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NY Hound coming to DC- Dinner Idea?

I am coming to DC two Mondays from now and looking for an idea for a romantic, but casual late (10pm-ish) dinner in the Downtown/Dupont Circle area. Open to cuisines and not worried about price, but I just don't want a stuffy/upscale or steakhouse type atmosphere. Looking for more of an intimate wine or tapas bar feel. Would love some suggestions. I am out of touch with the DC scene.


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  1. You've got the DC outpost of Boqueria for tapas. Blue Duck Tavern and Rasika West End are open till 10:30. Problem with Mondays is that restaurants are either closed or have shorter hours.

    1 Reply
    1. re: shake N baik

      Thanks. Yes, I have noticed that things are either closed or close earlier than normal on Monday. I love Boqueria, but as a New Yorker, that's too easy. Will check out Blue Duck and Rasika. Thanks

    2. There are a couple of good options for a good late night dinner in that area of DC.

      My first choice would be Rasika West End. I recently had a wonderful late night week day dinner there with my fiance. Make a special request for one of their cool-shaped booths. And make sure to order the palak chat! This is a modern-style Indian restaurant---wonderful decor, drinks, food and service. It also won't be as loud as it is at peak hours so you should be fine.

      Other ideas: Equinox, Cork, and Lincoln.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Elyssa

        Thanks. Cork is perfect, but unfortunately closed on Monday. Lincoln doesn't look bad...I will say that Rasika looks good, but Indian is not my ideal cuisine.

        1. re: offthebeatenpath1

          Indian usually isn't my favorite either, but Rasika is different. very different than what might be expected.

          1. re: hill food

            Agree- Rasika is one of the best restaurants around. It's not greasy piles of (delicious) food like at our favorite spot. It's elevated, sophisticated and absolutely delicious.

          2. re: offthebeatenpath1

            Trust me---this is not your usual Indian. It is Indian cuisine cooked with a french technique. Also the cocktails are awesome!

        2. Maybe consider Estadio or Proof. Not sure of their hours on Mondays.

          1. Definitely Rasika, although it's not near Dupont Circle. It's in the Penn Quarter area. Jaleo (Spanish) and Zaytinia (Mediterranea), also in Penn Quarter, have good small plates. I'm not sure of Monday closing times, though.

            2 Replies
            1. re: dcn8v

              Does the Rasika West End no longer operate? It's a couple of blocks from Dupont Circle.


              1. re: Jay F

                Rasika West End is still in operation and is wonderful---personally I prefer it to the Penn Quarter location (you can actually hear your dining companions talk).

            2. I think coming from NYC, Jaleo and Zaytina... perhaps even Proof, will feel stuffy/upscale/conventional. I think Estadio is a great suggestion.

              Is this a date? Birch and Barley/Churckey might be a good option. You could eat dinner at Birch and Barley, then head upstairs for drinks at Churchkey if things are going well.

              1. Thanks Everyone...Some good suggestions. It's tough to find a good place on Mondays and that is open late...Maggiep, this is a date & special occasion, so want it to be special...Any thoughts on Ici Bistro/Le Bar in the Sofitel? Thanks!

                1 Reply
                1. re: offthebeatenpath1

                  I think Ici is only eh. If it's French that you want you can do better. Personally my favorite is Bistro D'Oc but I'm not 100% sure about their times. Also if you want very highend I'm told Marcel's is the way to go---and it's not that far from Dupont Circle. Again---not sure on the time though.

                2. What is it you like? Dupont is full of low quality, trendy stuff, but there are a few gems. Yell us more about your tastes.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: law_doc89

                    Something more upscale, but with a romantic/sexy/intimate atmosphere. Could be a speakeasy type place or a wine bar. Something with sharable plates is idea. We are in our late 20's, so looking for a younger crowd as well. Someplace to have a conversation and won't be rushed.

                    1. re: offthebeatenpath1

                      Check out Nora


                      This has been a consistent and innovative restaurant for years, and the atmosphere is what you want.

                  2. Estadio or Birch and Barley. Proof also would work (but I've never been so don't know). I would also add Bibiana to the list.

                    1. Run, do not walk, to Table on N Street near the Convention Center. Not because it's romantic (it isn't, really) but because it's really, really good. They take reservations now, which is a big plus.

                      2 Replies
                        1. re: Steve

                          sorry - just saw this. I've had the best coq au vin I'd ever tasted there, plus a great endive salad and a delicious bison steak frites. The thai mussels were good, too. For dessert, the hot chocolate mousse and the pear dessert were awesome, as was the apple crostata.

                      1. I just wanted to thank everyone for their suggestions...Of course, after trying to plan for a 10p dinner, which I found out is not easy in DC especially on a Monday, my date was able to get out of work early, which was nice. I was able to get very lucky and score a table at Equinox, which was a wonderful experience. Food was amazing and we ate in the main dining room. Their duo of pheasant was probably the best prepared pheasant I have had. I don't think I need to convince anyone on the DC board that Equinox is a great place, but it is. It would certainly hold it's own in top notch dining in NY. thanks again!

                        1 Reply