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Quiet DC restaurants w/character for in-laws

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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  1. 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

      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

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

      1. 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. 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

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

          2. 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

              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.