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Feb 9, 2009 10:07 PM

Very special dinner in DC

My family and I will be in town for my Supreme Court argument and are looking for a place to celebrate afterwards. Superb food is essential.

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  1. Wow! How exciting! Can you provide more details of what you are looking for? Price range? Type of food? Location? Vibe? etc. The more details you provide the more we can help you.

    1. Congrats on being admitted to the SC bar and on this very special experience. Assuming that you'll want a location convenient to the Supreme Court and since Oral Arguments are a morning activity, here are some lunch recommendations.

      Charlie Palmer's Steak: located at the base of Capitol Hill; sleek, contemporary decor with excellent service; outstanding food that includes dishes with more flair/creativity than the typical steak house offerings. Also a good place to spot famous faces and if your case sets precendent, you might be one of those faces, too!

      Bistro Bis: located on Capitol Hill; delicious updated French bistro classics; excellent service; attractive modern decor; plenty of famous faces

      The Source: near Capital Hill -- west of Charlie Palmer's on Pennsylvania Ave; no personal experience; check this board for specifics

      If none of these appeals, let us know and we'll collectively share others recs that are farther afield or, perhaps, at a different price point.

      Whoops! Your title specified dinner choices! Any of the places I've listed would be good for dinner, too, but I'll wait until supply some cuisine or location suggestions before adding more info that isn't what you're looking for.

      1. Can't go wrong with any of these:

        1. Komi - Many (including me) consider it the best restaurant in DC. Degustazatione is $125 per person for 15 - 18 tastings, lots of variety, from fresh raw seafood to creatively dishes. Call for reservation 1 month in advance.
        2. Citronelle - probably the most well-known DC restaurant. Still creative and tasty, but their menu is pricy, at $190 per person for their 10 course tasting. You can make reservationo online.
        3. Minibar - hardest reservation to come by in DC, I think it's about $125 per person for 30 or so 1-2 bite tastings. Molecular gastronomy, much fun and unique. Call for reservation 2 months in advance.

        CityZen, Palena, Restaurant Eve - top notch restaurants with excellent execution of food and service.

        Chef's Table at Teatro Goldoni - heard from knowledgeable foodies that the Chef's Table is now the best food in DC (have to call and request Chef's Table, $125 per person).

        All these restaurants have websites and plenty of major publication reviews.

        11 Replies
        1. re: Ericandblueboy

          Second Citronelle and Minibar.

          Haven't been to Komi, but it gets great reviews it is on the top of my list with The Source.


          If you want to be less pricey than above try Central or Proof or Corduroy.

          1. re: ktmoomau

            I agree with these recommendations.

            I also hear Obelisk is very good. And would add PS7 to the less pricey but still lovely category. You might even want to stop by there for a celebratory drink and then head to Corduroy for dinner. The mixologist/bartender at PS7 is one of the best in the city.

            1. re: Elyssa

              I cannot speak for the other restaurants, however, I will give thumbs way up for KOMI.

              1. re: Elyssa

                Obelisk is a foodie experience, but doesn't have the celebratory vibe of CitiZen, Citronelle, or Restaurant Eve. (No personal experience at Komi or with Teatro Goldoni's current chef.)

                Downthread someone cautions against choosing Minibar. I agree. You'll be served approximately thirty courses of one or two bites each along with instructions of how to eat each course. I don't object to being served the occasional dish that requires some procedural explanation, but thirty eating lessons? No thank you.

                1. re: Indy 67

                  MiniBar is one of the best restaurants in the United States. My wife and I were there last Wednesday when the man seated next to me, at the end of the dinner, got down on his knee and proposed marriage to his girl friend. She accepted. (The battery in his camera was dead when I tried to take a picture!!!) He had told me earlier that he had planned this for six months but had to wait that long to get a reservation!!! (This is the most difficult reservation in America-there are a total of six seats.)

                  This is an outstanding restaurant, I think presently along with Komi, the best in the D. C. area. It also has not received the "attention" on this board that it deserves. My guess is that because so few on here have been able to get in along with the $120 prix fixe which is one of D. C.'s most expensive dinners. Jose Andres who has been nominated for the national Beard award once was at El Bulli in Roses. This is as close as you will find to El Bulli in the United States. It is his signature-a loss leader that credibly builds his reputation for excellence and his 8 or 9 other restaurants. Having said this the likelihood of your getting a reservation is a shade better than zero... (one month to the day; it books up within five minutes, sometimes one)

                  I agree with Indy 67 about Citronelle, CityZen or THE TASTING ROOM at Restaurant Eve. They are celebratory and special. Trumping all of these is the Chef's Table at Teatro Goldoni. NOTE: ONLY the Chef's Table where you are served personally by Enzo in another dinner that will last 4+ hours and approach 20 courses. But this is different from MiniBar. Frankly, I also like Obelisk, having celebrated several anniversaries there along with a birthday or two over the years. I would also add Vidalia and Palena to your list-both are Beard winners. I would not discount the Prime Rib either or, if you don't mind travelling, the new Inox in Tyson's Corner which preliminary reports are claiming is the area's hottest new restaurant.

                  Forgive me but I disagree with Indy 67 about Charlie Palmer Steak. This is a rather infamous post of mine from a year or so ago about a celebratory experience my wife and I had there: Turkey vultures in the woods behind our house occasionally still thank me for those leftovers...

                  Last, if you REALLY want to celebrate book the Chef's Table at Citronelle where you will be personally directed through the meal by Mark Slater who won the national Beard award for wine service. Note that Michel Richard won the national Beard award for Chef. I believe it's $275 a person for food and wine + tax + tip.

                  Wherever you go, for some of these, you need to reserve several weeks in advance. Best of luck with your presentation! I applaud you for being accepted for this!!!!!!! A huge accomplishment and the acknowledgement of true excellence.

            2. re: Ericandblueboy

              Minibar only seats 8 (if you can book the whole thing) and not really conducive to conversation except with your immediate seatmates. just my 2 cents - date not group place.

              1. re: hill food

                It actually is six, have you ever been? It is actually great if you could get all the seats for a group as it is very conducive to talking to one another, if you go you find yourself conversing with your seatmate strangers. They have a nice champagne list, which is really the only thing to pair with that many courses, and they don't really tell you how to eat things, they explain what it is and sometimes they will say best in one bite, but it certainly isn't a lesson, just a very polite suggestion. It really will be the most fun meal experience you ever have if you are really into food and the science of food. You have to be open, but if you are it is the best experience I can think of, however getting the reservation and it cannot be for more than 6.

                1. re: ktmoomau

                  once about 4 or 5 years ago - memory fades with age....

                  given the line-up though, the folks on the end might feel left out.

              2. re: Ericandblueboy

                Hopefully to clarify, I believe reservations at Minibar are taken only 1 month in advance. At least, this is my understanding from the website. Eric, have you had a different experience w/reservations at Minibar?

                1. re: globalgourmand

                  I thought it was 2 months in advance but the website does say 1 month (I could be misremembering or they changed the policy, but in either case, my prior post is wrong). I don't know if they still send you a form to fill out to secure your reservation.

                  1. re: Ericandblueboy

                    form or foam? - sorry couldn't help myself. lame as always.

                    I'll go away now..

              3. Corduroy. Make res now.