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What's good for dinner these days? Anything in the Union Station/Capitol Hill area?

Looking for a nice dinner one Saturday evening in September. We enjoy good food. Probably like to keep it in the $50 pp vicinity. Live in NY so used to a variety and open to types of cuisine. Wondering about jose andres places and anything else that might be a good find. Willing to travel a bit as well for a good place. Is Restaurant Nora still good?

Tx!

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  1. There is no Jose Andres place in the specific Union Station/Capitol Hill area. If you can expand your footprint to Penn Quarter, then you have Cafe Atlantico, Jaleo and Zaytinya by Jose Andres. Rasika, also in that area, has fabulous modern Indian food.

    Close to Union Station, the french bistro Bistro Cacao is homey, comforting and exactly what you'd expect of a bistro.

    I have not been to Restaurant Nora but the concensus on the boards/blogs is that it is no longer very good, and quite expensive for what it is.

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

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

    Restaurant Nora
    2132 Florida Ave., N.W, Washington, DC 20008

    Zaytinya
    701 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

    Bistro Cacao
    320 Massachusetts Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20002

    1 Reply
    1. re: dcandohio

      My sole Bistro Cacao experience was not memorable. Underseasoned food, service which desperately aspired to fine-dining level but wasn't, and a bill which was surprisingly high for what we ate - that's my impression.

      For bistro fare, I'll spend the 20 minutes it takes to get to Dupont for Bistro du Coin before I go there again.

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      Bistro Cacao
      320 Massachusetts Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20002

    2. There are no Jose Andres restaurants in the Capitol Hill/Union Station area. But Gallery Place/Chinatown (where his restaurants are are not that far away). My favorites are Cafe Atlantico and Jaleo.

      You might also like Central, a Michel Richard restaurant, a short trip from Union Station.

      Around Union Station there are still some good restaurants. Bistro Cacao is a new French restaurant. A very charming environment, along with nice outdoor seating. The prices are very moderate and I had a great salmon and lentils dish the last time I was there. Also in that area is Art and Soul for Southern cuisine and Bistro Bis (not necessarily new but always good!).

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

      Bistro Bis
      15 E Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001

      Art and Soul
      415 New Jersey Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20001

      Bistro Cacao
      320 Massachusetts Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20002

      1 Reply
      1. re: Elyssa

        Agree, Bistro Cacao would be a great fit. Very few people know about it. It has good food, an intimate setting and in Capitol Hill. I don't think Jose Andres are anything special, especially if you are coming from NYC. Cava Mezze is also a fun time in Eastern Market.

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        Mezze
        1606 Thames St., Baltimore, MD 21231

        Bistro Cacao
        320 Massachusetts Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20002

      2. My favorite is Jaleo for Spanish tapas.

        I go there for the patatas bravas, spinach, asparagus, cauliflower, mushrooms with garlic, tortilla al momento, and the cod fritters. Salads of red beets and citrus or baby cucumbers and tomato are very fine. Rustic European food of the sort that is hard to find without a plane ticket.

        1. Johnny's half shell is good-close walking distance to Union station

          1. On Capitol Hill, the chesapeake room just opened and has been getting good reviews. It is a local source type of place.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Jeserf

              Hey, Thanks for all the great suggestions! Sorry to hear about Restaurant Nora but glad for the information. Johnny's Half Shell and Chesapeake Room are new to me so will definitely check those out!

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              Restaurant Nora
              2132 Florida Ave., N.W, Washington, DC 20008

              Johnny's Half Shell
              400 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20001

              1. re: keving

                Montmartre has excellent, consistently tasty bistro fare. I though the oysters at Chesapeake Room were perfectly prepared, but suffered from being inserted in a tough half-loaf of bread "po boy."

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                Montmartre
                327 7th St SE, Washington, DC 20003

              2. re: Jeserf

                I tried Chesapeake Room twice, and both times the food has been borderline-horrible. The green tomato crap cake starter was the one lone standout. It's a cool astmosphere, but i'd go there again for drinks only.

                1. re: scotcheroo

                  I'll second the horrible Chesapeake Room experience. The horseradish crusted oyster were tasty, but whoever thought of shoving them in a hollow-ed out half loaf of rock-hard bread should be arrested. It's like paying $15 to squeeze a tube of oyster toothpaste all over yourself.

              3. I've recently had two stellar meals at Art and Soul. Get the crispy duck wings!

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                Art and Soul
                415 New Jersey Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20001

                1. Also Toscana Cafe for a neighborhood vibe, checked-tablecloth italian. Food has always been incredible there, but there are only about 10 tables or so, so it can be a wait.

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                  Toscana Cafe
                  601 2nd St NE, Washington, DC 20002