Restaurant suggestions - long weekend in DC
Just booked a 4 nights trip to DC in May and we are looking for restaurants suggestions. We are Montrealers and we enjoy the many great restaurants our city offers, however, we've only been once in DC and do not know much about its culinary scene.
So we gladly welcome your suggestions for those gems that only Washingtonians know.
We enjoy creativity and knowledge of the chef and its team, the presentation of the dishes, the overall ambiance, the professionalism of the waiting staff and of course the taste.
We will be staying between South of Dupont Circle, but we can easily get around by metro or taxi if need be. Actually, we hope to venture away from the touristy center of town.
Really great is CityZen
We have enjoyed Volt in Fredrick MD
At Volt have not tried table 21 yet. But if you call for a non Sat night, good chance to get in.
L'Auberge Chez Francois its in VA service is great Good menu
Hope that helps
Some of the best restaurants in DC are around DuPont Circle.
Komi - expensive prix fixe tasting menu of seafood/modern Greek/American cuisine - the best or one of the best restaurant in DC, takes reservation 1 month in advance by phone
Little Serow - cheap prix fixe tasting menu of northern Thai/Lao cuisine, no reservation - gotta wait in line
Sushi Taro sushi counter for Omakase - expensive but the best Japanese restaurant in DC
Away from DuPont but in the city - Rogue 24 for molecular gastronomy, Fiola, Fiola Mare and Osteria Morini for some of the best Italian in the city. Eat the Rich or Rappahannock Oyster for oysters and other seafood offerings.
We are back from our long weekend in DC and were glad to (finally) get some sun! We had a great time and I wanted to give you guys a followup on our culinary adventures in DC.
Upon our arrival, we ended up going to Tai-Xing and were floored by every dish. It was truly an amazing and flavourful experience. Every dish was "soaked" in so may textures, spices and colours.
Tai-Xing did set the bar pretty high for the other restaurants we were to visit afterwards. Especially at $33/each. Special thanks to Steve for sharing that gem with us.
The following evening we went to West Rasika and enjoyed both the food and service. A perfect note! Truly incredible palak chaat! Unfortunately I didn't quite connect with the decor and the formality of it all. Don't get me wrong, everything was great it just isn't my kind of place. Nevertheless, based on quality and freshness of the food and the mastership of each dish (and drink), I would not hesitate to recommend West Rasika!
The following evening we went to Jaleo and realized we had already been there a few years ago ;) Hoping to get a broad overview of the menu (everything looked so good, we couldn't choose!) we ordered the tasting menu (José's Way). Everything tasted perfect! The only negative thing was that dishes kept coming and coming and coming... and fast! I felt José's Way was delivered way to fast and it was simply too much. We didn't finish every dish.
Unfortunately, we didn't have time to taste and enjoy properly every dish and felt rushed. I'd recommend ordering a few tapas at a time. I should have known but heck, the tasting menu looked so inviting!
Finally, if I may, here is my own suggestion to share with you all: La Boqueria on M Street. We stumbled upon this tapas bar and went in for a quick lunch but ended up spending the afternoon enjoying great tapas and sipping Moritz and Alcazaba beer, tinto de Verano and many great Spanish wines. We sat at the bar and truly had a good time.
Being frequent travellers to Spain (especially to Barcelona), La Boqueria felt genuine to us. Very laid back, no rush, great fresh flavourful ingredients and an authentic Spanish feel to the place. We went back to La Boqueria for dinner the day before our flight back and ended up tasting every tapas we had not tasted the first time. Hands down amazing!
Thanks again for all of your suggestions! We had a wonderful weekend in DC!
We hope to be back soon!
I have to say - I have gone to some of Steve's suggestions and I would recommend following his suggestions. You should enjoy.
Love the Willard and have had some great bistro meals at Café du Parc.
CityZen is fantastic too.
I always recommend at least one meal at one of Jose Andres' restaurants (Jaleo, Zaytinya, etc) to visitors as a current "DC classic experience." Might be worth seeing if his new America Eats will be open by then out at the Ritz in Tyson's to get an interesting bit of American food history along with your meal.
My fave is Obelisk..just went last weekend in fact. No website, so it really IS an insider (and travelers who are foodies) gem. 11 tables, 2 seatings a night tue-sat, 5 course prix fixe N. Italian feast. From about 5 delectable antipasti choices, to delicate handmade pasta course, to main course, cheese course and dessert, it's a 2 hour foodgasm (pardon my crudeness, this is what one of my friends calls it) that you will never forget. The chef cooks only what he can get fresh at the market that day and you won't know what you are getting til you get there. 3 choices of pasta/soup course; 3 choices of main (usually a meat, fish and a chicken or pork or game) and 3 choices of dessert. The cheese is the best in the area IMO. We've been to Montreal and Quebec and know the caliber of restaurants you have there so I think you would love it. 75 PP week days, 85 PP sat nights. Reserve early; 2121 P street and you can call to reserve. If you go be sure to let us know what you had!
I would go to Palena at least once. You can try to get a reservation in the much more sedate and formal back room on OpenTable, or you can opt for the more casual and lively cafe. Either way the food will be fantastic and the service very good.
You should really try to go for Ethiopian food while you are here. DC has the largest selection of Ethiopian restaurants in the country (I can find three within 15 minutes of my house in the suburbs) and it is something that is not that easy to get in other places.
Another under the radar place is Cedar at 822 E Street NW. Chef McCloud loves to see what is great at the local markets and fix his menu around that. He is very willing to come out and tell you about the food too. Downstairs dining room that has a very calm vibe if it isn't too full. Nice bar too.
For very good sushi, and more, near where you are staying, try Kaz Sushi Bistro. (1915 I Street)
Mintwood Place in Adams Morgan (Columbia Rd) is excellent.