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special d.c. dinner/brunch

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so i'm on my way up to d.c. in a couple of weeks and want to make reservations for a nice dinner (it's our 10 year anniversary) and brunch with friends. my partner is very unpretentious and doesn't tend to like trendy hot spots where you have to spend a lot of money only to be disappointed. we definetly appreciate a great meal where you just order what you want and not worry about money because you're enjoying everything so much. good food (especially dessert, i'm a pastry chef!) is what we're all about. anyone have any suggestions? any suggestions for a good used record store?

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  1. My top three: Komi, Palena (the back room), or even Mendocino Grill

    1. If you mean used CD's, try CD Cellar, Falls Church (709 W. Broad, www.cdcellar,net). They occasionally have used 33s. 703.534.6318.

      1. I had really great sticky toffee pudding and some other desserts at Tallula, but you could always do something like go to dinner in Georgetown (like Hook) and then go to the lounge at Citronelle for dessert?

        1. I'd recommend Tabard Inn for either meal. It's about as non-trendy as you can get (it's a very cozy inn, right in the city, with a fabulous lounge full of couches and a fireplace). Their dinner is very good, but their brunch is very well known. Definitely get reservations.

          Also non-trendy would be 1789, an old DC institution that still serves excellent food. Part of it is very old-fashioned in decor, part is not, so do request a table downstairs for ambiance.

          1 Reply
          1. re: katecm

            I 2nd Tabard Inn for either brunch or dinner.

          2. And for brunch Bistro Bis has a great brunch, as well as, Tabard Inn and Poste.

            1. you can go to the clarendon section of arlington, eat at sette bello, and wander down a block or so on wilson blvd. to a big used record store that is (finally) going out of business.

              1 Reply
              1. re: alkapal

                as an aside, sb also has plenty of outdoor seating on a nice wide patio off of the main drag, so it is quieter.

                and for all of you who were around georgetown u. in the '80s, this record store is run by the same guy that had the place and moved to arlington when a lot of the rents were really bumping up there on m street. "orpheus," i recall.

              2. there is an article in today's weekend section of The Wash Post about used record stores. Best desserts in DC, in my opinion, are at Vidalia, dinner is also one of my favorites in town. Go to The Tabard Inn for brunch, especially if the weather is nice, the patio is wonderful.