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Apr 18, 2008 06:58 AM

Recs for trendy, fun dinner in DC?

Hi. I know this is a repetitive post, but we have family coming into town for one day, this Saturday from Philly and they want to go out to a trendy, fun atmosphere, people-watching, good-place-for drinks kind of place. Food isn't the main focus atmosphere and location is (although I want yummy food!).

Most don't eat seafood - so all seafood-heavy restaurants are out. Also, we need to find a place that can accomodate 3 couples for tomorrow night. If you have any suggestions please let me know. Thanks Chowhound friends!

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    1. re: filth

      no reservations available tomorrow night. maybe I will call again tonight or tomorrow morning.

    2. It really depends on the area where you'll be, but off the top of my head, I feel like the Penn Quarter area would be your best bet, in terms of a "fun atmosphere" and such... I would suggest:

      - Jaleo: Spanish tapas, fun atmosphere, and if you order a bunch of different tapas between the 3 couples, everyone can get what they like and share. I've actually only been to the Bethesda Jaleo so I can't attest to the food at this one in PQ, but I think you'd be able to get a good mix of food that everyone will enjoy.

      - Rosa Mexicano: Mexican, always a pretty loud/fun atmosphere (in my opinion). This is a chain (at least I know there's one in NYC) so maybe not the best option if your family has already been.

      - Oya: Asian-French fusion type food, very trendy-looking, and even though they do serve sushi, they have a variety of other options on their menu. I went there for a girls' night and the food was good, not great, in my opinion, but the atmosphere might be what you're looking for.

      - Zaytinya: Always loud, always crowded, always lots of people-watching. Mediterranean mezze- so like Jaleo, you can all get small plates to share or for yourself.

      That's all I can think of now, I'm sure other CHers will have more - enjoy your night whereever you decide on!

      1 Reply
      1. re: gyozagirl

        This is agood list. I waold also add Zengo, also in Penn Quarter. Trendy and great for people watch.... also really good food.

      2. I think Mie N Yu in Georgetown would be the best for atmosphere. I've taken family from out of town there multiple times and they've loved it because it is so unique! They also have a pretty extensive cocktail list and all the ones that I've tried have been tasty. There has been some debate on the boards over the quality of the food there, but I've always had excellent meals and great service when I've been there.

        1. I vote Zaytinya, especially if you can get tables outside, but that may be hard...

          It has a great scene for people watching, the food is good and you are in a good area for going out after too, if you like.

          1. You will want to check out reservations ASAP but I would suggest Proof, Central, Oya, Marvin, or Jaleo. All are trendy with fun atmosphere and good food and in location where you can go grab drinks afterward.

            Also I've been hearing good things about Cork, but I don't think they take reservations.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Elyssa

              Seems as though all the trendy restaurants are booked for Saturday, unless we want a 10:30 dinner reservation :( So... I think we're either going to keep trying to get reservations for Zaytinya, Zengo, Proof or something in Arlington (we would go to Oya, but just went there 2 weeks ago) .... Thanks guys!

              1. re: Elyssa

                I would scratch out Marvin's and Central. Marvin's rooftop is fun but their bar area in the dining room is nothing special. Central, you go for the food, not the drinks.

                Another place would PS7. They have great cocktails, a fun scene and the food is pretty good here. It's a fresh take on American food, so there are definitely a lot of non-fish options.

                1. re: Jacey

                  We actually ended up at Rosa Mexicano at 9pm and there was a two hour wait! We ate at the bar, and the guac bowl was excellent... but our entrees were bleeeehhhhhh.... :(