Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >
Nov 10, 2010 09:12 AM

A short week visit this winter

LA/Santa Monica foodie coming to your area in February for 5 days, after not having visited for a few years. Have enjoyed Vidalia, Obelisk, Kinkeads, Jaleo, etc in the past, as well as several Ethiopean places in Adams Morgan. Any other places I should consider now?

I'll have time for 3-4 dinners in DC proper. I also need suggestions for dinners in NOVA. I'll be staying in Reston for a couple of nights. One of those nights I'll have a car so I can go anywhere within 20 minutes drive of the Westin. The other night I'll be stuck with hotel food or anyplace in the Reston Town Center.

Kinkead's Restaurant
2000 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20006-1812

1990 M Street, Washington, DC 20036

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Mazadar Kabob is a surprisingly elegant Afghan restaurant about 20 minutes away in Fairfax. Intense, uncompromising food, served with gorgeous breads. Check out the unusual chestnut-colored baba ganoush, made rich with smoked paprika.

    1. For the Reston Town Center, I'd probably first recommend Passion Fish, which is a top notch seafood based operation that is part of a downtown small group of restaurants. Second would be Jackson's, which is a part of a small local chain. The thing with Jackson's is that the group of restaurants in general is a perfect mid-tier family of options. For some reason Jackson's is a little "experimental" in what is usually straight American cuisine, and it also can be a meat market (the bar area at least) - and loud.

      However, I think you're not in Town Center, but across the toll road from it. FWIW, skip Chili's for food and eat at Reston Kebab if you are only on foot. RK is nothing to look at and at night will probably look deserted, but the food is great (and make sure to get the brown chutney). You can then get drinks at Chili's if you want.

      You may want to use the night with the car to try PassionFish, but 20 mile range can open up a LOT of options, and it'd probably be good to know what you'd be looking for a bit more specifically. There's great American places in quaint old town Leesburg. There's (imo) even better seafood at BlackSalt in NW DC. There's outstanding Sichuan, Korean, Vietnamese and Thai, but I know generally on the Left Coast you usually have some good options there.

      One idea that is mainly a East Coast thing - it's a bit blue collar, but if you're open on a Friday, go to Jimmy's in old town Herndon and get the fish fry. It's really good and the rest of the menu is above average for a bar. But - it's mainly a working class type bar.

      4883 MacArthur Blvd., Washington, DC 20007

      1 Reply
      1. re: Dennis S

        Thanks! The Westin provides a free shuttle to the Town Center, so the night I'm stuck without a car I can go there or walk somewhere from the hotel. Since East Coast seafood is different than what I can easily get, seafood is a good choice. And you're right, I'll probably pass on the Asian since I have so many choices here at home. I like the idea of that Afghan place, or high quality American menus. I'll look into BlackSalt for when I'm in DC, especially since for one of the nights there I'll have a car. I'll be on my way to San Francisco by Friday, though.

        East Coast Cafe
        44 Calvert St, Annapolis, MD 21401

        4883 MacArthur Blvd., Washington, DC 20007

      2. I agree with some of the points above.

        For your dinner in the town center hands down go to Passionfish.

        For your 20 minute drive you have a plethora of good options depending on what you want to eat. I think depending on traffic you could take the Fairfax Co Pkwy down to Trummer's On Main in Clifton. You could also probably get to Merrifield to go to Four Sisters or Present for Vietnamese. Or head to Annandale for Koren at Han Gang or Honey Pig. You could also head into Arlington for dinner at Liberty Tavern or Eventide. I think Blacksalt may take longer than 20 minutes... but it is good.

        For your dinners in DC proper there are a lot of new places depending on what you want to eat and a few places you didn't mention so I am just going to list places similar in range to some of the places you listed and you can peruse the menu and etc:
        Masa 14
        Blue Duck Tavern
        New Heights
        Galileo 3

        3529 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008

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

        New Heights Restaurant
        2317 Calvert St. NW, Washington, DC 20008

        Four Sisters Restaurant
        Strawberry Ln Falls Church VA, Strawberry Ln Falls Church, VA

        The Liberty Tavern
        3195 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201

        Blue Duck Tavern
        1201 24th Street NW, Washington, DC 20037

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