Birthday suggestion - September 26th
My husband and I are arriving in D.C. on Friday the 24th and I want to make a reservation for his 66th birthday at either a great Italian restuarant on Sunday the 26th or as an alternative a simply great pub with great food and atmosphere. Suggestions please.
Bibiana would be a great place to have a birthday - it's quieter, more upscale. I thought the food I had there was fantastic.
I like Dino would would go there for a birthday, but to be honest, I see Dino as a an every day place we visit whereas Bibiana would be more for special occasions.
The salted caramel gelato is insane. I say that every Bibiana post because it's true.
1100 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20005
I agree with Bibiana and Dino, although while Dino is festive and has a great wine list, it's uneven. It's charming, but you just can't guarantee that it's going to be at its best. The food at Bibiana is better; the atmosphere at Dino is much more relaxed.
Againn is a gastropub on 11th, closest to the Metro Center station. Great whisky selection, great food.
ETA: Also, if you tell the restaurant it's for your husband's b-day, or note it on your opentable reservation, any place around here should come up with some kind of gesture for the occasion.
www.againndc.com. Weird, came up at the top of my Google search.
I was actually just reading the Yelp reviews - a warning: this place is more like a restaurant than a "pub." Think of it as kind of a spin on a restaurant concept. But the meat dishes are great, and they take their drinks seriously. I also really like the bar there, although it's small. Apparently, Againn Tavern in Rockville, MD is more of a true pub, but I haven't been there yet.
On a similar note, I'll also suggest Birch & Barley. Great beer selection. But also a restaurant. Churchkey is upstairs, and surprisingly pleasant on a Sunday, actually, but the food isn't really all that. Flatbreads (proscuitto and fig is good), tater tots, mac & cheese sticks, caramel popcorn - done with a little extra effort and not greasy pub-style, but nothing really memorable. The decor and booths are really great though. Now I'm thinking I might stop by there this Sunday....anyway...
We really, really lack the kind of noteworthy, reasonable pubs with nice deep booths and good food that you'd find in any other city.