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Dec 16, 2008 09:31 AM

Options for parents near National Theatre and Arena Stage

My siblings and I are getting our parents theatre tickets, a hotel, and dinner reservations for Xmas (this is a tradition). This year, it's D.C. We haven't yet decided on which show (we are confirming dates), but it will be at either National Theatre or Arena Stage.

What are restaurant options for our parents? We (the kids) know nothing of D.C., so Im at your mercy.

It will be pre-theatre, looking to spend about $100 (including tax). No sushi or thai, but they tend to enjoy everything else. They both love seafood. "Small plates" are probably not the first choice of dining style, but if the food is awesome, they will be open to it.

I have searched the board, but haven't found much (and what I did find seems to be closed). Please provide recs for both locations as we won't know until next week where we will get the gift cert from.

Thanks so much for your help!

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  1. Check out the website for Chef Geoff's near the National Theater. It won't be the most unique meal available, but the food is good, dependable, with nice service. There are some nice interesting touches, and desserts are great. I've been there many times and it is just the kind of place I recommend to visiting parents or group of people with different tastes.

    1. Central is only a few blocks away.

      Oceanaire (seafood) is right there, but is pretty expensive.

      Tosca (Italian) is also right there and they have a $35 pre-theater menu.

      1. I work right there and have a hard time endorsing the Chef Geoff's recommendation. I love their other location, but I've never had a good meal at this one. I'd recommend Ceiba, labeled as "carribean" but not so exotic as to accomodate any business lunch, just a little different. Beautiful space, fun but nice meal, and should work with your price point. Standard American and seafood can be found at Old Ebbitt, that is very popular with tourists but enough of an old standby (and reliable) to get my own business frequently. A notch above but a special meal could be had at Occidental. Top off a meal at Occidental with a drink from the Round Robin bar at the Williard with a show at the National Theater and you've got a really nice evening. Maybe a bit out of price range. There's also an Italian restaurant called Finemondo right there, no one ever talks about it and so it's always easy to drop in to, but I've had some nice meals there and the space is very nice. Oceanaire gets VERY expensive, so I don't think that would fit in your budget, though it would fit the seafood bill.

        1. In that area I like Central, Ceiba, and Bistro D'Oc. You might go slightly over your price point at Central and Ceiba depending on what you order. But you can certainly get out of Bistro D'Oc for around $100 for 2 people. They have wonderful french bistro cuisine in a cozy atmosphere.

          I also hear wonderful things about Tosca and their pre-theater menu. Personally I've never been.

          1. I think your best bet would be a pre-theatre prix fixe menu. There's a list here (with links to menus)

            On that list, the restaurants I think are convenient and worth trying are 701, Bistro D'Oc, Ceiba, Cafe Atlantico, Rasika and Tosca. I'd probably suggest Rasika and Tosca first, but I'm not sure either is heavy on seafood-- Ceiba might be better for that. I would stay away from Cheff Geoff's and Old Ebbitt.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Doh

              Fantastic blog, thank you!! This will help a lot. At the moment, Im leaning toward Tosca or Ceiba, but we'll see what pans out when the siblings get involved. Thanks so much for this reference!