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Got approx. $250 to spend and need a great restaurant recommendation

Hello there,

I am currently in search of a great restaurant to take my girlfriend to in the DC area. It's also going to be our late Valentines Day celebration dinner since we have other plans next weekend. After putting many weeks of long hours at work, my boss told me and some coworkers to go have a nice dinner with a significant other and charge it to his personal code. He said as long as you're not spending 1000 I'm ok, but he wasn't serious, so I figured that I should keep it to about $250.

Anyway some of my favorite restaurants in DC are Zaytinya and Jaleo, so I'd prefer to try something new. I don't think I could do Citronelle, Komi, or CityZen at that price with wine, tax, and tip. So I've been thinking about the following choices.

My first grouping of choices includes: 1789, Central Michel Richard, The Source, Volt, Zengo, and Proof. The second (less preferable) grouping includes: The Oval Room, 701, Poste, and Vidalia. I've seen mixed reviews on all of them so am kind of torn and would appreciate any advice! Thanks in advance!

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1789 Restaurant
1226 36th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20007

Jaleo
480 7th St. NW, Washington, DC 20004

CityZen Restaurant
1330 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20024

Poste Brasserie
555 8th Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

Central Michel Richard
1001 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20004

Citronelle
3000 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20007

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

Proof
775 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001

The Source By Wolfgang Puck
575 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001

Zaytinya
701 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

Volt
228 North Market Street, Frederick, MD 21701

Vidalia
1990 M Street, Washington, DC 20036

Zengo Restaurant
781 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

701 Restaurant
701 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20004

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    1. re: tldmatrix

      minibar is nice but the BIG question is a 2-week heads up for reservation (even with"pull")? just not possible w/o a cancellation.

      and BTW I want your boss.I didn't know they made them like that anymore.

      1. I would consider Bibiana as well - same owners as 701 and excellent with a nice interior and excellent service

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        Bibiana
        1100 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20005

        1. I think you have put together a pretty good list. Someone mentioned Minibar above, but you can't do that under $250 for 2.

          One place you did not mention, but I would highly recommend is Obelisk. You should be able to get out of there with wine at $250, though close to it. It is a small intimate and romantic place with excellent food. Getting a reservation with less than a month before can be difficult, but it may be worth a try.

          Of your first group, I have been to Central and Zengo (and Proof, but only for drinking). I think Central is a really unique and fun place to go. I would probably recommend against Zengo, not because its not good, but I consider it of similar feel and quality (maybe slightly lower) than a Zaytinya and therefore not too different. Although I haven't been yet, 1789 may be a good pick for a Valentines Day dinner, especially if you get one of the tables by the fireplace for a romantic meal. I can't offer advice on your other top ones other than that I myself would love to go to all of them at some point.

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          Zaytinya
          701 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

          Zengo Restaurant
          781 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

          1. You could do quite nicely at Rasika and stay within your budget

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

            1. You could go to the Lounge at Citronelle for that price, a bit more special than Central. No reservations needed, not formal.

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              Citronelle
              3000 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20007