Low-brow dinner and drinks tomorrow
I've recently had a birthday (27) and will be going out to dinner with the girlfriend tomorrow night to celebrate, and then will be joined by 10-15 friends for drinks. We are not foodies, but do enjoy good food. Does anyone have any suggestions for Arlington, Dupont Circle or Chinatown? (no Adams Morgan please)...
Food: We're simple people. No haute cuisine, no foie gras, nothing fancy. Places we like include Matchbox, Bebo, Ray's the Steaks, Clyde's, Old Ebbitt, Zengo (about as far as we go on the fancy-meter).
Drinks: Laid back, bar not club, no cover, no pretension. We like Fado, Buffalo Billiards, Rocket Bar, Ragtime.
Thanks all...I know this is an unusual request in a sea of French bistros and wine bars, but we are simple folk.
So, dinner with the girlfriend and then drinks with the friends?
Hmmm...I would suggest maybe trying the U Street area. There are lots of great, low key places to grab some food. Creme is very good for jazzed-up soul food, like shrimp and grits and roasted chicken. The entrees are below the $20 mark. Coppi's Organic does great pizza and St. Ex is a great place to grab food and meet friends for drinks later. Solly's is in that area for another bar alternative. It's a great, low-key bar.
As far as the Arlington area goes, have you tried Liberty Tavern? I really like their food. You should be able to find a menu online. It gets very crowded on the weekend, so you might want to make a reservation for dinner. And then you can always go downstairs for drinks with your friends later.
In Arlington I would go with either Eleventh St Lounge which does both good food and drinks and is more of a lounge with a bar feel def not club feel or Eat Bar (beside Tallula) which has great food and drinks and is bar bar, although I think they play movies on some Saturday nights so you might check their website to see if you like the flick. The movie doesn't really take away from the bar scene it is kinda just something else to do if you are facing the right way, but it may make it a little louder.
What about going up to Cleveland park and winging it?? You could make dinner res w/ your girlfriend, perhaps at Lavandou (really nice french provencal food, laid back atmosphere, reasonable $) or Ardeo or Dino (american& italian respectively) and then meet the buds at one of the 2 irish pubs up there (they are right across the street from each other and right near Lavandou on CT ave) or go to CP Bar & Grill or a couple of new spots there i haven't even tried. CP is really a great area since you can metro right there and eat a huge variety of food and party in a nice variety of bars. It's 2 stops from dupont on the red line so should be close to your 'dupont' suggestion.