Anyone been to Belga?
Belga is just okay and very small in size. If you want Belgian food, try Brasserie Beck over on K Street. I work in Brussels a fair amount of the year and I think everything there is spot on in terms of the food and the portions are HUGE! There are a ton of restaurants in the Dupont area. What are you looking for in terms of cuisine? Any particular price? I like Obelisk, but's it is small and will be crowded. If you give me some idea of what you are looking for I can offer suggestions.
I ate lunch at Belga a couple of months ago and liked it a great deal. I had mussels and fries which were well done and generous. They have homemade mayonaise for the fries that is fabulous. I had a Belgian ale with the meal. Can't speak to its authenticity but my experience was good. I am rarely in that neighborhood but would go back if I am.
I've been to Belga a couple times for lunch and brunch. I think its decent enough but I don't eat there as often as I could (I work down the street) because I find the service snooty.
If you are looking for delicious Belgian cuisine I would recommend Brasserie Beck instead. You certainly will want to get a reservation ASAP (for any restaurant really for inauguration week/weekend). But the food, especially the mussels and frites are out of this world and if you are a beer fan you will love their looooong list of beers. I have a reservation myself for Saturday and am looking forward to trying it again.
Coming from Texas, you might really enjoy Hank's Oyster Bar in the Dupont area. It's a great, little neighborhood restaurant serving east coast-style seafood. A great lobster roll, as well as other fish specials. They don't take reservations but if you call ahead of time they will put you on a list.
Not far off from Dupont Circle, in Adams Morgan is another neighborhood gem called Cashion's Eat Place. Great, seasonal food, and they take reservations.
For good, old-school Italian you can try Al Tiramisu in Dupont (on P St).
Seems like Granville Moore's maybe should come up in this mussels and frites discussion? And it might not be as much in the center of the madness. (I haven't eaten there, but just seemed like it should get mentioned....)
For near DuPont, I really second Elyssa's suggestion of Cashion's, which is also one of the only places in Adams-Morgan that is getting to keep the very late inauguration bar hours, and they take reservations. There is a few block stretch of P St west of Dupont Circle that has a lot of nice restaurants, if you just want to play it by ear. And there's Tabard Inn, which I don't really like, but others do a lot, and it's a nice space. I like Hank's too, but it's small and can get crowded.
1101 K Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005
Hank's Oyster Bar - Dupont Circle
1624 Q St NW Ste Lowr, Washington, DC 20009
1238 H St NE, Washington, DC 20002
1739 N St NW, Washington, DC 20036
Cashion's Eat Place
1819 Columbia Road NW, Washington, DC 20009
Hank's only accepts a half-hour advance call. but it is really good. Mourayo might be an option - Greek seafoody far enough up CT to weed out the crowds and just below the Hinckley Hilton which is bound to distract the hordes.
Belga is alright, I don't know if I'd call the service snooty, but it can definitely be odd. I wouldn't cross town for it w/o another reason.