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Suggestions for Dinner/lunch in DC

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My husband and I are attending a reunion in Wash DC in 2 weeks. We are staying at the Tabbard Inn & will be there for 4 nights. Two dinners are with the group - at Carmine's and the Ghana Cafe. Looking for suggestions for the other 2 nights. Also any lunch suggestions - one near the Capitol would be appreciated. We are pretty adventurous food-wise - like ethnic foods. For dinner - moderate to expensively priced would be best. We will not have a car so transportation could be an issue. Thanks

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  1. Where are you traveling from? That gives a hint of what is readily available where you are!

    Near the Capitol, on the House side, I love Le Bon Cafe - or, did when I worked there.
    A little further away but very walkable is 8th St SE - I'm a fan of Ted's Bulletin and Good Stuff Eatery.

    For dinner, near the Tabbard is sort of blah so walk to 14th St - make reservations if you can for Birch and Barley at 14th and Rhode Island. I ate there a couple of weeks ago and it was amazing.

    Another favorite of ours - again, reservations probably needed unless you sit at the bar - is Rasika. Modern Indian food in a beautiful setting. It's a consistently great restaurant.

    Le Bon Cafe
    210 2nd St SE, Washington, DC 20003

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

    Good Stuff Eatery
    303 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Washington, DC

    Birch and Barley
    1337 14th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005

    Ted's Bulletin
    505 8th St SE, Washington, DC 20003

    1 Reply
    1. re: Jeserf

      We live in West Chester PA - just outside of Philadelphia. Lots of good eating choices where we live.

      Indian food is a favorite so Rasika looks interesting. I think we will definitely put that on our list.

      Thanks for the suggestions.

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

    2. Reservations are a must at Rasika.

      What about Ethiopian? There are several good places along U Street — Etete, Dukem — that are within (my) walking distance. Or you could take metro for a really round-about trip.

      7 Replies
      1. re: odkaty

        I think you could sit at the bar at Rasika and do OK, especially if you are planning a weeknight visit. But yes - TRY to get a reservation.
        I would also recommend visiting Cleveland Park and trying either Dino (a favorite of mine) or Palena - the bar area at Palena is more casual. Dino serves seasonal Italian and this time of year is very, very good (mmm tomatoes!)
        However - based on you being from outside of Philly (I grew up outside of Philly) I would highly recommend Rasika and Birch and Barley. Maybe try Ethiopian for lunch. Or hit Birch and Barley for sunday brunch. mmmm.

        3529 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008

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

        Birch and Barley
        1337 14th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005

        1. re: Jeserf

          Ethiopian is a good option & will try and reserve for Rasika. Thanks for all your suggestions.

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

          1. re: elmdt1229

            Rasika gets lots of love and for dang good reason. same for Ethiopian, have sampled both cuisines in many other cities and on average the Ethiopian in DC is jaw-dropping in comparison (there are threads debating which is best) and for Indian, Rasika is just in a class of its own.

          2. re: Jeserf

            Strongly endorse Birch and Barley. terrific Foie Gras. Excellent pastas.
            Dino's is a good Italian Restaurant;Obelisk is better, but reservations are essential. Peter Pastan cooks the freshest ingredients: favorites are squash blossoms, pastas, soups. Desserts are the weak link here.

            1. re: Jeserf

              Jesserf - Why would you suggest someone from Philly, which has a huge Italian population compared to DC, and, as a result, many more great Italian restaurants at more reasonable prices, go to Dino? Dino is fine, but nowhere near DC's best Italian (which are probably Fiola and Bibiana).

              elmdt1229 --

              I second Palena and Rasika recs. I'm no expert in Ethiopian, but DC is the place to try it.

              Walkable from the Tabbard Inn, your best bets are Little Serow, Sushi Taro, Eola, and Vidalia. Of course, the Tabbard Inn itself is nice, especially weekend brunch in the courtyard. Nice bar/lounge as well.

              If for some reason you find yourself in Virginia, try Vietnamese (Minh's in courthouse, Present or Bahn Mi or Pho at the Eden Center).

              If you want cheaper Indian, try Masala Art (metro accessible).

              1. re: holdtheline

                Assuming they're time traveling, of course.

                1. re: holdtheline

                  Wow, my last meal at Fiola was well over $300 and my last meal at Dino was $120 - for 2 each time with a similar quality bottle of wine. My last meal at Bibiana was $250, the cocktails were not good, and the food too full of butter for my taste.

                  All three can be very good restaurants, but they are not int he same class price wise not in what they are trying to do.