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Romantic, semi-dressy, vegetarian-friendly, nearish Dupont

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Please help DC foodies!

It's my girlfriend's birthday and she wants to go someplace where we can get away with a dress and khakis and a tie. So not formal, but not "casual."

As for food, the preference is definitely Thai or Indian (or anything with awesome vegetarian entrees since she is one and I sportingly play along). We're staying around Dupont (Hotel Palomar) and would prefer to walk, but if it's worth it we can definitely cab it.

So far, I've heard Rasika for Indian, though not sure about dress code.

Thanks for any and all suggestions, she's an Arlington resident so we'll have a chance to try out anything eventually.

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  1. Rasika is a good idea, except it's not particularly walkable (also note that its menu might have less veg. entrees than you'd expect).

    Another possibility might be Italian, say Tosca or Dino's, but neither of those is particularly walkable either. (All three of those places are convenient if you don't mind taking the metro from Dupont).

    FYI, with many offices going to "business casual", it seems most of the nicer restaurants have downgraded their dress codes accordingly. I think your planned dress would be fine at any of those.

    1. Heritage India is closer to your hotel, and it's good (I think I've only ordered off the "Hawker Menu" which is certainly veg friendly). The decor is dressy, diners aren't necessarily (if you go, be sure to check the art work in the bathroom). There's a lot of Thai in that neighborhood, but it's pretty casual. You're in a good dining neighborhood, and there have been lots of threads about where to eat near your hotel.

      You might consider Nora?

      Not walkable, but another place to check out if you really want to humor the vegetarian is Vegetate. You could also check vegdc.com

      ETA: I should say, I haven't actually been to Nora or Vegetate -- I hope they're helpful suggestions for what you're looking for, but you should check them out yourself.

      1. I second the Heritage India suggestion. If you can drive a short distance to Cleveland Park, Indique is also excellent.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Sean D

          Although you wouldn't need to drive to Cleveland Park, if you ask me it's easier to take the Metro there from Dupont Circle -- or to Gallery Place, if you decide to go to Rasika.

        2. Heritage India is nice, I also like Rice and Regent Thai (14th and 18th St respectively.

          1. Upon reading some threads, I was surprised no one mentioned Bombay Club, which apparently underwent a recent renovation. Any thoughts?

            1 Reply
            1. re: scottieb

              I think Rasika is hipper than Bombay Club both are good (run by same parent company), Bombay Club isn't quite as noisey, but I like the food better at Rasika. Rasika has a vegetarian tasting menu, and their spinach appetizer is very good. It is where I would go on a date, but I like hip dates.

            2. Thanks all!

              We ended up at Bombay Club, hoping to try something that had been updated (ok, and reservations at Rasika were only 5:30 or 10:15). We enjoyed it and had a great time. It was definitely much quieter, and the outdoor seating was perfect for that night.

              The food was good, but I think next time we'll try Rasika. For that price, it wasn't as good as some places we've had out in Arlington (Tandoori Nights specifically) but I guess we were paying for the location and service (only the best things to say about both).

              1. If you're interested in Italian, Lavandou is a nice option in Cleveland Park. They have some good veggie options.