful rum cocktails.
The bars around Penn Quarter don't have a cluby feel. I think you will feel comfortable and not have to sacrifice interesting beverage choices. If its after a Wizard or Caps game, every "casual" bar will feel like a zoo. Between Fado and RFD, I would choose Fado for atmosphere and RFD for beer selection.
My favorite tapas place is Zaytinga, which is more Turkish/Mediterranean but Jaleo and Cafe Atlantico are also very good. For a nice dinner, I would try Hook in Georgetown. It is new and absolutely wonderful if you like fish. For good Italian, I like Famoso in Chevy Chase and Etrusco in Dupont.
The Big Hunt is one of my favorite bars in DC because it is so low key and has a fairly decent beer selection on tap. For cocktails, I would go to Oya or Poste.
For drinks, it depends on how lively and how civilized, but we go to the bar at Wolfgang Puck's "The Source" at 6th and Penn. But there are dozens of places.
For dinner, with a classy, romantic atmosphere, I recommend Ceiba, which is Nuevo Latino. http://www.ceibarestaurant.com
I don't mind RFD during the day, but I feel like it is run amuck with i-wish-i-were-still-in-college boys at night (I'm 25, but I'm just over that whole scene). Its not a bad place to hang out if you want to watch a game or grab some food, but I don't think it would be the best place for a "Valentines weekend." It is definately casual. Unfortunately I don't think I have any good suggestions for alternates. I guess Fados (irish pub). It is a chill place but is less sports bar. It on the same block as RFD, so if you go and don't like it you could check out Fados. If I think of anything I will repost. I live in Baltimore now and I tend to find that out of towners I bring back to the city (especially Baltimore ones) don't like DCs casual scene.
Sorry that is not much help. As far as Mexican, people on this board hate Lauriol Plaza, but I love it. It might make a good lunch place.