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one night in DC - and it's a sunday!

hello fellow diners! I'm going to be in DC this weekend and need some help choosing a restaurant for Sunday night. I've been skimming the DC board and I'm having a hard time making the right choice. I am looking for a great restaurant, American/Modern American, farm to table in style. As much as the food is important, I would also like a great atmosphere.

I've narrowed my choices down to three:
- Birch & Barley
- Virtue Feed & Grain
- Vermillion

Which would you choose? Or is there another one?
I'm staying near Aurora Highlands and I will have a car so I don't mind driving up to 30 mins.

Thanks for your help!!

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  1. I would pick vermillion because Birch and Barley on Sundays is all day brunch.
    I would also consider adding Rustico to your list - less "fancy" then Vermilion, also in Alexandria. Their fall menu looks great, too.

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    Rustico
    827 Slaters Lane, Alexandria, VA 22314

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

    5 Replies
    1. re: Jeserf

      I didn't notice the 'all day brunch' on Sunday at B&B - thank you for pointing this out! Although the restaurant looks very interesting, brunch is not what I'm looking for at 7pm. So I guess I'm scratching this one off the list. I'll save it for another trip!

      Rustico looks interesting but nothing speaks to me on the menu. Pastas, pizzas, chicken, I'm sure are all delicious, just a little typical and I could find a similar menu in any town.

      Also trying to find a 'not-to-miss' kind of restaurant...

      1. re: goodeaterz

        Have you looked at Rasika? It's amazing.

        You could also try the cafe at Palena or Dino - both in Cleveland Park. I haven't been to Palena in a while, but I know Dino has a focus on local ingredients.

        Another suggestion would be Firefly or Urbana - both in Kimpton hotels but with excellent food emphasizing local. Poste is the same, but I was very disappointed with Poste so I personally cannot recommend it.

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        Palena
        3529 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008

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

        1. re: goodeaterz

          If you are willing to drive in to DC I think you might find some more likely "not-to-miss" restaurants. I agree Rasika should be on that list...I also would consider Central or The Source (if you are looking to go higher end.)

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

          1. re: Elyssa

            Rasika, The Source and Central are all closed on Sundays (and Palena has a very limited menu that night).

            1. re: will_5198

              Really!? Oh so sorry about that.

      2. Vidalia is spot-on right now. Although the menu reads heavy, the dishes are created with a modern, light touch. They are designed to wow.

        http://www.vidaliadc.com/

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        Vidalia
        1990 M Street, Washington, DC 20036

        3 Replies
        1. re: Steve

          2nd that emotion for Vidalia... a fave for sure.

          As is brunch at Cafe Atlantico... the Nuevo Latino dim sum is small plate versions of everything from the menu.

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          Cafe Atlantico
          405 8th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20004

          Vidalia
          1990 M Street, Washington, DC 20036

          1. re: GroovinGourmet

            Cafe Atlantico does not exist anymore

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            Cafe Atlantico
            405 8th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20004

            1. re: GroovinGourmet

              Cafe Atlantico has become America Eats Tavern---certainly a fun alternative.

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              Cafe Atlantico
              405 8th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20004

          2. I went to Virtue Feed and Grain with some friends a few weeks ago for my birthday and really enjoyed it. We also went on a Sunday and it was crowded (might want a reservation) but we were able to sit at one of the communal tables upstairs. The atmosphere is really great---cool decor and upstairs there are chair swings---which I loved.

            As for the food---it was very good. My duck confit was great (not the best in the town...that honor goes to Bistro D'Oc) and they had fun appetizers including their more gourmet version of pigs in a blanket and the delicious mac and cheese. They also have fun cocktails that also use beer.

            The only odd thing was they were out of a bunch of items---including the deviled eggs...which basically means they had no eggs. Strange. I thought maybe it was because it was 8pm on a Sunday but I've heard from others that they were out of items when they went other nights as well.

            I haven't been to the other places so I can't really compare.

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            Bistro D'Oc
            518 10th St NW, Washington, DC 20004

            2 Replies
            1. re: Elyssa

              Thank you for all the suggestions. I think I've narrowed down the choices and I am ready to make the reservations. Thanks chowers!

              1. re: goodeaterz

                Please make sure to report back :)

            2. I would go to palena - I think they are doing dinner on Sundays now. If you like meat, the nose to tail dinner is the best meal in DC. You need 6 people and have to call in advance.

              1 Reply
              1. re: dcgdc

                Palena cafe is open on Sundays

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                Palena
                3529 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008