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May 7, 2009 04:00 PM

Law school grad dinner w/ vegetarian options near Metro?

My boyfriend is graduating from law school, and his family is visiting from Portland, Oregon for the occasion. We have a couple of vegetarians in the group, and I'd like to find a restaurant that's not too fancy but still nice for this special occasion, that has vegetarian options, and that is relatively close to a Metro station because we can't all fit in my car. ;-)

TIA for your suggestions!

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  1. Founding Farmers might be excellent for this...

    3 Replies
    1. re: Jeserf

      Second Founding Farmers. Especially if people in the group like cocktails, and to be honest, what lawyer doesn't? :)

      1. re: GinChevyChase

        I would not go to Founding Farmers. The time I went there it was amazingly loud, and the food was just ok. I could not hear anything the people across from me said, and we had to shout the entire time. The food was just okay -- I felt like it had good potential as a place emphasizing organic, local, etc. foods. But everything was overdressed or overfried.

        1. re: DCLindsey

          I agree DC Lindsey. FF is just ok and the service is spotty. Plus, many dishes that seem vegetarian actually use baccon fat or chicken stock without noting it on the menu (my friend had issues there). Also, wouldn't you assume a 17 vegetable salad would note if they had bacon? Not at FF...

      1. re: Doh

        Dino would be my choice as well.

        If you like Indian you can try Heritage in Dupont Circle (I always hear good things about Rasika but I haven't been yet. Finally going over Memorial Day!!)

        Ardeo in Cleveland Park is also a nice option. I did a quick look at their menu a couple of days ago for a similar vegetarian questions from a friend and it looked as if they had a number of vegetarian appetizer (5-6) options and at least 3 entree options.

        1. re: Elyssa

          Elyssa, Thank goodness you are finally going to Rasika, I hope you get as good of a server as we had, we had such a great night he walked us through the menu and helped me pick spicy dishes, and Fiance not so much... it was great.

          For the poster I agree that Founding Farmers would be a good choice along with Dino (I think Italian is always a good choice with safe eaters or vegetarians especially if they have good insalatas too, you just have to watch the parmesan cheese). Also Sette in Dupont is casual, but nice Italian.

          Rasika is really good, but can be rather loud fyi, but the food is great and it might be quieter for lunch or early in the evening we normally go at prime time because that is when we are off from work.

          If you have a number of vegetarians you might call the restaurant in advance to let them know and they might be able to accomodate them even more.

          1. re: ktmoomau

            I'm excited to finally be going as well. I told my bf it HAD to be the next restaurant we tried or the Chowhounds would never forgive me.

            1. re: ktmoomau

              I would stray away from's LOUD! Plus, you have to make sure everyone likes Indian flavors. Ardeo would be good, as well as Lavandou in Cleveland Park.

              Another choice would be Sirox or Potenza.

              1. re: Jacey

                Jacey--have you been to Siroc and/or Potenza? I did a post on these 2 restaurants, trying to decide between the 2, awhile back but didn't get a lot of replies because not enough people had been to Potenza yet. I would be interested in hearing what you thought of the 2.

                1. re: Jacey

                  Ardeo isn't that great for veggies. One main course option is boring, IMO

                  I might, however, recommend a place like Busboys and Poets. That might be fun for a grad celebration.

                  If ethnic is OK, Heritage is great and so is Regent Thai on 18th St.

                  1. re: Jeserf

                    They might have 1 entree option that is for vegetarians at Ardeo but I counted 2 medium plates (which I'm sure they would be more then willing to double) and 4 appetizers on their current menu which are vegetarian friendly. None of them come across as a bunch of side dishes.

                    It's certainly not Vegetate or Heritage but for a New American restaurant it's actually pretty good in terms of variety of offerings. It's at least more then I see in some other restaurants.

                    1. re: Elyssa

                      there are currently more options than at Dino.

                      Don't know, as a veg, I like to see more than 1 option. I can't go to Palena's front cafe, either, unless I want a $10 salad.

                      Ardeo's fine - I think the desserts are the best part. They aren't sides, but I've been and without good service, the order for vegetarian got mixed up. But, to me, having to order special things and hope they're right or send things back takes away from a veggie friendly atmosphere. Maybe I'm a stickler. I know I'm not sophistocated, so I don't know what "New American" is. Maybe I missed something!

                      1. re: Jeserf

                        New American is just a category of American cuisine. I mentioned it because I think a lot of places that tend to be more veggie friendly are ethnic restaurants like Thai, Indian, Ethiopian etc. Or Italian.

                        I think it's nice to be able to find other cuisines(New American or otherwise) to offer up as well. French is usually out as is say Cuban, since they use so many meat products. And sometimes an American restaurant (the old Butterfield 9 comes to mind) finds a way to be creative for vegetarians. But more often then not it's non-American cuisines that are the best for this category.

              2. re: Elyssa

                Bombay Club would also be a good choice.

                1. re: Elyssa

                  Dino would not be appropriate for a group of vegetarians, as the options are limited. I went when my boyfriend came back from Iraq and even though I tend to like the place, our group was very disappointed.

                  I was not impressed with the veggie options at Ardeo last time I went. One entree - I always hate being the veggie who has to eat a few small plates while my friends eat an entree because the timing is always off. It's just awkward.

                  I think Heritage is great - and it's not very loud.