HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >

Dinner in DC

Phil_A_Mignon Jul 20, 2009 08:48 PM

I will be in DC in a couple of weeks with 3 or 4 coworkers. I am a serious foodie, but my coworkers are not. That being said, they are entrusting me with the responsibility of choosing a really nice restaurant for dinner, and they are willing to be adventurous with dinner that evening. I know nothing of DC dining. Can anyone recommend a place that fits the following criteria:

Any type of cuisine except Indian food, and no steak houses
focus on locally sourced, fresh food
atmosphere that is really nice, but not high-brow or stuffy
price point no greater than around $45 for average entree (looking for a really nice meal, but not French Laundry nice)

(open to anything, but French or Northern Italian is preferred)


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. e
    Ericandblueboy RE: Phil_A_Mignon Jul 20, 2009 08:58 PM

    You could start here http://www.washingtonian.com/restaura...

    At $45 for entree, you can easily do CityZen, Palena, Vidalia, Marcel and Corduroy - all top notch restaurants in DC. Palena has some Italian influence and Vidalia has some southern influence. Corduroy does a 3 course prix fixe for $55 or so. Marcel is Beligan/French. CityZen is probably the best all around.

    1. w
      WillyG RE: Phil_A_Mignon Jul 20, 2009 09:45 PM

      You can check out La Tasca (good tapas and sangria) which has a few locations in the city. Also I really like Buca which is near Adams Morgan. Best of luck!


      2 Replies
      1. re: WillyG
        Elyssa RE: WillyG Jul 21, 2009 07:45 AM

        I really strongly suggest that you don't go to either of these. By Buca I imagine you mean Buca di Bepo...a national Italian chain. If you want tapas you should go to Jaleo or Taberna del Alberdero.

        More up your alley seems to be Corduroy, PS7, Palena, Equinox, or Cashion's Eat Place. All have excellent kitchens with locally sourced, seasonal cuisine. Nice atmosphere and within your price range. In my opinion, you can't go wrong with any of these places.

        1. re: WillyG
          dining with doc RE: WillyG Jul 21, 2009 11:52 AM

          would avoid La Tasca and go to Jaleo if you want good tapas

        2. b
          bigplate RE: Phil_A_Mignon Jul 20, 2009 11:11 PM

          At $45 an entree, you can pretty much eat anywhere you want in DC. The suggestions ericandblueboy makes are all on target. Italian is not one of DC's great strengths. Citronelle is French and generally considered one of the top restaurants but I would actually favor all of the others mentioned--Citronelle is kind of cold and noisy, though the food can be fabulous. Tosca is an italian restaurant you can consider--we have always had good meals there, it is centrally located. I would also throw into the mix KInkead's, which is seafood.

          1 Reply
          1. re: bigplate
            bordeauxfan RE: bigplate Jul 21, 2009 02:30 AM

            For locally sourced, fresh food, and a great location near the White House, I would add Equinox to your list.

          2. ktmoomau RE: Phil_A_Mignon Jul 21, 2009 08:15 AM

            For French I highly suggest Bistro Bis which would meet your price point and is very nice, always fresh.

            For Italian what about Sonoma, Tosca, Dino, Siroc or Spezie? They are all very nice with good food. I think Tosca and Spezie are a little bit more formal maybe more conducive for a business dinner. Sonoma though uses sustainable fish and other products and features a lot of local or sustainable cheeses. I am not sure about the others, but always fresh and if youlook on their websites they might say what local products they use.

            1. littlew1ng RE: Phil_A_Mignon Jul 21, 2009 08:54 AM

              i would throw proof out there too as a suggestion....very impressive wine list and fabulous food. sonoma is also a good suggestion as are many of the aforementioned. i would definitely avoid la tasca like the plague...i've had numerous terrible dining experiences there. it's a good place for drinks, but the food and service are pretty bad in my opinion.

              2 Replies
              1. re: littlew1ng
                deangold RE: littlew1ng Jul 21, 2009 10:49 AM

                At Dino all our ingredients are sustainable, natural or artisan. Many are local and organic.

                1. re: deangold
                  ktmoomau RE: deangold Jul 21, 2009 11:28 AM

                  That's what I figured, but I didn't want to overstep my knowledge. Thanks for the post.

              2. s
                small fry RE: Phil_A_Mignon Jul 21, 2009 09:06 AM

                We had a really nice meal at The Oval Room. Service was impeccable and you can be as adventurous or unadventurous as you'd like in terms of the menu. Can't speak much as to the decor because we ate on the patio.

                1 Reply
                1. re: small fry
                  littlew1ng RE: small fry Jul 21, 2009 10:12 AM

                  oval room does have great food but can be a little stuffy in the way of atmosphere, imo.

                2. c
                  charitytd RE: Phil_A_Mignon Jul 21, 2009 09:57 AM

                  Sonoma? I haven't been there yet, but I'm supposed to go next week. It's supposed to be great food, all from the mid Atlantic or nearby states. I've heard Vegetate is interesting in Shaw.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: charitytd
                    chicken kabob RE: charitytd Jul 21, 2009 10:10 AM

                    I second Proof- and I want to also suggest Creme, Brasserie Beck and Central. Have fun...

                  2. q
                    Qrio82 RE: Phil_A_Mignon Jul 21, 2009 12:35 PM

                    I can recommend Bistro D'Oc near the Ford Theater. The foie gras mousse with brioche and the sauteed lamb brains were very tasty.

                    The cassoulet was so hearty and warming that I could've laid on the ground and taken a nap afterwards.

                    Check it out: http://tiny.cc/JywkV

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Qrio82
                      littlew1ng RE: Qrio82 Jul 21, 2009 02:35 PM

                      bistro d'oc is definitely good, and lower-key than some of the other places mentioned on this board if you're looking to go somewhere that's not quite so scene-y.

                    Show Hidden Posts