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Last Minute Family Dinner Recommendation


MBK
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My parents and grandmother are making a last minute trip to DC this weekend and I am tasked with picking a restaurant for the five of us (parents, grandmother, sister, and I) to have dinner Saturday night. My grandmother can be a picky eater, but will generally have a simple piece of chicken or fish almost anywhere. The rest of us are adventurous.

I tried Acadiana/Tenpenh/Ceiba and was unable to get a reservation -- we have to eat at 6:30 or 7 to accommodate my grandmother. Any suggestions? Would Corduroy be a good choice? Thanks in advance!

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My parents and grandmother are making a last minute trip to DC this weekend and I am tasked with picking a restaurant for the five of us (parents, grandmother, sister, and I) to have dinner Saturday night.  My grandmother can be a picky eater, but will generally have a simple piece of chicken or fish almost anywhere.  The rest of us are adventurous.

I tried Acadiana/Tenpenh/Ceiba and was unable to get a reservation -- we have to eat at 6:30 or 7 to accommodate my grandmother.  Any suggestions?  Would Corduroy be a good choice?  Thanks in advance!

I would say Corduroy or maybe Circle Bistro...

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5 people makes it tricky. Corduroy would be perfect, I think, if they have room.

If you're willing to go without reservations, if you eat at 6:30 you may be able to get a booth in the front room at Palena, and their chicken is delicious (though it does take 45 minutes, as they will warn you.)

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What are the odds of being seated somewhat quickly in the front room at Palena at 6:30? I am also dealing with a father who doesn't enjoy waiting. (It gets trickier and trickier...) I think 10-15 minutes will be alright, much more won't be palatable.

(I've already called Corduroy and asked if they can squeeze us in, they're checking on it now. I'm hoping that comes through.)

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What are the odds of being seated somewhat quickly in the front room at Palena at 6:30?  I am also dealing with a father who doesn't enjoy waiting.  (It gets trickier and trickier...)  I think 10-15 minutes will be alright, much more won't be palatable.

I honestly haven't gone on a Saturday, but during the week, 6:30 has never been a problem. But as someone whose father also doesn't set any world records for patience, I can understand not wanting to risk it.

Hope Corduroy comes through. Otherwise I agree with the Circle Bistro recommendation, and if you want somewhere more casual, Dino has a long enough menu to offer dishes everywhere on the plain-to-adventurous spectrum.

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Notti Bianche?

Also, a quick search on OpenTable.com turned up plenty of decent-to-great options at the appointed hour including:

Ardeo

Charlie Palmer Steak (6 pm though)

David Greggory

Mendocino (6 pm)

New Heights (7 pm)

Poste (6 or 7 pm)

Spezie (not my fave but others like it)

Edited by JLK
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What are the odds of being seated somewhat quickly in the front room at Palena at 6:30?  I am also dealing with a father who doesn't enjoy waiting.  (It gets trickier and trickier...)  I think 10-15 minutes will be alright, much more won't be palatable.

I know this from experience: you can't get a head start on things by being the first one to arrive and ordering the chicken right away. :lol: However, if you split the chicken with someone and order a salad and gnocchi to start, it's no wait at all.

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We may be stuck with keeping our fingers crossed that we can get into the front room at Palena early -- Corduroy can't take us, nor can Notti Bianche. I'm trying to avoid Italian (I had it last night on a business trip, and we're having it tonight as well, and I just don't want to have it three nights in a row) so the available Italian options are out.

If we can get seated right away, my dad will be calm -- like you said, we'll order appetizers and wine and everyone will be happy. However, if we are standing around waiting to be seated my dad will lose patience quickly.

Wish I would've gotten just a little more advance notice on this trip... :lol:

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  I'm trying to avoid Italian (I had it last night on a business trip, and we're having it tonight as well, and I just don't want to have it three nights in a row) so the available Italian options are out.

Fear not - there's a lot at Palena that does not scream "Italian!" The chicken is worth the wait.

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If we can get seated right away, my dad will be calm -- like you said, we'll order appetizers and wine and everyone will be happy.  However, if we are standing around waiting to be seated my dad will lose patience quickly.

The earlier you get there the more likely you are to succeed. Don't miss the pumpkin cheesecake or, if you like red wine, the Jessie's Grove Zinfandel. Both are eye-opening in their awesomeness.

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We may be stuck with keeping our fingers crossed that we can get into the front room at Palena early -- Corduroy can't take us, nor can Notti Bianche.  I'm trying to avoid Italian (I had it last night on a business trip, and we're having it tonight as well, and I just don't want to have it three nights in a row) so the available Italian options are out.

If we can get seated right away, my dad will be calm -- like you said, we'll order appetizers and wine and everyone will be happy.  However, if we are standing around waiting to be seated my dad will lose patience quickly.

Wish I would've gotten just a little more advance notice on this trip... :lol:

What about Bistro Bis? If you ask for the upstairs, it's quieter than downstairs in my experience. (That's been an issue dining there with older relatives.)

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I honestly haven't gone on a Saturday, but during the week, 6:30 has never been a problem. But as someone whose father also doesn't set any world records for patience, I can understand not wanting to risk it.

Hope Corduroy comes through. Otherwise I agree with the Circle Bistro recommendation, and if you want somewhere more casual, Dino has a long enough menu to offer dishes everywhere on the plain-to-adventurous spectrum.

I've gotten in at 6:30 on a Friday night without trouble, generally anything before seven is pretty good anywhere in DC.

You can always go to Buck's Fishing & Camping. 6:30 is a no-brainer time and they always have that steak on the menu for the traditionalists.

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