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3 1/2 days in DC

LA Hound making his first trip in a few years to DC (middle of May). Coming for the Durer exhibition at the National Gallery. Will be staying across the street from the New York Ave/Vermont Ave Red Line station, but no car. Arrive late Saturday evening, depart Wednesday afternoon. Looking for interesting/unique choices for breakfast/brunch and dinner. Fine dining or neighborhood favorites both OK. Price not a major factor. Our last trip included great meals at Blacksalt, Vidalia, Blue Duck Tavern. In the past I've enjoyed meals at Obelisk, Jaleo and many others. After reading through similar, older threads on this board, I was wondering whether you guys had any more up to date suggestions?

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  1. I would look at Cashion's Eat Place and Birch and Barley.

    4 Replies
    1. re: reiflame

      Thanks! I already made a reservation at Birch and Barley for one of the nights. I remember trying to get to Cashions during previous trips: I'll look at them again. I also reserved nights at Ethiopic and Vidalia, but there is plenty of time to rearrange things, within the limitations of Sunday and Monday closures.

      1. re: smgradman

        Unfortunately Vidalia isn't what it once was; the chef moved on to Rogue 24, you might check it out if it's in your price/time range.

        1. re: Benquo

          I've been to Vidalia a couple of times for lunch since the chef left for Rogue, which was a while back now. The first time was sublime, the second time not so much.

          BTW, RJ Cooper was not Vidalia's founding chef/owner, who is a highly respected chef in his own right.

          1. re: Steve

            True, but the times I've gone there after he left, it just wasn't as good. Still good, but not great.

    2. Eola, little Serow, and Fiola.

      1. Little Serow if you can tolerate very spicy food and don't mind standing in line to get in. (no reservations)
        Mintwood in Adams Morgan
        Fiola for upscale Italian

        2 Replies
        1. re: startsev

          Little Serow was not very spicy or hardly spicy at all when I went there. If there was a spicy dish, the portion was quite miniscule and can be easily avoided.

          1. re: startsev

            I found Fiola disappointing (the mixed fish for two was just kind of meh, other things were good but not amazing), would suggest Tosca over it.

          2. Little Serow
            Mintwood Cafe
            La Diplomate (including for brunch)
            Ishikaya Seki (at the bar)
            redesigned and rejuvenated Jaleo
            Fiola great, but prices have skyrocketed there
            2 Amys if you're out near the Cathedral
            Mi Cuba Cafe
            Zenebech Injera (haven't been, but I trust the raves)
            the new Red Hen in Bloomingdale looks very promising

            1. If you're staying near the New York Ave station, that's within walking distance of the new Union Market, which has a lot of cool stuff.

              I think Thai X-Ing is new-ish in its current form. Informal, BYOB chef's choice prix fixe Thai. $20-40 pp depending on the night, I think.

              In the same area, Zenebech has remodeled, looks nicer, and is still awesome.

              Kushi is an Izakaya-style place, great small plates and sushi.

              Ceiba, Acadiana, and Churchkey are excellent.

              1. Thanks for all the suggestions. A few got to me after I had already returned home. I ended up having dinner at Ethiopic, Vidalia, and Birch & Barley. I found the food at Ethiopic to be very good, but with a somewhat limited menu. I was hoping for something a little more imaginative, but instead it was just good, straight ahead standard Ethiopean fare. I thought that Vidalia was excellent. Both the soft shell crab and the rabbit were outstanding, and I appreciated the wine list choices. B&B was too noisy (like so many restaurants here in L.A.), but the food was great and I loved being able to order 5 or 6 different 4 oz beer pours during the course of the meal. I had soft shell crab and duck.

                4 Replies
                1. re: smgradman

                  Thanks so much for your feedback.

                  How did Ethiopic compare to what you have in LA?

                  1. re: Steve

                    Good question. You must know about our one block stretch of South Fairfax Ave where there are about 6 or 7 Ethiopean restaurants. I found Ethiopic to be as good as the better ones here as to quality of ingredients and preparation, but, as I said, just a little lacking as far as menu choices. One or two of our Ethiiopean restaurants have allowed themselves to experiment a little with nontraditional ingredients, often with great results, while Ethiopic was very traditional. But also very good.

                    1. re: smgradman

                      I have driven by the ones on Fairfax, interspersed with the Judaica shops, right? You could use the injera like a yamulke.

                      What kind of experimentation do they offer?

                      1. re: Steve

                        Check out these places: more fish, tofu, different nuts and legumes, different chiles, and with Rosalinds, a West African influence. One is vegan.