DC and Surrounding Area Restaurants

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Dining' started by singtx, Feb 5, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. singtx
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    singtx Silver Member

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    Having recently moved to Old Town with my wife from Texas...we have been on the restaurant scene nonstop....we love food. Since the offerings are endless, thought it would be nice to have reviews of DC and local restaurants in this thread. I can start it off as we went out to eat almost every night during DC Restaurant Week, which took place Jan 17-23 and Alexandria Restaurant Week which took place Jan 21-30.

    Any Interest?

    I'll start off with Oceanaire.
     
  2. singtx
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    singtx Silver Member

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    Oceanaire
    Restaurant Week on a Friday night with Reservations.

    While we normally try to avoid chains (owned by Landry's Restaurant Group), Oceanaire has great reviews and several recs from friends enticed us. Couldnt find street parking (I'm cheap!) and the garages are expensive so we used valet ($8.00), upon check-in we were seated bypassing several people. Water was served and we perused the menu. Drinks were ordered, bread, olives, and pickled vegetables were served. The three course menu was great and had several options. Ordered all three at once and the food was space perfectly, no rushing and the right amount of time between servings.

    We had the soup and caesar salad, both were great, clam chowder served hot and salad crisp and properly dressed.

    Both fish dishes were plentiful and nicely presented (Rockfish and Trout). Wonderful! My wife who normally doesn't finish a meal, killed it. Dessert was hit or miss, the bread pudding was half eaten...would never order again, taste and presentation wasn't the greatest. The "ice cream" sandwich cookie was great, with what seemed to be a fresh cookie and ice cream.

    They will see us again and we were appreciative of Restaurant Week
     
  3. IMGone
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    Too funny - a really poor showing by Oceanaire a few years back during Restaurant Week in DC has marked it off my list forever. Glad you had better luck.

    The DC crowd has gotten me into the restaurant week offerings in this area usually having a group meal a few times during the weeks. My favorite at the moment is Morrison House. We did a sunday lunch/brunch there this year. Service is attentive, they aim to please. My main course included an ingredient they hadn't listed which I can't eat, they had no problems immediately taking the food back and re-doing the dish without the ingredient. Very nicely done! I recommend this place regularly. It's attached to a Inn, but no idea what the rooms are like.
     
  4. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    Restaurant is a real challenge. See, most of the participating restaurants aren't that expensive to begin with. All you really get out of it, more or less, is a free dessert.

    And the places that are expensive, they often severely restrict (or add big upcharges to) their menu. So you don't really get that much out of it. [Back when Kinkead had his steak place in Tysons, one restaurant week their menu was all Asian... seriously! 'Cause the ingredients are cheap and he wasn't giving away beef at those prices, even though the whole restaurant was supposed to be about the beef!]

    Plus the places are so busy, service is usually focused on turning tables, that you're not getting the restaurant's usual experience.

    So it's really about picking out the handful of best places that give you most of the menu and are normally expensive enough to make the discount worth the tradeoff. Places I've been especially happy about for restaurant week are Adour at the St. Regis and Tosca. Glad to hear that Oceanaire managed to fit that bill!

    If I can share any specific DC restaurant experiences let me know, I've eaten my way through most of the city along with my wife, a professional chef (who used to cook at Maestro when it was arguably the best place in town, at Butterfield 9, she opened with Restaurant Eve in old town).
     
  5. iolaire
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    iolaire Gold Member

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    We ate at La Tosca in old town, the restaurant week offer is unlimited taps from a special menu. It was a great opportunity to try all their taps, but it reminded us that the food is not really that great.

    Also this week we ate with a group at Full Kee a Chinese resturant up King Street & Columbia Pike. Everyone ordered different food and I was surprised that everyone was happy with ALL of the entrees.. http://www.yelp.com/biz/full-kee-restaurant-falls-church
     
  6. singtx
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    singtx Silver Member

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    Agree that a lot of restaurants arent price worthy, but several we visited, we felt was good value after reviewing the menu. We live a few blocks from Restaurant Eve, so any reviews would be welcome prior to our first visit (Bistro or Tasting Menu). My wife and I will be right behind you on eating through DC. Appreciate the reviews of restaurants youve given thus far and look forward to more. Elephant is now on our list.

    We were lucky with Oceanaire as many reviews on YELP said they felt rushed, service lacked, etc...We had great service from Valet to getting the check when we requested.

    More to come!








     
  7. gleff
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    Well, I don't think I can give a fair review of Eve since my wife was in the kitchen when they opened. Let us know what you think!
     
  8. jean9nine
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    My favorite time to go to Eve is for their Lickety Split Lunch. It's beautiful food and a terrific value. Since I don't work in Alexandria it's difficult to get there for lunch during a week day unless I'm off work for vacation or a snow day, but when I am it's one of the very top places on my list.
     
  9. IMGone
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    How're their desserts? That birthday cake caught my eye on the lunch menu
     
  10. Pizzaman
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    I've eaten at OceanAire in a number of different cities (3 that I can recall). I don't ever remember a distinctive experience. Don't get me wrong. The food isn't bad, the service not horrible. But, I don't think they do anything exceptionally well. I don't recall any memorable or unique dishes. It has always felt overpriced for the lack of imagination and average service.

    The food is decent quality, but I think there are better seafood options in this price range.
     
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  11. jean9nine
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    Sadly, all I can say about the birthday cake is that it's super-cute looking (pink icing with sprinkles!) because I haven't actually tried it yet. I favor the sandwich of the day or the Papri Chat as the main course, and since the deal is two items for $13.50 when it comes down to cake vs. wine for the second item, wine has always won thus far. [​IMG]
     
  12. IMGone
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    IMGone Silver Member

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    Makes perfect sense!
     
  13. Art234
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    Art234 Milepoint Guide

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    It may not be in Old Town, but one of our favorite stops in DC area is the Village Bistro in Arlington. I think it's on Wilson Blvd--it's in the same shopping center as Ray's Hell Burger. Our daughter goes to Georgetown and we usually stay in Arlington - we've never had a bad meal there, it isn't overpriced, and they have good wines....the only issue is parking sometimes...
     
  14. gleff
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    Best thing in that strip mall IMHO is Pho 75...
     
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  15. singtx
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    singtx Silver Member

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    I envision this to be a "favorites" of DC and the surrounding area, so all feedback is welcome! I can update the OP with restaurants in a few various groups. Be nice for people coming into the city and wanting to know where to eat (pricey to hole in the wall).
     
  16. Lalala
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    Favorite resto in DC would be Nora. Haven't had a bad meal there. Tabard Inn runs a close second. The rest of my meals ate typically not memorable for food, only the awesome company.
     
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  17. joanek
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    I"ve had two wonderful lunches at the 2 week old Wild Tomato, a very casual joint owned by the folks who operate Persimmon in Bethesda. WT is in Cabin John (Bethesda), MacArthur & Seven Locks, by the Bethesda Co-op. Seems to have a full liquor license, small bar, small menu, but one that scores in all categories. As I said, only two meals so far---but the soup (white bean & kale) was wonderful, as was the cooked-to-order burger (they're not afraid of rare!), fries & pizza (thin-ish crust, not soggy, great veggie toppings). My dining companions have enjoyed the club sandwich and seared tuna. Only tried one dessert---the chocolate something martini, kind of a deconstructed pie in a martini glass. The cupcake that showed up at our table looked wonderful, and those who ate it raved. The folks at the next table ordred the cobb and greek salads, and they looked very fresh and huge.

    It's a small place, and probably fills up quickly at dinner --no reservations, btw.
     
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  18. studio253
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    I highly recommend Kaz Sushi Bistro, 1915 I Street, 20006 NW.
     
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  19. joanek
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    What about your dinner at Central Michel Richard?
     
  20. Lalala
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    Any dinner I share with you is awesome. I forgot about their food. It was tasty. Maybe if your sissy disses me on Sat. Night we'll go there.
     
  21. Art234
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    Has anyone tried 1789 in Georgetown recently? We did about a year ago and were somewhat underwhelmed..
     
  22. gleff
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    Haven't gone in a very long time because my impression of the place is that it hasn't been good in years. Of course would love to learn that it's gotten good again, but I'm waiting for someone else to tell me that before I try it.
     
  23. +1 for Pho 75. I go to the one in Rockville a few times a month.
     
  24. thetenken
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    My list of good food at decent prices:

    Ray's the Steaks (American; Arlington, VA)
    Bob's Noodle 66 (Taiwanese; Rockville, MD)
    XO Taste (Cantonese; Falls Church, VA)
    Pho 75 (Vietnamese; multiple locales)
    Amoo's Kabob (Persian; McLean, VA)
    Tachibana (Japanese; McLean, VA)
    Kotobuki (Japanese; Washington, DC)
    Cantler's (Maryland Blue Crabs; Annapolis, MD)
    Peking Gourmet Inn (Peking Duck; Falls Church, VA)
    Palace Korean Restaurant (Korean BBQ; Annandale, VA)
    BonChon Chicken (Korean fried chicken; Annandale, VA)
    Huong Viet (Vietnamese; Falls Church, VA)
    Oriental East (Cantonese dim sum; Silver Spring, MD)
    A&J's Annandale (Northern dim sum; Annandale, VA)
    Ray's Hell Burger (American; Arlington, VA)
    Bangkok 54 (Thai; Arlington, VA)
     
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  25. ssullivan
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    ssullivan Gold Member

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    Ack! I see lots of good suggestions for Virginia and Maryland, but what about some love for restaurants actually in the District? Here are some of our favorite places that don't require crossing the river or a long trek to suburban Maryland:
    • Againn British gastropub with excellent food and a superbly stocked bar; throw any preconceptions you have about bland British pub food aside as this is that cuisine taken to a new level, with great flavor
    • 2 Amy's Neapolitan Pizzeria Probably the best pizza in the DC metro area, and some of the best I've had in the US; sure, it's a bit of a pain to get to on Metro and the wait for a table can be long, but it's really, really good
    • Pizzeria Paradisio It's not up to the level of 2 Amy's, but still an excellent place, and they have an impressive selection of beer; the Dupont location is also easy to get to without a car
    • Birch & Barley Excellent fairly recent addition to 14th St NW; very good contemporary American food with an outstanding beer and wine selection from their sister bar, Churchkey (located upstairs above the restaurant); their tasting menu is often quite good as well
    • Ted's Bulletin Very good comfort food; this is diner food done exceptionally well; nice retro decor that relies on many architectural relics salvaged from the historic Philadelphia Civic Center; they also have great milkshakes (both standard and adult boozy shakes) and a very good on-site bakery that makes all of their desserts (try the homemade pop tarts!)
     
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