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Visiting from NYC

I'll be in DC from Dec. 12 to 14 and have started to think about dining reservations. I've done some research and was wondering which three restaurants on this list would you choose?

Central Michel Richard
City Zen
Corduroy
Filomena
Komi
Marcel's
Obelisk
Palena
Tosca
Teatro Goldoni

I'd also love any suggestions for good bakeries or cafes in the Capitol Hill area. Many thanks.

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Palena
3529 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008

Central Michel Richard
1001 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20004

Komi
1509 17th St NW Ste 1, Washington, DC 20036

Teatro Goldoni
1909 K St., NW, Washington, DC 20006

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  1. Komi would be #1 by far. Chef Monis is spectacular.
    Palena would be #2. Get there when it opens at 5pm and sit in the cafe.
    Central would be #3. Get the casoulet if it's available.

    Good luck.

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    Palena
    3529 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008

    Komi
    1509 17th St NW Ste 1, Washington, DC 20036

    1 Reply
    1. re: UStifosi

      Yeah, the menu at Komi certainly looks interesting. Thanks for your recommendations.

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      Komi
      1509 17th St NW Ste 1, Washington, DC 20036

    2. The Restaurants you named are considered the creme de le creme with the exception of Filomena. From this list I have only eaten at Filomena, Central, Marcels and Palena. Filomena does not compare to Central, Marcels, Palena and the other restaurants on your list they are all exceptional restaurants. I am going to Komi on Friday and I am sure I will love it. What type of food are you interested in?

      Many people on this board will recommend you add Minibar, Citronelle and Volt to your list. FYI you have to reserve Komi and Minibar 1 month in advance.

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      Palena
      3529 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008

      Komi
      1509 17th St NW Ste 1, Washington, DC 20036

      3 Replies
      1. re: Jeremy303

        I'm mainly interested in French, Italian, Mediterranean, and new American, since my favorites in NYC include Jean Georges, Babbo, Molyvos and Gramercy Tavern.

        I'll take off Filomena, reserve at Komi, and definitely look into Minibar, Citronelle and Volt. Thanks for the tip!

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        Citronelle
        3000 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20007

        Komi
        1509 17th St NW Ste 1, Washington, DC 20036

        1. re: fm1963

          I'll start with the bad news. I don't think any Italian restaurant in DC is the equal of Babbo. I think Tosca is the best we can offer for Italian, but the experience there will be elegant and refined whereas I think of Babbo as having more of a trattoria/whole beast point of view. Tosca reminds me of Antico Arco in Rome, an appealing combination of refined classics and inventive re-interpretations of the classics.

          I keep trying to love Obelisk, but I've never been succeeded. The meal there starts well with a deluge of beautifully sourced and appealing antipasti arriving on the table, but the meal never follows through at the same level.

          I'll be going to Teatro Goldoni, chef's table, for the first time in a couple of weeks. We nearly had a disaster when my husband failed to specify Chef's Table when he first made our reservation. "The word" is that the regular restaurant offerings are nothing special.

          Incidentally, I've had pasta dishes at 2941 that are the equal to the best I've had at any Italian restuarnt in Italy or anywhere in the US. Now, that's fine if you want to single Italian dish among what is basically new American cuisine, but not so good if you want to eat Italian exclusively.

          DC does new American cuisine at a very high level in DC: CityZen, 2941, The Oval Room, Corduroy. You will have a great experience at any of these restaurants. That said...

          The Oval Room is staffed with four ex-Jean Georges alumni -- chef, pastry chef, and two sous chefs -- and you'll definitely see the lineage. However, there's a relatively new place in town that is part of the actual Jean-George empire: J & G Steakhouse. I haven't been, but the reviews have been excellent. Check out the WASHINGTON POST restaurant review for specifics.

          I adore Marcel's. Great hybrid of classic, professional service fused with expertly prepared French/Belgian classics and innovative cuisine. I love the structure of a meal there; basically you decide how many courses you want and what dishes you want to eat. In spite of the appearance of the menu which suggests that you choose one from a group per course, the reality is that you will decide what dishes you want to eat and the kitchen will order the sequence for a successful meal.

          Komi is great, especially if you get the tasting menu. Of course, you have to love raw fish because the New Greek food there features lots of raw and inventive fish dishes.

          Since you've got to narrow your choice to three restaurants, my vote goes to Komi, Marcel's, and any one of the New American restaurants.

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          CityZen Restaurant
          1330 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20024

          Teatro Goldoni
          1909 K St., NW, Washington, DC 20006

          1. re: Indy 67

            Wow, thanks for your thorough insider's response. I'll look into the Oval Room as well!

      2. "I'd also love any suggestions for good bakeries or cafes in the Capitol Hill area."

        I think Peregrine Espresso fits the bill; it's one of the very best coffee shops in the city. http://peregrineespresso.com/

        Also, I cast yet another vote for Komi!

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        Komi
        1509 17th St NW Ste 1, Washington, DC 20036

        2 Replies
        1. re: woodleyparkhound

          Thanks for the rec. Peregrine looks awesome!

          1. re: fm1963

            You're welcome! I would add that it's a bit hard to find when you've never been. Even though the postal address is on Pennsylvania Avenue, it's actually located just around the corner on 7th St. After you've had your caffeine, continue strolling down 7th St. to check out the Eastern Market and some interesting shops.

        2. First I would suggest you make reservations ASAP. Then I would go with Komi, Palena, and Central with Corduroy in a close second.

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          Palena
          3529 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008

          Komi
          1509 17th St NW Ste 1, Washington, DC 20036

          1. Komi is my #1 choice. I'm especially fond of the katsikaki that rounded out our degustazione.

            If you can stomach another 15+ course meal (especially if you failed to get reservation at Komi), and you have no problem paying $125 per person, then I'd go for Teatro Goldoni's Chef's Table.

            If for some reason you can't get into either Komi or TG, then Citronelle offers a much more expensive tasting menu while the Minibar offers a even tougher reservation.

            I'm not entirely certain when the food's really good, that you can definitely say one restaurant is better than another thus I tend to go to the restaurant with the most appealing menu. In that category I'd throw in CityZen, Corduroy, and Palena.