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Apr 18, 2011 07:04 AM

Lunch Dulles to Arl. Natl Cem; Dinner "U street" / Dupont Circle/ G'Town

This is my first post on Chowhound, although in the past I have read thru many helpful reviews.
I moved to DC/MD just 3 months ago, so I still have much to learn about the area and I need some advice. I have 2 questions; one regarding a weekday lunch and the other a weeknight dinner.

My 26 YO daughter is flying into Dulles on a weekday at 11:00 am. She wants to have lunch and drive down to Arl. Natl. Cem. I could REALLY use a suggestion or two about where to eat lunch en route from Dulles to Arl. National Cemetery.

I know this may be a toughie ~ is there a convenient spot where 1) the food is consistently decent ; 2) conducive to happy conversation; 3) provides a good "first impression" of the area; 4) and maybe has a "view" of some sort?

Next, I need suggestions for a weeknight dinner (not the same night as lunch above). She isn't a big fan of seafood, so keep that in mind.

Prefer to dine within U street, Dupont, or Georgetown; 1) Price $25 -$32 for an entree maybe a little higher for something really special ; 2) She likes to discuss with the server the specifics of the menu - she really is INTERESTED in the food & prep, not just being annoying, but she is inexperienced; 3) Someplace fairly casual 4) Conversational atmosphere (we havent seen each other for a few months so we want a relatively quiet place where we can chat); 5) this will be her first "adult" experience in DC - we visited when she was a teen- so I'd love a place that is "classic Washington DC" although I'm not sure "classic DC " fits with # 1-4, Ha!

Thanks in advance and I PROMISE to report back!

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  1. Not terribly far from Georgetown is BlackSalt, which in my experience fits to a T the requirements listed, especially letting the servers guide your decisions.

    4883 MacArthur Blvd., Washington, DC 20007

    1. Ok so for the meal on the way to Arlington National Cemetery I would stop off in Clarendon, you can exit from either 50 or 66 then cut over afterwards.

      I think Liberty Tavern would be a great choice- they have great food of which they prepare a lot in house like their breads and sausages and some other meats and etc. They have a range from excellent pizzas and sandwiches to entrees. I find it conducive to conversation and hanging out. It also will show her the fun scene that is Clarendon. But it doesn't have a stellar view. There aren't a lot of great restaurants with a view in our area. There are other good things in Clarendon, but Liberty Tavern is really my favorite. But check and make sure they are open for lunch, I think they are closed for lunch one day a week.

      For the second dinner, I would actually avoid Blacksalt, I think the above poster misread to read that you wanted seafood, not to avoid it. I would also avoid "classic" dc which tends not to be great food-wise. In the Dupont area what about Firefly? It is pretty inside, has a nice menu, not too expensive, although I don't know how quiet it is. If you could venture up to Woodley Park I would also suggest New Heights which is quiet, but very good and chef driven. Sorry I don't eat in the Dupont area very often. Georgetown doesn't have a lot of great places, 1789 would be classic DC and is in Georgetown, it is a little pricier but very good. So that might fit the bill.

      New Heights Restaurant
      2317 Calvert St. NW, Washington, DC 20008

      The Liberty Tavern
      3195 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201

      1 Reply
      1. re: ktmoomau

        I was going to say the same thing about BlackSalt.

        I'd consider Cork, since it's a charming spot and the food is great. I've had excellent service and the food is simple but beautifully done, so the preparation shouldn't require too many questions.

        4883 MacArthur Blvd., Washington, DC 20007

      2. I'd recommend Estadio for your dinner. It is on 14th street, which is a trendy section of town and there is always a good feel with lots of people out and about. There are all sorts of interesting food options and we have loved our servers there. If your daughter is into trying new foods, this is someplace I would really recommend because you can try some exotic ingredients (foie gras, etc) for not too expensive. It is a tapas style place, but I imagine that both of you could order a few dishes that would be very filling and get out of there for around $60.

        The only downside is that they don't take reservations after 6. So it depends on what day you are looking to dine there. We've had good luck for late night weekend dinners (10 pm) but I wouldn't recommend stopping by on a Friday night at 7 pm. While it can get loud, there are tables against the windows and some tucked away in a back alcove that are perfect for conversation and catching up.

        1 Reply
        1. re: hppyheather

          Thanks everyone for the suggestions! I will let you know what we decide and how it goes!