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Help Me Choose!

My cousin is coming in to town for a business trip. We are going to grab dinner next Tuesday night. Even though he is staying at the Mandarian I think after 2 days full of meetings he will want to get out of the hotel.

I thought we would try some place I've never been or someplace I haven't been in a very long time. I also don't want to take him too far from the hotel (all of these places should be a 10 minute taxi ride). The list I came up with was: DC Coast, TenPehn, and Sonoma. What are your opinions on these 3 restaurants? Which should I choose?

Just for the record Brasserie Beck made the short list since it's so great but I've eaten there recently. If neither of these options sound good to you though, it might end up being Brasserie Beck because it's great for most occasions.

Thanks!

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Brasserie Beck
1101 K Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005

Sonoma Restaurant
223 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, Washington, DC 20003

DC Coast Restaurant
1401 K Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005

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  1. I think DC Coast is better than TenPehn but I usually head to DC Coast for business lunch/dinner. I do like Sonoma's wines by the glass list but I didn't think their food was stellar. It's definitely good but nothing too memorable.

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    Sonoma Restaurant
    223 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, Washington, DC 20003

    DC Coast Restaurant
    1401 K Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005

    1. not a fan of tenpenh, thought it was overrated, but i'm not a fan of the asian-fusion thing so if you are, maybe take my opinion with a grain of salt. I've only been to happy hour at DC Coast but the food does look amazing.

      Have you not been to Sonoma? If not, I would definitely say that's the one you should pick. The food is very, very good and solid and the wines are very impressive. They have a small but nice prosecco selection.

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      Sonoma Restaurant
      223 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, Washington, DC 20003

      DC Coast Restaurant
      1401 K Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005

      1 Reply
      1. re: littlew1ng

        I went to Sonoma for lunch well over a year ago. I thought it was good, although our service was really, really slow for a lunch (not such a big issue for dinner).

        I've never been to DC Coast and the last time I was at TenPehn was probably 3 years ago, but I've been a few times and always liked it.

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        Sonoma Restaurant
        223 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, Washington, DC 20003

        DC Coast Restaurant
        1401 K Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005

      2. I decided to go with DC Coast since it was the 1 restaurant on the list I've never been to.

        So now the question is....what do I order!? My friend raves about their pork chops but I'm likely to stick with one of their fish dishes. I thought the skate looked good but am open to hearing about other menu items.

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        DC Coast Restaurant
        1401 K Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005

        3 Replies
        1. re: Elyssa

          Ooooh I love DC Coast. I would highly recommend the chinese style lobster. My thought is that if you're ordering lobster in a restaurant, it better not be plain with butter because you can just get that at a lobster stand. DC Coast's is definitely not ordinary --- that fried spinach really makes the dish. It's such a creative compliment. Yeah, it's going to be expensive, but it's soooo worth it.

          Also, I believe I had a wonderful crab soup that isn't on the menu anymore. But the parsnip and yukon potato soup looks similar.

          Have fun!

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          DC Coast Restaurant
          1401 K Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005

          1. re: Elyssa

            DC Coast get fish (hence the name). They supposedly have good crab cakes but I've never ordered them there. I was unimpressed with Sonoma--food and wine by the glass selection.

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            DC Coast Restaurant
            1401 K Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005

            1. re: Jacey

              I was planning on getting the fish, that's why I chose the recipe. But I was wondering if there were specific dishes that folks liked.

          2. I would have picked Sonoma. The cheese and charcuterie boards are wonderful, the wie list really good and the fish and seafood dishes are really nice, very reminiscent (if not the same recipes) as the old Hook with Barton Seaver.

            At DC Coast- I have had really good scallops there in the past.

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            Sonoma Restaurant
            223 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, Washington, DC 20003

            DC Coast Restaurant
            1401 K Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005

            2 Replies
            1. re: ktmoomau

              I agree. I can't comment on TenPenh as I've never been. As for Sonoma vs. DC Coast, I've been far more impressed by Sonoma (especially the wine list and the fish dishes) than I have been at DC Coast (with the possible exception of a Restaurant Week dinner I had 3 or 4 years ago). One dish I have enjoyed at DC Coast is the trout meunière.

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              Sonoma Restaurant
              223 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, Washington, DC 20003

              DC Coast Restaurant
              1401 K Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005

              1. re: Gigi007

                Tenhpen has a really good spicy calamari dish if you like fairly spicy food. They have some good entrees that just aren't very special, but the spicy calamari is great.

            2. I know you've picked, but what about Bibiana?

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              Bibiana
              1100 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20005

              1 Reply
              1. re: Jeserf

                I think they didn't have a reservation when I wanted it.