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Sep 9, 2010 07:52 AM

Staying at the Willard

Cominng to DC for 5 days and staying at the Willard. We are traveling with a 4 year old (who has a spohisticated palate) and my older parents.

Would love some restaurant recomendations. We are looking for low key (jeans kind of places) and we love ethnic . We would ideally like restaurants that we can get to easily as we wont have a car (but have no problem using public transportation).

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  1. If you like excellent, reasonably-priced, authentic Thai food, I would encourage you to take the Metro (red line from Metro Center, a few blocks from the Willard) to Wheaton (you'll spend about 20+ mins. on the train) to eat at Ruan Thai, which is about a 5 min. walk from the Wheaton Metro station. The place doesn't look like much; it certainly fits your criteria of low key / jeans. It is one of the very best Thai places in the area, and the easiest to get to by public transportation (i.e. bus not required after getting off the Metro.) I would avoid all Thai restaurants in the district, except Thai X-ing, which is too small and too much hassle to be practical for your group.

    For the best weekday-only lunch in town, check out the Breadline on the other side of the White House from the Willard. I'd go on Fri. when they have the best BBQ sandwich in town as the daily special - ask for it on ciabatta.

    Ruan Thai Restaurant
    11407 Amherst Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20902

    1. If you want ethnic in DC, you have to have Ethiopian. My favorite is Etete. You'll want to Metro to U Street (or take a quick cab ride).

      Bistro du Parc, right in your hotel, is a nice French place. Not too upscale for jeans. Just down Pennsylvania is one of my favorite restaurants, Central. Also not too far are Brasserie Beck, Againn, Jaleo, Zaytinya - all of which would be fine for jeans and a child.

      Also, I'll throw out there that I recently ate at TenPenh, just down Penn from your hotel, and was surprised about how good the food is. I hadn't been in years and was really not expecting such a delicious meal.

      1942 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

      Brasserie Beck
      1101 K Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005

      701 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

      1001 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest, Washington, DC 20004

      1. try to get a spot at rasika. we always go in jeans. yum.

        1. You are in a good location (and staying in an incredible restaurant). If you are willing to get on the metro for the ethnic food, you might want to try to head over to Etete for Ethiopian cuisine (it's what DC does best). I also like Heritage in Dupont Circle for straight forward Indian. There is also the more upscale Rasika for stylized Indian. I've never seen a child there but I'm sure no one would mind---it's pretty loud and boisterous in there.

          The Willard also has a great french bistro called Cafe Du Parc--worth checking out. Also near by is Bistro D'Oc for more excellent french bistro food.

          You are not that far from Gallery Place/Chinatown with lots of options. You might want to check out Matchbox (pizza and miniburgers), Jaleo (Spanish tapas), and Cafe Atlantico (Latin fusion).

          Finally, Central is nearby for French influenced American. Lots of options for your group, and one of my favorite restaurants in DC.

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

          1942 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

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

          Bistro D'Oc
          518 10th St NW, Washington, DC 20004

          1. Typical South Floridian: stays at the Willard but is too cheap to get a taxi.

            SInce there is so little Asian in Miami, you may want to consider having some here.

            Here are my top five dinners in jeans. Anything else would be out of place:

            Nando's Peri-Peri. Order at the counter. Nice comfortable place, though. Spicy Mozambiquan chicken. Get the quarter dark spicy. You can order plain as well.

            Chinatown: Full Kee. Hong Kong Style. Go for the duck stuffed with shrimp paste, the oyster and ginger casserole, shrimp dumpling soup, the chive flowers, and the clams in black bean sauce.

            Ethiopian: Etete, but it is popular, so I suggest reserving. Go for the fasting food platter and add the whole fish. Also the derek tibs. You eat with your hands here. For a less crowded experience, Queen Makeda is right across the street. Focus on the red lentils, vegetables, and the tibs wat.

            Singapore Bistro: Some very nice, simple noodle dishes from Singapore and Malaysia. Comfortable place.

            Tunisian, in Arlington.VA right next to the Courthouse Metro Stop: Chez Manelle. Tiny spot, best to reserve. Brika (a crepe with egg), carrott puree, tagines, and a killer dessert which is like balava with pudding on top. Unique menu.

            1942 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

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

            Full Kee Restaurant
            509 H St NW, Washington, DC 20001

            Nando's Peri-Peri
            819 7th St NW, Washington, DC

            Singapore Bistro
            1134 19th St NW, Washington, DC 20036