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Need help with dinner!

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My wife and I would like to celebrate each other at a nice dinner in DC. Actually we would be happier to be in Virginia. We want to try something new and have been to the following nice places:

2941
Palena
Obelisk
Marcels
Bastille
1789
Rasika
many others...sorry can't recall right now.

Currently, we have a reservation for Blue Duck Tavern, but some of the reviews are not great. Very mixed. What we are looking for is great food and a nice environment. We don't drink and would like the bill to not be more than $100-110 or so total. So, any more than $30 for an entree is out. We like French, Italian, Seafood, Indian ....we do not eat red meat.

Thanks so much in advance for any recs!

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  1. My friend celebrated her 40th bday at Blue Duck last weekend and their reaction was just so-so, not spectacular. So if I were you, I too would be looking elsewhere. How far west are you willing to go in VA? The new Passion Fish recently opened in Reston Town Center to rave reviews. Mediterranee in Great Falls is a terrific french neighborhood-type restaurant that's more affordable. Nice atmosphere and they have terrific week night specials that are worth calling about (i.e., all you can eat mussel night). Girasole in the Plains is a pretty special place with terrific food, as is Magnolia's in Purcelville.

    Have you been to Corduroy downtown? Or Montemartre on Captial Hill (more affordable than Corduroy).

    1 Reply
    1. re: Meg

      Another couple of excellent farther-out places: Foti's in Culpeper and The Manor House Restaurant at Poplar Springs Inn in Casanova (near Warrenton). Both are definitely occasion-worthy.

    2. Resturant Eve in Old Town Alexandria. Lots of recs on the board to search through. Oops just noticed your price limitation, sorry.

      1. How about Black Salt? I think it is one of the best seafood restaurants in DC. It's in Palisades, so you don't have to go deep into the city, just hop across chain bridge and you're almost there. Almost everything is under $30.

        I liked BDT, but it's best attributes are roasted dishes, read meet or organs, so not sure if it would be your cup of tea.

        1. if you would be happier to be in virginia you could check out tallula. always wonderful. very nice.

          1. I just had a great dinner at Liberty Tavern in Clarendon. Total for my friend and I was about $120, but that was with alcohol (umm, kind of a lot of it, as a matter of fact), so it should be well within your budget. I believe the entrees were around $20, and good size portions. I had the roasted chicken with brocoli rape and mashed potatoes and it was excellent! I had the duck confit to start, which was really good, but I'd probably try a different starting next time, just ot branch out. The chicken was just amazing and I'm still thinking about it, in fact, I may make my fiance take me there on Sat.

            1. What about dinner at Majestic or Farrah Olivia?