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SECRETIVE--WHAT's UP WITH VALENTINE'S DAY?

Geez--thought all of the Chowhounds would be chattering about their plans for the big Heart-Day.

Myself and hubby--we stay home and have a private party. Don't want to contend with crowded restaurants that have prix fixe menus, commanding outrageous prices.

But, we live vicariously, and want to know what others are planning for the romantic evening and/or day time celebration.

Usually, we celebrate our dining our for Valentine's Day on an alternate evening. This year, we will probably go out to Oregon Grill, Brass Elephant, Flemings or Blue Sea on the Thursday before the "holiday." Maybe, we may consider Charleston.

Anyone have suggestions to steer us in a different direction?

Anyhow, Happy Valentine's Day to all of you romantic "foodies." FoiGras

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    1. We try not to go out on Valentines day. We occasionally get takeout from Bangkok 54 in Arlington on V-day which is delicious, romantic, and super easy. Pair with a nice bottle of champagne and voila.

      1. I am treating my dear Mom to pizza in NYC after we go get my wedding dress fitted. I am a good date huh? Fiance will prob warm up chili or something :)

        Not from Baltimore so can't really recommend where to go there, but if you go to Charleston let us know how it is so we can live vicariously too!

        1. And thus is my dilemma...my wife and I are going o be in DC (for the first time) over Valentine's Day (actually, it's over President's Day weekend so we can get an extra day off))...but now we're stuck with finding someplace that doesn't fall into the bullshit prix-fixe menu and champagne toasts...any ideas where we can go and not have to endure this?

          We were going to go to bar pilar but now we're going there Friday night to meet friends.

          We're staying around Dupont Circle...how far away are all of the cool places on U street from there (walking distance?)

          11 Replies
          1. re: pastoralia

            I have a similar dilemma. A good friend's birthday is valentine's day and we are looking for someplace to celebrate her birthday with great food and no lovey dovey crap. We're willing drive just about anywhere. Someplace with excellent drink menu would be a bonus.

            1. re: pineapple sage

              I am pretty sure that Bistrot du Coin in Dupont will pleasantly ignore the whole Valentine's Day thing - since even on NYE they don't have a bullshit prix-fixe menu. It is not lovey dovey. Just the opposite, really. Think boisterous, with a decent onglet steak, mussels and fairly-priced wine. It's one of our "we want to avoid any holiday" go-to places.

              1. re: dcandohio

                dcandohio- maybe think about Eatbar in Arlington or Eleventh St. Lounge? Might not have your exact menu, but I imagine they aren't number one V-day places?

            2. re: pastoralia

              Dupont to U St area is a really nice walk. To give you an idea, Dupont Circle is sort of 19th St and P, so that's not far to 14th and U. You can also walk up New Hampshire, which cuts diagonally and is a pretty street. Bar Pilar is 14th and maybe S (I always forget) and the Ethiopian places are around 9th and U.

              I don't know what to tell you about the V-day problem. I think you might have another thread going already, is that right?, but if not, what kind of place would you like? I wonder if it would be a good night for Ethiopian or Oohs and Aahs or something like that.

              edited -- because I just remembered that you're the steak and french thread -- hmmm -- maybe V-day would be the night for a half-smoke -- but I can't say from experience of going out then (and I'll be out of town that weekend, too).

              1. re: mselectra

                I'm throwing a wide net...the Bistro du Coin idea above sounds good.

                1. re: pastoralia

                  Thanks for your rec--but apparently the venue isn't in the Baltimore area?! It seems that my question was answered by many DC chowhounds.

                  I love DC, but want to hear from the B'Mores. FoiGras

                  1. re: FoiGras

                    Pastoralia will be in DC that weekend, that's why our DC recs started to appear in your thread....

                    1. re: FoiGras

                      Take a look at Salt's website. Looks like they put up a new menu recently which looks really interesting.
                      Also, I don't think they'll go for a special V-Day prix fixe robbery!

                2. re: pastoralia

                  Some places that may generally off the radar that I doubt will have prix-fixe:

                  Coppi's Organic Italian (U St area)
                  Regent Thai (best thai in DC to me)
                  Sette Osteria probably won't have prix fixe.

                  Although you may be able to go somewhere and sit at the bar?
                  Zengo for instance has a quite large downstairs bar, where you can get their bar menu plus full menu?
                  I would avoid places that seem to upscale for the bar suggestion (Bar at Palena or Corduroy will probably be busy) but I have heard the new Posto has a huge bar.
                  The bar at Westend bistro is large since in a hotel it might not do prix fixe but I would check.

                  I am trying to think of other DC spots I think of as generally unromantic:

                  Granville Moore's although that is well what I consider a on the verge of being safe neighborhood, although other people think it is fine.

                  Also in that area is Sticky Rice which has creative nuovo sushi and asian fare, I don't think that area screams romance.

                  Next Door by Ben's Chili Bowl probably won't be packed it is in the U St. area.

                  Some places still have opentable opening you could check who isn't doing prixe fix maybe Art and Soul or Blue Duck Tavern or Poste?

                  1. re: ktmoomau

                    Regent Thai is also a great place to linger and chat as it is usually pretty quiet in there, and the atmosphere is conducive to hanging out. It's my favorite Thai in the area, too. Great suggestion.

                    1. re: ktmoomau

                      Just thoughts on kt's always good ideas: I think Regent Thai is good, but it doesn't seem like anything you couldn't get at a pretty good thai restaurant in any city -- although I haven't been in ages. (I haven't been to Thai Xing, but that might be more interesting.) I might say the same (for italian) for Sette Osteria. Good if you live here, but not necessarily if you're visiting only a few days. If you see what I mean. For some reason, I think Coppi's is a better idea, not sure why. There are a gazillion places around there on and near U St, so you could just wander.

                      I wouldn't go to Zengo (that's me).

                      Granville Moore's I believe is always packed already by 6pm on a normal night, but I do think it's a good suggestion for avoiding the champagne-toast scene -- especially if Pastoralia was interested in checking it out anyway. Just do a little research to figure out the good bars or cafe nearby to hang out while you wait for a table. There's a new free shuttle bus that goes from the Penn Quarter/Chinatown metro station to the Granville Moore's part of H St NE (now called Atlas District), fyi -- but you might as well take a cab if you can afford it.

                  2. Hi:

                    If you are going out, ordering in, or have a tip on where to go for Valentine's Day that's still serving great food on that night, please share. But general "don't go out for Valentine's Day" posts are really off topic for regional boards."

                    Thanks!