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Simple good food

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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  1. 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

      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.

    2. 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. 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.

        1. 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

            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

              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

                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

                  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

                  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

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

                3. re: DCDOLL

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

                  1. re: DCDOLL

                    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. 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.