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Apr 24, 2008 12:43 PM

Restaurants near Metro Center

My husband and I will be staying at the Marriott across the street from the National Press Club in a few weekends and we are looking for fine dining in the area that would come highly recommended by you experts.

We have made reservations at a place called Chef Geoffs. Is this a good choice in your opinion? Other recommendations? Thanks.

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  1. I wouldn't really call Chef Geoff's fine fining. Nor would I go there with a lot of other choices in the area.

    Do you have a price range? A particular type of cuisine that you like?

    My 2 favorite restaurants in that area are Bistro D'Oc for excellent french bistro cuisine at affordable prices and Butterfield 9 which has a great seasonal menu.

    You are not to far away from Central either which is one of the hottest restaurants in the city right now.

    You aren't that far away from a lot of the best restaurants in the area, so if you are willing to walk a little or hop on the metro to Gallery Place Chinatown or Dupont Circle let us know and we can give you even more suggestions.

    11 Replies
    1. re: Elyssa

      Money is no object. We want the best meal we can get in hopefully a non stuffy setting where we can relax and be ourselves. I love french food especially, but I also like creative cuisine using organic and a seasonal menu. We actually don't want a heavy meal so serving portions don't have to be huge. We would prefer to be within walking distance of the hotel - no hassel evening. I actually work in DC and get to Gallery Place alot for lunch. I used to live in Dupont Circle and LOVED IT. Getting back to the old stomping grounds for a fine meal may be something to think about. What would you recommend in Dupont? And between Central, Bistro D'Oc and Butterfield 9 which would you recommend? Thanks very much for your reply!

      1. re: nyawira

        Considering what you are looking for I would recommend Bistro D'Oc. It's quaint and romantic, the food is delicious. Besides the menu online, there are always daily specials that they bring over to you on a big board. It's a laid back place and you certainly don't need to get dressed up. Some of my favorites are the french onion soup (or any soup really...they are all great), the escargot, the duck confit (or the regular duck) and the steak frites. The profitorols for dessert are delicious and filling.

        In terms of Butterfield 9, I really love the food. I think its consistently great and they change the menu seasonally which is great. It's not necassarily casual though. Still very good.

        Central probably isn't what you are looking for. Very hussle, bussle type of restaurant. While the food is out of this world, and it most certainly could never describe the meal I had there light. If creativity is your top concern though, you can't go wrong with a Michel Richard restaurant. On the other hand you will have a whole lot easier time getting a reservation at Bistro D'Oc or Butterfield 9. One option would be to get a night cap at Central's bar.

        1. re: Elyssa

          I just made reservations to Butterfield 9. I couldn't get anything for Central, though - I have eaten at his restaurant in Georgetown although it was many years ago. I'm a little torn as to whether I should go with the french bistro you recommend. If you had to pick either of them strictly on the basis of the food which would you pick? Thanks for letting me pick your brain and I love the idea of a night cap at Central's bar.

          1. re: nyawira

            Tough call. But since the focus is on the food and you are looking for fine dining I would stick with your Butterfield 9 reservation. I've had many wonderful meals at both. But I just checked out B9's most recent menu and it looks great. The risottos look great (I had a delicious one last fall with okra. I couldn't get enough).

            Enjoy and make sure to report back.

            Btw, if you are in town for a few days I would certainly try Bistro D'Oc over Chef Geoff's. It's much better food and atmosphere and around the same price.

            1. re: Elyssa

              Butterfield 9 it is, then. I look forward to trying Bistro D'Oc another time. I appreciate the recommendation. I'll make sure to report back. Cheers.

            2. re: nyawira

              Another idea of a night cap is the Round Robin bar at the Willard, which is just across the street from your hotel. It's a very nice bar in an awfully nice hotel.

              1. re: FlaHopper

                That's another great idea. My bf and I have done that date before actually---dinner at Butterfield 9 and a drink at the Round Robin. Very classic DC bar with great traditional drinks.

                1. re: FlaHopper

                  We will definitely do that! So, check in to hotel, eat at Butterfield 9, have a drink at the Wiillard, party at the National Press Club on back to the hotel. Sounds like I'm in for a fun evening. I appreciate all your help folks. I live in Baltimore, so now I know where to go when I need to find a nice restaurant. Cheers.

            3. re: nyawira

              Central is easily the best restaurant in the area and only a couple blocks from the Marriott. Now if money is no object, you should consider Michel RIchard's flagship restaurant Citronelle in Georgetown. Central is his new venture, and its great, but Citronelle is something else entirely.

              1. re: nyawira

                Butterfield 9 will bore you. The food is decent but so are a lot of places in DC. Go to a place with more character. PS7 might be fun for you. The new chef is focusing on smaller plates. Coppi's on U St. (need to metro or cab) is an organic Italian restaurant, but pizza, their speciality, can be heavy sometimes.

              2. I agree that Chef Geoff's is not fine dining, but it is a good restaurant, so you should keep your reservations. Another nice joint near your hotel, which is more high end, is Oceanaire on F Street. Otherwise, Central and Ten Penh (which are next door to each other) are also excellent choices.

                8 Replies
                1. re: FlaHopper

                  Ten Penh is also a good option for consistantly good Asian-fusion cuisine. They have a good duck dish that I have enjoyed in the past.

                  1. re: Elyssa

                    Ten Penh looks YUMMY. I love Asian Fusion cuisine...but for this night, we're looking for something more....I don't know....traditional fine dining experience, preferably french but not necessary. Plus, I would have to order for my husband since he doesn't do ethnic very often and I want this evening to be something we both feel totally comfortable with.

                  2. re: FlaHopper

                    What if it was between Chef Geoff's and Butterfield 9. Which would you choose. And what is it about Chef Geoff's that you like. Thanks.

                    1. re: nyawira

                      Chef Geoff's and Butterfield 9 are very different restaurants. Chef Geoff's is a reasonably priced restaurant that consistently serves a qualify American menu. Butterfield 9 also serves an American menu, but it is decidedly a high end restaurant. If you're looking for a nice restaurant to grab lunch or a dinner, that's Chef Geoff's. If you're looking to spend a bit of money in an upscale restaurant, that's Butterfield 9. The better comparison then is between Butterfield 9 and Central. And between those, I prefer Central, which serves both American, French and some of the best desserts I've had in D.C.

                      1. re: FlaHopper

                        Yes, but I tried to see if I could get reservations at Central and they're booked for the range of time we would like to eat.

                        1. re: nyawira

                          Don't get me wrong, you will certainly have a nice meal at Butterfield 9. I was just using Central as an example of a more apt comparison to Butterfield 9 than Chef Geoff's.

                          1. re: FlaHopper

                            I understand. I appreciate your replies! I could only get reservations for Butterfield 9 for 6:30 - I would have preferred 7:00 or 7:30. And at Central all they had at Open Table was 5:30 which is way too early and 9:30 which is way too late.

                            1. re: nyawira

                              I would call Butterfield 9 to see if they have anything available later. almost never lists all the reservations available for a restaurant.

                  3. You can also try Le Paradou. It's very good. Very Nouveau French though. if not, I would recommend City Zen...expensive, but ridiculously good.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Couture Cupcakes

                      I highly second Le Paradou, and Equinox isn't a really far walk away it might be a good option,as well, but I haven't been there, but there are lots of reviews on here.

                      I loved Le Paradou, and really like French food, the servings weren't huge, and preparations were excellent and it felt really relaxing in a high end way.

                      1. re: ktmoomau

                        If you are willing to walk a little bit Equinox is an excellent choice. It's one of my favorite fine dining spots in the city. Chef Grey puts a lot of thought into his dishes and uses all seasonal, local ingrediants.

                    2. I would also throw Ceiba into the mix particularly for a drink - they have a great bar area

                      1. I would strongly second the CityZen rec. While it's not right around the corner, it's easy to get from place to place in the city, and I'm not sure why you'd want to limit your options, especially if money is no object. If you're looking for a special meal, you will be extremely disappointed with Chef Geoff's, and probably Butterfield 9 and Bistro D'Oc as well. They're nothing special, just located close to your hotel. For seasonal, creative food, the best the city has to offer, I can't see why you wouldn't go to CityZen.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Jason1

                          I just don't feel like taking the metro or a taxi in this city this night. I work in DC and come down a fair bit from Baltimore (I used to live in Dupont) so it's not like this is my only opportunity to see the best the city has to offer. I just want an easy evening at the best restaurant within an easy walk. It sounds like this is Butterfield 9. I thought about Le Paradou, but I've seen only poor reviews, so I'm hesitant.

                          1. re: nyawira

                            I ate at Le Paradou for NY EVE and it was excellent. Much less bland than Butterfield 9 in my opinion. It is pricey, but worth it. If you like highly executed french cuisine I think you will like it. A lot of people go for their $30 lunch deal, too. Maybe others can comment on any more recent expereince?

                            1. re: nyawira

                              Chef Geoff's is inconsistent and just not a great special occasion place. I really like it for happy hour ($5 bacon cheeseburgers that are first rate) but I think the main dishes are hit or miss. It's good, it's just not amazing. I have not been to Butterfield 9, but I think it sounds more what you're looking for. Another recommendation might be Tosca?