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At Palomar this week for a conference, would like a place for dinner Friday

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I will probably be a single for dinner as I intend to wander after the conference ends and would like something interesting where I might eat at the bar or where single diners are not sent to Siberia.

I've searched this board and found a few recs but nothing recent. Where I live, SW Florida, restaurant quality can turn in a heartbeat so thus, my question.

I like almost all cuisines but am more apt to eat French, Mediterranean, or New American and like a little style with my substance. <G> LMF

Conference meals will all be at the Palomar.

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  1. Bistro Du Coin in Dupont Circle is near your hotel for french bistro food
    Take Red Line metro to Gallery Place.Chinatown exit (5 min) and go to Zaytyna for Meeze/small plates or go to Jaleo for tapas or go to Cuba Libre and sit at bar and have cuban

    1. Second Zaytinia for Mediterranean. Lots of people like Bistro Du Coin at Dupont Circle; I haven't been so can't recommend it personally -- and you could walk there.

      I also like Jaleo for Spanish tapas. I would also throw in Brasserie Beck for Belgian -- wonderful moules and frites (among other things) and a great, if pricey, Belgian beer list. These places are a short Metro ride from Dupont. (Metro Center for BB, Gallery Place for Jaleo and Zaytinia).

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      Brasserie Beck
      1101 K Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005

      1. Wanted to add Hank's Oyster Bar, perhaps you don't want seafood as you probably get pretty good stuff, but it is more NE style.

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        Hank's Oyster Bar
        1026 King St Ste 1, Alexandria, VA 22314

        2 Replies
        1. re: ktmoomau

          I actually wouldn't suggest this as a single diner. I had a friend who went there alone and she said she felt very uncomfortable.

          1. re: spinachandchocolate

            I disagree. I go to Hank's Oyster Bar all the time by myself and have never once had a problem. If I want to sit outside and there is room they sit me outside, same goes for one of the regular tables (as opposed to the high tops). They are always very friendly. It's a great neighborhood spot.

            Why did your friend feel uncomfortable?

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            Hank's Oyster Bar
            1026 King St Ste 1, Alexandria, VA 22314

        2. I would seriously consider staying in the hotel and dining at Urbana. They recently got a new chef who is putting together delicious New American dishes. I ate there last week and one of the must try dishes is the fish stew appetizer (definitely large enough with a salad for a main course). Really, really good!

          I often dine out alone and Hank's is a good choice. Also walking distance to the hotel is Ris---dine at the bar and they will take good care of you. Their gourmet chicken pot pie and meatloaf is to die for, as well as the ricotta dumplings. Also if you are willing to jump on the train you can go to PS7 (dine at the bar) or Cava for small plates on Capitol Hill.

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          PS7 Restaurant
          777 I Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001

          3 Replies
          1. re: Elyssa

            I second the bar food at PS7, which is much more sophisticated than most bar food, and the bartenders are just nice as can be, I have spent lots of time there waiting for my happy hour friends, who bless their hearts are always late, and always have a good time.

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            PS7 Restaurant
            777 I Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001

            1. re: ktmoomau

              PS7 is a great spot if you don't mind getting on the metro/in a cab for the meal. Also, as a solo diner, you MIGHT be able to get a spot at the bar at Rasika for dinner which would be great.

              Last recommendation - we ate at the bar at Founding Farmers and had a GREAT time watching the bartender, people watching and eating. I can imagine it would be a good spot for a solo diner - the bartenders were talking to everyone.

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              PS7 Restaurant
              777 I Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001

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

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

              1. re: Jeserf

                I have eaten quite a few times as a walk-in on a Friday night at the bar (and table!) at Rasika. Definitely check it out.

                Founding Farmers is disappointing. It's more of a place I think that would be fun with friends because the food is nothing to write home about.

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

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

          2. You'll be in good hands with the conference meals (assuming they are full meals).

            How about the bar at Darlington House - the pub has beautiful outside seating that's buzzing in nice weather? Scion across the street - the Concierge at the Palomar said it was good.

            Urbana is good - have some happy hour pizza and you'll be satisfied.

            I just had my wedding at the Palomar this past Sunday and after it was over and we all napped and changed, my family had a table and shared pizzas for a light meal - it was very good.

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            Darlington House
            Washington, DC, Washington, DC

            8 Replies
            1. re: Jeserf

              Darlington House looks like a great option. We do have a formal dinner at Palomar tomorrow evening. (Thurs) Brasserie Beck also appeals to me. I used to go to a belgian restaurant in Detroit years ago that had feather bowling. I'll make a report of what I ended up doing.

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              Brasserie Beck
              1101 K Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005

              Darlington House
              Washington, DC, Washington, DC

              1. re: LilMsFoodie

                The only reason to pick Darlington House would be that you can easily walk there. I would also recommend checking out Firefly, at another Kimpton Hotel, on NH Ave (about 3 blocks away).

                If you have a dinner at the Palomar in a conference room, the meal might still be different than what is available at Urbana - I know my meal choices for the wedding weren't on the regular Urbana menu that is currently offered, if that matters to you!

                Also, their room service is excellent and the staff there is AMAZING.

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                Darlington House
                Washington, DC, Washington, DC

                1. re: LilMsFoodie

                  It would be bizarre for you to consult Chowhound and wind up at Darlington House.

                  1. re: Steve

                    I've been to the dining room and the bar and both were great times. The dining room, we had a party of 12 and they accomodated everyone's various food issues to a T, everything tasted fresh and was satisfying. For the price point, convenient location (especially to the Palomar) and tasty food - as far as I've had - it's a good spot. Everyone is entitlted to their opinion, which is why people reporting back is so important.

                    1. re: Jeserf

                      I've only been there once, but everything about the food was unexceptional. Maybe it is better than the thirty or so other choices in the area, but I didn't see what makes it better than the average place somebody might stumble into.

                      My favorite choice in Dupont Circle is Bistro du Coin, about three blocks north. I especially like the smoked mackerel salad and the croziflette, two dishes you actually might find on a trip to France.

                      1. re: Steve

                        I personally try not to say something is bad/unexceptional when I've only been there once. Otherwise, plenty of placed I've ended of loving wouldn't be places I really enjoy now (like Dino for example)

                        Based on my last experience at Darlington House, with my group of various ages and demographics of the group (from my brooklyn-living foodie sister to my oldest uncle), everyone was happy with the choice. That was my impression, and having been to both the basement and the dining room. The pub area is great for a casual cheap bite - my husband (so weird to write that) enjoyed their fish and chips.

                        there were also at least two tables of single diners when we were there last Friday. People reading/doing work while eating.

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                        Darlington House
                        Washington, DC, Washington, DC

                    2. re: Steve

                      Why? I think it's a charming pick in the Dupont area...especially for brunch.

                      1. re: Steve

                        I have to agree with Jeserf...I don't think this is an odd rec for someone on Chowhound to make. Darlington House is a charming place to dine....I've been there a number of times and especially like their brunch.

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                        Darlington House
                        Washington, DC, Washington, DC

                  2. Off beat suggestion but if you want some delicious middle eastern food (great veg and non-veg options), go half a block down to Food Corner Kabob House. After all that heavy food you'll be having at the conference, this might be a nice option.

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                    Food Corner Kabob House
                    7031 Little River Tpke Ste 1A, Annandale, VA 22003

                    1. thanks for all the recommendations. As it turned out, I had a late dinner with others at Jockey Club. Not my selection of course. The room and service were excellent, of course, the food was almost great. Dover Sole was beautifully prepared. Nice wines as it should be in a place with those prices. Very Reaganesque. I felt I should have been wearing Chanel. <G>

                      Late Friday afternoon I walked the area and had a glass of champagne and a little tartine at Bistro Du Coin and liked its ambiance. You have to love a place that pours Moet Rose for $7.93 a glass! My little open face sandwich was ok: tapenade, prosciutto and gruyère on indifferent bread.

                      Enjoyed the bar at Palomar. Nice sauvignon blanc and some excellent Virginia oysters. Pricing was more than fair. They also have a free for all happy hour in the lobby whether you are a guest or not. It was jammed with everyone arriving for the Marathon on Saturday.

                      Thanks for everyone's help.

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                      Jockey Club Restaurant
                      2100 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20008

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: LilMsFoodie

                        whew glad my wedding was there LAST weekend given how busy it sounded.