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2 nights in Washington DC - need 2 great trendy restos

I am going to DC end of March, and have only 2 nights to sample the best the city has to offer.
I am looking for great food, great wine list, trendy fun place with a good vibe, for the 30 to 45 crowd.


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  1. proof: amazing food, 77-page wine list (obviously also amazing) and is definitely trendy. i think this is probably exactly what you're looking for.

    1 Reply
    1. re: littlew1ng

      Proof is good. I would also add Central, Brasserie Beck and PS7 to your list. All these restaurants have vibrant atmosphere without losing the adult-factor and delicious menus.

      I also hear good things about City Zen but personally have never been.

    2. So we can help you out, what kind of cuisines do you like and where are you from?

      1 Reply
      1. re: Jacey

        I am from Montreal, so I like everything! but we do French bistro very well in my town, so I would like to try something else....

      2. I second Proof and would perhaps also add The Source for the 2nd night.

        1. Redwood in Bethesda, Proof and Zola in Chinatown and BLT and Bras Beck downtown.

          1. If you provide me/us with a little more information, we can definitely recommend some great places. What is your budget? Does location/metro matter? If so, what area are you looking for?
            What type of food are you looking for (i.e., Italian, American, Asian, French, etc.)?

            A few of my favorite places that come to mind when I hear great food, great wine list, and trendy include:
            Proof, Oya, Westend Bistro, Central, Blue Duck Tavern, Zengo, Rasika, and CityZen.

            Again, give us some more info, and we'll be able to narrow some down.

            4 Replies
            1. re: joann.hill12

              I would also add Founding Farmers and Granville Moore's (for mussels & frites.) While Granville Moore's itself is not "Trendy" it is certainly edgy and cool-and the people I saw there were trendy. The recs I agree most with are; Proof, Zengo, Rasika,
              Brasserie Beck, Central. From my personal experiences, I was not thrilled with both Redwood in Bethesda or Blue Duck Tavern. They were not bad-I just think you can do better. Have fun!

              1. re: chicken kabob

                Yes, totally forgot about Founding Farmers! Love, love, love that place...one of my current favorites! Also really like Granville Moore's but if I was only in town for 2 nights, not sure if that would be my top choice.
                And yes, someone recommended the Source...great suggestion! Great food, wine, and very trendy.
                Haven't tried Redwood yet...but BDT is one of my favorites.

                1. re: chicken kabob

                  I would be very careful about Founding Fathers if you only have a few meals here. People on this board, as well as Yelp, have VERY mixed reviews about the place. Service is also a problem.

                  1. re: Jacey

                    This is a bit surprising...I've been there on 3 different occasions and have only had wonderful experiences. From the flatbreads, to the sliders, to the chicken pot pie, everything I've had has been great. I've also only had great service.
                    The only thing that was not fabulous was the wine. Good, but not great.

              2. The Washington Post gave 4 stars to Komi, CityZen and Restaurant Eve.

                Washingtonian magazine ranked the top 6 in the following order:

                1. Komi
                2. Citronelle
                3. Minibar
                4. CityZen
                5. Palena and Palena Cafe
                6. Restaurant Eve

                My personal opinion is that Komi is the best the city has to offer food-wise. I'm not knowledgeable enough to say which one has the best selection of wines. Adour at St. Regis maybe not have the best food in the city but it's trendy and has a a great wine list.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Ericandblueboy

                  I love Restaurant Eve, Citronelle, and Palena, but I wouldn't call any of those restaurants trendy.

                  1. re: Elyssa

                    I'm at a loss as to exactly what the OP wants. The best or the best trendy? You're quite right those are two very different requests.

                    1. re: Ericandblueboy

                      the best trendy ;-) we want atmosphere as well as good food! thanks!

                2. Trendy: also try Zengo.

                  1. Try Cashion's in Morgan Adams. I just ate there (see my post) on a recent trip and was incredibly pleased. It's a locals' place, not tourist, I suspect. Easy cab back and forth.

                    1. Proof and 701 Restaurant. 701 has the best contemporary American food.

                      701 Pa Ave Restaurant
                      701 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20004

                      775 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: cfusion

                        Ya but would you consider 701 trendy? I often see it recommended on here and elsewhere as the place you go if you want a quiet dinner, piano music, or a place to bring your older aunt who is visiting town. Just don't know if it has that "trendy" vibe.

                        It would be a nice place to grab a drink though if the weather is nice in March, because their outdoor tables look right over the Navy Memorial, which is nice and relaxing.

                        1. re: Elyssa

                          I would agree that 701 is the place to bring parents or "an older aunt"...definitely not a "trendy" place; I actually do not like 701 at all and had a pretty bad meal there so I wouldn't bring anyone there ever!!!

                      2. Another vote for The Source - Wolfgang Puck sure knows great food.

                        Founding Farmers is interesting but the service was horrible everytime I am there.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: r0cc00

                          Really? I have only had good service. However, I did notice that the waitress tried to get us to over order. (for example, she said the carrot cake slices were average size-and they were HUGE! But SOOOOOOOOOO good! =)

                          1. re: r0cc00

                            Wolfgang Puck sure knows how to rip people off. Give people Asian food at 3x the price charged by Asian restaurants.

                            1. re: Ericandblueboy

                              I'm asian & I didn't find that. was typical asian food @ the Source. Or for that matter anywhere near Asian food.

                              Must be what you ordered.

                              1. re: Ericandblueboy

                                i'm asian too, and his food is decidedly not asian — asian-influenced. and those pork belly dumplings are definitely worth the price tag.

                              2. re: r0cc00

                                I agree with the service-just awful. On the brunch end it was just good-not great.

                              3. I would definitely say Proof and The Source. 701 is absolutely not a trendy restaurant and I do not find it to be a good restaurant either. The one time I went there I was probably the most unsatisfied I have been at any restaurant in DC.

                                As to what others have recommended, here are my two cents: BLT is not trendy, it's steakhouse...and it is not the best one in the city for that matter; Brasserie Beck is cool, but definitely not what you are looking for; Central is great and one of my favorites so I would recommend that too, but I would still recommend Proof and The Source first based on what you want.

                                Those are just my opinions, but I can guarantee if you go to Proof and The Source you will be happy you did.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: joconn

                                  Thanks to everyone! I have made a reservation at The Source for the Friday and Proof for the Saturday.
                                  Last question - any recommendations for pre-dinner drinks near Proof? or should we just get them there...?

                                  1. re: Kina007

                                    Check out the lounge at PS7....it's only a block or 2 away and they have one of the best mixologists in town.

                                    1. re: Kina007

                                      Zengo and Oya have good drinks. PS7 stole my awesome neighborhood bartender who keeps winning awards, I don't think the drink menu there fulfills her maximum talent, yet, but if the bar isn't crazy she can make you something more creative.

                                      Last time I went though it was crazy, so crazy she was waiting tables too and couldn't do something creative.

                                      The mojito at Zengo is great, and they have other good drinks, I like the dark and stormy at Oya, but avoid the sangria there.

                                      1. re: Kina007

                                        Can't wait to hear how you like both places. Good luck on choosing a place for pre-dinner drinks. There are many good places around there. PS7 is always fun and Zengo is great, too.

                                    2. Zola's, Proof, Granville Moore's, Ceiba, DC Coast, Tenh Penh, Acadiana, Mini Bar @ Cafe Atlantico all fit the bill for fun, trendy, good food/drink/vibe places

                                      1. I just went to Brabo, which is part of the Lorien Hotel that just opned up in Old Town, Alexandria. The food and service were impeccible.