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Mar 10, 2008 04:47 PM

DC dining over easter weekend

I will be in DC, staying in the Dupont Circle area over easter. my dad is not a hugely adventurous eater, and doesn't like to spend too much money. He also is not big on long waits and really low lighting. I on the other hand love to discover new restaurants etc. any suggestions to meet both our needs?

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  1. non-adventurous and not a long wait? that can mean so many things...

    coupled with reasonable budget and good lighting...

    I'm not one to recommend Rosemary's or Tomate but given the parameters...


    1. If you can tell your dad to just be patient ... I really do love Pasta Mia. It's in Adams Morgan, close to Dupont.There is an inevitable wait. You have to wait in line at least 30 minutes before the restaurant opens, and then as long as you are a table of 4 or less, you are basically in. Their pasta is delish! It's literally a mom and pop restaurant. Antonia and Roberto are from Naples and although they are a bit serious, they are also really sweet people. Tortellini rosa is YUMMY (tomato/cream sauce!).

      PS: There is a wait for every good restaurant ... right?!

      1 Reply
      1. re: foodiechica

        if A-M is in the cards - La Fourchette is straightforward bistro (lighting not so good (as in wattage) and Diner is, well, what the name implies, except for some nice twists.

      2. Fiance never likes to wait in line so I always go to somewhere I can make reservations, especially for a holiday weekend.

        Firefly might not be bad, but the two seater tables can be very small, I would only go if I was promised a 4 top, which they might not want to do on Easter.

        Or Daily Grill? I know its a chain but it has some good stuff, isn't too pricey and is one of those everyone can find something to like places.

        You might also check out Sette Senso some of the entrees are a little pricey, but they have some good reasonable choices and all these you can make reservations for.

        Would you mind travelling outside the area?

        Also Tabard Inn comes to mind.

        Really low light bothers me too, it can give me a headache.

        6 Replies
        1. re: ktmoomau

          ktmoomau: I finally gave up after carrying my menu to the host counter at a place last year for the light (they thought I was coming over to complain) and bought a $10 pair of reading glasses at Safeway later (CVS has 'em too) I'm not getting any younger and now I look so gosh darn distinguished...

          1. re: hill food

            Oh no where did that happen? Yeah I can see just fine, but I find that sometimes the odd light especially if it is still light outside or something really gives me a headache, I also even with sunglasses normally get a headache if I drive in sunset, go figure. I think "dimming the lights" used to be a bigger thing than it used to be. I think they have now figured out how to do "warm" lighting.

            1. re: ktmoomau

              it was at a cetain place with the initial "Z" - fortunately we were seated near the front and a coupla months later my landlady (that just sounds pejorative doesn't it? but rentor sounds too cold and landlord confuses people, when in fact, she is a she) lent me hers at another place. funny, I really only need them when my contacts are in.

              contrast between print and paper and pt. size help as well (maybe more). </typography nut>

              1. re: hill food

                I think I know at which place you speak of I try to sit outside there, i.e. I go earlier or later at night in the summers which I knows sounds funny, but I have had a much better experience and it actually is lighter out there.

                I do need to go get my eyes checked I have always had perfect vision (and have had the light problem for eyons of time) but law school and legal work are not exactly healthy for ones eyes I am sure...

                My Mother hates to take out her reading glasses so she will just make me tell her what is on the menu, but she has gotten better now, she wears contacts too, and now has reading glasses all over (2 in purse, 3 at home, 3 at work, etc.). I think normal typeface on restaurant menus helps, nothing real skinny, and yes contrast!

                Oh and orig poster: Perhaps check out some soul food or southern food options that gives you something intresting, but something that is often very comfort foody for picky eaters. And tends to not be really expensive!

                1. re: ktmoomau

                  soul/southern - never a bad choice (but the greens do need peppery vinegar)

                  I'd sit outside there, but as a smoker I don't see the point anymore now that its banned there as well. and yeah, I'm on the verge of getting multiple pairs...sweet bird of youth.

                2. re: hill food

                  yes! need contrast and 12 point font!

          2. Consider Bistrot du Coin (but make a reservation to avoid the dreaded wait), Sette Osteria, Circa, Vapiano (if you don't mind the assembly line nature of the experience). If you can go a little farther afield (on the red line), Lavandou in Cleveland Park might be OK. I don't remember Ardeo being particular dim, either. All of these places are reasonably priced with options for the picky eater.

            1 Reply
            1. re: dcandohio

              we took a diverse group of vegetarians, Likudniks and non-adventurous friends (not all wrapped into one) to Ardeo a few years back, no complaints. I don't recall what I had, but I liked it (sorry for lack of info)

            2. How about Dino? It's Italian so your dad can be non-adventurous, and you can get out of there without spending a ton. It also has some more interesting items for you and a great wine selection. Don't know if you want brunch or not, but they are having it, plus their full menu all day.

              1 Reply
              1. re: DCLindsey

                Yeah I too have a lot of suggestion not in Dupont... but still didn't know if you wanted to go outside the area if so here are some suggestions of places that still have openings:

                Georgia's Brown's for Southern might be a good option. Although they sometimes have a little bit dimmer lighting, I don't think it is too bad, that I remember.

                If you travel outside the area: Brasserie Beck although it can be loud, the light is bright, food has a mix of adventurous and traditional and the prices aren't too bad especially because the portions are large.

                Agraria has good simple prepared food and some things aren't too bad price wise, and the lighting there is fine. It isn't like oh my gosh amazing, but they will have a really well prepared chicken or etc your father might like.

                Or perhaps Zola, there menu changes often but they typically have lots of safe options, and they have good lighting.

                But caveat none of these are in Dupont.