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Jan 10, 2011 03:36 AM

What retaurants are on your wishlist for 2011?

I was reading the Washingtonian's list of best DC restaurants yesterday and realizing that there are still so many places I keep meaning to check out that I still haven't been to, even leaving off places like the Inn, Komi, Minibar, and Table 21 that are either rather expensive or borderline impossible to get into.

Equinox was near the top of my list already, and I've made plans to have dinner there soon. Same with Cashion's. Next on the list is Palena and, believe it or not, Ray's the Steaks. I can't believe I still haven't been to Ray's the Steaks! And 2Amys.

I'd also like to check out Marcel's and Corduroy this year - whenever I make plans to go to either place, some conflict always arises.

Also, what kind of restaurants would you like to see open in 2011? I'd like to see a good deli or two in the downtown/Penn Qaurter area and more well-priced restaurants with a lively and vibrant atmosphere, like Matchbox or Carmine's.

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  1. Grace Garden. I've been reading about it here too long to not have gone yet.

    Grace Garden
    1690 Annapolis Rd, Odenton, MD

    1 Reply
    1. re: 4X4

      4x4 - i stumbled upon the CH thread too (200+ replies!) and it immediately jumped to the top of my list for 2011! Have been there twice now and it's AMAZING! The flavors produced by this family-run establishment located in such a non-descript strip mall-type building will blow you away - wow! Bon appetit!

      Others on my 2011 list include:
      Blue Duck
      New Heights

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

      1100 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20005

      1. Birch and Barley, maybe Granville Moores.

        I'd like to see more places near Metro Center where you can sit down and have lunch for $10-15-- roughly like Teaism, or maybe if the Greek Deli had somewhere to sit.

        2009 R St NW, Washington, DC 20009

        Greek Deli
        1120 19th St NW Frnt 1, Washington, DC 20036

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

        1. Eleven places I'd like to check out in '11 (if I type them out here, I don't have to worry about forgetting them!):

          Grace Garden
          Ray's Hellburger
          J&G Steak
          Restaurant Eve
          Oohs and Aahs
          BLT Burger and/or Shake Shack (whichever opens first)
          Sushi Taro

          Second the wish for a good deli--I would love some nice, NY-quality bagels, but I have yet to find them in the District.

          Would also love it if we could get some slightly homier, comfort-food, neighborhood-type places in the Adams Morgan/Dupont/U Street area. The closest I can think of are Cashion's, Firefly, and Hanks, but the first two are a bit too pricey to go to more than every couple of months or so, and the third is uneven. I think this is the biggest gap in the DC restaurant world (esp compared to places like Seattle and Chicago).

          9 Replies
          1. re: marcj

            You have Paradiso and Sichuan Pavillion? But it'd be nice to see the type of places you can go to on H St NE or Capitol Hill, right? The leases must just be too high?

            I have heard such mixed things about Plume, both in terms of food and pricing, that I'm hesitant to drop the kind of $$ necessary to eat there without hearing more. But, I definitely intend to check out Quill - apparently the cocktails are amazing!

            1. re: Raids

              Yeah, there are definitely good options in the area, including Paradiso (haven't tried SP), but the H St NE-type places are lacking. What I'm really looking for are basic, neighborhood places where I could get a nice roasted chicken or soup or simple steak. Nothing fancy, but well-prepared. In DC, those places seem to be priced about $5-10 higher than they were in Chicago.

              As for Plume--I feel like the good stuff I've heard intrigues me more than the blah stuff repels me, and Quill does indeed sound fantastic. But it's definitely not at the top of my list; following recent posts on this board, that position would probably go to Grace Garden.

              1. re: marcj

                Yeah, in Logan Circle I had commissary, or even Stoney's. What about Rosemary's Thyme Bistro?

                Everything is more expensive in DC than Chicago, alas. You should see the kind of apartment my sister has in Chicago for under $1500/month. :-)

                1. re: Raids

                  Rosemary's is not a bad suggestion, for some reason I never think of them. I'm thinking something slightly more upscale--if you know Chicago, think HB or Erwin--but I do need to go to RTB more.

                  And yeah, believe me, my wife and I are painfully aware of how much farther $$$ goes in Chicago, whether for food, real estate, or anything else . . .

                  1. re: marcj

                    Yeah, it would be Blue Duck Tavern then, but like you say, you'll pay for it. Or Tabard Inn.

                    Speaking of those, I'd like to go back to Blue Duck for chicken and apple pie, and I also need to actually eat a real meal at Tabard Inn sometime. Entrees are still $25-35, but at least they come with sides.

                    1. re: marcj

                      I used to love Rosemary's but it has gone way downhill the past few times I've been there. :(

                      1. re: spinachandchocolate

                        Sorry to hear that. I guess my search for a mid-budget Blue Duck--Raids, you're right, that's exactly the kind of food I'm looking for--will continue.

              2. re: marcj

                Have you tried Bistro la Bonne on U Street? Just checked it out this weekend. Although entrees are all $15 and up, the servings are *huge* and the menu has all the French classics. We're talking onion soup, chevre salad, garlicky escargots, croque monsieur, cassoulet, moules frites, everything. I think it's a great neighborhood place. I enjoyed the boeuf bourguignon although next time I will go with my gut and order a steak frites. The bourguignon was a little too soupy and served on cheese tortellini which were blah. But my friend had the beef medallions and they were very nicely done. And we shared the chocolate mousse cake which seriously hit the spot. Yum.
                I also wish there were some more affordable places in that neighborhood. Another of my favorites on U Street is DC Noodles (reliably high-quality noodle dishes, though still slightly expensive at $11/12). I also like Himalayan Heritage on 18th Street - nice Indian and Tibetan food, cozy atmosphere. And Etete of course.

                1942 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

                Himalayan Heritage
                2305 18th St NW Ste 1, Washington, DC 20009

                U Street Cafe
                1301 U St NW, Washington, DC 20009

                1. re: hamster

                  No, I haven't been there, didn't even know it existed. It looks like it could be just the ticket, though--I'll have to check it out soon; with the recent cold snap, I've really been hankering for a good cassoulet.

                  Thanks a lot for the tip!

              3. Places I would like to eat in 2011 that I haven't been to yet, or recently:
                Masa 14
                Ba Bay
                the bar at Trummer's on Main
                New Heights

                I would like to see some deli. I would also like a good Italian neighborhood spot in Arlington, something like Dino. I would also love a sandwich shop or burger joint that had gluten free bread as an option, if Earl's would do this I would be happy as a clam. I also am hoping Hill Country is decent, I would love some decent BBQ, if I could pick up Dinosaur BBQ from Rochester and set it down in DC I would. Not that it is the best BBQ anywhere, I just like the overall atmosphere and food.

                CityZen Restaurant
                1330 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20024

                3529 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008

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

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

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