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High end dinner for 1 near downtown

Worldwide Diner Jan 17, 2014 07:00 PM

Will be staying at Hilton Americas for business. I intend to search for great food within a 3 mile radius. It will likely be just me for Fri and Sat evenings. Must be able secure reservation for one or have dining space at bar. I'm coming from DC, where the food scene is decent but not overly exciting. Price not important. The more courses of elaborate and unique food the better (but I hate slow dragging tasting menus where you sit for 3 or 4 hrs.). For example, Uchi seems interesting to me. There's only one Japanese restaurant of that caliber in DC.

  1. m
    mjust Jan 18, 2014 08:11 AM

    Uchi is great and would definitely meet your criteria--highly recommend it. Oxheart has counter seats, but you probably will not be able to get a reservation there (counter seats are also reserved) on short notice unless someone has cancelled at the last minute. Fair warning, for us the tasting menu (7 courses) was an almost 4 hour affair. But they have shorter 4 course menus, as well. The Pass would meet your criteria for elaborate/unique, I think, but I don't know how solo-friendly the dining room is (haven't been myself) or whether you could get a reservation. All are within 3 miles of the hotel.

    4 Replies
    1. re: mjust
      Worldwide Diner Jan 18, 2014 12:24 PM

      Them's top 3 on Alison Cook's top 100. I will pass on Oxheart because they don't accept reservation for 1 online and the length of dinner. Both The Pass and Uchi look fantastic. Question, Uchi a la carte or tasting menu?

      1. re: Worldwide Diner
        mjust Jan 18, 2014 12:37 PM

        I don't think you can go wrong with either, though if it were me, I would probably go a la carte. The last time we were there, they also had the option for your server to design a tasting for you, which is sort of a middle ground--essentially, you tell them what you like/dislike, if there's anything in particular that you definitely want to try, and then they keep selecting/bringing out dishes until you don't want any more. It worked really well for us--we got to try a great variety, and you avoid the dragging on too long problem.

        1. re: Worldwide Diner
          dndicicco Mar 25, 2014 05:28 PM

          Sorry to bring up such an old thread, but can't help but comment that in my experience if Ali (main sushi chef) if doing your meal chef's tasting menu, otherwise, a la carte, otherwise you'll be served a fairly generic set of courses that you could more easily personalize based on your own palette.

          Granted there are SO many wonderful items here. Some of my favorites are the walu walu and naso nigiri. You can get fresh wasabi too.

          1. re: dndicicco
            Worldwide Diner Mar 26, 2014 06:24 AM

            I actually just booked my reservation today. I'm not going until next month. Thanks for the heads up.

      2. Cheflambo Jan 18, 2014 11:42 AM

        Beyond your travel range, but worth the cabfare, is the tasting menu at Sorrel (2202 W, Alabama). You can sit comfortably alone, service is attentive without being obsequious, and everything is delicious. Cameras on "the line" transmit to large screens, so you can even watch the activity in the kitchen between courses.

        1. j
          Jay Francis Jan 26, 2014 07:24 AM

          You might be well pleased with Artisan's which is very near downtown. Kata Robata if it isn't too far to drive.

          And then, there's always this:

          1. w
            Worldwide Diner Feb 2, 2014 07:43 PM

            Any Italian joint that does sea urchin pasta?

            2 Replies
            1. re: Worldwide Diner
              James Cristinian Feb 2, 2014 08:49 PM

              Da Marco on Westheimer has it and is not too far from downtown.


              1. re: James Cristinian
                Worldwide Diner Feb 5, 2014 01:21 PM

                Thanks. I'm gonna try to get there for lunch.

            2. b
              bornie Feb 3, 2014 12:49 PM

              Vic and Anthony's is nearby if you're in the mood for a great steakhouse..

              1 Reply
              1. re: bornie
                Lambowner Feb 3, 2014 02:31 PM

                I was at V&A's recently and the steak was excellent as were the sides. But the $12 salad was a pathetic and sad little "classic wedge" that wasn't classic at all. I'd avoid the salads.

              2. exalt Feb 10, 2014 11:54 AM

                Just wanted to say that this thread helped me with exactly what the OP wanted on the same weekend. My concierge got me a reservation at Uchi and I had an extremely good meal. I chose the 6 course omakase/tasting menu, though there wasn't very much room for personalization. Thanks for the recommendations, everyone.

                1. d
                  DCLindsey Apr 9, 2014 08:35 AM

                  When is your visit? My friend and I just did the long menu at the Pass and had a great meal. I lived in DC for 6 years and would put the Pass above the tasting menu at Restaurant Eve...

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: DCLindsey
                    Worldwide Diner Apr 9, 2014 08:49 AM

                    In a couple of weeks. I have reservation at Uchi and Underbelly. I just canceled Underbelly and booked the Pass.

                    Did you do the 5 or 8 course? I see the 5 course is $20 cheaper but they skip the langoustine and foie gras.

                    1. re: Worldwide Diner
                      DCLindsey Apr 9, 2014 09:33 AM

                      I've been to Underbelly a few times, The Pass once, and Provisions once. While very different experiences, the food quality as The Pass is far superior - I've been disappointed with Underbelly.

                      We did the 8 course. There was an mushroom dish that we wanted and it was worth the $20 for that course alone. I also did the full wine pairing - you can do the 5 course pairing with the 8 courses if you are feeling a little less boozy. In terms of tasting menus I've done, def a good value for the money, so recommend the 8 course.

                      1. re: DCLindsey
                        Worldwide Diner Apr 10, 2014 10:42 AM

                        I've done lots of wine pairings and can never finish the wine if there's a new wine with every course. In March, after an afternoon of walking around Philly and drinking, I had dinner at Vetri with wine pairing and ended up falling asleep right after dinner, around 9 p.m. So it's good to know that I can match the 5 course pairing with 8 course dinner.

                        Ever been to Uchi?

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