Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >
Nov 10, 2008 06:27 AM

Birthday Rec's needed: Chameleon Cafe vs. Clementine

I am looking for a rec on birthday dinner for four of us gals. I've been dying to try Chameleon Cafe but have been reading nice things about Clementine too. I wanted to try something over in Hamilton/Lauraville and while price point is important I want the food to be memorable as well as fun atmosphere.....

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. If you haven't been to Chameleon, you should go there first. IMHO.

    1. Chameleon, definitely--neither has a shred of atmosphers, however, altho i like talking with the cooks at Chameleon as i walk in and out.

      1. Agreed. While I love Clementine, I'm not sure it's the right spot for a birthday dinner with the girls.

        1. Having been many times to both you really can't go wrong with either one for food. Atmo is definitely more casual at Clementine, and they don't have a liquor license yet (this can be either a plus or a minus, depending on your pt of view/how much booze you need to carry). You will need a reservation for either for a weekend night.

            1. re: hawaiigrl2003

              One question for a group choosing between these two: how loud are you? Chameleon is semi formal and quiet, Clementine is very informal considering the quality of the food, and also louder.
              I was in Clementine tonight, my first dinner there. Quality was uneven, but it is ambitious and imaginative. The best was a Chinese duck and sausage hotpot, served in an authentic clay pot with chopsticks, but Western in seasoning. A flavorful family farm porkchop, undercooked as requested, had a fennel and veggie sauce. I love good pork, that tastes of piggy.
              But the duck livers in the duck pate had been overcooked, and the hot pot had been kept on an oven too long.
              I think Chameleon is a safer bet, a place to take older relatives or someone you want a job from. their food is always good, and the place is a pleasure. Go with a date to Clementine to show him/ her what fun you are, or bring a couple of bottles of wine and a few old friends.

              1. re: crowsonguy

                Thanks for the feedback everyone. I am actually now thinking about some place else - I am not encouraged about what I've been reading on Clementine. And I think Chameleon is too quiet for a dinner with my girlfriends.....

                1. re: tennisgal1206

                  You are probably right! Go somewhere FUN!!

                  1. re: hawaiigrl2003

                    I'd recommend Iggie's - great pizza, casual atmosphere with no worries about being noisy, BYOB with no corkage fee. Also, though, no reservations, and it can get crowded at peak hours.

                    We're probably taking my parents to Chameleon for my dad's 65th birthday - probable more sedate than your crowd, although we can get a bit... rambunctious.