30th birthday dinner recommendation
going to dinner for my 30th this week with close friends (just 6 of us total). I'd love a really nice dining experience with great food in a nice but not stuffy environment. a few options on the table that i'd love feedback on:
Blue Duck (I've been before and think it's lovely but doesn't blow my mind - thoughts?)
Restaurant Eve (never been and heard it's great?)
Ceiba (more fun and festive although slightly less amazing food than others in this list, right?)
Komi (is it outrageously expensive and worth it?)
Is there a budget you are working with because from my experience Restaurant Eve is pretty pricey. And while I've never been to Komi I think it is on the higher end as well (also if you are looking to go this week and don't already have a reservation for Komi you might be out of luck.)
I personally really liked Blue Duck Tavern, especially if everyone in the group enjoys meat---their duck, veal, etc is their strong point. It doesn't have the most festive atmosphere though.
How about Central? The food is great, the atmosphere is upbeat and its far from stuffy.
I also held my bf's 30th birthday part at Cafe Atlantico and we had a great meal, with excellent service and yummy, yummy drinks.
Restaurant Eve ties for one of my favorite restuarants in this area (my other favorite is Obelisk). I am always blown away by the food, drink, and service when I am there. I really like Blue Duck as well, but I would put it on a level slightly below Eve, although Blue Duck's braised beef short ribs definitely rival the best I've had.
I also second Elyssa's recommendation of Central if your looking for something a little less formal and more of a bistro feel.
Haven't been to either Ceiba or Komi, but Komi is next on list to try - everyone I've talked to has definitely said it was worth it.
Is this the type of meal you'd only have once every ten years? If so, mabye the Inn at Little Washington is for you because it's more than just a meal. You drive out there, stay at a B&B (not at the actual IALW) and enjoy the food in a relaxed setting.
Don't want to go out of town and still want something extravagant? Try Citronelle's tasting menu (the most expensive meal in DC), Komi's tasting menu (small bites of every sort, from raw fish to roasted goat ), or the Minibar (wonderfully weird and fun). Eve is a great restaurant with great execution but not as unique as the other restaurants mentioned (Eve's cooking is like comfort food compared to the others).
I think Komi won't take reservations for more than 4 (who knows whether it's "worth it", but I'm glad I got to go). Likewise, trying to get Minibar reservations for 6 seems unlikely (Restaurant Eve would be hard enough on short notice). I don't think Cityzen is too stuffy (if that fits your budget and you can get a reservation there)
I think I'd pick Oyamel over Ceiba for "fun and festive" but it might not be as nice as you're looking for.
I think before you make a decision where to go it's important to realize that this is YOUR 30th birthday not your friends. They may not want (or don't have) to spend that kind of money on dinner. It's different if you're going out with a significant other, but to expect your friends to pay such high prices on your special day (and they probably cover your cost too because that often happens at b-day dinners), not their day, can be a little rude unless you normally go out to very expensive restaurants or have already discussed prices (or if you plan to cover everyones' dinner).