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Wine bars, tapas, small plates DC, Alexandria

Heading there for a conference this weekend -- being put up in a Westin Alexandria (Courthouse Square). Prefer close to a Metro stop, but will take a taxi if the place is truly great.
I'm coming from L.A., so I prefer interesting Old World wine lists, fresh ingredient food, and a fun, friendly, on the casual side atmosphere, since I might be going solo.
Thanks in advance.

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  1. Eat Bar the bar at Tallula has a great wine list, small plates, even two biters, casual and interesting food.

    Grand Cru in Ballston is kind of hard to find it is a little hidden but it is a wine bar with some small plates. Their entrees were good, I wasn't a huge fan of their cheese plate or charcuterie, but they had lots of other small plates.

    Eleventh St. Lounge doesn't have a huge wine list, but casual good food with some nice wines and good cocktails and lots of small plates, as well.

    There is a Jaleo which has tapas at Crystal City and is metro accessible, but a little further away and you have to change lines.

    1. I know where you are-let me help you with some recs:
      1. La Tasca (great wine and tapas-you can walk down it's on King Street)
      2. Rustico (great wine and good/fresh/sustainable ingredients-but you would need a rental car)
      3.Las Tapas (small plate tapas-you can walk down it's on King Street)

      How many days-do you want any other recs for food?

      6 Replies
      1. re: Smiles2008

        I second Las Tapas - my boyfriend and I were there a few weeks ago, it was a fantastic evening.

        1. re: Smiles2008

          Just 3 days -- thank you! I'm also open to going into the city. I have researched Cork, Vinoteca, Veritas, Proof -- what do you think? I may do another post for those.

          1. re: goodvintage

            Also, really quickly the Jamieson Grill in the Westin is nice-a little overpriced. They have an arugula dish, which is very good. Plus dessert shot glasses! My favorite was the cheese cake.

            1. re: goodvintage

              we are wine bar fanatics too and Veritas is really great...small though...so arrive early. only has wine, cheese & charcuterie but a gazillion choices by glass or half glass and kept at the right temp. Proof is great too but it's a madhouse most days esp weekends. Cork & Vinoteca get good reviews though haven't been yet. Both crowded too. A couple off the radar, both in Cleveland Park (metro stop right there): Dino's and Bardeo. Dino's is great, tiny little bar with wonderful italian BTG selections. OK food but Chris the bartender is the best. Bardeo is my least fave but the atmosphere is good. Some good BTG choices but they leave them sitting out where they all get warm (the reds i mean).
              I second the rec for Talulla if you want a laid back casual setting with good wine selection. But make sure you do make it at least to Veritas; you are in dupont circle with a metro stop and a gazillion really good restaurants for your post drinking pleasure. Oh yeah Urbana at the Palomar in Dupont has a decent but not fantastic wine bar.

              1. re: goodvintage

                Yes, Evening Star is also great...next to a wine shop and a nearby cheese shop. But, this is also not metro accessible. Should be ok for a lone setting.

            2. I cant believe no one has said mini- bar. Jose Andres place is one of the coolest small plates places in the country. It is also perfect if you are solo, because like its name implies, it is only bar seating. Absolutely worth the cab ride!

              1 Reply
              1. re: max5513

                Also almost impossible to get into if it is this weekend, but maybe for a solo they might have an opening...

                Proof you would want a reservation for probably as it is really popular, although there might not be reservations. It is pricey, but good. Zaytinya across the street for Proof has small plates too, but I am not sure about their wine list.

              2. The perfect place for what you seek is Cork (see other DC Chow threads on it). Unfortunately, the location might be an issue since the closest metro stop is U Street on the Green line. Still, it may be worth taking a cab as long as you call ahead or go early enough to get a spot at the bar.

                1. Me Jana on Arlington Blvd near the courthouse metro has good small plates and an interesting wine list. http://www.me-jana.com/