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anniversary dinner search

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Hello all, I have a restaurant search for you. Me and my non-foodie significant other will be celebrating an anniversary and he's treating me to a non-Outback/Cheesecake Factory dinner (cause for celebration). If you haven't guessed we are both working on a budget (graduate students) so I was hoping for a dinner for the two of us for about $75-100 (but more so on the 75 front). The cost would cover our entrees and maybe a shared appetizer (though its not that important). Seafood/Thai/Ethiopian/Vietnamese/Tapas places are out (my partner is the simple type) but I was hoping for a place with flavor.

I've settled on a couple of places (..Zengo, Oya) but I was hoping my fellow chowhounders will give me some hope for a couple other tasty places that has a pretty backdrop. Any help would be greatly appreciated

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  1. I would highly recommend PS7s. Excellent food and service and you can definitely do a shared appetizer and two entrees for that price. It has some great creative dishes for you and also has things not-too adventurous, like a delicious beef tenderloin that your significant other might enjoy. I had a past anniversary dinner there and really liked the atmosphere for the occasion.

    Another place that might be good for you is Blue Duck Tavern. The food and service are also great, but the atmosphere is less-romantic that PS7s.

    I really enjoy Zengo and Oya as well, put IMO they shine on the appetizers, so I usually do them tapas-style / small-plate sharing, which I don't know if that's exactly what you're looking for.

    1 Reply
    1. re: dcfoodie13

      I 2nd PS7. I had an amazing meal there this past weekend with my bf. I found our corner table very romantic, and you can certainly get away with a bill under $100 if you share an appetizer.

      Cashion's Eat Place in Adams Morgan also might be a nice place to check out. They have great food, and usually will have some sort of a chicken, simple steak, or pork dish that shouldn't freak your bf out too much.

      Another option would be Creme. More affordable and a cute neighborhood restaurant with a southern leaning menu. Simple foods with great taste. I always thought it was a fun date spot. Dino is also a nice recommendation.

    2. If you pick carefully at Central you could certainly do it. I like it because it has adventurous things for foodies and non-adventurous wonderfully made things like chicken, fried chicken and steak for the non-foodie. The bread is great. The appetizers are big enough to share for certain, and they have some well priced wine (we went for $50 per person including cocktail/glass or two of wine with app and entree and split dessert I believe).

      Another place to consider is Zola. I haven't been recently, but it was always a good choice for a mixed crowd and is quiet enough to talk during a special occasion, but neat enough to be fun and romantic.

      Dino might also work it is a little more neighborhood-y, but the food is good and Italian is normally safe?

      You could also take advantage of a pre-theater menu at Tosca and make the budget, I think your partner would still really enjoy that even though it is a foodie experience for you.

      3 Replies
      1. re: ktmoomau

        Thanks everyone for your suggestions, though ktmoomau, once I showed my date the menu at central he nearly made the reservation for me.. I totally overlooked it, and always wanted to try but never been. Do you think its really casual in terms of atmosphere?

        1. re: bella00

          It's casual enough that in nice jeans, you'll be comfortable.

          The trick to keeping a budget there is to be careful of appetizers - many of them cost nearly as much as an entree. The entrees are generous enough that you can take it easy on appetizers. An order of gougeres should be plenty and won't cost $16. OR, do an appetizer and cocktail at PS7 off their happy hour menu and then do entrees at Central.

          1. re: bella00

            It is certainly casual. And like I said we have had drinks, shared app (don't go elsewhere split the duck rillette and faux gras with their excellent bread or if that is too adventurous for the non-foodie, the onion tart is very good and so are many other choices), entrees and dessert we were at like $50 a head. BTW if you like banana splits they have an excellent one and it could feed 3-4. The Kit kat is also really good. My fiance who is slowly becoming a foodie loved the rabbit, but also loves their roast chicken as silly as this sounds a good roast chicken really is spectacular. Yes it can be done at home... but it is often something I just don't have time for after work and the gym. It is a great casual feel that is warm, you will see suits as that is predominantly what Washingtonians wear, but you will see lots of jeans and khakis too and the servers are professional but it is definitely a relaxed feel we always have fun.