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Dec 14, 2010 04:46 AM

W Hotel- Need a casual fun good food place to eat near by

My friends want to do Old Ebbitt- I was hoping for something a little newer and with better food. But just as lively.


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  1. Considering your handle, why not go to CoCo Sala for their cacao-inspired menu? I recommend the manchego and arugula salad and the various sliders plus the flight of artisanal chocolates for dessert. Just avoid the flatbreads and you'll be fine. 180 degrees form OEG.

    1. Depending on your price point, Michel Richard Central might be perfect--it's a few years old, it's a very energetic room, and the food is outstanding.

      12 Replies
      1. re: marcj

        This is my recommendation. Or if you want to head over to Gallery Place/Chinatown you might like Proof or Oya.

        1. re: Elyssa

          From what I 've heard (still haven't been!) I'd vote yes on Central, but definitely no to Proof or Oya, especially Oya. I could see the lounge at Proof, but reading your menu with a handheld light next to a bunch of couples on dates is not "lively." My friends were kicked out of Proof for being too "lively" (and they really were just being lively, I promise). Oya's decor encourages quiet. Everything white or mirrored. I bet the bar/lounge area is fun, though? If I were the OP and wanted to go there, I'd make a later reservation - like 8pm or later.

          The options close by are not great. Ceiba is really close, but just okay - nothing special. We go to the lounge sometimes for happy hour, though - $5 cocktails, and good cocktails. Then there are the options right in the hotel: J&G is great, but not the right price point. The POV lounge is lively and right upstairs, with great decor, but the service is unjustifiably snooty without being very good, and the food is not as good as it is downstairs, but comparably priced.

          Other thoughts along the same vein as Central, then, and about the same distance are Zaytinya, Brasserie Beck, and Againn. I'd probably book Againn a little later also.

          1. re: Raids

            These are all good suggestions, but you could also head a bit northwest and go to Potenza for some excellent Italian and great drinks.

            1430 H Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005

            1. re: katecm

              I forgot about Potenza! I think that hits all the requirements. Sure Bibiana is probably better, but Potenza is priced like Old Ebbit and the food is definitely decent, especially the pizza, salads, and arrancini. My office goes there for happy hour all the time - the bar is pretty large and the restaurant is enormous. Service in the restaurant is...okay.

              1. re: Raids

                I do admit that I rarely eat in dining rooms, usually at bars, so can't speak for service at tables. But oh, those arrancini.

                1. re: katecm

                  What is your favorite cocktail there? I always get the one with the muddled grapes but am looking to try something besides that or wine.

                  1. re: Raids

                    Oh my gosh, the one that is a pick-your-own whiskey poured over an ice cube made of bitters, cherry and orange. It's basically a minimalist old-fashioned, and the flavor changes with each sip. Perfect for cold weather!

                    1. re: katecm

                      That is the drink I recommended for my friend and coworker when we first started going there (he loves his Makers) and now he's hooked. That one is fantastic. I'm pretty sure I've had a kind of frou-frou strawberry-lemon drink that's also not bad, but only those three and I feel like there are quite a few options on the menu?

                      Speaking of the neighborhood, ever had the backyard margarita (or really any cocktail) across the street at Le Bar? I pretty much loathe the attitude and try to boycott the place, but then I miss the tequila, muddled blackberries, and thyme sprig and cave.

                      1. re: Raids

                        No, I haven't. I'm rarely in that neighborhood unless intentionally. I was at Le Bar for a birthday party a few weeks ago, though. We got the champagne flight and I was unpleasantly greeted by an actual oaky bubbly. No thanks. I then got a champagne cocktail that was better. But there are much better places for drinks, I'd say.

                        1. re: katecm

                          Just want to clarify for the OP that even though it is close, I am definitely *not* recommended Le Bar as a casual, fun good food place, as it is none of the above.

                          And all logic would seemingly be on your side katecm, but there are a few drinks there that I liked as much as the G&T at Jaleo, the Dark and Stormy at Atlantico or Ris, or a Lion's Tail at Passenger. In fact, I'd put that backyard margarita right in that list, strangely enough, but only in the summer when I can drink it on the patio.

                          1. re: Raids

                            I'll have to wait until spring to try it. Untill then, Pete's Pickled Pepper at PS7 will be my poison.

                            PS7 Restaurant
                            777 I Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001

                            1. re: katecm

                              Try Marvins on U St the food is great prices reasonable and after dinner hit the upstairs bar to mingle