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Important Birthday for Girlfriend - need suggestions

Hello all! I am seeking some advice as to where to take my girlfriend for her 30th birthday in Washington, although we would be fine with traveling to NoVa or MD too....

She is a foodie, I am not so I don't know whats great at the moment. She originally wanted minibar, however we both agreed that we didn't need to spend that much money right now.

Some places she has mentioned wanting to go recently is Central, Founding Farmers, Adour which are all quite different is my understanding.

Bottom line, it should be a special place, doesn't need to be super formal, as we are both casual people It also should accomodate my taste for meat and potatos.

Price-wise, I'd love to walk out the door under $200 total.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions!

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Founding Farmers
1924 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20006

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  1. I'd give this a shot if you are looking for something good but a bit different. It fits your "doesn't need to be super formal" and will hook you on their meat and potatos. If your "foodie" girlfriend is stuck on French, she'll have plenty to enjoy with the Belgian ideas there... and you might really like the beer (try things on tap that they recommend, and keep an open mind). You won't blow your budget. It can get crowded and noisy, so tell them what you want in terms of a quiet table (if that is what you want). I'd also recommend the corner seating at the bar. The fries are great too, so get a side order up front. If you spend $200, you have spent way too much on wine when the beer is outstanding.

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    Belga Cafe
    514 8th Street, SE, Washington, DC 20003

    1. I guess I need to ask if you "under $200" includes wine. I would think that you can do a very good meal at a lot of places if it doesn't, and probably even if it does.

      Palena should fit the bill nicely.

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      Palena
      3529 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008

      1 Reply
      1. re: dinwiddie

        I totally and completely and utterly agree with dinwiddie here. Palena would be perfect -- in the back dining room IMO.

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        Palena
        3529 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008

      2. Central is perfect for you in every way.

        1. Adour is quite special and would be good for her 30th. The other two I would try out another time not for her birthday. For some place different and delicious, try Bistro Cocoa in Cap Hill. Romantic and beautiful setting and great food. Celebrated a friend's birthday recently.

          Um, you said bottom line you want a place to accomodate your meat and potatoes taste...isn't this your girlfriend's bday and she should be the first priority?

          1. I think Central is fabulous, and the food is amazing. My only concern is that it can get really really loud in the dining room, and the tables by the kitchen are really distracting - especially for a foodie ;). I would avoid the suggestions for Belga Cafe b/c I think the food is very inconsistent. After a couple bad meals I vowed never to go again. Another suggestion to consider is Black Salt. I think the food is great for a foodie, and my last meal was over the top dishes for everyone at the table (apps and mains). Only thing is that you really need a car to get there. Also, I think Palena is great as well. And if your tastes are more mainstream, Palena has a great burger. Both Black Salt and Palena (cafe side) are also not too formal. Good luck!

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            Palena
            3529 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008

            2 Replies
            1. re: erinnf

              odd. went many times to Belga, and never had a miss on any plate...

              1. re: spwiley

                The venison dish at Belga is the worst venison I've had. The steak/frites are very good.