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Cheerful Restaurant DC/VA to get someone's mind off a tragedy

The anniversary of the death of my friend's husband is coming up on Dec. 6th. She is new here, but where she was from, a big group of friends took her out to lunch or breakfast every year. I wanted to do something similar. She loves sweet things, and American food/grill/pasta like Cheesecake Factory. But we have been there recently, & I wanted to do something even more special or different. She is not a super gourmet person- she might even like a themed restaurant, but I just can't come up with any ideas. We are actually in the Northern VA area (Lorton/Springfield) and the closer to home, the more people would attend, but if it's perfect enough, we could go to DC or Tyson's.

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  1. My first thought was a Mongolian grill - you can build your own bowl and they cook it over a big open flattop. There's Mongolian BBQ in Bethesda, and Google tells me that there's a place called Genghis Grill in Alexandria.

    Also that's awfully sad and I hope she gets through the day ok :(

    1 Reply
    1. With all due respect, I'd stay away from Mongolian BBQ. It can end up being a hot mess if you don't know what to add to the bowl or how to deal with spices. So here is my suggestion:

      http://www.greatamericanrestaurants.c...

      While I have not been to this one, I have been to several others. Good solid food and nice atmosphere in the local area.

      For the more and in DC:

      http://www.serendipity3dc.com

      3 Replies
      1. re: rHairing

        We love Mike's! It's delicious. It never disappoints. My friend & I were actually just there last week. So I think I still need something different. But thanks for the website. I will check it out.

        1. re: rHairing

          Oh my gosh! There is a Serendipity restaurant in DC????!!!! I love that restaurant. Been to the one in NY. Hmmmm that is a great candidate. Thanks so much!

          1. re: rHairing

            I was thinking a GAR restaurant as well. I haven't been to Mike's but they all seem pretty solid. Otherwise, if you do want to go out on a limb, I would throw in Korean, but have the staff cook the meat (why go to a restaurant to cook your own food?).

            Hope the day goes well, regardless.

          2. The Hamilton sounds like a good option based on your preferences. I was just there and it's very enjoyable for the type of thing you are looking for.

            www.thehamiltondc.com

            Walker's Grille in Springfield is an option that's closer to home. I've only been there at lunch when it was very quiet, so I can't say how "cheerful" it is in the evening, but I would imagine it could be much more lively at dinner time.

            walkersgrille.com

            1. The restaurant in the Hilton at Tyson's Corner is a nice place for a weekday breakfast. The food is much better quality than standard hotel fare and the surroundings are lovely.

              1. Cheerful and theme. May I suggest an evening of feasting, comedy, and swordfighting in 15th century England? Medieval Madness at Renaissance Hall in Alexandria is a bit of a change of pace and a lot of fun.

                http://www.medievalmadness.com/

                1. Maybe lunch at Hill Country in Penn Quarter? A Texas roadhouse look, decent BBQ, very casual.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: dcandohio

                    Or Carmine's for red sauce italian if its a big group??

                  2. how about ted's bulletin on 8th St. SE? There are a lot of choices and fun desserts. The decor is neat, too.

                    1. How about H St Country Club? I've only been once, but from what I remember, the food is very straightforward and you can play minigolf.