My DH and I are taking a trip to DC this Sunday for four nights... we are travelling with my dad and stepmom, my little sister and her best friend (age 12). We are staying outside of DC (in Maryland) but will be travelling into DC to do all the tourist things... I am hoping that we can avoid a lot of chain restaurants - any suggestions for places to eat - I am thinking more casual for lunch and maybe some dinners... also anything that you would recommend for a nice dinner for just myself and DH would be great... tia
Here's a recent thread you might find helpful.
We were in DC two weeks ago and ate at Bilbo Baggins in Old Town Alexandria three times. The food was excellent (our hotel was in Old Town Alexandria). We didn't really eat in the downtown area (grabbed a hot dog from a vendor one day) - we were too busy sightseeing to stop for a proper lunch on those days. But there are lots of good recommendations in the thread I've linked above. Enjoy your trip.
Sequoia is great, if a little tourist-y. It's better for the scenery than for the gastronomic experience.
Kinkead's is an all-time favorite of mine, as is Old Ebbett's. Galileo is Robert Donna's flagship restaurant and has divine trendier fare. I recall the linguine there as being phenomenal.
You all can see why I have to spend so much time running on the mall every time I visit DC!
Where are you staying in Maryland? There are many fabulous places in Maryland. Bethesda has a lot of great restaurants. Also, in Rockville, Clyde's Tower Oaks Lodge has a really nice atmosphere and menu.
I agree that Kinkead's is a really nice place.
I ate at Old Ebbet's when I was there last month and the food was outstanding (the service, on the other hand, was dreadful). We got there around 9:45 PM on a Sat. night, and it was still packed, but there wasn't a wait. The crab cakes were delicious, as was the hummus. And the prices were surprisingly low! I expected more for some reason...
Well, I am bummed because we just got back and I forgot about Teaism until I looked at something on a Food TV page and saw a link to a DC review by Racheal Ray. I would have made the trip over there one morning if I had remembered. They also mention Kinkead's (Bobby Flay) and Luna, which was close to our hotel. There were also some MA and VA places reviewed.
Well, we were traveling with kids -- one of whom appeared to have gotten a shellfish exposure the first night there and was feeling bad and cranky most of the trip. We were trying to balance taking it easy to get him through it with still seeing as much as we could. Good eats were not our priority. We did okay, but not a lot to write home about.
Our last night we had dinner at Capital Brewing Company right across from Union Square (in the old Post Office building). Had micro-brewed beers at happy hour (they also make root beer), a good dinner (I had fish tacos) and we all enjoyed the baskets of soft pretzels they serve with a horseradish mustard sauce. If you're over on the east end in the late afternoon, definitely have a brew and some pretzels.
If you're down along the mall for lunch, American Indian museum has a cafe serving cuisine representing the different tribes or cultures. The boys turned their noses up at that and we were short on time (a long line when we were there), but it looked interesting. The best places we did eat down there were at the National Gallery of Art -- both at the West Building (although it is connected underground by a moving sidewalk between it and the East building) and the cafe in the Sculpture Garden. Both offer nice settings, cafeteria style service and better food than the typical fast food options.
The West building cafe has sushi and an assortment of Asian soups and salads, a carving station, antipasti bar, cold sandwiches, salad bar and burger and chicjen tenders (kept my son happy) as well as an espresso and gelato bar out front rigth near a fountain that was a surprising and fun setting.
The sculpture garden cafe (in the middle of the sculptures and beside the large shooting fountaing) has an assortment of salads (we had the salmon Ceasar and the strawberry/orange ones -- both very good), pizza and pannini (Dh had a rueben pannini). We ate there twice, and the only disappointment was the dry sourdough bread on my turkey sandwich one of those times -- everything else about it was vert good, so I took off one slice and ate it open. They also gave free drink refills, which was greatly appreciated in the middle of a very hot day. They have outdoor seating areas and Friday night Jazz.
We also ate one night at the ESPN place -- can't remember the exact name. Wasn't a planned stop, but we were on our way back to the hotel and it started pouring -- lots of lightning too, so we just wanted to get out of the rain and eat fast. The food was good, although we had to eat at the bar to avoid an hour wait (a large private party going on at the time). It fit our needs, but it's the kind of pricey, gimmicky place I'd usually try to avoid.
Hope you have fun.
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