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DC Restaurant Recommendations - Some Foodies, Some Conservative

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We'll be in DC for the first time in a few weeks meeting up with some family. We're adventurous foodies but the folks are less adventurous - haven't quite discovered high-end Mexican food, aren't into raw fish outside of oysters, etc. - and my sister-in-law is a very picky eater. So, want to pick some great places that will have options for everyone.

Friday night have a reso at Central as well as at Blue Duck Tavern. Leaning toward Central - any advice?

On the Saturday night checking for 7 people on Opentable and a lot of the places I was interested of course don't have availability for the 7pm - 8:30pm reservation zone. DC Ranch looks interesting, anyone recommend it or against it? My stepmom liked the look of that one. Tosca also has availability...

We're staying at Hotel George and will be spending a lot of time walking Washington Mall one day and probably check out Georgetown for an afternoon another...any recommendations near either for breakfast or lunch is appreciated! Also breakfast finds near the hotel would be great!

Thanks in advance for the help!

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  1. I didn't think Open Table lets you book two reservations in one night - and there's a good reason for it.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Ericandblueboy

      I always cancel my spare reso well in advance - my husband made the other reservation. But I agree, completely unfair to restaurants trying to survive in today's economy to not cancel spare reservations!

    2. I have a friend who sounds a bit like the sister-in-law/parents' palates. She loved Blue Duck Tavern and Cityzen, and her foodie hub thoroughly enjoyed them as well.

      1. In your hotel bistro bid does a great brunch I am not sure if they do regular breakfast but I think they do. I love tosca it's a good choice for picky eaters I also think central has something for everyone we always take guests there especially picky safe eaters.

        1. First off I wouldn't book a table of 7 on Opentable. You should call through to the restaurants you are interested in. Chances are you will find something. Also---never heard of DC Ranch.

          I personally prefer Central over Blue Duck Tavern but I think you will do fine at either. There will be something for everyone in your group at both places. Safe bets for meat and potato-type eaters as well as something more adventorous for your taste.

          In terms of breakfast, inside the Hotel George is Bistro Bis, which is one of my favorite spots for breakfast/brunch in DC. Wonderful french food. You also are not that far from Union station where you can grab breakfast at Au Bon Pain or Corner Bakery.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Elyssa

            I prefer Central over Blue Duck Tavern, too...

            1. re: Elyssa

              Also, I think Bistro Bis does excellent french food for dinner. It has both adventurous and normal offerings so I think it would be good for you.

              I personally prefer Blue Duck Tavern over Central but both are great recommendations.

              I would also consider PS7 or Zola in the Chinatown/Penn Quarter area. Proof is also very good, but I don't know how a picky eater would feel there... (you can check the menu online and see what you think).

            2. Thanks for the help! We'll definitely go with Central then. And we will definitely try brunch at our hotel! :-)