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What is your favorite DC foodie restaurant?

Being relatively new to the area and having two small children has greatly limited my husband and I's ability to dine out. We've being to Obelisk twice and loved it. What should our next stop be? Cost and cuisine aren't an issue. Something in the same vein as Obelisk where food is always the focus and the wine list is decent. I've searched the board and found 20 or so odd restaurants that seem to be popular answers to the "I only have 3 days in DC...where should I eat?" question. I'd just rather go somewhere that is almost always spot on for cooking since our alone time for meals is limited. If you could mention whether the restaurant is upscale/business casual or dressy (ie. jacket) attire, I'd appreciate it. Thanks!

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  1. CityZen, Palena, or Citronelle. All on the dressy side. Not sure if Citronelle requires jackets (but I would). The others do not.

    1. KOMI. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. Just go. Now.

      My wife and I ate at The Inn at Little Washington a few weeks ago (I still owe the board a review), and while the experience was magical, and with all due respect earned and deserved ten thousand times over to IALW, the food at Komi is sublime.

      1 Reply
      1. re: GyroBall

        I second KOMI. It is upscale/business casual and expensive but worth it. Delicious and interesting cuisine.

      2. I think the first thing we would really need to know in answering this question is what do you mean by a "foodie restaurant". The replies I have seen, gives me the indication that we are talking about more upscale "foodie" restaurants. But...for me, most of the foodie restaurants are not upscale. My favorites for DC..."If I only have 3 days in DC...where should I eat"....(1) Ben's Chili Bowl, (2) Florida Avenue Grill, and (3) 2 Amy's. Outside of DC, in Northern VA or Suburban MD....there are a lot more. My favorites are: (1) Mark's Duck House in Falls Church, (2) Four Sisters in Falls Church/Fairfax, (3) Urban BBQ in Rockville, Maryland, and (4) Bombay Bistro in Fairfax, Virginia. I hope that helps.

        1. Not DC, but in Old Town Alexandria you should definitely go to Restaurant Eve.

          1. Not only is Komi my favorite in DC. It likely holds first place as my favorite anywhere.
            French Laundry, Babbo, Jean George, Manresa, etc etc.

            1. Another vote for Komi. It's alot of good food (15+ tastings) at a moderate price ($105). We've done Minibar, CityZen, tasting menu at Citronelle and Eve all within the last 4 months. The best in this city is Komi. We haven't tried Adour though.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Ericandblueboy

                I have tried Adour. Very disappointing. Not in the same class with the others. Having the chef in the kitchen (not just in the advertsing) makes all the difference.

                1. re: Dakota Guy

                  I had dinner at Adour this week and thought that it was terrific. I thought it hit the mark on all points: service, decor AND food. I admit that it's been a while since I've been to Komi, but I thought it was lacking in ambience, though I remember the food being very good. My dessert at Adour, which was a custard with ice cream on top wrapped in varies candied fruits and a candied rose petal, was outstanding--a delightful explosion of flavors and textures in every bit. Just terrific.

                  I'm particularly fond of CityZen and Marcel's. Like another poster, I also love Dino, even though I've had a couple of off meals there, because it's overall a place that loves food and it shows. That's a true foodie place. I think Rasika is also very good and I like Oyamel, both for less expensive but still foodie outings.

                  1. re: indcgirl

                    I disagree with Oyamel. That places is wildly inconsistent and at best it's just an average restaurant. What's sad is that DC doesn't have a top notch Mexican restaurant.

              2. I can't say enough about Dino in Cleveland Park...You will find authentic Italian dishes that you won't find anywhere else. Great use of local farms, great cheeses and great wines. Dino does it right.

                3 Replies
                1. re: MacArthur Mike

                  Another vote for Komi. We went for New Year's Eve last year and were absolutely blown away. On a night when most restaurants "dumb" their menus down for Amateurs looking for a special occasion, Komi totally stepped up to the plate.

                  1. re: MacArthur Mike

                    Dino's has a great food but should not be confused with or associated with the level of dining at Citronelle, Komi, Cityzen, etc.

                    1. re: Dakota Guy

                      I shold hope not. The average cost per diner, including wine, at Dino is $42.00 per person, perhaps 1/3 or less of those other restaurants.

                      Dean Gold, Owner, Dino

                  2. Thank you for the replies. Our next stop will definitely be Komi. It sounds amazing.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: britney2581

                      Le Paradou for the 11 course tasting menu. Cityzen. Marcel's. 2941.

                    2. I have found these places to be "always spot on" : Corduroy, Marcels, Citronelle & Ristorante Tosca. I would add Komi... but I have only been once so I can't say "always".

                      1. If you're interested in bringing your children, I found Dino to be very family-friendly, with menu options for children that doesn't include chicken tenders (if memory serves me correctly). Pesce in Dupont can also be family-friendly, though I have not been there in awhile. Out in Del Ray, I enjoyed dining at Del Merei Grille with my little one. These all are non-dressy.

                        If you are just looking for a party for two, then I would probably add Vidalia & Proof to the list of faves already mentioned.


                          1. Palena and Komi would be at the top of my list. I have also seriously enjoyed meals at Tosca in the past, but have not been in 2-3 years. Anyone been recently?

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Pool Boy

                              I did the pre-theater option recently. I can't remember what we had but we said we'd be eager to return. Very smooth service.

                              1. re: Pool Boy

                                Last week, Tosca was still excellent.

                              2. General Trends I've noticed on this board

                                Expense account/Very Special occassion restaurants - Minibar, Komi, Obelisk, Tosca, Central/Citronelle, Cityzen, Eatbar, Marcel's, 2941, Sushi Taro, Matuba, Palena, Inn @ Little Washington - a lot of these will also generate an "over-rated" label given the $$$

                                Tier 2 - Payday/Impress a date eating - Tabard Inn, Blue Duck, Kinkead's, Dino's, Belga, Rasika, Jaleo, Spezie, Vidalia,

                                Tier 3 - feeling the recession but don't want to cook either - Etete, Dukem, Greek Deli, Ben's Chili Bowl, Sichuan Village, Bob's 88, Mark's Duck House, 2 Amy's, Lebanese Butcher, Myanmar, Ray's the Steaks, Ray's Hell Burger, Mid-City Deli(? the one in NE with the great pastrami sandwiches)

                                The place to be - Oya, Zaytinya, Coco Sala, Poste, Brasserie Beck, BLT, Source, Asia 9, Asian Spice, Zola, PS7, Zengo?

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: WestIndianArchie

                                  You should probably bump Central down to Tier 2. It's not nearly as pricey or as delicious as some of the others in the expense account category.