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Best Dining at Bar / Traveling alone

smith64 Aug 17, 2012 09:59 AM

I will be in town for a conference and would like best suggestions for an upscale, comfortable, fantastic food dining experience that can be done at the bar - not at a table by myself.

Think along the lines of Komi, Vidalia, Charlie Palmer's....just looking for the best experience and best food with a comfortable chair/bartender.


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  1. d
    dcandohio RE: smith64 Aug 17, 2012 10:36 AM


    1. k
      katecm RE: smith64 Aug 17, 2012 10:38 AM

      I love the bar at Bourbon Steak. They have a cocktail list that would make you cry, and if none of their amazing options appeal to you, the incredible bartenders will craft something to order. And the food is my favorite bar food. It's awesome.

      Another option would be Rasika. It's a hard restaurant to get into, but you don't need reservations for the bar.

      1. d
        drewpbalzac RE: smith64 Aug 17, 2012 10:49 AM

        I like the small sushi bar at Kaz Sushi Bistro.

        Grafiato works well if you can get a seat.


        1. ipsedixit RE: smith64 Aug 17, 2012 09:41 PM

          I travel and dine in DC quite a bit. Here's my go-to list, in no particular order:

          Palena (take the metro red line from downtown)
          Blue Duck Tavern

          3 Replies
          1. re: ipsedixit
            daves_32 RE: ipsedixit Aug 20, 2012 04:26 AM

            I would second Bourbon Steak and Palena and would add Corduroy. I have been to Fiola alone at the bar and struggled with the bar and stools. If I recall, it was tough to get over the bar (or wear a bib).

            1. re: daves_32
              wineo1957 RE: daves_32 Aug 21, 2012 09:07 AM

              Courderoy. Dino.

              Bar Pillar was too noisy and crowded for "dining at the bar" but the food was heartfelt and very good. We haven't been back since the remodel.

              Cashions although I am not as big a fan of their food as I am of the above three.

              1. re: wineo1957
                Elyssa RE: wineo1957 Aug 21, 2012 09:34 AM

                I love dining alone at Bar Pillar. But this poster asked for something upscale. Bar Pillar is much more a casual, neighborhood spot.

          2. e
            Elyssa RE: smith64 Aug 20, 2012 05:56 AM

            I just had dinner the other night at Elisir and thought it would be a great place to enjoy an excellent meal at the bar. Really stellar food and competent and friendly bartenders.

            You can also order the full menu (in addition to the bar menu) at Bourbon Steak.

            2 other places to consider (although maybe not as high end as the other two but equally as delicious) are Ris and PS7. I dine at both of those restaurants all the time by myself and always have an excellent experience.

            1. m
              mnadel RE: smith64 Aug 20, 2012 03:57 PM

              Tosca fits the bill perfectly.

              1. ktmoomau RE: smith64 Aug 21, 2012 01:10 PM

                Thought I would add the bar at CityZen. If you are willing to venture out of the city the bar at Restaurant Eve is a lot of fun too.

                1. b
                  braver RE: smith64 Aug 25, 2012 08:19 PM

                  I think the Chesapeake Room on Barracks Row (8th St. SE, near the Eastern Market metro) would be good--I like their food and cocktails, and when I ate at the bar last week the bartender was really nice. There are tvs (we wanted to watch the Nats) and a big fishtank above the bar, and if you sit on the right side of the bar you can also see the kitchen, which is fun.

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