Monday night dinner (not going to inaugural balls)
My group of 4 from Texas is coming to DC for inaugural festivities but it looks like we are opting out of any parties or balls on Monday night. We are staying at the Omni Shoreham but will take a cab where ever we decide to eat.
We are eating at Restaurant Nora on Friday evening, other nights at parties. Recommendations please for Monday night dinner? We aren't youngsters so happy to spend a little bit for a solidly good meal and relaxing atmosphere.
A little of the recommendation depends on what you li8ke and how willing you are to try something different.
As Elyssa said, it might be easiest to just stay in the area and go to Cleveland Park, right up the road from the Shoreham. Places there that I'd recommend are:
Dino (great wine list)
If you can get a reservation Palena (the back room) is probably a must.
However, there are plenty of good places to get a solidly good meal and relax.
Cedar on 822 E Street NW
701 in the Penn Quarter
Brasserie Beck 11rh and K Street NW (but it will be noisy)
The Oval Room (might be tough reservation)
Proof (in the Penn Quarter near the Verizon Center)
Perhaps the easiest thing might be to stick to the area you are in and dine nearby. There are a few excellent options in that area. If you head up to Cleveland Park you can go to Palena or Ardeo. If you want to go to Adams Morgan you can go to the wonderful Mintwood or Cashion's.
All very good choices!
Is there a reason why you'll be eating at Nora? Are you attending a function that someone else is hosting so you have no choice? Nora is a restaurant whose time has passed. Nora deserves everyone's admiration for being among the first chefs to be passionate about the source of food in general with a specific commitment to supporting local sources. But her passion for being in the kitchen and putting out great food has waned significantly. You can spend your dollars with much happier results elsewhere.
I'm thinking you might want to try for a restaurant that isn't near any of the locations where the balls will be held or near the White House. I don't know how many streets will be closed from the afternoon's Inaugural events.
Here's a list of places with good food that shouldn't be too impacted by traffic conditions:
Rasika West End
Incidentally, any of these would be an excellent alternative to Nora.