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DC Weekend Getaway

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My boyfriend and I (from NYC) will be there this weekend to check out the museums and just hang out. We need some recommendations for restaurants. We are staying at the Westin hotel on Embassey Row, 2100 Mass Ave, NW. Any great places for breackfast/brunch near by? Would hate to eat at the hotel. We'll be at the museums during the day. Any good lunch spots? Finally, after museums, we're hoping to go to 1 fine dining place for a romantic meal-- but we're big foodies so ambiance can take a back seat to a memorable delicious meal. We don't want to have to drive too far since I assume DC, like any other large city has lots of great restaurants. The other night, we'd like to do something a little more casual and fun atmosphere. Would love to hear any suggestions from you! Thanks!

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  1. tons of things around the American Art/Portrait Gallery (and my current fave museum) just search Penn Quarter on this board. not too much directly off the mall unless you're on the North side near 6 or 7.

    Mass and 21 has places but others are surely better informed. Kostas on 19 between L&M for lunch - my favorite gyro. ever. Piraeus on 21 also between L&M has H+H bagels (but no lox).

    1. Because this is your first Chowhound post, please post more information so we can give you better focused suggestions for the memorable & romantic dinner. Just like NYC, some of the better places are already booked.

      Your hotel is very well situated to walk to the Dupont Circle Metro. On Sunday morning you'll walk through the Dupont Farmers' Market to get to the station:
      Buy fruit, bread/pastry & cheese for breakfast or buy makings for lunch to take and eat picnic style on the Mall or by the Tidal Basin if the weather's good. The subway system here is fairly clean, but it's because [fair warning] there are significant fines for eating/drinking on the trains.

      You're a couple of blocks south of Teaism. Check menu for breakfast and lunch options

      Last week, the wine column in the Wall Street Journal highlighted wine bars in DC. You're near Urbana one of the wine bars featured in the article. There's also a map of all the locations noted. I've enjoyed Proof [across from the National Portrait Gallery] and have heard good things about Sonoma [Capitol Hill]:
      Artcle: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB12078...
      Map: http://online.wsj.com/public/resource...

      The highlight foodie Mall lunch is Mitsitam Café in the National Museum of the American Indian: http://www.nmai.si.edu/subpage.cfm?su...

      Art Museum-wise, your hotel is actually across the street from the Phillips Collection: http://www.phillipscollection.org/

      1. More Dupont places, for breakfast or snacks Kramerbooks cafe is usually good. So is Luna grill and diner. For lunch sombody mentioned a greek place, I like Zorba's in Dupont. For someplace cool, Brickskellar is a saloon that has literally every beer imaginable. I think they had the guiness record at some point.

        Luna Grill & Diner
        1301 Connecticut Ave NW Frnt 1, Washington, DC 20036

        Kramerbooks & Afterwords
        1517 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036

        Zorba's Cafe
        1612 20th St NW, Washington, DC 20009

        1523 22nd St NW, Washington, DC 20037

        1. Mitsitam in the american indian museum for a wonderful, unique lunch (food from the americas). For a wonderful dinner try Obelisk, in dupont circle area (2121 P street), 5 course prix fixe n. italian meal; small dining room, 65pp. check the past posts on it (mostly mine!)

          1. Breakfast - Teaism
            Lunch near Am.Art/Portrait Gallery (a must) - Matchbox
            Fine Dinner - Citronelle
            Casual/Fun Dinner near Dupont Circle - Firefly

            1. Near the museums in Gallery Place Chinatown (Spy Museum, Portrait Gallery, not too far from Mall) there is Zaytinya, which I like on nice days when I can eat outside on their patio, they have good Mediterranean tapas. Other people have mentioned other good places in that area.

              If you want something closer to the mall the Newseum has a great Wolfgang Puck cafe inside, also not too far is Tenpenh which has good fish, it is Asian fusion. For lunch I really like their spicy calamari salad. I have a personal love for the pizza and burgers at Matchbox, but as NYers you might not like the pizza style. Chinatown express also has good noodles.

              If you are near the White House at lunch Breadline is a great sandwich shop at Pennsylvannia and almost 19th (in between 18th and 19th).

              Central is really excellent without breaking the bank, if you can get a reservation I would highly suggest it, I feel like it is the best food at that price point in the city. Hook is another good alternative for you second dinner. If those are not casual enough for you perhaps Hank's Oyster Bar would fit the bill.

              For high end I would urge you to go to Marcel's it so far is my favorite spot in Washington, it is French, and their online menu is normally pretty close to what they actually have. Even their lobster bisque/ lobster salad was above my expectations, I didn't have a single dish I picked at that meal that let me down. If you wanted even more of a splurge I would suggest CityZen.

              2 Replies
              1. re: ktmoomau

                Breadline is a fun, unique slice of Washington suggestion, but they're currently only open Monday - Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. I think the OP is only here for the weekend.

                1. re: Lydia R

                  Oh yeah I always forget about that, yeah that area is pretty much a wasteland on weekends for lunch. A lot of places don't open for weekend lunch, that is so odd to me.

              2. The Lounge at Citronelle is a great place for memorable food, especially since you don't already have a reservation somewhere. Downstairs is Citronelle, where diners dress formally and order multi-course menus. Upstairs in the Lounge, you order a la carte from an abbreviated list, no reservations necessary. You will be mightily pleased. Go for the mushroom cigars, the tuna napoleon, soups are usually a highlight. And definitely go for dessert.

                For more casual and fun, go for tapas by acclaimed chef Jose Andres. Jaleo for Spanish, or Zaytinya for pan-Hellenic inspired small plates. Hint: go for the vegetables at either one, hightlighted by the patatas bravas and spinach with raisins at Jaleo or the apricot-carrot fritters at Zaytinya.