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Nov 24, 2008 05:05 PM

Christmas dinner in Washington??

Folks, am going to be in Washington, DC, for 24th and 25th of December, on business, unable to get home. Any suggestions on where to get meals those evenings? I will assume hotel restos will be open, but if so, which ones should my husband and I target? Is Clydes open, at the very least? Help for the holidays!

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  1. I plugged a table for two at 5:00 p.m. into the Open Table Search and turned up a list of 26 open restaurants on December 25. From this list, I'd particularly recommend Blue Duck Tavern or Corduroy. You'll have a delicious meal and a great experience at either of these places. You can search this board for lots of comments and reviews of these two restaurants.

    1. My old stand by for Christmas is the Old Angler's Inn. They will have a prix fixe menu at about $60.00 per person. The food is very good and service impeccible with no hassle for parking. If the day is sunny, it's very nice to take a hike on the C&O canal trail and watch the Potomac over Great Falls on the MD side. It's one of those places where you can forget about not being home on Christmas and just enjoy the day and the view.

      5 Replies
      1. re: ditsyquoin

        Appreciate the advice, but not sure we will have a car to travel, so would prefer anywhere in DC. As for Open Table search, how reliable is that?

        1. re: elliottl

          If you're asking if the reservation you make via the internet gets into their system and is honored, the answer is "yes." If you're asking something else, please clarify.

          1. re: Indy 67

            what i meant, Indy67, was would the open table system generally be a reliable source to identify which restos are open on Dec. 25.

            1. re: elliottl

              Yes and no. If Open Table online shows availability, you can be certain availability exists. Follow the simple steps online and you've got a definite, real reservation. However, that's not the whole story.

              Some restaurants do not use the Open Table system. Generally, such restaurants are smaller, ethnic restaurants, yet that type of restaurant is precisely the type that tends to be open on Christmas Eve/Day. Unfortunately, looking at Open Table will give you no insight into their availability. If that's the sort of restaurant you want, your only recourse would be to know the name/phone number of the restaurant and call with your question.

              There's one final wrinkle about Open Table availability. OT restaurants don't allow online patrons to book all their tables; every OT restaurant blocks out some tables that can be reserved via phone. If Open Table shows no availability at a specific time, there may, in fact, still be a table that will be offered to phone-in customers.

              Since you seem to have no experience with Open Table I'll add that it is not a parallel reservation system along with the restaurant's real/private reservation system. Reservations made by an employee via phone are entered into the same system an online diner would accesses through the Open Table web site. When a patron reserves a table online, he/she is actually in the restaurant's only reservation system. I believe there's a single letter code associated with a reservation made via Open Table, but otherwise it is transparent to the restaurant whether the reservation came in via phone or computer.

              1. re: Indy 67

                Open Table actually allows the restaurant to book whatever they like. Some restaurants will not put all their tables into the system and some will. Especially for weekends, I try to put all my tables into Open Table. If the book fills well, then I have little flexibility to add. On a slowe night, I can play around more.

                But even if you do put all your tables into the system, as an evening books up there may be circumstances that allow the additions of more tables. For example if we get reservations indicating that the party needs to be finished at a certain time, we may be able to add another table to the reservation book.

                Also with open table, you have to assign a time for each table. So if someone tried to book a 6:30 reservation and all I have is 7:15, I can usually move the later reservation earlier. So do call if you time is not available.

      2. I'd recommend Filomena's in Georgetown. They deck the place out in holiday decor including a huge tree in the middle of the dining room. It's sure to get you in the holiday spirit and the food is pretty good too. Not sure they are open Christmas Day, but I've been there on Christmas Eve.

        1. As Indy has found, I think more and more are open. As I posted for someone else on the T-Day openings, many ethnic places are open on the holidays, and I had a run of X-mas meals with my mom at different places. Peruvian one year, Mexican the next. I think there were three, but those are the two that stand out most.

          1. I second Blue Duck Tavern, they have excellent what I think of as very classic american, interesting meats well roasted or braised, great goat-cheese grits. That would be my pick.