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$50 Dinner on the Red Line


smokey
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All, I've got a couple of friends coming into town this weekend. They're flying into DCA around 6:00pm tomorrow and I need to find someplace for us to meet and grab some drinks and dinner. My preferences, not necessarily in order of importance:

1. Easily Metro accessible, preferably on the Red line because that's the way we'll be heading home, but that's very negotiable.

2. Bar area so that we have some place to relax while we enjoy the long wait for a table!

3. Errm, someplace where having carry-on luggage won't be too much of a problem?

4. Not too expensive. What do I mean by this? I don't know. I guess I want to spend <$50/person (understanding, of course, that the EtOH consumption would affect that, but let's assume may one drink/person is included in that <$50/person?).

5. Open to all cuisines although anything too 'ethnic' will freak this group out (read here: sushi is out, one person doesn't like seafood and I think one doesn't like Indian food, although I'm not sure if that's still true).

Oy. I don't live or work in the District, so I'm really at a loss for what (if anything) meets these goals. I'll admit, the quality of the food isn't anywhere near as important to the other folks as it is to me. So, it certainly doesn't have to be amazing food, but my behind gets chapped spending money on mediocre food. Please tell me my behind won't be chapped tomorrow evening!

Thanks for any recommendations you can provide.

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Hmmm, good point. I had somehow been stuck on downtown, but there's no reason Cleveland Park wouldn't work. Do you think the bar at Palena would also work (I'm particularly unsure about prices in the front room)? It would be nice to have a couple of options.

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Dino. You could try Palena, but expect a long wait, probably with no room at the bar. Both places have fantastic bartenders.

eta: is Poste on the red line?

Well, the red line was really a preference, not a requirement. It's sort of a "metro accessible, but if we're gong out of downtown it needs to be up the red line towards shady grove" requirement. Yeah, the no room at the bar is a big disincentive to Palena. I went to Tosca once and liked it, but didn't love it. Plus, I'm not sure it's the right feel for this (I know, that's a subjective assessment and I haven't tried to convey to the group what I want in that; it would just be too hard). This has been *really* helpful and I'll happily hear more thoughts!
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