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Restaurant/Bar help for this weekend

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I am not very familiar with the restaurant and bar scene in DC. Looking for reasonably priced places. Wife and I are adventurous food types, willing to try new things but we also really enjoy a fun bar or brew pub. We are staying near DuPont Circle and really don't want to drive or take cabs. We don't mind walking or taking public transportation. Would like to keep dinner under $100 for two. I know this is vague, but I am just curious about what people would recommend. Thanks for the help!

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  1. The best beer selection in town is at Churchkey on 14th St. Several of the cities best restaurants are on that street: Pearl Dive, Birch and Barley, Estadio ... the list is long.

    Closer to Dupont Circle are Hank's Oyster Bar and Bistro du Coin, among others. I love the oyster po' boy at the former, and the mussels and salads at the latter.

    Better mussels, I think though, can be had at Brasserie Beck, near the Metro Centro stop. They have great Belgian beer and one full serving of mussels ($26) can easily feed two people. I think their sauces for mussels are better, but the quality of the mussels themselves at Bistro du Coin is very high.

    Fun bar: The Passenger on 7th St., near Gallery Place Metro. An elegant cocktail bar which requires reservations (I haven't been yet, but am dying to go), The Columbia Room, is in the back of The Passenger. The Gibson is a wonderful speakeasy with good cocktails; it's on 14th at U.

    DC has wonderful Ethiopian food; my favorite is Etete at 9th and U. There are a lot of people who really like Ethiopic on H St. NE - but that neighborhood would require a cab. I haven't been there yet.

    It would help if you made your request less vague. I went on about mussels for a couple of paragraphs. For all I know, you hate them! What kinds of food do you like/dislike? Where are you from? What foods are common there - or what isn't available there at all?

    4 Replies
    1. re: woodleyparkhound

      Hey Woodleyparkhound,

      Thanks for the great recommendations. Love mussels, and also oysters. Always wanted to try Ethiopian food. There really is not much that my wife and I aren't willing to try. I am from Philly area, so other than cheese steaks, I am game for about anything. Does the Gibson serve food or is it strictly a bar? Reasonable price (under $100 for two) is really my only stipulation and not really looking for a big fat steak. I will check out your recommendations and please feel free to keep them coming. Thanks for the great advice!

      1. re: dfishhead

        The Gibson serves cocktails only. It would be great to have a drink there, then walk down 14th St. to have dinner - or walk to Etete for Ethiopian -- easy to do from there. If you have always wanted to try Ethiopian, this is the city to do it in!

        Great oysters at Pearl Dive on 14th - no reservations though. Arrive early. Hank's is also very good and rather cheaper.

        Great place for breakfast / lunch near Dupont Circle: Bethesda Bagels. Also, Dolcezza has probably the best ice cream in the city.

        If you'd like to check out a southern food hole-in-the-wall, try Oohs and Aahs on U, around 10th.

        1. re: woodleyparkhound

          Woodleyparkhound,

          Just wanted to report back. Plans never seem to go as planned of course, but we had a great time. Spent Saturday morning/early afternoon touring the grounds of Tudor Place and Dumbarton Oaks, both lovely. Had lunch at Billy Martin's Tavern in Georgetown. Cool place, food was fine, great bartender and nice people. Had a couple of drinks right by hotel near DuPont Circle, place called Bier Baron, excellent selection and fyi they do a hamburger and any beer on tap every day for $10 from 5-7. Not sure about the burger (did not have one), but the beer was great. Tried to have dinner at Hank's Oyster Bar but there was a 2 hour wait. Oh well, no worries we were still pretty full from the lunch and beers. So we had a light dinner at Circa DuPont. Very good, I had a mixed green salad with chicken and an excellent sherry vinaigrette and my wife had grilled grouper with couscous and greens. Very good food. Sunday morning we had a very good and very cheap breakfast at Bagels Etc. DC was truly great and we hope to get back down very soon. Thanks again for your tips.

          1. re: dfishhead

            Glad to hear you had a good trip and thanks so much for reporting back. It's always great to hear from people after their visit!

            I was told once that we had a 1 to 1 1/2 hour wait at Hank's, only to be seated 10 minutes later!

            I love Dumbarton Oaks - haven't been in a few years now. I'd like to get back there.