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!
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. 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
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.
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.