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Simple good food

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2cooks5eaters Jul 27, 2008 04:53 AM

We have guest coming for a weekend in August. They will be celebrating their anniversary during their stay. They like simple but good food. Any suggestions for a great place for an anniversary dinner that services patrons that like simple but exceptional food. They would not be comfortable at Eve, Citronelle, etc...HELP, please.

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    DCDOLL RE: 2cooks5eaters Jul 27, 2008 05:47 AM

    More information needed: Where? DC/NOVA, what? And what price range? Is it just the two of them or will there be kids? How are they willing to dress?

    1 Reply
    1. re: DCDOLL
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      2cooks5eaters RE: DCDOLL Jul 27, 2008 08:24 AM

      Willing to go in to DC, NOVA or MD if the food is good. The couple (in 60's) and their adult children and possible grandchildren. Dress casual. Nothing that requires a tie, but nothing that feels like we should be shirtless eiither. Thanks for the questions...it helps me narrow down what we are looking for.

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      Suemelk RE: 2cooks5eaters Jul 27, 2008 07:36 AM

      Rock Creek in Bethesda is nice. The atmosphere is serene and the food is good. Their theme is that the food is healthy but you wouldn't notice, its very tasty. I usually get the petite filet mingon, a salad and the chocolate cake. The bread and hummus they bring out at the beginning is delicious, it's hard not to fill up on that. They also have good drinks.

      1. ktmoomau RE: 2cooks5eaters Jul 27, 2008 08:08 AM

        If they could go to Arlington, I highly suggest Liberty Tavern, the menu has steak, pork chops, fish. The ingredients are simple, but really top quality. Fiance had an amazing steak dish the other night, my trout was excellent, and the ladies next door had chicken that looked so good, it was hard not to order an extra entree. But it isn't romantic or really special, did they want that too?

        If so perhaps Blue Duck Tavern is the place for them. The ingredients are pretty simple, roasted meats, sides. It isn't very romantic either, faux shaker furniture, modern floors, etc, but the food is very simple, in a good way. It is more special.

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          Steve RE: 2cooks5eaters Jul 27, 2008 09:24 AM

          Hmmm.... seems like this is the fifth day IN A ROW this request has come in.

          At Central, you can order all kinds of simple food executed with exceptional flair.

          Short ribs of beef, fried chicken, lamb shank. If they will eat pate at all, have them start with the duck rillettes and faux gras terrine, and if they have room, the banana split for dessert.

          8 Replies
          1. re: Steve
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            DCDOLL RE: Steve Jul 27, 2008 10:42 AM

            Central is incredibly expensive for what you get. And i don't think it would appeal to people in their 60s who want "simple" food (especially if it's a weekend and it's as noisy as usual in there).
            Maybe Tallula in Arlington; Lavandou in cleveland park has really nice french provencial food that is reasonable. Neither of those are very atmospheric however. They aren't bad, just not very 'anniversary-ish'.

            If you all are willing to dress a little (jackets required for men, but not ties) i would highly recommend 1789, especially now. They are having a summer special where you get 3 courses for $37 per person. That is a huge bargain at ANY DC restaurant, especially one of that caliber. It has a real classic ambience and they do special occasions like anniversaries incredibly well. It might also appeal to the age group of your guests (even though we are considerably younger than that, we love it....but the average clientele is somewhat older than us). Plus, i see alot of families in there celebrating special occasions. it' s in Georgetown near GU, has FREE valet parking (never anythign to take lightly around here). If you go on their website and register for their email list, you will get the $37 coupon via email (no limit to party size).
            I think your guests would be extremely impressed...we take most of our out of town company there because it's just so good. A real DC celebration classic.

            1. re: DCDOLL
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              MartyL RE: DCDOLL Jul 27, 2008 10:59 AM

              I agree that Central is not worth it. Definitely on a downhill slide. And Lavandou is terrible in recent years.

              If it's not too $$$, what about Palena (including the bar section for a less expensive meal, if you don't mind no reservations), or Corduroy. Both -- especially Frank Ruta at Palena -- are great at drawing out the deliciousness in basic ingredients, and in August, well, a place like Palena should be swoonworthy, and very approachable.

              1. re: MartyL
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                Steve RE: MartyL Jul 27, 2008 11:59 AM

                I'm surprised to hear about a downward slide at Central since there was one recent rave on Chowhound and the last three on DR are also raves.

                Agreed that Lavandou, which used to be tops for French fare in DC, is now plain awful.

                1. re: Steve
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                  Ericandblueboy RE: Steve Jul 28, 2008 07:07 AM

                  I wouldn't say Central is in decline or not worth the money. It is a very good French restaurant but the food's not simple. Maybe The Majestic in Alexandria?

                2. re: MartyL
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                  nc213 RE: MartyL Jul 27, 2008 04:42 PM

                  I'd second Corduroy and I'd throw in Ray's the Classics.
                  I have a similar problem when parents come to visit and both of the above work well for them.

                  1. re: nc213
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                    MartyL RE: nc213 Jul 27, 2008 09:19 PM

                    Yes, if they are partial to steak, then definitely RtC, too.

                3. re: DCDOLL
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                  2cooks5eaters RE: DCDOLL Jul 27, 2008 11:09 AM

                  You are a doll. I think the couple will really enjoy this experience. Thanks for the details.

                  1. re: DCDOLL
                    Meg RE: DCDOLL Jul 27, 2008 07:32 PM

                    DCDoll: "Classic" is a good word to describe the '89. I think it would be ideal, based on the given criteria, particularly with the current promotion. The food and service is superb, not froo-froo, not stuffy, but more old world.

                4. gatorfoodie RE: 2cooks5eaters Jul 27, 2008 06:53 PM

                  I'd recommend Cashion's in Adams Morgan. Really great, seasonal food and I'm sure they'd take great care of a special occasion.

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                    FoodieGrrl RE: 2cooks5eaters Jul 27, 2008 08:48 PM

                    How about one of the Great American Restaurants? I partial to Coastal Flats and Sweetwater Tavern myself, but Carlyle is great too. I think they do a good job with simple food, in a slightly more upscale style that doesn't break the bank. It's simple enough that people aren't usually put off by the descriptions, but interesting enough that your guests might feel like it's something a little bit special. Carlyle also has the advantage of being next to the GAR bakery, Best Buns, which is a nice place to stop and get a cookie or other sweet to take home for later.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: FoodieGrrl
                      Dennis S RE: FoodieGrrl Jul 28, 2008 11:16 AM

                      Second this rec, as well as the one for Cashion's. Would add Johnny's Half Shell, and Addie's to the list.

                      1. re: Dennis S
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                        2cooks5eaters RE: Dennis S Aug 18, 2008 01:13 PM

                        Thanks to everyone, but especially to the DCDoll. We decided to go to 1789. It was great experience with very good service and very good food. The waiter accidentally spilled a glass of champagne on one of our guest but quickly did his best to make the situation better. We laughed it off and enjoyed a complimentary bottle of their best champagne. We did utilize the $37.00 three course special with upcharges for some entrees. There were no complaints as we left the restaurant and that's a good sign to me.

                        1. re: 2cooks5eaters
                          Meg RE: 2cooks5eaters Sep 9, 2008 01:41 PM

                          Thanks for reporting back, and so glad that you enjoyed the 89.

                          I used to work for Clyde's Rest. Group (who owns the 89) and was always impressed that corporate management empowered all staff (busboys included) to do whatever is necessary to compensate for a negative dining experience...no questions asked. The same holds true for all of their restaurants, be it the '89, the Ebbitt, or any Clyde's.

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