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Mar 22, 2010 08:31 AM

In DC for a few days - anything/place we shouldn't miss? We're from NYC

Anyplace that really will showcase DC food experience? We are seeking inexpensive, moderate and one big splash meal. Need breakfsat, lunch and dinners. We have some non-fish eaters and some serious wine drinkers in the group. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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  1. How big is the group? How soon? Some places are a difficult reservation.

    Just how informal do you want to go? Hole-in-the-walls?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Steve

      group of 4 - I don't think any hole in the walls unless it is great food. Thanks!

    2. For the moderate- you might check out Proof, nice wine program and food. I also enjoy Sonoma for casual, if you are on the hill. There are some nice wine bars: Cork and Veritas with good food too.

      We aren't a big breakfast place. Other people really like Teaism, I don't but it is a nice quick stop for breakfast. Also Market Lunch at the Eastern Market is good for that. I like the breakfast at Cafe Atlantico and Poste. Creme is good too.

      For the big splash the big names in the city are: Komi, Citronelle, CityZen, Marcel's, Minibar, J&G. I also really like Corduroy, New Heights and Blue Duck Tavern.

      Cafe Atlantico
      405 8th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20004

      CityZen Restaurant
      1330 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20024

      3000 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20007

      2009 R St NW, Washington, DC 20009

      New Heights Restaurant
      2317 Calvert St. NW, Washington, DC 20008

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

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

      Market Lunch
      225 7th St SE Ste 12, Washington, DC 20003

      Blue Duck Tavern
      1201 24th Street NW, Washington, DC 20037

      1 Reply
      1. re: ktmoomau

        If you're not on the Hill, I'd go to Mendecino in Georgetown on M street for wine and fantastic food. It's Sonoma's sister restaurant.

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

      2. For a very good, moderately priced Italian with a fantastic wine list, I'd recommend Dino. It's very near the Cleveland Park Metro station.

        Breakfast: Market Lunch at Eastern Market - get there early on Sat. - the line gets really long. Eastern Market is wonderful in many ways. It's a fantastic place to spend a couple of hours on a Sat. morning. Peregrine Espresso serves great coffee there as well. In that neighborhood as well is the "Spike Burger" (Good Stuff Eatery) which has very good burgers and fantastic hand-spun shakes. Lines can get scary long here on Sat. afternoon when the weather is beautiful. (I waited 35 mins. last Sat.


        Steve makes an excellent point about some places being a difficult reservation - well, I'd say all the best "big splash" restaurants in town are in this category. I'd put Komi at the top of that list.

        Another difficult reservation but I think really showcases the DC food experience is Rasika - very inventive Indian like no Indian you've had before.

        On the dirt cheap end, I love Amma Vegetarian Kitchen in Georgetown for masala dosa at lunchtime. Ben's Chili Bowl on U St. is ultra-famous for half smokes (Cosby and Obama have been there) and is a classic DC experience -- and will leave you thinking, "This really isn't very good - why is it so popular?" Also around 9th and U are several good Ethiopian places: (my favorite) Etete, and Dukem -- also I haven't been yet but people love Queen Makeda as well.

        Best lunch deal in town is the Lickety-Split lunch at Restaurant Eve in Old Town Alexandria (King St. Metro then free shuttle or nice walk when the weather is good). $12.95 for two fantastic courses plus the most glorious hot house made bread I've ever had in my life. I did this last week when a friend was in town. I took the day off and we built our day around it. Honestly, I was just astonished at the quality of the food we had for this price. King St. is also a nice neighborhood for shopping, strolling and people-watching by the water.

        Go to the Breadline for lunch near the White House on Fri. when their daily special is pulled pork - ask for it on ciabatta bread. This is arguably the best sandwich in town.

        So many places, so little time...

        1942 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

        Ben's Chili Bowl
        1213 U St NW, Washington, DC 20009

        Queen Makeda
        1917 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

        Restaurant Eve
        110 South Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314

        Rasika Restaurant
        633 D Street, NW, Washington, DC 20004

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

        Market Lunch
        225 7th St SE Ste 12, Washington, DC 20003

        1. I like taking out of towners to Wolfgang Puck's The Source in the Newseum. Downstairs for drinks and upsatirs for food. Great wine list.

          1 Reply
          1. re: keithdcil

            Depending on when you're coming, you could get some blue claw crabs. If you don't have a car, you go go to Quarterdeck in Arlington. They usually start serving crabs in mid-April. They probably won't be locally-fished crabs at that point, but you won't really taste the difference.