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Four dinners your pick

meinNYC Nov 17, 2008 07:08 PM

We are coming to DC for 4 days of sightseeing around Christmas. We are a family of 4 with kids 20-24, staying at the Sofitel. Suggest your favorite 4 restaurants in the downtown area, make
one seafood, one Italian, one new American and one wild card ( no Indian, Chinese, Thai
due to a nut allergy of one family member). Keep the price reasonable, by that I mean between 50 and 70 per person before tip. We're from NYC and used to upscale food. Because of the tree nut allergy need restaurants with kitchens that cook from scratch and know their ingredients.
Thanks all.

  1. a
    anchor Nov 19, 2008 08:52 AM

    Cafe du Parc at the Willard for well-executed French bistro fare within walking distance of the White House and Christmas tree, the bar at Palena for dinner after a chilly but fun walk through the zoo (get hot coco and see the ape house), Pesce for fish and walking around Dupont, Monmarte on Capitol Hill after a tour of Congress, the Library of Congress and the Supreme Court. If you ask your Congressman/woman now, you can get set up for a special Capitol hill tour.

    7 Replies
    1. re: anchor
      meinNYC Nov 21, 2008 06:35 PM

      Thanks all have made reservations at Central,Tosca and DC Coast (though still pondering Kinkead's.) KOMI sound great, but at over $105 per person is too steep in these economic times. Any comments on Fogo de Chao? We never did Brazilian and this may be the time to do it. Chinese food with a nut allergy is definitely a no-no. (The woks are never cleaned enough between dishes and the sauces are suspect) Equinox if not Fogo de Chao.

      1. re: meinNYC
        hill food Nov 21, 2008 06:37 PM

        if you choose Fogo - go with an extremely healthy appetite (what's Portugese for Basta?)

        1. re: meinNYC
          mselectra Nov 22, 2008 11:46 AM

          It's not really for me to say, but as someone who reads this board a lot, I don't think DC Coast actually gets much praise, just fyi, not that it gets much criticism either. I wonder if Hook would be better for you -- I didn't love it, myself, but I don't love seafood and thought it was much too loud; seems like it might actually suit your group, the way you describe yourselves, plus would get you to Georgetown. just for what it's worth.

          1. re: mselectra
            meinNYC Nov 22, 2008 07:32 PM

            Okay folks, let's hash out the DC Coast choice. I thought it was a board favorite. Is it going to be loud? Will the fish be boring and not fresh? Is Kinkead's that much better? We will stick to the fish rule and not eat seafood on Sunday or Monday (figuring the last delivery came Friday). I need a controlled eating environment. Refuse to scream my order to the waiter. Please advise.

            1. re: meinNYC
              Ericandblueboy Nov 23, 2008 08:04 AM

              DC Coast is a good restaurant with moderate prices. A blend of cuisines but nothing executed at the very highest level. Kinkead's is old school (which you might consider boring) and more expensive. Take a look at their menus and your preference should be quite clear to yourself.

              1. re: meinNYC
                hill food Nov 23, 2008 10:32 AM

                I had dinner at DC Coast a while back, a bit loud, but it was prime time on a popular night (I think it was close to a holiday) but then again we were a table of 8 so conversation would have been hard no matter the setting.

                nice room. food quite good, but not terrifically memorable.

            2. re: meinNYC
              DCDOLL Nov 23, 2008 12:46 PM

              You really should put Obelisk on your list; it's a 5 course prix fixe n. italian menu, best in DC. 3 or so choces per course, home-made everything and quality that is unsurpassed. it's 70pp during the week. it's small, intimate, and all about the food.

          2. e
            Ericandblueboy Nov 19, 2008 06:51 AM

            Authentic chinese cooking usually doesn't contain any nuts. You can have a great meal at Full Kee in Chinatown and it'll only cost less than $100 for the entire family. Try the dungeness crab or lobster with ginger scallioin (the lobster requires less work). Order off the chef's specials. If you really love seafood, also order the steamed flounder with ginger & scallion (the flavor is completely different from the stirred-fried lobster/crab) or flounder filet (less work).


            Take the money you saved and splurge for a meal at Komi (15+ dishes of fabulous food). This is a restaurant that you can't find in NYC.

            As for Italian, Teatro Goldoni is supposed to rival if not best Tosca. If you don't do Komi, you can spend the extra money here at the chef's table.

            Seafood is DC isn't all that exciting. As for new American, Central is as good as any place. Another possibility is Blue Duck Tavern.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Ericandblueboy
              hill food Nov 19, 2008 08:56 PM

              mmm Full Kee. an excuse to leave the neighborhood.

              1. re: Ericandblueboy
                lawhound Nov 20, 2008 05:25 AM

                I have found Teatro Goldoni to be so expensive that the quality/price tradeoff just doesn't work. Tosca, mentioned above, is almost as expensive but significantly higher quality.

                1. re: lawhound
                  keithdcil Nov 20, 2008 09:28 AM

                  absolutely agree, lawhound. I try to stear visiting clients away from TG all the time. I think the hotel concierges keep it full.

                  1. re: keithdcil
                    Ericandblueboy Nov 20, 2008 09:47 AM

                    Years ago Teatro Goldoni was a lame restaurant. Have you been back since Enzo Fargione took over the kitchen in April? I haven't but I've heard good things are happening. Would love to see a recent review.

              2. ktmoomau Nov 18, 2008 05:44 PM

                Italian: Tosca
                New American: Palena or Central (kind of french/italian, but really just American in my view)
                Seafood: Hank's if you want more casual or Blacksalt, I think Blacksalt would be a little more impressive, Hank's is good, but not something you couldn't find elsewhere.
                Wildcard: Zengo, Zaytinya or The source

                1. a
                  anunez Nov 18, 2008 12:08 PM

                  Seafood I would go Pesce in Dupont for more low key atomphere or Hanks for something more upscale, Italian Tosca is incredible high end but for fun red sauce there is Luigis. New American hands down you have to do Central and wild card I would go Cafe Atlantico for Latin (or Oyamel for that matter). Hope you have fun!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: anunez
                    chicken kabob Nov 18, 2008 12:46 PM

                    *Tacklebox in Georgetown would be good for a seafood lunch, however- lOVED their sides of beets & grilled portobellos and as a bonus Georgetown Cupcake is around the corner.
                    3)Wild Card- Founding Farmers or Central
                    4)NOT New American but just American- Matchbox- esp. for excellent mini burgers w/ crispy onions.

                  2. k
                    keithdcil Nov 18, 2008 11:22 AM

                    Seafood - Hanks Oyster Bar; Italian - Ristorante Tosca (may be a bit above budget ); New American - Corduroy; Wild Card - Zengo (modern mexican)or Zatinya(modern mezze)

                    1. m
                      michellerb Nov 18, 2008 09:45 AM

                      Equinox for new american, Tuscana West for Italian, DC Coast or Ceiba for seafood (great ceviche and latin food) or Old Ebbitt Grill right down the street from Sofitel a DC classic and good oyster bar, Zaytinya is great too for Mezze

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: michellerb
                        katecm Nov 18, 2008 10:58 AM

                        Oh my gosh, do NOT go to Tuscana West. I swear to you that every person in there will be wearing a fanny pack and carrying a map. Do NOT waste your time or money.

                        1. re: katecm
                          Elyssa Nov 18, 2008 11:22 AM

                          Hahaha..this is actually the very first time in my 6+ years in DC that I've ever heard anyone recommend Tuscana West. I've wondered about it for years.

                          1. re: Elyssa
                            michellerb Nov 18, 2008 12:09 PM

                            i work nearby and go there often for lunch - i never noticed much of a tourist crowd, perhaps it's my timing

                      2. e
                        Elyssa Nov 18, 2008 08:31 AM

                        Equinox for new American, Dino for Italian, Hook for seafood, and my wild card would be PS7 or Central.

                        1. k
                          katecm Nov 18, 2008 07:05 AM

                          Italian, Tosca. Seafood, Hank's Oyster Bar (Kinkead's if you want to be more upscale). New American, Central (American/French) or Corduroy. Wild Card? Zaytinya could be fun if you want to order a feast of mezze, or maybe Zola, which is worth seeing at least. Or, again, Central or Corduroy.

                          1. d
                            dcfoodie13 Nov 18, 2008 05:20 AM

                            In that price range, I'd recommend PS7s, Equinox, Creme, and Central. I've had excellent meals at all.

                            Also, if there's a night you don't want to venture too far, I had a great lunch at Ici Urban Bistro in the Sofitel and I'm assuming their dinner menu would be good as well.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: dcfoodie13
                              pgwiz1 Nov 18, 2008 06:03 AM

                              Al Tiramisu - Italian (P & 21, Dupont Circle), Zengo - Latin & Japanese Fusion (Chinatown area), Occidental (American), Sakana - Sushi.

                            2. hill food Nov 18, 2008 02:02 AM

                              Kaz, Zaytinva, Equinox, oh and yes Central!

                              Wait, I meant to post a joke...

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