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Asking for recommendations in Arlington, VA & DC

Hello. We will be Arlington/DC next month for a family reunion, Wednesday through Sunday. I would really appreciate some fellow Chowhound advice. Ideally these would all be accessible via the Metro.

1. What is your favorite family/group friendly restaurants in Arlington (10-12 people). Ideally it would be low key after a full day of hiking the museums.
2. What is your favorites chef tasting menu that I can still get reservations for (can be in DC or surrounding areas).
3. Favorite street food in Arlington / DC?

Thanks in advance for your recommendations!

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  1. 1. Ray's the steaks, boulevard woodgrill
    2. the inn at little washington
    3. bulgogi cart at 14th and vermont

    1. 1. Ray's or Liberty Tavern
      2. Marcel's
      3. El Pollo Rico or Pupatella

      1. 1. 2Amys or Matchbox Chinatown (closer)
        2. not sure
        3. El Charrito Caminante or Super Pollo or (Food Cart Pupatella just Thursdays and Fridays)

        1. Just have a #2 to add - Tasting Room at Restaurant Eve (in Alexandria, just next to Arlington)

          1. Cafe Assorti in Arlington for hearty soups (borscht, mushroom), dumplings, stuffed breads, and interesting vegetable salads (especially the carrot, beet with walnuts, and the pickled vegetables). This is a great place to eat family style. Eastern European/Central Asian bent.

            Chef's tasting menu for 10-12 people?

            1 Reply
            1. re: Steve

              Thanks, Steve. There will be a "smaller" group for the chef's tasting menu - but for most of our meals it will be 10-12 of us. Thanks to all for these suggestions and keep them coming!

            2. 1. Liberty Tavern (Clarendon Metro) www.thelibertytavern.com
              2. Table 21 at VOLT in Frederick -- reservations may be a challenge, and it IS a hike, but it's a great deal for a Chef's Table -- www.voltrestaurant.com
              3. El Pollo Rico!!!! (not street food, but in the same vein...) www.ilovethischicken.com

              1. You might also want to consider the sound level: both 2Amys and Rays Steaks are very loud when crowded (which is likely when you will be going) and a group of 10-12 will find it impossible to converse with each other. If you don't mind talking only to the person next to you (but unable to speak to someone 2 seats away), go for it.

                Tom Sietsema (Washington Post) includes decibel levels in his reviews, so if this is important to your group (or maybe not -- after a day of family togetherness you might not be inclined to speak much!), look him up.

                While this is not street food, very low-key Pho 75 in Arlington can handle a larger group and provide a welcome bowl of pho after a cold day on your feet.

                1 Reply
                1. re: kelly5612

                  Unless you have sensitivities to noise, Ray's isn't that bad. We have always been able to converse with the whole table? Even on Saturday nights. But you might be able to get the side room if it is a concern it is less noisy.

                2. For (1), we religiously take people to either Matchbox, as already suggested (order pizza and the fresh doughnuts for desert) or to Jaleo. Both are very accessible from the mall.

                  I can't help you with (2). If you manage to pull it off and find a reservation somewhere for a group that large, please report back!

                  On (3), it's not really street food, but if you mean casual, order-at-the-counter kind of stuff, I adore the sandwiches at Juice Joint on Vermont and also Ebbitt Express on 15th (enter the door to the building just past the entrance to Old Ebbitt Grill and look left) (both of these are really close to the White House).

                  By the way, these days, whenever I take someone over by the White House or the Washington Monument, I always take them up to POV lounge at the W Hotel on 15th Street (formerly Hotel Washington) for the unparalleled view. You can't always get in very easily at night, but there are people up there in shorts at 4pm - it's basically DC's version of Signature Lounge in Chicago on the top of the Hancock.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Raids

                    Thanks for the suggestions; they are very much appreciated! There will only be four of us for the tasting experience, but for most of the rest of the trip we have the larger group.

                  2. From Ballston Metro, a 15 minute walk or a bus ride on the 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D or ART75 to:

                    Pupatella : superb, authentic Neopolitan pizza, reasonably priced
                    Super Pollo: Peruvian chicken as good or better than the famous El Pollo Rico
                    Fettoosh: really good Moroccan bastilla