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Simple Valentine's Day Dinner

I'm looking for a simple restaurant in DC where I can take my girlfriend for Valentine's Day. She doesn't like restaurants that are too fancy or exotic — she generally likes to stick to American or Mexican — but she does tend to enjoy most things with chicken.

I'm looking for something decently nice but not too expensive; I'd prefer not to spend more than $30 per person.

Thanks for your help!

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  1. I'm thinking Lauriol Plaza on 18th St.. Nice atmosphere for V-day and the right menu. Check it out http://www.lauriolplaza.com

    1 Reply
    1. re: HSBSteveM

      Lauriol Plaza is actually one of her favorite places, so good suggestion, but as we go there a lot, that probably is not an option. Thanks though!

    2. I was going to say Palena cafe for great chicken (Fiance has a chicken thing too), but their cafe will probably be a mob scene.

      Agraria used to have chicken which was up there with some of the best chicken he had ever had, but they change their menu often so it might not be the same chicken, we went back and the recipe had changed to a new seasons, and I forget what season our original recipe was from.

      Oyamel might fit the bill for Mexican and you can probably still get reservations there. Or Guajillo in Rosslyn.

      Central has great fried chicken, but it is probably more than you want to spend and not simple.

      I think Fiance also had chicken he loved at the Majestic... but again that might not be simple enough and might be pushing the budget.

      Rio Grande Cafe in Ballston has good TexMex.

      You didn't say what area you were in, there might be better Mexican closer to you...

      1 Reply
      1. re: ktmoomau

        I'm not looking for something strictly Mexican, it could be anything. I'm in Maryland and she's in DC. Neither of us owns a car though, so it needs to be Metro accessible. I'll check out those spots!

      2. How about Bistro D'Oc around Metro Center. The charming french bistro has a great roasted chicken as well as hanger steak, french onion soup, goat cheese salad, mussels etc at an affordable price. They also have daily specials which usually include a chicken or duck dish. It's romantic as well (if you make a reservation, request a table downstairs...I find it more intimate.)

        Other ideas would be Creme or Sette Osteria.

        At most of these places though you should know that entrees are around $20-$30 or slightly less. So if you don't get an appetizer, dessert, or drinks you can make it out of there for about $60/couple not counting tax or tip. Otherwise you are going to be a little hard pressed to find something "Valentine's Dayey" for only $30/person..unless of course you go to California Tortilla...which I would be perfectly happy if my bf treated me to a V-Day dinner there :)

        1. Chicken and waffles at Marvin - though you'd better make a reservation NOW. Not too exotic or fancy. You could get take out chicken from the yummy Chix on 11th and U, and bring it home with flowers for a romantic dinner in. Oyamel might be a bit too exotic as it's not strictly "Mexican." As I recall, Sette Osteria also has some chicken options on the menu, and that would be in the price range. If you are OK with loud and bustling, Bistrot du Coin does a decent roasted chicken.

          1. you may be somewhat out of luck at this late date...most good places fill up for V day early. You can get on open table and they have a special posting right on the home page for DC that shows what places are having special dinners and you can look to see what times they have left there. If you can find anyplace to your liking you might consider a gourmet picnic dinner in your home with some items from Dean and DeLuca or Balducci or Whole Foods....some candelight and nice cheeses and charcuterie and wine and some chocolate...what could be more romantic??

            1. Check Bistro Bistro DC in Dupont Circle at bistrobistrodc.com, they are having a special above your price range but its elegant and friendly.

              1. Don't worry - this is DC (+area) - there are plenty of options even @ this late date.
                I will recommend some NoVa places that is inside the beltway (Alexandria): Del Merei & Carlyle Grand for American. Bastille & Fontaine Caffe Creperie for Euro.

                All are within your budget & simple fare casual fare (which I like too).
                The foodies may disagree but thank allah we're not like them! LOL!

                Good luck & best wishes with transportation.

                ps - On a personal note I will say that V-Day is a very overrated cliche esp. @ a restaurant.
                I went with a new gf (at the time) last year in NYC & the entire restaurant had couples sitting uncomfortably close to each other doing the same thing.
                So try to think out of the box. Heck if they had a White Castle here I would take them up on their V-Day special event.

                1. Does it have to be dinner? I told my fella that I want to go to V-Day brunch instead. We'll fix something nice & cozy for the two of us to have for dinner at home and spend the intervening hours, erm, being sweethearts.