Staying in Downtown D.C. for 2 Nights. Need recommendations!
Looking for good restaurants that the locals like. Doesn't matter if it's cheap or expensive. Open to all types of cuisine. Just want restaurants that are in D.C. and walkable or accessible through public transit. I will be at 12th & K street.
So far, I have The Standard and Toki Underground as potentials.
The Standard I believe is closed for the winter. Plus it's now called Garden District or something.
I would suggest Etto, Estadio, G Man Sandwiches or Kapnos, all on 14th Street and walkable. Churchkey has an amazing beer selection but food's not that amazing.
A bit further you could go to Bistro Boheme for a lovely and hearty Eastern European dining experience, or Zenebech Injera for a hole-in-the-wall Ethiopian that you will not forget. Just get the combination plate.
My top meal in DC: Oohhs and Aahhs for Coastal Carolina Soul Food. Although this is a true hole-in-the-wall, prices are surprisingly high. They now have waitress service upstairs! Go for the broiled crab cake, and/or the shrimp and grits. Add onions and peppers to the shrimp and grits. Broiled crab cake will take a long time, but it's worth it. Do not go for fried. Collard greens are excellent as well as rice with gravy.
Took Underground is worth going out of you way for, but only for the kimchi ramen. Must reserve well in advance or be prepared to wait a couple of hours in the bar downstairs or otherwise nearby. If solo, you may be able to slip in after a short wait even if they are full. That happened to me once.
Right around the corner from you is Brasserie Beck, a highly respected Belgian bra. It's been a long time now since I've been, mostly because it is both expensive and not reliably inspiring. In winter they make a hot brandy cider that is sweet and addictive, and they quickly run out of it.
I recommend going out of your way to Localot, also Belgian, which is a really tiny spot that specializes in savory waffles. I like them all, but especially the garlic waffles topped with Carbonnade or Queen's Delight, or the green herb or pesto waffles topped with escargot. The chocolates here are world-class, but stick to the fruit flavored butter creams or the dark sea salt variety. In this neighborhood there are couple of music shops (Red Onon, Smash Records) and a book store (Idle Time) that are interesting to scope out as well. If you walk toward Dupont Circle, there are a couple of Bookstores (Kultura, Second Story) on your way.
Wherever you land, please report back.
What are your proclivities? Budget?
DC is a low sophistication dining city, so you have to be careful. Note that the most recent Open Table ranking had not a single DC restaurant. If you can be more specific about your tastes, and if you really can get over taking a cab, there are some gems.
re: hill food
They base their rankings on feedback, among other things. DC proclivities are pretty much to the lower end of the spectrum, which is why the DC restaurants tend not to stack up well in head to head with those of other cities. This is important to acknowledge when giving advice to others, and I have found that eating out in other cites can be a shock if I have been confined to DC for too long a period. It would have been nice if the OP had replied with some clarification.
I did find a surprise recently down town in a lunch at
La Chaumière in Georgetown. I wasn't expecting much, but the cost was relatively low, and monkfish was properly prepared in a lobster sauce, Cervelle de Veau nicely sauteed in browned butter, all very traditional but done with good technique. So I would be happy to return any time I am in the mood for traditional French at a relatively low price.
I'd suggest Little Serow (no reservations) on 17th and P Street. Definitely get there early, especially on the weekends.
Also Rose's Luxury near the Eastern Market metro (also no reservations). Don't always agree with WaPo's take on restaurants but they hit the nail on the head on this place: http://m.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle...
I would head to Le Diplomat on 14th Street. Every meal I have there is incredible and it has a great vibe.
Also Kapnos is a fun, vibrant Greek small plates restaurant also further down on 14th St.
You might also want to go to an Ethiopian restaurant. The most metro-accessible which is also delicious is Etete.
Also Brasserie Beck and Acadiana are walking distance from your hotel and both are great. I just had an amazing brunch at Acadiana this past weekend---3 courses for $29 of cajun goodness and $2 mimosas and bloody marys...great deal!
Close to your hotel (on 9th Street, near the Convention Center), I have enjoyed Corduroy. It is a fine dining restaurant, and on the expensive side, but has a lovely, quiet ambience that might provide a welcome contrast to the other, more lively destinations offered by others in the thread. Reservations are recommended.
Just wanted to give an update. Thanks for all of the suggestions guys! Ended up trying out Komi, Locolat, The Pig, and DCity Smokehouse.
Komi - Wine pairing is key. If you're going to go to Komi, go all out and get the pairing. All of the dishes were all mediocre at worst to great. The environment and service were great. At $225 w/o tip PP with the wine pairing, I think it was a little overpriced for what it is. Definitely more of a special occasion dining experience.
Locolat - Wasn't overly impressed with the waffles. I prefer them crispier and Locolat's were not. I really liked the scrambled eggs though, Locolat did them very well. The eggs were light, fluffy, but flavorful as well. I especially liked the herb scrambled eggs (with cilantro and scallions). The eggs benedict were standard. Smoked salmon & asparagus were good. Lastly, the coffee, chocolate log cake was dry and disappointing.
The Pig - I love pork, so I'm biased towards a tapas restaurant focused around pork. The charcuterie board wasn't worth it in my view as nothing stood out, and the lack of a good cheese board didn't help. The dishes that I liked were the Bacon Wrapped Apples, Crispy Pork Shank, Mac & Cheese, Pig Tails, and Porchetta. Overall, it was a good restaurant, and I would go again. I was all porked-out by the end and probably need a month or two before I would think of going back.
DCity Smokehouse - The owner recommended sandwiches, but I was stubborn and I wanted variety and didn't want bread. In the end, it was a mistake. The brisket was too dry, the ribs only okay, and the pork belly was the best of the three. The only side I tried was the Crispy Brussel Sprouts, which were really good. My favorites of all the things I tried were the wings, and the Meaty Palmer.