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Casual Celebratory Dinner in the District

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Looking for a place for a celebratory (but casual) dinner tomorrow night in the District. I have been wanting to try Proof for a while since I hear they have nice champagnes by the glass and the like. Also, I love Palena Cafe but rumor has it that a lot of local vegetable sources are still dealing with flooded fields and are in a gap with fresh stuff. What's best right now? Looking for a nice fun atmosphere where can talk and spend less than $100 (or so) for the two of us!

I am also looking for some easy metro-ing from the orange line (one transfer or less).

Recommendations in the past have been Cork (still really loud?), Poste (last time I went, my scrambled eggs with salmon, creme fraiche, and caviar were only eggs), and Cava (with only two of us, maybe mezze isn't the right choice).

What are the options?

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  1. $100 = casual? I wanna dine with you!

    I think PS7, with its tasty cocktails, would be fun. I also have enjoyed Firefly the times I've been. Their desserts have been very good, too.

    9 Replies
    1. re: Jeserf

      PS7's lounge would be good in your price range. Palena Cafe would be good as well.

      You can also try Sonoma (I imagine they will have some sort of sparkling wine) up on the Hill (Capitol South stop).

      1. re: Jeserf

        yeah I don't know how casual $100 for two people is but I didn't want to say Proof and then have people jump on me for it being out of my price range

        1. re: daves_32

          edits: champagne doesn't matter anymore, leaning Italian

          1. re: daves_32

            How about Dino or Al Crostino (although haven't been to this one in about 2 years so not sure about cost...liked it back then though).

            1. re: Elyssa

              I second Dino. Or maybe Sette Osteria in Dupont?

            2. re: daves_32

              For Italian, how about Potenza (same owners of Zola) or Siroc, right in Metro Ctr so right off the orange line. Potenza is the more casual of the two with a more affordable menu but I think Siroc's food is a bit better.
              Another option for Italian is Posto (same owner of Tosca) in Logan Circle--a bit of a walk from the U street metro (green line). I haven't been since it opened but it was very good (although small portions from what I can remember) and a fun atmosphere.
              I also really like Al Tiramisu in Dupont.
              My favorite of this list is Tosca (Metro Ctr). They have a fantastic three course pre-fixe menu for $35/person until 7pm. I think it starts at 5 but maybe 5:30. The only thing is you would have to monitor how much champagne/wine you drink in order to stay within your budget 8-(
              I'm not a huge fan of Dino but I'm usually in the minority with this one.

              1. re: joann.hill12

                oh i like some of those ideas...
                I like Dino but I was trying to avoid being that far North tomorrow night because DP is driving into the district.
                How about Potenza or Posto? I would like to be a bit more casual (relaxed) than Tosca.

                1. re: daves_32

                  what about trying Eatonville on U Street...?

                  I'm on again, off again about Dino. The service can really break the meal there - I've waited a LONG time for the rest of the table to get food, and a lot of the wait staff seems to be...I don't know...uninterested? unaware? Inconsistent service. That could ruin even a casual dinner (as it has for us). BUT I always give it another try after a bad experience and it redeams itself...

                  1. re: daves_32

                    Yeah, I was skeptical about mentioning Tosca for that exact reason but thought I'd throw it out there.
                    I think Potenza and Posto are great choices and I've enjoyed meals at both. I would say that if being right off the metro (and not having to transfer) is important, then go with Potenza. I don't think you can go wrong with either.