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Weekend in DC--restaurant suggestions

NY foodie heading to DC for a quick weekend (sightseeing, etc). Looking for recommendations for dinner and brunch--staying near 14th and M Street. Interested in gastro pubs, tapas, Italian, new American (pretty much open to suggestions). Thanks!

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  1. For gastropub, you definitely need to go to Againn: http://www.againndc.com. You'll find several threads discussing it on this board. The country ham charcuterie is fantastic, and the bangers & mash very tasty. And it's quite near you, at 11th and K.

    I haven't had decent Italian in DC, although I hear very good things about Bibiana. For tapas, Jaleo is an obvious choice, but it can be a real zoo and, consequently, the food can be hit or miss. Amazing cocktails though, esp the gin and tonic.

    Based on your location, you might also want to try Vidalia. I think it's a great place for lunch, the bang-for-buck at dinner isn't perfect. It's not quite "new American," more like haute southern.

    Before I start recommending stuff that's off your list of suggested cuisines, what's your budget?

    1. Birch and Barley (and the lounge upstairs, Churchkey) (100 beers on tap) and Estadio (tapas) are close to where you'll be staying. So is Masa 14, although I have not eaten there yet. It's not my favorite place, but Logan Tavern does a decent brunch on P by 14th, and Commissary was my standby - affordable, good omelettes.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Raids

        Yes--I meant to mention Churchkey/B&B. Definitely worth a visit.

        Also, if you're a Belgian beer aficionado, you should check out Brasserie Beck, which I believe is just down the street from Againn at K and 11th. It's a Belgian restaurant with a fantastic beer list and beer sommelier, very good mussels (and outstanding frites), and some very nice food generally (I've had good luck with rabbit dishes, and love their spaetzle appetizer).

      2. Obelisk for Italian or Tosca would be a good choice on that front as well.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Pool Boy

          I really think Tosca has the best Italian in DC but doesn't get much notice becuase of teh corporate atmosphere.

        2. Thanks so much for the suggestions! As for budget, its open, as long as the food is worth it!

          1 Reply
          1. re: jmol11

            Sure. Just one more suggestion, now that you've said budget is open--I can't recommend Komi highly enough. If you can get in--and it's very small, so on short notice your odds are not good--you really should try it (check out other threads, and especially uhockey's review http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7113...).

            Of course, New York has restaurants of similar (or, in a couple of cases, even higher) quality, but I don't think you'll find any place that has a comparable combination of quality, intimacy, and pacing--the degustation is a wonderful dinner experience, building beautifully from deceptively simple small plates of raw seafood through cooked fish and meats, pasta, and then a spectacular goat shoulder with pita and dips (it's essentially gourmet Greek comfort food). There are nods to fancy, modern cuisine (the liquid caesar salad injected into a crouton), but mostly it's just perfectly prepared, and perfectly paired, food.

            If you want to spend 3-4 hours (and $300-400, for a couple) on dinner, give them a call. You'll be glad you did.

            Wherever you wind up, have fun!

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

          2. You've gotten a lot of good suggestions so far. I second Komi (in the unlikely event you can score a reservation -- ditto for Obelisk), Churchkey, Againn (don't miss the "potted meat"), Brasserie Beck (moules and frites) and Masa 14. Cork Wine Bar in that area is also good. I haven't been to Bibiana yet, but can't wait to go - lots of people love it.

            Estadio: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7221...

            Againn: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6938...

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

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

            Cork Wine Bar
            1720 14th St NW Ste 1, Washington, DC 20009

            Bibiana
            1100 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20005

            Masa 14
            1825 14th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009

            5 Replies
            1. re: woodleyparkhound

              Would like to thank everyone for their great suggestions! We went to churchkey for drinks and appetizers, which was fantastic. Great beer selection, helpful staff and delicious appetizers. It was then followed by dinner at Birch and Barley which was PHENOMINAL. The menu had so many fantastic options, and the food was beyond delicious.

              As an aside, my boyfriend had proposed earlier that day while visiting the Monuments :) So our fantastic waiter at Birch and Barley gave us complimentary deserts with Congratulations written on the plate!!! It was a memorable end to a memorable day :)

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              Birch and Barley
              1337 14th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005

              1. re: jmol11

                Wow, that's just a bout the best report I've ever heard. Congratulations!

                Any details on what you ordered?

                1. re: jmol11

                  WOW!! Congratulations! I'm so glad you had such a memorable day -- and that good food played a role! Thanks for letting us know!

                  1. re: woodleyparkhound

                    Thanks!!! It's been a while, so to the best of my recollection, I had the sea bass, which was amazing. My fiancee had the pork, which was mouthwatering! Thumbs up for Birch and Barley

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                    Birch and Barley
                    1337 14th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005

                  2. re: jmol11

                    Congratulations! Glad you had a great time.