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Group Meal Downtown/Penn Quarter

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lukshen Feb 24, 2012 09:50 AM

I will be in DC for the Fancy Food Show in June. I am looking for a good restaurant to take 7 people.

I will be going to Rasika and Fiola, love them both. This particular meal will be on me, so I am looking for good atmosphere, good food and good price point. I originally thought of America Eats Tavern, I loved it last year, but don't want to spend that much. I took the crew to Central last year, too expensive and not worth it IMO. I reserved a table at Ping Pong Dim Sum, but there seem to be a lot of haters on the boards, so please help me out.

Thank you

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    ahack RE: lukshen Feb 24, 2012 10:13 AM

    Zatinya or Oyamel?

    5 Replies
    1. re: ahack
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      lukshen RE: ahack Feb 24, 2012 10:42 AM

      great idea, called Oyamel and have to call back in two weeks for June.
      Any thoughts on Asian Spice? It has a 21 in Zagat...

      1. re: lukshen
        k
        katecm RE: lukshen Feb 24, 2012 12:45 PM

        Avoid Asian Spice and avoid Pong Pong Dim Sum. Oyamel or Zaytinya are much better choices.

        Another good option would be Graffiato. America Eats I'd worry about because, technically, it's a pop-up. Granted, it's the longest running pop-up I've ever heard of, but I imagine you'd always be running the chance of it closing!

        Sixth Engine looks like it has promise, though it's too new right now to be sure: http://dc.eater.com/archives/2012/02/...

        1. re: katecm
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          lukshen RE: katecm Feb 24, 2012 01:17 PM

          Thank you, I cancelled Ping Pong. Both Graffiato and Sixth Engine look good for a smaller party, but the menus are limited for so many people (some don't read meat or shellfish etc). FYI - America Eats is closing the week after the food show. I heard the entire restaurant will become "Minibar". I hope so.

          1. re: lukshen
            crackers RE: lukshen Feb 25, 2012 04:17 AM

            Very curious where / how you learned that America Eats will become an expanded Minibar? [that would make it a Maxibar, I suppose]. That would indeed be big news.

            1. re: crackers
              crackers RE: crackers Feb 25, 2012 08:48 AM

              Not surprisingly, it turns out Todd Kliman of Washingtonian Magazine got the scoop on this way back in October of 2010! An 18-seat three-story Minibar. And now maybe I can get a seat.

    2. j
      Jeserf RE: lukshen Feb 24, 2012 04:07 PM

      you can eat after the food show?!

      I'll see ya there - already excited!

      1. d
        dining with doc RE: lukshen Feb 25, 2012 06:59 AM

        How about Carmine's. Italian family style. Went last night. Food was good and reasonably priced. Carmine's salad was relish and linguine in clam sause outstanding. Chicken Parmesean was ok. Not haute cuisine but enjoyable nevertheless. Portions are huge and meant for sharing.

        1 Reply
        1. re: dining with doc
          d
          dining with doc RE: dining with doc Mar 5, 2012 09:33 AM

          delish not relish. hahahaha

        2. j
          Jeserf RE: lukshen Feb 25, 2012 08:40 AM

          if you aren't dead set on penn quarter, try...
          Urbana
          Bibiana
          Even venture on the metro a few stops - Dino is an excellent spot - ask for the Grotto area

          1. e
            Elyssa RE: lukshen Feb 25, 2012 07:35 PM

            I wouldn't go to Ping Pong Dim Sum. Everything tastes exactly the same and is mediocre at best. Their drinks are good but not so much the food.

            How about sushi and Asian small plates at Sei? You could also do casual BBQ in a fun atmosphere at Hill Country BBQ. I hear good things about Carmine's but haven't been myself. Everything is served family style so that could keep costs down.

            I also really like Jaleo for Spanish tapas.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Elyssa
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              startsev RE: Elyssa Mar 4, 2012 08:56 PM

              Jaleo just closed for renovations. not sure when it will reopen. Went to Urbana last night and food was mixed- some good, some great, some not good at all. It was not cheap. Graffiato has plenty of options for non-meat eaters. Carmines may be fun too- food doesn't compare to Graffiato.

              1. re: startsev
                l
                lukshen RE: startsev Mar 5, 2012 11:31 AM

                Thank you all for your input. Jeserf, I always try to stay away from sampling, unless there is cheese or pate involved. I have lots of meetings and work to keep me from the "buffet". I live near NYC, in NJ. I do like Carmines and Hill Country, but want something unique to DC. I really think that Jose Andres is a great restauranteur and enjoy going to his restaurants when I can. I was disappointed when Cafe Atlantico became America Eats, until I really enjoyed America Eats last year. I am nixing Graffiato because we are going to Fiola and I want to spread my ethnic eating experiences around. I would try Jaleo, but hear that a reservation may be hard to come by, especially because we don't know when it is reopening. The lineup so far:
                Fiola, Oyamel and Rasika. I have 1 more night to reserve, Sunday night. Elyssa, I will look into Sei. Please keep your sugggestions coming.

                1. re: lukshen
                  agarnett100 RE: lukshen Mar 5, 2012 12:15 PM

                  How about Etete -Ethiopian on 9th and U

                  1. re: agarnett100
                    l
                    lukshen RE: agarnett100 Mar 6, 2012 07:12 AM

                    You know, my niece just came back from Ethiopia and I am interested, but I'm not sure about the 7 other diners, thank you though.

            2. ClevelandDave RE: lukshen Mar 6, 2012 08:13 AM

              Here are some DC thoughts near PQ and the Convention Center-

              Maybe try to book your group for an off the books table at Seasonal Pantry- Dan does that sometimes...

              Courdory- right across the street from the convention center beautiful, very good food, reasonably priced

              Co Co Sa La- they do sweet and savory and DC is the only location- beautiful food, fantastic chocolate, near PQ
              Then there is Rouge 24 which is a unique, special and expensive experience all by itself- I'm sure it will be rockin during FF

              2 Replies
              1. re: ClevelandDave
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                lukshen RE: ClevelandDave Jun 3, 2012 04:24 PM

                Ok, the lineup is Fiola, Oyamel, Founding Farmers and Rasika. I'm not sure about Founding Farmers. I had a reservation at Ardeo + Bardeo, thoughts?

                1. re: lukshen
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                  Elyssa RE: lukshen Jun 4, 2012 06:01 AM

                  Skip Founding Farmers. It's very mediocre.

                  I really like Ardeo and it gets you out of the Penn Quarter neighborhood.

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