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Quiet DC restaurants w/character for in-laws

kimmie78 Mar 3, 2009 06:07 AM

Hi. My in-laws (ages 75 & 79) will be visiting from the midwest for a long weekend end of March and we're looking for a few restaurant suggestions for dinner. My father-in-law is hard of hearing and mother-in-law is not an adventurous eater. In fact they rarely eat-out. Ambience & good service is probably more important than incredible food (but of course we'd like a nice meal). Budget is mid-range and we will probably be eating in the early evening which might help with the noise issue. Would someplace like Old Ebbitt Grill be too loud? Founding Farmers? Thanks a lot for any suggestions. Kim

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    Elyssa RE: kimmie78 Mar 3, 2009 06:34 AM

    Old Ebbitt has different rooms, so maybe depending on where you are seated, the noise issue might be better. Although I've only personally eaten at the bar. I have never been to Founding Farmers.

    A few places to consider: Corduroy, Bistro Bis, Mark and Orlandos, Bistro D'Oc, Creme, and Sette Osterio (go early though, because it might get a little louder later in the night). All of these places have good food and should have something for everyone. If they are less adventourous I think each of these menus has a roast chicken or steak and then something more "gourmet" for those that are foodies.

    I also hear 701 is good for this type of situation, but I've personally never been.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Elyssa
      dcandohio RE: Elyssa Mar 3, 2009 08:38 AM

      I find that both Sette Osteria and Creme can get unbearably loud, and I worry about places like Corduroy with older people because of the stairs (Corduroy's bathroom is on the second floor up a STEEP flight of steps). Old Ebbitt in the same way - loud and lots of staircases to maneuver. I'd add La Chaumiere into the consideration set. It doesn't get too loud, and there is plenty on the menu for non-adventurous eaters, and the patrons there are often older (well, older than me, and that's OLD) which might be more comfortable for the in-laws. Ardeo might be a good choice, too.

      1. re: dcandohio
        Elyssa RE: dcandohio Mar 3, 2009 08:50 AM

        Ardeo can get pretty loud when it's busy. And I'm pretty sure they play music. (I know for sure they play it on the Bardeo side and possibly on the Ardeo side.)

    2. ktmoomau RE: kimmie78 Mar 3, 2009 06:50 AM

      701 would be great, Agraria and 1789 oh and Zola is normally pretty quiet and good.

      1. j
        joann.hill12 RE: kimmie78 Mar 3, 2009 09:57 AM

        Even though I think the food is very average, I would say 701 would be perfect for this. I haven't been in about 3-4 years so maybe the food has improved. It is definitely a good place to bring older people. I would also add one of its sister restaurants, The Oval Room. I was recently there and it's definitely an older crowd and pretty quiet. The food was very good too. The only thing is that I went for RW, so I didn't look at the regular menu. You might want to check out their menu online to see if it fits your budget.
        I have to agree with others that Sette Osteria and Creme are waaayy to loud for what you're looking for. Ardeo has also been pretty loud the few times I've been.

        1. m
          mselectra RE: kimmie78 Mar 3, 2009 10:21 AM

          To help with your research: for something less expensive than others are suggesting, if it's a good neighborhood for you, I'd consider Mama Ayesha's (it's affordable, comfortable, and I think very pretty; haven't been in a long time; it's Helen Thomas's favorite restaurant and she's a lot older than your in-laws!). Also Palena's front room. My family loves Cashion's Eat Place. None of these are particularly trendy or touristy, so shouldn't get too loud, but popular enough to feel like you're having a good DC experience.

          2 Replies
          1. re: mselectra
            gatorfoodie RE: mselectra Mar 3, 2009 11:24 AM

            I strongly second Cashion's. Very cozy place with a lot of character and great food.

            1. re: gatorfoodie
              Dennis S RE: gatorfoodie Mar 4, 2009 09:06 AM

              Third Cashion's.

          2. l
            lindsayblake RE: kimmie78 Mar 3, 2009 10:32 AM

            You might also want to try the Tabard Inn in Dupont Circle. Very quaint and charming atmosphere, although the price range may be mid-high.

            1 Reply
            1. re: lindsayblake
              Lauman RE: lindsayblake Mar 4, 2009 08:15 AM

              I like the Tabard Inn, but I don't think it would fit the OP's needs in this case. In my experience, it is very loud.

              I would second others' suggestions for Cashion's, 1789, La Chaumiere or Zola. I think they would all fit the requirements for low noise and food suitable for less adventurous eaters.

            2. k
              kimmie78 RE: kimmie78 Mar 4, 2009 04:55 AM

              Hi Everyone. Thank you for all the great ideas! I'll have a look at these restaurants online and go from there. I'll let you know where we end up going and how it is. Thanks so much. Kim

              1 Reply
              1. re: kimmie78
                DCDOLL RE: kimmie78 Mar 4, 2009 07:26 AM

                I think 1789 is exactly what you are looking for. I think they are even having a special right now plus they always have an early bird 3 course meal if you are seated prior to 6:45. It is dignified, quiet, with old world service, excellent food and the building is a historical treasure. Jackets are required for men which just adds to the old fashioned elegance. My folks always loved going there because it was the way dining out 'used to be'. The cooking has been modernized though; however you can usually get lobster and rack of lamb and other traditional faves.

              2. f
                FoodieGrrl RE: kimmie78 Mar 4, 2009 09:34 AM

                Founding Fathers can get unbearably loud. My friends and I were hoarse when we left.

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