DC for Two Nights - 2 Dinners and a Lunch/Brunch - Need Help
I will be going to DC for two nights on a weekend coming up in a couple weeks (Not restaurant week). I have done a bunch of research but honestly am a little overwhelmed. I will be in town for a Friday Dinner, Saturday Lunch or Brand, and Saturday Dinner. Since we will be sightseeing and walking around all day, we'd like to be able to wear khaki shorts and a polo shirt to dinner. As far as cuisine, we are pretty open, just looking for a unique experience and looking to stay in the $25-$30 range per person. The hotel isn't very close so going back and forth just to change for dinner isn't going to be a viable option.
For Friday dinner, we are open to go anywhere that is wheelchair and metro accessible. We don't have any sightseeing planned for Friday night so we are quite open.
For Saturday Lunch or Brunch, we have a tour at the Capitol Building which will be done around 11:30am or so and then will be taking the Metro to the Basilica Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. So, we are looking for wheelchair accessible lunch or brunch either within walking distance of the Capitol or the Basilica. I've looked at Bistro Cacao, Monocle, Tortilla Coast, Dubliner, and Johnny's on the Half Shell but yelp lists Bistro Cacao and Monocle as not wheelchair accessible Any tips for something great for lunch or brunch would be great.
For Saturday dinner, we will be by the Memorials and Smithsonian so looking for a place close to there. We recently had a good tapas experience here locally so I was considering Jaleo which looks like it wouldn't be too far. I also heard good things about Rasika but it looks like it would be out of budget and probably wouldn't work in terms of dress code. I had also considered Founding Farmers. So, any other ideas you all can provide would be great.
maybe Art & Soul for br/lunch? call first to check on wheelchairs, but it's in a fairly modern hotel so I think it would be ok. It's not cheap though.
for Saturday dinner, Zaytinya is my preference over Jaleo but I think it depends what food you like. For Friday dinner, maybe try Ethiopian? You could go to Dukem for well below your price range (for 2 people, I usually think a veggie combo and one meat dish is perfect). I am pretty sure Dukem would be accessible--it is more spacious than Etete so probably a better choice.
Yoccos -- For your Saturday brunch, you might consider a place near or in Union Station, since you'll be taking the red line up to the Basilica -- that location might help with your search. Dubliner, for example, would be a logical location (that's not a food rec, not sure I've eaten there, but it is one of those famous Cap Hill pubs and you mentioned it). Johnny's Half Shell is also in that direction, would be a bit more walking.
Also, not food related, but be prepared for a haul from the metro to the Basilica -- I don't know that area well, but I have done that walk and it's not real easy. I'd also suggest you make a note of the WMATA webpage and check if elevators are working at the metro stations you'll be using, since it sounds like one of you uses a wheelchair.
In a pinch -- that is if convenience ends up trumping chowhounding -- the cafeteria in the Capitol Visitors Center is fine (and the whole CVC and Capitol tour is well-geared for those in wheelchairs) and there is a cafe in the Basilica (never eaten there, but it's there).
I was at DGS on a Friday night recently (chopped liver is great, yes), but it was super loud, and I feel like might not be very comfortable in a wheelchair (most tables are up a steep staircase). Personally I'd go with one of those 14th st places, instead, or Rasika or Jaleo (Ok, well, they're all loud, but it bothered me more in DGS's setting for whatever reason).
I think you'd be fine in khaki shorts at Rasika, and it's great. I'm thinking you could stay in your price range, especially if it doesn't include drinks. Rasika is about as convenient to the Mall as Jaleo. And Rasika West End would actually be more convenient to the west end of the Mall (the memorials).
Hope this is a little helpful. Have a great trip!
On Friday, check out DGS for a unique experience. A Jewish restaurant with sephardic culinary touches. Chopped liver, matzoh ball soup, knishes. Reservations a must.
No to Founding Farmers.
Yes to Jaleo.
At Jaleo, go for the quail, patatas bravas, beet salad with citrus, apparatus, spinach with raisins, tortilla al momento, dates wrapped with bacon, and the baby wrinkled potatoes.
If you like seafood, try Azur -- it's on three levels, but there is a large first floor table that works well if you need accessibility. The food is great. The first floor is partly the bar, so it's not the most tranquil (but it's not the most hopping, either), but you'll have a great time.
As far as cost at Rasika West End, I have read that it is small plates. Is that correct? I'm trying to get a sense of how much it will cost for three for dinner (No Alcohol). If it is small plates/tapas, in looking at their menu, it could get pretty pricey. Thanks for the responses thus far.
Just wanted to give you an update. My brother and I just had lunch at RWE. Definitely not small plates. We had 2 appetizers, 2 entrees, 2 desserts, rice, bread, and 2 non-alcoholic drinks for about $90. As far as dress code, he was in khakis and a button down and I was wearing nice sandals and shorts and a nice top. We fit right in. The food? Absolutely fantastic! Worth every penny. I especially enjoyed the palak chaat and the cardamom ice cream.
For Friday night, it might be best to get the flavor of the City's newest "hot" area -- 14th between P and W -- which will be lively. Among your excellent options there are Kapnos, Etto (no reservations, I think), Estadio, and (from what I've heard) Ghibellina. Le Diplomate, too, but it might be a bit out of your price range. I'd say Cork best of all, but there's a new chef there; I haven't been since the change-over, but I imagine it's still first-rate. (Not sure about wheelchair accessibility at these places, sorry.)
Saturday brunch/lunch in those two areas is a very tough assignment -- no great choices. Johnny's is by far the best bet that springs to mind.
Jaleo is not too far from the *non*-memorial end of the Mall, and would be a great choice for Saturday night. There's nothing of value near the Smithsonian or memorials themselves.