Best restaurants in/around 14th St. NW and White House?
We are staying at the Crown Plaza Hamilton, and will spend most of the weekend in/around that area and the Museum of American History. Any great shouldn't-miss restaurants/bistros/cafes? We will have our 8 yr. old with us, but we're definitely not limited to family/chain restaurants.
Since you are doing museum-ville, also consider a place like Poste and Zola (upscale but kid friendly) near the Spy Museum, the cafe under the National Museum of Art, and for a fun (croweded) and different kid-friendly food experience the Museum of the American Indian has a cool cafeteria style lunch with Native American specialties.
Seconded on Mitsitam (the Mus. of the Amer. Ind. cafe), and also the cafe at the National Gallery of Art; while the other (pure restaurant) options are better food-wise and probably location-wise, if you do wander towards the eastern edge of the mall during your touristing, those are both very good alternatives to trekking back to where the restaurants are, and can actually be pretty fun dining experiences in their own right if you're in the right mindset.
With the 8 year old in tow, I'd think Old Ebbitt Grill, right on 15th Street across from the White House, would be a good choice. They have a huge menu ranging from big salads, sandwiches, to steaks and crabcakes, as well as a terrific raw bar. Ingredients are usually seasonal and fairly local. It's a DC institution, and you can/should expect a wait during normal dining hours, unless you call ahead.
Old Ebbitt Grill
675 15th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005
J& G Steakhouse. 3 course lunch for $24. Againn is not too far either. When you're actually at the Museum, Central is very close. Beyond that, you're fairly close to Penn Quarter were a lot of the best restaurants in the city are - Rasika, Proof, 701, Zaytinya, Atlantico, Jaleo, etc., etc.
It's only open on weekdays, but Juice Joint is a great sandwhich/breakfast counter order place in the neighborhood.
You're also very close to Capitol Grille if you want a really good steak. I know, I know, it's a chain, but the DC location is an institution.
ETA: If you go to Bombay Club, order the dessert coffee. It's a whole production. Your 8 year old will love you. And I also really loved this place, and it's been a favorite with various Presidential couples as well. I'd also wear something nice - no shorts, maybe a skirt. I'm sure they'd let you in wearing jeans, but some people were in cocktail dresses.
You're very near Bombay Club, a really lovely Indian restaurant with a great Sunday brunch and a very large patio for outdoor dining. They do fish and the vegatable dishes very well, though I've liked every meal I've had there.
815 Connecticut Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20006
Brasserie Beck is a true Belgian Brasserie at 11th and K, an easy walk. Potato gratin with pork belly, brussel sprouts, liver parfait, are all good orders. About a block south of that is Againn, an Irish gastropub. Potted pork with onion marmalade and curried cauliflower soup.
1101 K Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005