great meal for special occasion, under 100$ per person
I'm looking for a great (memorable) meal in Washington for under 100$ per person (alcohol, tax, tip not included) to celebrate an engagement. Is there a good tasting menu in this range, or a notable restaurant?
No dietary restrictions or cuisine limitations, just looking for a restaurant with great food and a nice atmosphere. Anywhere in DC works since we'll be planning the evening around the restaurant.
You are asking for "a good tasting menu." Are you looking for a tasting menu? or a menu that is good tasting?
Several places come to mind at that price point within Washington DC proper:
Vidalia has a five course tasting menu for $85.
Komi has a tasting menu available, not sure of the price, but will seat parties of no more than four at a table.
Marcel's would also be memorable - and they have a range of prix-fixe menus (e.g. four courses for $75.)
Palena also has a range of prix-fixe menus (e.g. four courses plus dessert for $76.)
Even if you're looking for a menu that is good tasting, these four are all standouts in DC. Overall, Marcel's and Vidalia are plush; Palena and Komi fairly minimal on the decor and furnishings. The only one where I think service may falter would be Palena.
I think for the occasion you should got to Marcel's the food is very memorable, it is all tasting menu with lots of choices, very pretty inside.
Palena would be my second choice for this in your price range for atmosphere.
I haven't been to Komi, yet, but people seem to really enjoy it, I think the decor isn't quite as romantic, but I have heard the food is stellar.
I would skip on Vidalia, I don't think it is as good as it was, and certainly isn't memorable, of course I am southern so southern food has to be really good for it to be memorable for me, but the food there just has never wowed me and for the price they charge, it should be better.
Just went to Komi on Thursday night. It was fantastic. There must have been nine or ten mezzethakia courses (hors d'oeuvres, amuse bouche, appetizers or whatever else you want to call them), a pasta entree with sea urchin and lobster, a meat entree (spit-roasted goat for two - it was a lot for us) and three dessert courses. Had the five glass wine pairing. Sommelier was very, very good. They don't do a la carte, but have five or six choices of each main, and the mezzethakia are some of the most entertaining and delicious things I've ever put in my mouth. Highly, highly recommended. The wife and I absolutely loved it. You don't get any choice on the mezzethakia selections, and that's good, at least to me. Wide variety of some really unique things done with lobster, diver scallop, beef carpaccio, egg, and on and on. To have to select them individually would negate the tasting menu concept. I'd go back in a heartbeat.