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Dec 11, 2011 02:47 PM

DC business traveler seeking recs near Columbus Circle

Staying at the Washington Court Hotel Mon - Sat this week, working all day and most of the night, but I figure it's okay if I treat myself to dinner. Time is an issue - I don't want to spend more than an hour and a half for dinner, must be within walking distance - no more than 15 minutes' walk from the hotel would be perfect. Can be sit-down nice or eat-and-go, not looking for fancy dress-up place. Price point is not really an issue. I'll be dining alone. As a woman, safety is a concern. Variety is good - burgers, ethnic, whatever. I'm open to trying something new. I don't want to end up ordering room service every night. Any suggestions? TIA

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  1. Not the best area for dining, but Columbus Circle is in front of Union Station, which has several "fast food" places and restaurants: . It is also a metro stop on the Red Line. Gallery Place is one stop away and that area has several good restaurants -- casual and high end. Zaytinya -- Turkish, Greek and Lebanese tapas -- is within easy walking distance of the Gallery Place Metro Stop. Check out the Washington Post Going Out Guide to search for restaurants by location,

    1. Bistro Bis is nearby. I have yet to eat there myself (it's on my list), but it gets a lot of positive comments on this board.

      1. The bar at Bistro Bis is a great idea for delicious french cuisine. It's walking distance to your hotel.

        Art and Soul will give Southern-style cuisine. Also quite good and walking distance. At both of these places you can dine at the bar....let them know about any time constraints you might have.

        if you are willing to jump in a cab, you are not that far from Eastern Market and the House side of the Capitol. The cab will run you no more than $8. I would suggest Good Stuff Eatery for good burgers and shakes, Cava for Greek/Mediterranean tapas, Zest for American cuisine, Matchbox for mini-burgers and pizza.

        If all else fails you can always go to the Dubliner and get a pint and a decent enough burger.

        1. Thanks for the recommendations. I only ended up having time on two nights to venture out for dinner, and both had to be very nearby. The first night I went to Art and Soul, and was not particularly impressed. Appetizer was "Soft Egg" which I actually swooned over - soft-cooked egg, crispy sweetbreads, pickled jalapenos, red pepper jelly. I wanted to lick the plate. The problem was the entree. I had the Tamworth Pig, which was described as sausage, pork shoulder, and pork belly, accompanied by cider-braised cabbage, potatoes, turnips. The sausage was two slices which were pan-seared, but really, were practically burnt. The skin on the pork belly was hard as a rock. Not crispy, but hard. Couldn't cut it, couldn't bite into it, couldn't eat it at all. The layers beneath the skin were not appetizing - instead of melting in my mouth, the fat was just... fat. I like pork belly. I could not eat this at all. The shoulder was pulled and then formed in a ring. It was the driest pork shoulder I've ever encountered. Tasted like it had sat in an open container in the refrigerator for about a week after it was cooked. And to make it all even worse, all of the meat sat on top of the cabbage, which had a very strong vinegary taste, which permeated the meat. I knew things were bad when I was searching out the potatoes to eat. I declined to have dessert.

          Bistro Bis, on the other hand, was a delight. I went there on my last night. As I was dining alone, I decided to design my own tasting meal. Lobster bisque - smooth, creamy, luscious; Moules Marseillaise - two dozen mussels in a slightly spicy, highly flavorful broth, perfect for sopping up with the baguette slices offered; Steak Tartar Atilla, seasoned with salty capers and tangy red onions, would have loved more of the spicy aoili served with it; Caramel Creme Brulee served with spiced tea. Server Norman made me feel well-cared for, the food was delicious and perfectly paced. After a week of long hours of work, I left relaxed and refreshed. Without question, I would go back.