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Dinner for Monster-in-Law


PigglyWiggly
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We need a place to take my mother in law to dinner on Thursday - she's a NY Italian, quite picky (last year we brought her to Dino, and she was completely perplexed by the menu "do you have while zinfandel? Where's the chicken parm :) ?).

So, we're thinking something like the late Anna Maria's, but welcome any suggestions. She's staying at the Omni Shoreham, we would like to be close, but really, will drive for decent food.

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Buca de Beppo.

Or,

That's Amore

Macaroni Grill

Maggiano's

Caraba's

Olive Garden.

If you went someplace decent and she basically insulted you, return the favor. She won't get it, but you will. Besides, people don't like to think their taste is inferior to another's. Appease her by letting her think you don't know where to find a special meal - or more likely, these places do represent a decent meal to her, just a shade less quality than whatever her hometown fave is.

I tried taking such folk to fancy places. I learned that they hone in on the token cheeseburger offering. So why bother? Off we go to Appleby's, Bob Evans, Friday's, etc. Whatever doesn't have a line.

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We need a place to take my mother in law to dinner on Thursday - she's a NY Italian, quite picky (last year we brought her to Dino, and she was completely perplexed by the menu "do you have while zinfandel? Where's the chicken parm :) ?).

So, we're thinking something like the late Anna Maria's, but welcome any suggestions. She's staying at the Omni Shoreham, we would like to be close, but really, will drive for decent food.

Take her to New Heights and order the Testa.

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I would stay away from Italian all together. Could you take her to Ray's the Steaks?

Good luck!

My NJ Italian In-Laws loved Ray's the Steaks. You don't get that in the Big Apple, so take that NY! I'd get out of the realm of Italian restos all together :)

Otherwise, I agree with Waitman on the Luigi's suggestion. It's a nice place, really.

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I sure hope you M-I-L doesn't ever find out how to use the internet. Chicken Parm could be the least of your problems.

(I have to say, there's something to be said about the beloved Italian-American restaurants of my upbringing in Philly, which is to say the NE region. Last week, Mr. MV and I attended a memorial service and luncheon for his uncle, which was held in West Chester, PA. The luncheon was at the Italian Social Club near the church. When we walked in, Dear Lord, the smell was intoxicating. Penne in marinara, Italian sausage and peppers, and meatballs.

I enjoy authentic Italian as much as the next gal, but I could eat the Americanized version any day!

Rolls from Liscio's, btw.)

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My NJ Italian In-Laws loved Ray's the Steaks. You don't get that in the Big Apple, so take that NY! I'd get out of the realm of Italian restos all together :)

Otherwise, I agree with Waitman on the Luigi's suggestion. It's a nice place, really.

Mine didn't like it because there was a wait, the french onion soup didn't come in a brown onion soup bowl and the cheese wasn't stringy enough, and it was too noisy.

Oh, but don't worry about her, she'll just sit quietly in the corner. It's not like she raised three kids or anything and put a roof over their heads. And did she tell you about what Stella said about Rabbi Silverstein?

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Mine didn't like it because there was a wait, the french onion soup didn't come in a brown onion soup bowl and the cheese wasn't stringy enough, and it was too noisy.

Oh, but don't worry about her, she'll just sit quietly in the corner. It's not like she raised three kids or anything and put a roof over their heads. And did she tell you about what Stella said about Rabbi Silverstein?

Oy vey!

Just thought of another really good option. A La Lucia in N. Old Town Alexandria. It's about a 20 min drive down the GW parkway, very scenic, and you can stroll Old Town to walk off dinner a bit.

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We need a place to take my mother in law to dinner on Thursday - she's a NY Italian, quite picky (last year we brought her to Dino, and she was completely perplexed by the menu "do you have while zinfandel? Where's the chicken parm :) ?).

I would really love to see the expression on Dean's face as he reads this.

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I wouild skip Italian altogether too, especially becauset the M-I-L can get that at home and may inevitably find that nothing in the DC area compares to what she's used to. Whenever I have picky out-of-town, somewhat difficult to please guests (and sigh, family), I take them to the Blue Duck Tavern (where, on a nice evening, you can sit outside on the lovely patio). Everyone I've taken has really enjoyed the food and the ambiance. Good luck.

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I agree don't do Italian because EVEN IF you went to someplace that is really just as good, it will never be in her eyes. And even if she admits it is good she will think you are being ripped off in terms of price.

My go-tos for picky eaters or for people I really like either way are Blacksalt and Ray's the Steaks. Blacksalt for those who tend to be more fish people because they always have simple grilled fresh fish if nothing else looks good (although something always does) and Ray's because most of my family loves red meat so that works well. I also really like places like the Carlyle in Shirlington for types like that because they always have something for someone.

I also have had really good results with Bistro Bis for that sort of thing, even though it is different, it is recognizable different.

If you did do Italian I second Filomena in Georgetown.

Edited by ktmoomau
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Judging by the clientele alone, I would say La Tomate. Perfectly bland. Well lit. Low noise. Good service. Nice view. Inside or out. Enough choices but not too many. Sort cab ride from the Omni. Good luck!

Several years ago, I had an Italian-American visiting from another city rave to me about La Tomate after being taken there by someone while in DC. I had never been there and wasn't quite sure how to react. I'd gone past it but knew nothing about it. This is the first I recall seeing it mentioned here (doesn't mean it hasn't been, but I've not noticed it.)

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Several years ago, I had an Italian-American visiting from another city rave to me about La Tomate after being taken there by someone while in DC. I had never been there and wasn't quite sure how to react. I'd gone past it but knew nothing about it. This is the first I recall seeing it mentioned here (doesn't mean it hasn't been, but I've not noticed it.)

Laugh if you will, but on my last visit to La Tomate, I had a good meal (it was years ago, however).

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Hey, Rocks renamed my thread! Thanks,everyone for your suggestions. I've already resigned myself to not making her happy, in a big-picture fashion, and her complaining can be either entertaining or annoying depending on everyone's mood. Oy is right. Might as well get a meal that I will enjoy! And lubricate appropriately at the bar beforehand.

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