Restaurant Nora vs. Bistro du Coin for client dinner of 15?
We're staying at Washington Hilton on Connecticut and need a decent place in very close walking distance to take clients for a fun dinner where we can still converse. We've found these two places almost out of default. Nora has private rooms and menus they'll set for us, Bistro du Coin promised their upstairs area but possibly with other tables and open to the dining room downstairs.
Can anyone comment on which would be best for a somewhat laid back client dinner - you know, unfortunately generic enough for anyone to enjoy, food, noise, etc.? And yes, I know DC has much better to offer but with needing a 5 minute walk and not interested in Ruth's Chris these seem to be our options since they don't want to worry about wrangling 10 clients across DuPont Circle.
One of DC restaurant critics -- I think it was Sietsema writing in his Wednesday chat -- wrote that Restaurant Nora's kitchen is performing at a level which recalls its early glory days.
I don't know what the noise level of BdC is upstairs, but nobody would do this downstairs, and the upstairs is completely open, like a large balcony.
The closest is Banana Leaves, which recently reopened after a lengthy post-fire renovation.
One of my favorites in DC is Locolat, a tiny super-casual Belgian spot. You'd fill up the whole place. But it is about a 7 minute walk, 2 minutes longer than Nora. Is that too far? I could make specific recs....
Absolutely Nora. The DC trendiness has passed it by at the moment, but it remains top notch, and being bypassed by the trendy crowd means the atmosphere will be better for your purpose.
Even upstairs, Bistro Du Coin is very loud. I'd pick Nora for the type of dinner you are talking about. If it was a dinner for a bunch of college buddies or drinking buddies, Bistro, clients, Nora.