Need DC convention center area recommendations
We are visiting DC this coming weekend, which also happens to be "Restaurant Week". The objective is to park the car at the hotel and not drive any more so would like to find some good places to eat near where we are staying. We'll be doing the museum route and like all fine dining and/or good ethnic. Any suggestions?
If you really want to stay near the Convention Ctr, then I would second Corduroy and Vegetate. Corduroy is fantastic and a great choice if your budget allows. It's not over-the-top expensive, but it's also not a "cheap eat" either. If you are looking for a more affordable/casual dinner, then Vegetate is a great choice. Their grilled cheese is delicious!
We were at the the Convention Center last weekend and checked out Cure Bar & Bistro (in the Hyatt on H & 10th streets). We were pleasantly surprised and had wonderful wines, cheeses, and entrees. If you go, order the flat-iron steak--so amazing!
If you can get a reservation, I highly recommend PS7. They are participating in Restaurant Week and I have found that their food, menu, and service do not change at all during the busy RW (which is a great sign). If you can't get a reservation, you should at least stop by the lounge for a drink and some happy hour bites. (I recommend the tuna tartar sliders).
Right across from the Convention Center is Corduroy, in my opinion one of the best restaurants in DC right now. They are not participating in RW so it might be easier to get a reservation.
If you head into Gallery Place/Chinatown, there are a lot of options. I like Acadiana, Cafe Atlantico, Proof, Matchbox, and CoCo Sala.
A little bit more of a walk or a short taxi ride will take you to Central or Bistro D'Oc. Both great although totally different in style.
For ethnic cuisine I recommend jumping on the metro and heading to U St for some delicious Ethiopian cuisine. I just ate at Etete for the first time and thought it was great. If you like Indian, I like Heritage India in Dupont Circle.
I wouldn't limit myself to "near the hotel" as there is a METRO stop right at the Convention Center and that makes it easy to get around town. That said, it is RW so reservations may be difficult for the best places. For fine dining, check on opentable.com to see what is available for when you want to eat. You might find that you have better luck at lunch since it is RW, but that might not be the case as lots of folks who work downtown take advantage of RW to try places then. But it couldn't hurt.
Around the museums, look for places in the Penn Quarter or Chinatown. But like I said, don't limit yourself, dining near the Cleveland Park Metro stop is numerous and some wonderful places (although I don't know if Palena is participating in RW and if it is, it is completely booked by now.)
There is a lot of good ethnic food in DC, but Ethiopian is what everyone, including me, recommends for a visitor. Check these boards for recommendations, but along the U-Street Corridor there are quite a few and also in Adams Morgan. Unfortunately, the best ethnic food tends to be in the suburbs where the ethnic populations have migrated. Excellent Thai, Korean, Salvadorian, etc.