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Special Saturday Night Dinner

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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

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  1. 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

    1. 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.

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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. 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. 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. 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