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Fun weekend dinner in DC

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Trying to find a good "hip" mid-priced spot (entrees $15-28) for a Fri. and/or Sat. dinner in Nov. When I was down 4 years ago we had an okay lunch at Meskerem, fancy cocktail at Zola, great dinner at Central Michel Richard (but I didn't like the look of the place), and a nice time at Dino in cute Cleveland Park. Looking for northern Italian, Mediterranean or new American and hopefully a place that's lively but where we can sit down with little to no wait (tough, I know). We'd most likely need a res for the Mike Isabella place. Meatballs isn't open yet and will probably be jammed. Would also like to fit Ooh's and Ah's while in town (or some other good soul food place). Friend just moved to the Mt. Pleasant area from Boston so doesn't know where to go yet. We're certainly not restricted to his neighborhood but in that hood, does Heller's Bakery still make good donuts? Also reading the old school bar thread cuz a drink at a classic place or a cool rock bar is in order. Any thoughts? Thanks.

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Central Michel Richard
1001 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20004

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  1. DC normally is not a walk-in type of place, just so you know. For Italian I would suggest: Bibiana or Coppi's. Fiola I think is outside the price range...

    For New American Cashion's isn't too far from your friend's neighborhood. Also in the neighborhood: Ripple and Ardeo+Bardeo are right there too, along with Palena Cafe. (All by Dino)

    For Mediterranean there is Zaytinya.

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    Palena
    3529 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008

    Zaytinya
    701 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

    Coppi's Restaurant
    1414 U St NW, Washington, DC 20009

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

    1. You will definitly need a reservation at Isabella's restaurant, Graffiato. If you plan far enough out though you might be able to snag one. Or if you are willing to dine late or early that is always an option.

      Other places I would consider: Agora in Dupont Circle for Med/Middle Eastern small plates, Cava in Eastern Market for Greek small plates, American Eats Tavern (Jose Andres pop up restaurant,very cool take on classic American dishes), or Cork for wine and small plates on the hip 14th Street.

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      Graffiato
      707 6th Street NW, Washington, DC 20001

      1 Reply
      1. re: Elyssa

        But note America Eats has very small portions on many of the dishes, I found it outrageous for what you got in terms of price.

        Definitely second Cava.

      2. i second going to graffiato. i read in a review that reservations needed to be made weeks in advance. i made them about 2 weeks before. we liked it so much, we went again for lunch the next day, no reservations needed at lunch. you HAVE to order the caesar salad. the croutons alone were worth the whole trip to dc! also order the marrow. it was something else. can't wait to go back.