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Above-average food in a non-trendy/fancy atmosphere? In Penn Quarter or Old Town?

JoanArkham Oct 1, 2009 08:38 AM

Looking for somewhere to go for an anniversary dinner. Normally we would go somewhere upscale, but we're both really swamped with work this month and just want to go somewhere with good food where we don't feel out of place because we're not on expense account or trendy 20-somethings.

We're also going to have to go right after work, so we'll be in business casual. Leaning toward "casual."

Work is in Penn Quarter, and Old Town Alexandria is on the way home. Any cuisine is fine, as long as there is a good seafood or vegetarian option. We're thinking maybe Hank's, but we were just there not too long ago.

Any and all ideas appreciated!

  1. ktmoomau Oct 1, 2009 08:49 AM

    What about Proof in Chinatown? It has people of all ages when I have been there, has a wonderful seafood dish, the sablefish. I think the entrees are about the same prices as Hank's?

    Vermillion might be an option too.

    4 Replies
    1. re: ktmoomau
      Gigi007 Oct 1, 2009 09:01 AM

      I second the recommendation for Proof. Also in Penn Quarter and casual w/ good vegetarian options is Jaleo. Haven't been to Vermillion in Alexandria, but have heard good things about it. Hope you have a happy anniversary!

      1. re: Gigi007
        JoanArkham Oct 2, 2009 10:22 AM


      2. re: ktmoomau
        JoanArkham Oct 2, 2009 10:21 AM

        Thanks! I've never been to Proof and kind of forgot it was there...

        1. re: ktmoomau
          WestIndianArchie Oct 2, 2009 10:59 AM

          Proof is the definition of Trendy. When people can't go to Oya, Zaytinya or Indeblue they got to Proof.

        2. littlew1ng Oct 1, 2009 01:21 PM

          whenever i want casual and low-key and not trendy, but still romantic, i go to bistro d'oc. i love proof, it's one of my favorite restaurants in the area, but i feel it is a little on the trendy side for what you are seeking.

          1 Reply
          1. re: littlew1ng
            JoanArkham Oct 2, 2009 10:25 AM

            Thanks! Have you ever tried the pre-theater menu?

          2. monkeyrotica Oct 2, 2009 04:32 AM

            I'll second Vermillion. You may want to consider Brabo, which has some excellent seafood options. Price point is comparable to Hank's, but you could get a couple apps and split an entree. They're pretty substantial.


            1 Reply
            1. re: monkeyrotica
              JoanArkham Oct 2, 2009 10:34 AM

              Oooh, the Brabo tasting room sounds perfect. I've been craving mussels, too. Thanks!

            2. j
              Jacey Oct 4, 2009 04:41 PM


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