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Mar 21, 2012 12:32 PM

Eating while conferencing in Penn Quarter

Hi, all! I'll be in DC for the next few days attending the Renaissance Society of America conference at the Grand Hyatt (staying at the Harrington Hotel). In a quick scan, I've identified a few places close to the Grand Hyatt for lunch -- Againn, PS7, Zaytinya -- and for dinner -- Zaytinya, Zola, Co Co Sa La (or just chocolate??), Jaleo (?), Oyamel. Unfortunately, though this conference actually pauses for 2 hours for lunch, I often find that time is squeezed for that delightful activity -- EATING! -- when conferencing. So I will be hoping to rely on luck and patience to get in somewhere, as I don't really know precisely when I'll be free and how many (if any) will be with me. On one night, I'm hoping to head up to U St. for some Ethiopian. Best I ever had was years ago in DC, and I'm hoping to reawaken my taste buds. I'll be footing or Metroing it around -- looking for awesome salads with protein for lunch, ideally, and Asian, Mediterranean, tapas, seafood, wizardry for dinner. OK, I know that's not very specific, but I live in a seriously underserved (read: mostly chains, nothing amazing) place so even though I just got back from a dreamy food-filled conference weekend in New Orleans, I am still game for more. Anyhow, if anyone has further suggestions for places handy to the Grand Hyatt and/or flexible for those without reservations...or awesome ethnic food that must be tried...I'd love to hear from you. Otherwise, THANK YOU ALL FOR MAKING THE INTERNETS FUNCTION.

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  1. The restaurants you mention above have all been reviewed in this section and are mentioned quite often in a positive light. I would try Etete on 14th and U for Ethiopian or Eutopia on H ST NE

    1 Reply
    1. You can pop into a number of places without reservations for lunch. Jaleo closed right now. Zaytinya is good. Co Co Sala is better for dessert and at night, but haven't been for awhile. Poste is good. Oyamel gets good reviews and I've been a number of times, but I'm just not that impressed, I've actually had better food at (gasp chain) Rosa Mexicano. Rasika is great, but you may need reservations. I think best Ethiopian is at Ethoipic on 4th and H Street NE (you can take metro to Union Station and walk or a short cab) and if you want to bar hop, head down to 10th to 14th on H for the scene, lots of choices (and good food at the Atlas Room and Liberty Tree, but mostly American food). I loved the experience and food at Little Serow (only dinner, no reservations, DuPont Circle). If you want Jose Andres, you can go to the extended pop up restaurant America Eats. I've had good food at bar at 701. Fiola gets a lot of good press and it's a beautiful dining room (and a cheap meal if you eat at the bar for lunch), but my cheap meal at bar was good but not great. I would still go back to Fiola. I don't see it written up much but I had great nibbles and cocktails at Sei if you want Asian style. Kushi is fun for Asian grill. I love the bar at Occidental Grill and have had good food and drinks there. At night, I've liked Oceanaire for seafood (it's been awhile though) and had amazing food at Marcel's, even though it is far from hip.

      1 Reply
      1. re: sarichardson

        Thanks so much; super helpful leads!!

      2. Garden Café Italia

        National Gallery

        "In honor of the exhibition Antico: The Golden Age of Renaissance Bronzes as well as the Gallery's own stellar collection of Italian masterpieces, Chef Fabio Trabocchi has transformed the menu in the Garden Café. Having recently returned to DC from New York to open the highly anticipated restaurant Fiola in Penn Quarter, Chef Trabocchi has created a menu of signature Italian cuisine for the Garden Café, including a buffet as well as à la carte dishes.”