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One dinner in DC

Coming to Washington this Wednesday for a quick overnight business trip. Looking for a great solo dining experience. Budget: <$100. Any cuisine, as long as it's memorable. Tapas? Nouveau Southern? Seafood? Local seasonal?

Thoughts, anyone?

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  1. Tapas at Jaleo, james beard award winner Jose Andres restaurant
    Central by Michele Richard: his less expensive French bistro still brings it

    2 Replies
    1. re: dining with doc

      Jaleo has $4 tapas and sangria at the bar before 7pm, so you could have a great meal for <$20. Get the mushrooms with herbs and garlic, the patatas bravas, and the fried dates with bacon.

      www.jaleo.com

      1. re: Steve

        Jaleo sounds amazing. Thing is, I'm going to be in DC with my family for a few days later in the month, and I think I might have to go there with my wife. Same goes for Rasika.

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

      1. Top of the line: go the the Lounge at Citronelle. The downstairs is a formal restaurant with an elaborate menu. The upstairs Lounge is a la carte, informal, and no reservations necessary. Go for the mushroom cigars, the tuna napoleon, oyster shooters, split pea soup, and crab tart. Vacherin for dessert.

        www.citronelledc.com

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        Citronelle
        3000 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20007

        1. All these recommendations so far are excellent. You would be happy at any of them. Have a look at their online menus and see which most strikes you. i would especially second Rasika for an extremely inventive and modern take on Indian food. If you have an interest in Indian food at all, you really must check it out.

          Jaleo is wonderful. For tapas, I'd also recommend Estadio on 14th St. Here is a thread with specific recommendations: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/777974

          I hope you enjoy your one dinner in DC!

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

          14 Replies
          1. re: woodleyparkhound

            OK, I researched some previous threads on this topic, and almost settled on PS 7's... and then I saw these replies. The lounge at Citronelle sounds great. Estadio and Jaleo, too. So, between these four... which is likely to offer the best solo dining experience -- great service, sights and sounds as well as taste?

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            Citronelle
            3000 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20007

            1. re: estragon

              Of the four, I'd go to Citronelle's lounge and sit at the bar. The atmosphere is dated but the service is polished. Excellent appetizers, fish entrees and desserts.

              Jaleo is OK; better for a lunch or the aforementioned happy hour. Estadio has superior tapas but it gets extremely crowded for dinner. Although if "great sights and sounds" means a livelier, scene-type restaurant, Estadio is the choice for that.

              1. re: estragon

                PS7 as well as Bibiana have wonderful bar areas that you can eat at. Ps7 has especially friendly bartenders if you want to sit at the bar - I highly recommend that or Bibiana. I think the food at Bibiana is better, but the atmosphere at the bar at Ps7 is excellent for a solo diner. But both are really excellent pics.

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

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

                1. re: estragon

                  PS 7 is decent, but can't really compare to Jaleo or Citronelle.

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                  Citronelle
                  3000 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20007

                  1. re: Steve

                    might agree on Citronelle, but Jaleo is very medicore in my opinion - they aren't as seasonal or interesting as other places mentioned here. I agree that it would be a good lunch, but having been to Jaleo a few times, it's OK, but not great. I think Jaleo is great with a group to try a lot of things and be loud. Otherwise, it's just very loud and I don't think worth the price. HAven't been to estadio to compare though

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                    Citronelle
                    3000 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20007

                    1. re: Jeserf

                      I just had a WOW dish of mushrooms with herbs and garlic at Jaleo. Are you sure you are ordering well?

                      1. re: Steve

                        Generally I think Jaleo is quite good. I just think it's been around for a long time so locals tend to forget about it. But out-of-towners from every walk of life I've ever brought there or recommended it to LOVE it.

                        Perhaps it depends which location you go to?

                        1. re: Elyssa

                          I've always ordered different stuff, I'm sorry - I just don't think it is as good as people make it out to be - I've been going since I moved here to DC and Bethesda.
                          The sangria is great, but the food is very expensive for what it is, to me. Sorry this might not be the normal opinion of the place, but especially around the DC location there are SO many better restaurants.

                          1. re: Jeserf

                            Food at Jaleo used to be a lot better I have heard that from many people who used to frequent the place when it first opened

                        2. re: Steve

                          Those mushrooms are WOW, I slurped a whole dish of those down last time I went.

                          1. re: ktmoomau

                            I completely agree w/ argarnett100 and others, the food at Jaleo has gone down hill. I was there recently, and how the mushrooms you're referring to, ktmoomau, and didn't find them to be "WOW' at all. They were billed as fresh mushrooms form the farmers market, and I found them all to be the same size, little crimini mushrooms. Nothing "farmers market" about them at all. And the funny thing is that I was there the same day as the farmers market at 8th and D. They didn't look anything like the mushrooms i saw that farmers market. Plus, the taste was so-so. The shrimp we ordered was way too salty. So salty that I sent them back.

                            I second the suggestion for Rasika. I would also suggest seeing a show at the Woolley Mammoth afterwards.

                            Or, I would suggest Vidalia. They have delicious southern inspired food. This would give you a taste of DC's southern style.

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

                            Vidalia
                            1990 M Street, Washington, DC 20036

                            1. re: Bood

                              The menu says nothing about the "farmers market," though I don't really care where they came from. And the fact that they are the same size does not bother me in the least. The next time I get the mushrooms, I'll have to pay more attention to the uniformity in size.

                    2. re: estragon

                      I dine solo at PS7 on a regular basis and always have a great experience. Sit in the lounge (maybe get there early or a tad on the later end to guarantee a seat at the bar) and make sure to try the tuna tartar sliders and one of Gina's cocktails. You can also order from the regular menu as well.

                      See my rec below for Estadio.

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

                      1. re: estragon

                        not trying to confuse you but eating at the bar at Ceiba by yourself also should be considered. I love the ceviche sampler and it is a fun place with good latin fusion cuisine

                    3. There is a lot to chose from but i think if you went to Estadio and sat at the chef's table (not a special menu, just a cool view to see them cooking your meal) you would have a great time. Excellent Spanish tapas, cool vibe, tasty drinks. It would be a nice night out.

                      If you are looking for a taste of local, seasonal, seafood and Southern I would head over to the new Watershed. Their focus is East Coast seafood (from Maine to Florida) and the food is wonderful! You could dine at the bar or a table and be perfectly happy. Todd Gray is one of the best chef's in DC.

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                      East Coast Cafe
                      44 Calvert St, Annapolis, MD 21401

                      9 Replies
                      1. re: Elyssa

                        I second the chef's table at Estadio. That's where my husband and I sat when we went recently, and it really was fun to watch the chefs in action. We had great service there, too.

                        1. re: Elyssa

                          Wow! The chef's table Estadio and the local menu at Watershed are the two sides of my solo-dining holy grail -- a chance to watch, interact and learn... and a menu that I wouldn't find anywhere else. If only I had two nights!

                          OK, one more question. Any chance that we could bring a nine-month-old baby to either of these? I see that Watershed is housed at hotel. That suggests a more informal kind of place, no?

                          1. re: estragon

                            Well, it turns out that Estadio is five blocks from my hotel. So that makes it an easy decision. ¡Olé!

                            1. re: estragon

                              I hope you enjoy! I think Estadio is one of the best restaurants in DC! I can't remember if someone mentioned it, but Estadio doesn't take reservations after 6 pm. On a weekday night, it shouldn't be too bad.

                              (And a good decision for your solo dining experience, because you will see when you get there, it is a busy and noisy place and I don't think the baby would be very happy).

                              1. re: hppyheather

                                I went to Estadio with two friends on a weeknight recently around 7:30-8:00. We were seated immediately. You shouldn't have any trouble walking in without a reservation.

                              2. re: estragon

                                A couple of places near Estadio which may be of interest ... right across the street is ACKC chocolate shop - wonderful chocolates, hot chocolate (not in this weather!), ice cream, etc.

                                Pitango Gelato is right around the corner on P St., across from Whole Foods.

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                                Pitango Gelato
                                802 S Broadway, Baltimore, MD

                                1. re: woodleyparkhound

                                  I like ACKC, at least for hot chocolate, but want to note that the chocolate cake dessert I had at Estadio last month was *outstanding*. We were fighting for the last bite.

                                  1. re: hamster

                                    At Estadio you also aren't far from Pitango. I'm one of those people that if I can, I like to have dessert elsewhere so I can walk a little - and Pitango is outstanding gelato and sorbetto. P St across from Whole Foods. It was such a treat to go there in baltimore, it's delicious.

                              3. re: estragon

                                You definitely can bring a 9 month year old to Watershed. It is Todd and Ellen Gray's more relaxed, family-friendly restaurant. I think they even have a children's menu! You should be perfectly fine there and I'm sure they will be able to accommodate you (although maybe call ahead of time to ask about high chairs etc). Just for the record the chef's gumbo is out of this world! I sampled it in it's test phase and have had it 2 times since...I'm obsessed. Even the hot sauce is made in house.

                                I would go to Estadio solo then. :)