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Good In DC For A Casual Date?

I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions for good places in DC (not NoVa or MD) for a casual date? Would love to find a laid back place that's not too expensive, with a good atmosphere for fostering conversation. And of course, good food is a must! We've done the nice dinner circuit for the first few dates, but that simply gets too expensive.

Also, as this might be a good option, any suggestions on great bar food? Sometimes a beer and a burger just hits the spot.

Thanks for any suggestions!

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  1. just went to Oyamel on 6th street which was wonderful. Nice atmosphere, great service and food. It's a tapas place.

    1 Reply
    1. Some date spots in the moderate price range that I've always enjoyed are Bistro Du Coin, Grill from Impanema (went here on my first date with my bf so perhaps it holds a special place in my heart), Creme, Busboys and Poets (for atmosphere and conversation around art, books, music etc. The food is decent enough...the catfish in particular is pretty good), Sette Osteria, Sonoma, and Regent Thai.

      6 Replies
      1. re: Elyssa

        Elyssa!
        Quick question... I had heard that the Grill from Ipanema had closed (which would be devastating as I am nostalgic about Brazilian food)... but haven't been up to check!
        Do you know anything about this?

        1. re: food.fiend

          Oh how sad! I actually don't know. I use to live in Adams Morgan but moved about a year ago and really don't get back to the area that often so I haven't noticed.

          That would be very sad since it was more or less the first "real" date (not just drinks but a real date date) spot with my bf. The food was good enough but I always really liked their drinks and out door seating, perfect for people watching.

          1. re: Elyssa

            Oh! That IS sad... well, if it **is** closed. more investigations needed!
            :o)

          2. re: food.fiend

            I just called their phone # and everything seems normal. At least no message of closing down but perhaps someone in the neighborhood knows otherwise.

          3. re: Elyssa

            Btw I meant Bistro D'Oc instead of Bistro du Coin. I find Bistro du Coin to be a little loud for an actual date. Especially if you are still getting to know each other. On the other hand, Bistro D'Oc is perfect! :)

            1. re: Elyssa

              I was just about to disagree with Elyssa for like the first time ever --- but she is right, BDC is totally not a date place for those reasons. I recommend Nooshi. Great food & drinks, fun atmosphere, very reasonable prices, and if you want to class up the date a little more after that, you can always head to Ozio around the corner.

              Bar food: I loooove Mackey's burgers. Half-priced burger night is Monday, and they also used to do a $3 Killian's special all night. I think they just got rid of that, but maybe they've replaced it with another beer. Either way, a spot on Mackey's patio on warm burger night is gloooooooorious.

          4. You might try the new Black Squirrel in Adams Morgan. I meant to post on the Black Squirrel thread that we loved it. We didn't have the burgers, but they sound really good (one is stuffed with brie and wrapped in bacon!), and it's another place with lots of (Belgian, especially) beer. It's pretty small, casual feel but seems to have a serious chef; they were really nice, I liked the music....

            1. I agree with a lot of the recommendations, but want to add a few, like Matchbox, 2 Amy's, Heritage India and Pizzeria Paradiso. Also, my husband and I are big fans of going to nice restaurants and ordering off the bar menu. Good options for that include 701 and Palena.

              2 Replies
              1. re: katecm

                Ditto for the bar menu at Palena. Terrific atmsophere, amazing "bar" food and reasonable prices, considering. Also a block away I would recommend Dino. Lots of options for small plates and not breaking the bank. Would suggest sitting at the bar, or at a two top across from the bar. Great "date" ambiance. Oh and Sunday's and Monday's are Wine Madness nights. A third off all bottles over $50. A great opportunity to enjoy something from Dean's impressive list that you wouldn't otherwise splurge on.

                1. re: katecm

                  Just a note: Matchbox gets l-o-u-d, so possibly not great for one of the first dates, like Bistro du Coin (as referenced above).

                2. Thanks for all the suggestions! I now feel like I have a list of places to try.

                  BTW, complete side note, but I had just wandered across this site, and it has been great.