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DC restaurant for Golden Wedding Anniversary

j
jambrogi Jan 13, 2011 06:55 AM

Help! I need a recommendation for a special occasion restaurant, preferably in DC, to celebrate my parents' 50th wedding anniversary early next month. There will be just 4 of us, and I really want to make this dinner special. My parents lived in France and Belgium for a number of years, and do like the cuisines of both countries, but I would consider a seafood restaurant as well, so I'm somewhat open. The most important criteria are excellent food and service and a lovely ambiance with not too much noise. If the restaurant could go a bit out of their way to make this evening special would be lovely too. Budget-wise, I'd like to keep the total at or below $500, so I think that eliminates Plume and Marcel's -- maybe Citronelle as well? We will want wine with dinner, but the wine list doesn't have to be too top of the line. Another option there would be to bring our own -- does anyone know what the typical corkage fee runs?

Once of reasons I picked DC was that we want to hire a limo to drive us from Potomac to the city, and the view of DC coming from GW parkway at night -- with the monuments all lit up -- is just spectacular, so I thought it would help make the night even more special. However, I would consider Bethesda or elsewhere if the drive didn't exceed 30-40 minutes from Potomac.

Thank you so much -- I know I need to make a reservation ASAP, so look forward to hearing your suggestions!

  1. d
    dinwiddie Jan 13, 2011 01:36 PM

    I think you could fit Marcel's into the limit, barely, especially with wine, but I'd also suggest you look at Corduroy. The only problem is that the building is not handicapped accessable (it is a historic townhouse and has about 5 or 6 steps to the door). However, if that is not a problem, I think the food there would more than merit a trip and it is quiet. If you let them know it is your parent's 50th, I'm sure they will make it special.

    Citronelle is definitely out of the running due to price. You might think about Palena, but it is not quite as swank as it used to be before they expanded.

    -----
    Palena
    3529 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008

    Citronelle
    3000 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20007

    3 Replies
    1. re: dinwiddie
      j
      jambrogi Jan 14, 2011 03:31 PM

      Thank you for your suggestions! We upped our "limit" to $600, so I booked a reservation at Marcel's. I think my parents will really like the French/Belgian flavor, but I do need to go over the recent reviews and recommendations for the courses. I am also planning to look into BYOB for wine --I have access to some particularly fine Napa cabernets and chardonnays -- I understand Marcel's has a corkage fee, but I imagine that's minimal.

      However...I am also going to check out Corduory, based on your recommendation -- the steps aren't a problem, and I'm intrigued!

      1. re: jambrogi
        DanielK Jan 14, 2011 05:47 PM

        I also love Corduroy, and would consider the food and service nearly as good as Marcel's, but it's modern American, whereas Marcel's really hits that French/Belgian angle you were looking for.

        The menu on Marcel's website is not current, so it's hard to give exact recommendations. Soups (especially the lobster bisque) are always fabulous, the boudin blanc should not be missed under any circumstances. Skate or dover sole for fish, any game for meat.

        Here's a review of mine, from 3 years ago: http://bit.ly/dKtUsu

        1. re: DanielK
          m
          marcj Jan 15, 2011 10:02 AM

          I second all of those Marcel's recs, and would add the lobster papardelle and the lamb in phyllo dough. The place is really great.

    2. ktmoomau Jan 13, 2011 09:36 AM

      Some other options:

      701- we had a really great dinner there the other night. The piano music makes it really nice, not too loud, and the food was really great. Service was stellar. I think the new chef has really elevated their cooking. And it is right downtown so you could have a nice tour and not have to drive to far from all the monuments.

      Blacksalt for seafood- a little less formal than some of the other options, but nice ambiance none the less and I bet they would do something special. And the seafood really can't be beat in this area.

      If you want something in the French venue then I would consider Bistro Bis, it tends to be not too loud, nice ambiance and really good food as well. I have always had good service there too.

      -----
      Bistro Bis
      15 E Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001

      1. d
        dining with doc Jan 13, 2011 07:44 AM

        although not in DC the best choices would be Le Auberge Chez Francious in great falls VA and 2941 in Falls Church VA, both of which fit. afterwards take the limo for the ride downtown.

        1. d
          Doh Jan 13, 2011 07:35 AM

          I think you could do 4 courses at Marcels ($80 pp plus wine, tax and tip) for at or below $500, couldn't you?

          3 Replies
          1. re: Doh
            j
            jambrogi Jan 13, 2011 09:21 AM

            Thank you, I will look into that option as well!

            1. re: jambrogi
              DanielK Jan 13, 2011 09:43 AM

              I second this - I can't think of a place that better meets your criteria other than Marcel's.

            2. re: Doh
              j
              jambrogi Jan 13, 2011 12:44 PM

              Actually, it looks like would be bit over $500, but I think Marcel's fits the bill. I was interested to see that although OpenSeat listed Plume at the Jefferson as the #2 Diner's Choice restaurant in DC, the reviews are really inconsistent.

            3. e
              Elyssa Jan 13, 2011 07:27 AM

              Equinox seems like the perfect setting for you. Their seafood items are excellent. It is not a seafood restaurant though, Chef Gray concentrates on cuisine of the Mid-Atlantic. When you make your reservation let them know the occasion and I am sure they will go out of their way to make it a special night. We held my Grandpa's 80th birthday at Equinox and it remains one of the best family memories I have. Plus Equinox is located right next to the White House, so it's the perfect place to conclude a limo tour of the monuments.

              If you are looking for a pure seafood restaurant I would recommend Blacksalt....another excellent restaurant with great service.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Elyssa
                j
                jambrogi Jan 13, 2011 08:33 AM

                Thanks, I will check out Equinox!

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