DC For 1st time
I have a friend headed to DC for the first time for a conference - she is excited to not only see it but experience the food & music evening scene (jazz, blues, salsa, etc). She will be at the Hyatt Regency by the Capitol. Any suggestions for musts accessible by foot, metro or taxi. I grew up in VA but haven't been to DC in over 7 years so relying on this community to steer her right. Thank you!
I think she is going to need taxi or Metro. The food scene around Capitol Hill is pretty dreary, with the exception of CityZen in the Mandarin Hotel, and that isn't really walkable because it is a confusing tangle of very busy roads. Plus a long hike from the Hyatt Regency. Another choice is Bistro Bis, very near her hotel (about five long blocks). Also Johnny's on the Half Shell - about the same distance. There are some trendy places in the area, including Spike whats-his-face from Top Chef who has a burger place and a pizza place. Also Matchbox which is the depth of mediocrity.
I would strongly recommend that she check the following venues for music to see if anything of interest coincides with her visit: Birchmere (wide variety of music; a metro and cab ride); Kennedy Center and especially the daily free concerts called Millenium Stage - these are early evening, so pre-dinner; Fillmore Silver Spring; Howard Theater (a classic venue that has just re-opened).
Madam's Organ is a good place for live blues. Local guitar legend Bobby Parker plays there regularly. Don't know about the food there, but there's plenty of good food in the area. http://www.madamsorgan.com/
Westminster Presbyterian Church has live jazz on Friday nights and live blues Monday nights. They serve some decent fried chicken and fried fish dinners during the concerts (or at least they were the last time I was there, a couple of years ago.) http://westminsterdc.org/
Check out the DC Blues Society's website for more on local blues events: www.dcblues.org