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Mai Thai, Rosa Mexicano or take out a 2nd mortgage and go to Melting Pot?

Trying to go somewhere for our anniversary, but we have a pretty low budget (around $70 including tip.) But I'd still like to go somewhere awesome. There are a lot of restaurants around here, I'm taking suggestions, too! I would like to go somewhere we haven't been before, but I need to know that it won't suck. Thanks!

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  1. What geographical area are you looking for?

    1 Reply
    1. re: woodleyparkhound

      We live in Lorton, but can go anywhere- DC, National Harbor, Alexandria.

    2. I would skip all the ideas above and go elsewhere. There are a couple of options. Both Oya and Sei have a $35 pre-fixe 3 course dinner menu. Lots of tasty Asian options, in a cool modern environment. I've been to both restaurants and have had good meals.

      If you want Mexican I would go to Oyamel and get a couple of small plates to share---you probably can stick to your budget there.

      1. I haven't been to May Thai but I've been to Rosa Mexicano several times (the National Harbor location) and enjoyed it. I particularly like their Budín de Pollo. I've never really understood the appeal of the Melting Pot. The dessert fondues are nice but the entree fondues always seem to have a strangely alcoholic taste to me.

        1. Good call on Oyamel, Elyssa. I was going to suggest Zaytinya. Either way the small plates will make it easier to stay in your budget. Hank's Oyster Bar also came to mind. Might I also suggest you consider an anniversary brunch instead? Tabard Inn, CoCo Sala, and Acadiana all go on my list of romantic brunch places. Plus then you get the rest of the day to celebrate!

          1. Locolat for savory Belgian waffles and excellent chocolates. I like the Queens Delight (chicken and mushrooms in a cream sauce) over garlic waffles, and the carbonnade, escargot, crabcakes, grilled asparagus are all winners. Pesto waffles and herbed waffles also very good.They also have a small menu of salads and light fare.

            The buttercream chocolates as well as the sea salt chocolates are world class.

            1. I should add that we don't drink alcohol, so the whole budget can be spent on food. Thanks so much for the great suggestions so far!

              1. Totally agree on going small plates whether Jaleo, Zaytinya, Oyamel or elsewhere though I can vouch for them. I love small plates because of the variety. Another option would be a pre fixe dinner but be careful...even some of those can be pricey. Here is a pre fixe link if you want to go that route.


                1. I wouldn't put any of those three in the "awesome" category. I would go to a non-chain, personally. It's a special occasion-- go where a chef will cook for you, not a line cook. (Or yourself, which is what you'd essentially do at Melting Pot. If you do go there, do cheese, salad, chocolate. You'll still leave full.)

                  I recommend Majestic Cafe in Alexandria. You could split an app, have 2 entrees, split dessert and keep it at or under $70. I highly recommend the seafood stew.

                  (If you'd be amendable to lunch, they have a lunch deal at the bar that can't be beat (except by their sister place, Restaurant Eve)... for about $15 each, you get food cook by the amazing folks in their kitchen for a fraction of the price. No reservations, just go in and see if there's space at the bar. Weekdays ONLY.)

                  1. If you go to Thai X-ing, depending on the night of the week, it's either $30 or $40 a person. You'll get around six courses of the most incredibly homemade Thai food of your life: http://www.thaix-ing.com/