Jump to content

Dinner Between Bethesda and Alexandria


lperry
 Share

Recommended Posts

We have a dear friend coming into town tomorrow, and we are meeting for dinner, venue still to be decided. The dilemma is that he will be up in Bethesda at the Naval Medical Center, and we will be in Alexandria city. He has a car, wants to drive to dinner, and will get out of his event at 5 PM. I know zero about traffic in Bethesda, having visited only by bicycle on the Crescent trail, so I don't know if it will be a pain for him to get downtown from there, or if the beltway will be a nightmare. Would it be better for us to head up that direction? He claims to eat anything, but they will need to be able to accommodate Mr. lperry's celiac. We'd also like a place with a quiet atmosphere so we can chat. Thoughts?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

He should come on River-Massachusetts-MacArthur, and you should go to Et Voila! Okay, the tables are a *little* close together, but the dining crowd is genteel, and not at all raucous. Bistro Vivant would have been perfect, but I can no longer recommend it. Of course there's always Amoo's Kabob, a straight shot for you up GW Parkway to Glebe, then Old Dominion. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Et Voilà is catching some flack for being too pricey for people who want to do a salad, entrée, and wine, with a few shared desserts.

Tell whoever is giving Et Voila flack that they're dead wrong: BlackSalt is, with wine, DOUBLE the cost of Et Voila.

Not counting mussels, here are the prices (I didn't double-check the math, so please feel free):

BlackSalt's DInner Menu (Appetizer average: $13.22, Entree average: $32.14 = $45.36):

BSF_Dinner_Menu_11_12.pdf

Et Voila's Dinner Menu (Appetizer average: $9.61, Entree average: $15.75 = $25.36)

EtVoila_Dinner.pdf

Et Voila's wine list is smaller, *much* better, and much less expensive.

In the Dining Guide, I have Et Voila ranked above BlackSalt on absolute terms, in other words, if someone else was paying for it. A close call, to be sure (they're both very good restaurants, and I've probably been to each 5-10 times), but the bottom line is that right now, I'd rather be taken to dinner at Et Voila. Note also that fresh, high-quality seafood - which BlackSalt has in abundance - is simply an expensive commodity which can partially explain the price discrepancy. And now that I've typed that previous sentence, I'm waffling about which restaurant I'd rather enjoy - Palisades is lucky to have both.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, BlackSalt is no cheaper than Et Voila. You could head five minutes the other way up MacArthur and go to Praline, which I think is marginally less expensive than BS or EV. I don't think it's as good as the other two, but I usually leave happy. And if it's a nice night, you can sit outside on the patio.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It wasn't by comparison, so sorry if it came off that way. I wasn't even considering BlackSalt because they are not veg friendly. Thst's not meant as an insult, it's just not what they do.

Editing because people are faster typists than I am. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It wasn't by comparison, so sorry if it came off that way. I wasn't even considering BlackSalt because they are not veg friendly. Thst's not meant as an insult, it's just not what they do.

I was definitely *not* busting on you - the thought merely came to mind to do a comparison, so I did (and it turned out to be pretty surprising to me).

By the way, I had a perfectly fine moules-frites earlier this year at Sur La Place. That restaurant gets no respect, I'd never been before, and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed my little meal at the bar - good Belgian beers, too. I am not a big fan of St. Arnold's, and would much sooner return to Sur La Place for mussels.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK, I keep getting messages. We now have our friend, who is retired yet will insist upon picking up the check to the point that he has sneaked off and paid away from the table in the past (probably should have said that up front - sorry) coming from the Naval Hospital, two graduate students starting at Georgetown, and us heading out from around the Birchmere. Maybe I should check on who's playing tomorrow.

Edited to ask why Facebook is listed as reading this thread?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I tweeted my reply here (which gets rolled over into dcdining on Facebook) because I thought it might be of general interest. It's either bots, or something Facebook-internal, but there are always at least two "readers" from Facebook *instantly* after I tweet and point to a post, even in the middle of the night.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

These guys are driving me, and by extension, you, nuts. In the dining guide, Bistro La Zeez and Passage to India are listed for Bethesda. I'll also throw out Guajillo in Arlington unless someone has recent information that I should not. I've got to give them something because the last time we went out, we ended up having one of the worst meals I've had in this area. Mr. lperry told me if our friend wanted to go back to that restaurant, he wasn't going, and they have known each other for 15 years.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

These guys are driving me, and by extension, you, nuts. In the dining guide, Bistro La Zeez and Passage to India are listed for Bethesda. I'll also throw out Guajillo in Arlington unless someone has recent information that I should not. I've got to give them something because the last time we went out, we ended up having one of the worst meals I've had in this area. Mr. lperry told me if our friend wanted to go back to that restaurant, he wasn't going, and they have known each other for 15 years.

Not true - this is a good, useful thread. Using the tags, people will refer to this conversation in the future.

I personally don't like Guajillo as much as most people, and as I write this, I'm questioning why I have it in Italic (hell, I even have it as the #1 non-chain restaurant in Rosslyn which isn't saying much for Rosslyn or, perhaps, for me) - it's largely because the people who work there are friendly to the customers; the food is just not *that* good. I know people, including me, have complimented their moles in the past, but ... meh. There's *got* to be something better than this in Rosslyn - Ray's To The Third, Pho 75, something else perhaps? Even Piola isn't *that* far behind. When I think back to that humongous burrito I had (the *really* big one ... it was just gross - I hate to waste food, and ended up eating the damned thing for days).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have no interest in days of burritos. What about Minh?

Also, can anyone who has been to Amoo's comment on whether or not they serve alcohol? Edit - that's a no on the alcohol. And for travel, that would send our friend across Chain Bridge, correct?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Or Me Jana, if you're looking in the Courthouse area (it's a few blocks from Minh's). Plenty of veg-friendly choices in the mezze menu. It's not inexpensive, but service is generally quite good, and they have a very nice patio area. I had lunch there yesterday and really enjoyed the lunch special of spinach and lamb, served with rice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...