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Special Saturday Night Dinner

t
tempt2 Jan 4, 2011 07:12 AM

We are heading to Washington DC (from NYC) this coming weekend for 55th birthday celebration. Wanted to get people's view for a great place to have Saturday dinner. We are staying at the Fairfax at Embassy Row (Dupont).

Recommendation we got was Kinkeads or Cafe Milano. In the past, we have always went to interesting foodie places in NYC (Corton, Eleven Madison Park, etc.). Things that we care about (in order of importance):

- Good/unique food
- Service
- Interesting decor
- Decent/interesting wine list (rather spend money on food that high end wines. Neither of us are wine connoisseurs)
- Dessert (we may split something, but not big on dessert either)

Definitely want to pick a place that has good food, but not limited to just another seafood or steak place. Would like to find something that is unique to Washington DC if possible. Fun place is fine, but noise level can't be too high.

Slight travel via taxi/metro/walk is fine. Prefer no-dinner-jacket-requirements.

Hope that's enough info for suggestions...

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

Cafe Milano
3251 Prospect St NW, Washington, DC 20007

  1. t
    tempt2 Jan 4, 2011 09:23 AM

    Thank you everyone for the fast replies. I have booked a table at Equinox (and wait-listing on Komi). Glad I asked and avoided the usual suspects.

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

    1 Reply
    1. re: tempt2
      hill food Jan 4, 2011 01:15 PM

      haven't been to Milano, but the only praise I've heard in the last 10+ years is it's sometimes good for political celebrity sightings (DC is geeky that way).

      been to house parties catered by Equinox, excellent food, one doesn't expect much when there's 100+ people in the house and the fare is being churned out by the batch but everything I tried, I would have gladly ordered off a menu.

    2. s
      Steve Jan 4, 2011 08:46 AM

      I recommend eating at the Lounge at Citronelle. Citronelle is a formal, set menu dining room (reservations important), but the upstairs Lounge is informal, a la carte, no reservations. Very creative execution. Does not fit into any category. Go for the mushroom cigars, the tuna napoleon, escargot tart, chestnut soup, and sauterne by the glass. Although they might not list it on the menu, ask about their special birthday dessert, which serves two. It will be a surprise.

      http://www.citronelledc.com/cuisine/

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      Citronelle
      3000 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20007

      1. n
        nytdct Jan 4, 2011 08:44 AM

        If you enjoy Indian food, The Bombay Club nearby (just south of Farragut) is quite good (more tradtional that its sibling Rasika - which is fantastic though hard to get reservations) - haven't been to The Oval Room (across the street from Bombay Club) but have heard good things about it recently

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

        Bombay Club
        815 Connecticut Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20006

        1. e
          erinnf Jan 4, 2011 08:24 AM

          I second the recommendation for Equinox and would avoid the recommendation for Vidalia. I went over the summer and was horribly disappointed. One of my very favorite special locations is actually outside of DC, Restaurant Eve. They have top-notch amazing food, and menu is varied and interesting. You can metro to King Street and then take a cab or just cab from DC.

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          Restaurant Eve
          110 South Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314

          1. e
            Elyssa Jan 4, 2011 07:47 AM

            I wouldn't go to Kinkead's or Cafe Milano. You can do much, much better.

            My personal recommendation would be Equinox. Chef Gray focuses on seasonal ingredients with a focus on Mid-Atlantic cuisine. It's perfect for a special occasion (request one of the tables near the modern, open fire place)--they have a great wine list and service, as well as a tasty menu.

            I was there recently and had the chestnut soup---amazing. If it's on the menu certainly order it.

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

            Cafe Milano
            3251 Prospect St NW, Washington, DC 20007

            1. m
              marcj Jan 4, 2011 07:46 AM

              You can probably do better than Kinkead's, which, in my view, is very much "just another seafood restaurant." I've never been to Milano.

              The big problem is that on this short notice you're extremely unlikely to get a seat at the most obvious candidate--Komi--or most of the other high-end "foodie" places in the district.

              You might try Vidalia; I haven't been there in a year or two, and I understand that their Beard-award-winning chef has left the kitchen, but if they've managed to maintain anything like their former excellence, it would hit all of your specifications (although they may require jackets for dinner, I just can't remember). The southern haute cuisine is, if not unique to DC, and least regionally appropriate, and I've always enjoyed the food and service.

              If you can get on the waitlist at Komi, though, you should--the food is tops in the DC area and about as good as I've had anywhere, the service is very good, the room is intimate and relatively quiet, and although the wine and dessert are excellent, they're somewhat incidental. Maybe look at the sample menu on their website and Sietsema's WaPo dining guide write-up to get a sense of the food (or search this board for uhockey's lengthy and glowing review).

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

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

              Vidalia
              1990 M Street, Washington, DC 20036

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