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Jun 4, 2008 07:53 AM

Help for a west coaster, dinner in DC on Friday

So the males in my family take a trip to a ballpark every summer (seen about 90% but they keep building new ones.) We need a dinner spot on Friday night. Dad wants to go to Legal Seafoods. I'm O.K. with Legal, but we're not at Fenway so it seems a little wrong.

Is there a decent reasonably priced local institution type place that I could suggest as an alternative? Even the ones you might dismiss as touristy are O.K. 'cause we're tourists.

Also, I'm a beer snob. I'll be hitting Brickskeller and RFD at some point in the weekend. Been to Capital City on several business trips but I'll probably skip it this time. Any places that I should make the effort to visit?

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  1. For beer you should check out Brasserie Beck. The food is great (my favorite mussells and frites in the city) and the Belgian beer list is quite extensive. A fun place for dinner or lunch.

    Don't go to Legals. I'm from Boston and love Legal's and think the quality is great but don't go if you are in DC.

    If you are looking for a great seafood restaurant I would check out Hook in Georgetown. It's all seafood though, so if you have any non-fish eaters along for the ride this might not be the best choice.

    2 pretty touristy but decent enough places are Old Ebbit Grill (across from the White House and therefore historical and fun) or Clyde's (various locations including Gallery Place/Chinatown and Georgetown).

    Some place completly different that you might enjoy is Acadiana. Good food with a Souther/Cajun lean, affordable and probably something you can't easily get on the West Coast.

    1. J Paul's in Georgetown is a DC institution. Not sure how good their beer selection is.

      It's also next to Clyde's so you can check both places out. If you really want to be a tourist and could care less about the quality of food, you can go to Sequoia's in Washington Harbor for a great view of Potomac River. Also pop in Mie 'n Yu on M St. for a drink and interesting decor.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Ericandblueboy

        Is J Paul's good? It's been more then 5 years since I've dined there. I had decent oysters last time around but a disappointing steak. Is it at the level of Clydes (which I find pretty good, for a local chain..especially the Gtown and Gallery Place location.) I pass by J Pauls all the time but never stop in so I'm wondering...

        1. re: Elyssa

          I would only recommend it to out of towners looking for a DC institutiion. I didn't say I would eat there myself, nor would I suggest that you go there. The focus there is on a fun atmosphere and people watching.

      2. How about Martin's Tavern in Georgetown? Its where JFK proposed to Jackie, and its got a good assortment of food and atmostphere.

        1 Reply
        1. re: DCLindsey

          Thanks for the tips so far all. Food is fairly important but I kind of like to get a local experience whenever possilbe.

          The beer thing is really me personally, not the group dinner. Looking for local or Eastern craft beer that isn't always available to me. Last time I was at the Brick I made my way through their selection of Heavyweight Brewing (R.I.P.) selections. Good Times! If there's a good tap house is always worth killing a few hours.

        2. If Dad wants legal as an alternative I would second the suggestions for Hook, or also suggest Kinkeads which is very DC, and serves good, old school seafood in an upscale environment. I don't know that either are reasonable per se I guess, but you can probably find a menu online, they I think are a little bit more for an entree than legal, but I don't think by more than a couple dollars.

          I also second Brasserie Beck. It does have an amazing list, it isn't local, but for a beer snob it is a one of a kind destination, they have a beer sommelier who was knighted in Belgium.

          1. If you're looking for someplace near the new stadium, I'd suggest Belga Cafe. It has great, french-belgian bistro fare and a fastastic selection of belgian beers. It's very local - I have never noticed any tourists in there.