Help Please! Visiting from Toronto
My friend and I will be visiting DC March 15-18 and I was hoping you could suggest some must try places in DC (accessible via subway). We will be staying downtown and both of us are HUGE FOODIES and enjoy experimental cuisine (creative food), I have a special love for thai food but basically we both would be happy with any place that has really good food and a fun ambiance...I have heard DC has fantastic eateries and I can not wait t try them- any help would be most appreciated!!!
There are lots of great restaurants in the DC area, so you might have to provide some more info to narrow the field to get some good advice here. What's your price point? Looking for lunch, dinner? Anything you don't want to eat? What neighborhoods of DC are you staying in?
That said, here's a couple of tried and true places that I've enjoyed:
Central Michel Richard -- I've only been for lunch, but never disappointed.
Matchbox Pizza -- I enjoy the Chinatown location, good pizza and small plates.
Palena -- Again, great food that rarely disappoints
The Standards -- Good BBQ
Jaleo -- Great tapas
If you are here long enough and decide to go to Baltimore, Cinghiale is excellent and worth stopping by for dinner.
Thanks soooo much!!!
so far based on your reccomendations and my browsing these are my thoughts so far let me know if I am on the right track...on the14th and 15th I will be dining alone so I thought I'd try:
- two of these 3 options: Zatinya, Rasika, Thai-Xiting...I would have loved to try little serow but the website states many items include pork(even if not stated) and no substitutions are accepted...therefore I dont think I can try it as I do not eat Pork:(
- on the 16th and 17th I will be with my friend I am trying to decide between Central, Matchbox, Jaleo, citronelle, old ebbitt grill
-Any recommendations for a killer brunch on the18th???
I personally would have loved to try minibar sounds amazing but I do not think my friend will want to spend 150 pp on dinner!
I second the rec for Etete for Ethiopian. I have also heard great things about Little Serow. Note they do not take reservations though and it is a pre-fixe chef's menu---so not choices etc.
I think you might also enjoy Rasika for excellent Indian cuisine.
I also would recommend checking out 14th st and all of their many dining options. If you are here on the weekend you might enjoy Masa 14's all you can each and drink brunch. They also have great food during the dinner hours---Asian and Latin fusion small plates.
Also on 14th Street I like Taylor's Gourmet for casual Philly-style subs, Cork for wine and small plates, or Bar Pilar for a cozy neighborhood style bar for cocktails and delicious small plates.
If you are looking for something more high end I HIGHLY recommend The Source---a Wolfgang Puck restaurant located downtown with Asian flavors. Seriously amazing! Even if you can't do a full blown meal there, their happy hour is great.
Rogue 24 certainly are experimental, but in the same price range as Minibar. Eola is also very expirimental (although they too have a lot of pork on the menu). Also on the list should perhaps be Fiola, Graffiato and Estadio.
Central and Citronelle are both very creative, I think you would like them a lot. I also highly second Rasika.
IMHO, you'll find better Asian food in Toronto, as a rule, than here in DC.
You may want to consider cuisines from the south (Brazilian, Peruvian, even Mexican) if you want to go ethnic. If you don't eat pork I don't recommend Spanish (Jaleo, Estudio, etc). There's so much pork in Spanish cuisine I'm not sure you couldn't guarantee it snuck into the dish even if it wasn't in the description. Ditto BBQ and southern cuisine.
That leaves...lots of places. Palena, Central, DC Coast, Equinox, Rasika, Cashions Eat Place, all on the high end. Hank's Oyster Bar, Johnny's Half Shell: southern seafood, a bit more reasonably priced.
Brunch: I love the brunch at Tabbard Inn. Must have reservations, however.
Echoing what ktmoomau said, Jaleo takes food requests seriously. They have a long list of vegetarian dishes which are my favorite way to order there. Spinach with raisins, patatas bravas, cucumber stuffed with tomato and cheese, roasted eggplent and peppers, grilled asparagus with romesco sauce, garlic mushrooms, beet salad with citrus, baby wrinkled potatoes... just to name a few.