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Looking for a Great One Night Meal in D.C.

My husband and I will be in D.C. for two nights but only have one night to have a great meal. We are foodies looking for terrific eats, a great atmosphere, good wine list and yummy drinks. Not a fan of the degustation, uptight, thing. Although, we love French fare. Any suggestions?

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  1. I love going to the Lounge at Citronelle. Citronelle is a formal restaurant, but the upstairs lounge is informal, no reservations, a la carte. Go for the mushroom cigars, the tuna napoleon, the soup, and the crab tart. Desserts are memorable. Sauternes by the glass is terrific.

    Please report back if you go. The feedback is valuable.

    http://www.citronelledc.com/cuisine/

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    Citronelle
    3000 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20007

    7 Replies
    1. re: Steve

      Thanks Steve. The menu looks yummy but I don't like pre-frix. Though, I have done it many times. We really want to nosh on a bunch of yummy eats and have a good drink and then some great wine. The wine list looked extensive- A lot of CHATEAUNEUF DU PAPE which we love. Any other suggestions? The uptight dining experience is just not our thing!

      1. re: sromine

        The prix-fix is only in the main dining room - Steve was suggesting the upstairs lounge.

        use this link directly to that menu: http://www.citronelledc.com/cuisine/m...

        1. re: DMNGOODTIME

          I looked at the Brasserie Beck website and it looked right up our alley. Good eats, great atmosphere and lots of yummy beer and things to drink. Has anyone been to Komi? Normally, I am not interested in a uptight dining experience with a degustation but I have heard only wonderful things.

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

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

          1. re: sromine

            What I loved about Komi, in addition to the spectacular food of course, was the service - very friendly, knowledgable and completely non-stuffy. I felt very comfortable there.

            I love Brasserie Beck as well - and also really like Zaytinia. You've gotten a lot of really good recommendations so far.

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

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

            1. re: sromine

              Komi is great. The #1 spot in DC if you are a "Foodie" but you need to make reservations 1 month in advance and it's a prefix menu as well- clocking in at about $135.00. It's more of an "Experience" than a restaurant.

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

              1. re: sromine

                I agree with WPH and DMNGT--Komi is most definitely not uptight, and if it's possible for a meal to be worth $135/pp (food only), then the Komi dinner is. My wife and I go once a year, and I've never been disappointed (although I do get pretty sad afterwards, when I realize I've got to wait another year!)

                I also like Beck a lot, and the downthread rec of Central makes much sense, although much of the fare there isn't really French (of course, it's "Frencher" than Komi).

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

            2. re: Steve

              I also like Citronelle's lounge. Their fish entrees are some of the best in the city.

            3. There are a couple place you should consider checking out: PS7, Bibianna, and Central (for a modern take on American bistro with a French twist).

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

              1. Proof might fit the bill. Very nice array of first courses that could easily be shared, and an extensive wine list. Both american and french wines. I like that they have different pour sizes by the glass, 2 oz, 6 oz, or 8.5oz. I ate there on Saturday for a full dinner, and it did not disappoint. Everything was delicious, and service was fantastic.

                1 Reply
                1. re: erinnf

                  I agree with all the suggestions so far, but the best choice of those already mentioned IMHO is Central, because it is French, which you prefer, and also because of the very festive, hustly bustly atmosphere. I'd describe it as on the more upscale side of "upscale casual." Another idea, and a bit more on the casual side of "upscale casual" and even more hustly bustly is Brasserie Beck, which is Belgian. One more idea is Estadio, which is Spanish tapas, casual fun atmosphere, trendy, and every dish I've tried there has been outstanding.

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

                2. I would go to Palena, no it's not French, and if you want casual sit in the cafe section. To me it is some of the best food in DC and Brasserie Beck nor Central or anything, except Komi, are anywhere close to it on a good night. If there is a consomme or gnocchi those are must orders. Frank Ruta's cooking is so amazingly well done, but doesn't feel overdone or over prepared it tastes like it was made with perfection and love.

                  Don't get the burger yes it is good, but don't go to Palena and get a burger.

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                  Palena
                  3529 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008

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

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

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: ktmoomau

                    I have not yet eaten at Citronelle, Komi, or Palena, but Palena is at the top of my list because (1) there was a Washingtonian survey where local chefs chose it as their favorite, (2) friends of ours who disclaim the label "foodie" also ate there and loved it, and (3) you don't have to call dozens of times to get a reservation. It also seems to be the most affordable?

                    Anyway, that's where I'd go if I were the OP. Even though it's not French.

                    (I do think those are basically the three contenders though - Beck never ranks anywhere close to these places, and my experience there was fine, but not memorable, except for the beer, which I do go back for.)