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Process of elimination: DC

I will be visiting the DC area in late October and have made of list of places that look interesting after having perused the board and other sources. The list:
Komi (pretty much a definite, reserved)
CityZen
BlackSalt
Ray's the Steaks
Palena
Two Amy's
Eammons
Cafe Atlantico (brunch)
Tabard Inn (brunch)
Unfortunately, time and stomach capacity constraints will prevent me from being able to try them all. Which two would you eliminate?

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  1. You'll be able to get to seven of those places? Wow!

    Great choices. I'd eliminate Eammons and Tabard Inn. If you need a brunch fill-in, go for Black Salt then, and add some oysters or something to your meal.

    1. I would eliminate Tabard Inn (for brunch go to Bistro Bis. Unless you want something totally different then stick to Cafe Atlantico). I would also eliminate Eammon's, unless you seriously have a thing for fried candy bars (among other things). Still the other places are more worth it. (I should mention I haven't been to a few on your list...but they are on my list of "must try soon."

      1. I'd eliminate Tabard Inn (nice place for tea and apps, but the food is just meh) and Two Amys, unless you want to enjoy your Neapolitan pizza in an authentic nursery atmosphere.

        1. I'd eliminate Two Amy's and Eammons. The former is uninspired and a freaking amusement park. The latter is not at all good; don't understand all the praise it receives. If you want serious fish and chips go to LA Bar and Grill on Columbia Pike. Total dive, but delicious.

          1. I have to agree about eliminating the Tabard Inn -- the best thing about it is the nice outdoor patio in the back -- at the end of October that might not be an option. I would also eliminate Two Amy's -- unless your hometown is absolutely devoid of good pizza. If so, I'd prefer Pizzeria Paradiso -- excellent pizza without the KinderCare atmosphere.

            1. Well I guess my answer depends on where you are from. I would eliminate Tabard Inn. If you are in an area that doesn't have good steak keep Ray's and although I think it is the best steak in Washington that we have if you live somewhere you can get good non-chain steaks, or even some chain place steaks you may want to leave it out say Chicago or etc. If you are from someplace that has great pizza, especially neopolitan style, leave it out, or if you live in an area that has good fish and chips options on the Eastern seaboard perhaps leave that out. So what do you have in your area?

              If you don't have good pizza, good steak or good fish and chips, I would vote out 2Amy's because I think it is easier to find good pizza in a lot of other places. I love Eammons atmosphere and I think Old Town is a lot of fun, and if you can grab a drink at the owners other establishments Eve or PX then it makes the whole time even better. And I think Ray's steak is better than most chain places, but if you can find a place that uses good local not big slaughterhouse animals you can get a steak that rivals Rays.

              1. OK. Thank you for your replies. It seems Tabard Inn is out. I will be coming from Minneapolis, where there is good Neapolitan pizza, believe it or not. Also many good steak places. But I do love steak, and Ray's seems interesting in not just a food sort of way. What I really miss is seafood. Thus Eammons. If I had to eliminate one from either CityZen, BlackSalt or Palena, which should it be? Also, should I rather go to a sushi place, such as Kotobuki or Sushi-Ko?

                7 Replies
                1. re: MrSlippery

                  Of those three, I would eliminate BlackSalt. I generally find the Black restaurant group to be good but not great.

                  1. re: Doh

                    2nd. definitely keep CityZen and Palena. Also, I would add Restaurant Eve over Palena

                    1. re: MarcDC

                      I agree. I absolutley love Restaurant Eve, but I was disappointed when I went to Palena (I found the food inconsistent - some things were great and other were just eh...).

                      1. re: dcfoodie13

                        I disagree. I LOVE Restaurant Eve (and would put it on my list. Maybe you can go to their Lickety Split Lunch). But Palena is consistently delicious, regardless if you go to the fancier back room or the more casual front cafe. Incredible food and service.

                        1. re: Elyssa

                          If you do try the Lickety Split lunch at Eve, it's easier to get seating earlier in the week and show up around 11:30 to get in quickly. Otherwise, be prepared to wait for seating to open up. Great bargain, but very popular. Great if you have the time to spend in case you miss first call.

                          1. re: weezycom

                            Can you eat at the bar at Restaurant Eve? Does it have a special bar menu or can you order off the regular menu. Also, is the tasting menu only available in the "Tasting Room"? I checked out their web site but it was a little unclear.

                            1. re: MrSlippery

                              Yes you can. They offer their entire regular menu at the bar and they also have a much cheaper bar menu (it's not online) of smaller snack-like appetizers.

                              And, yes the tasting menu is only available in the tasting room. The other room, the bistro, offers an ala carte menu. Both are the same excellent quality, it really just depends on how many courses you want.

                2. Definitely keep Rays the Steaks on the list, it's the best steak I've ever had, and such an unpretentious atmosphere (no decor to speak of, and every meal comes with a free side of creamed spinach and mash potatoes). They almost exclusively do steaks, and they do them well (there may have been a chicken dish on the menu, but I didn't see it). Just remember the reservation policy (or lack thereof) is a bit tricky- they actually don't take reservations over the phone, they just open up a walk-in list around 4 every afternoon and you stop by to pick a time. Two pieces of advise; 1) if you're stuck with a wait when you arrive at your designated time, head to Guajillo next door for sangria at the bar, and 2) do not miss their crab bisque. Have fun!