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Choirgirl21

Solo Dining This Sunday, Jan 4, 2015 - Open Kitchen and Corkage a Big Plus

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I swear I've seen ongoing threads on both of these topics, but can't locate them so apologize if I'm in repeats.

If one wanted to dine solo on a Sunday, where would you recommend? A place where you'd actually be made to feel well taken care of dining solo would I think be my only requirement.

Bonus points if you could bring your own bottle of champagne for a reasonable corkage fee.

Additional bonus points (I know I'm reaching here) if you could sit at an open kitchen type of arrangement like the 4x4 bar seats at Rogue 24 or the tasting menu option at Beuchert's.

Oh, by Sunday I mean this Sunday so rez needed well in advance won't work.

I'm not asking too much, am I? :P

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You could call Beuchert's to see if they allow corkage.  The seats in front of the open kitchen are usually not used for the tasting menu on Sundays, except by special arrangement, so you could possibly just sit there for a regular meal.  You might call later in the week to see if you can reserve a seat there for Sunday, as people have to cancel the tasting 72 hours out.  I find the service generally pretty attentive at the regular bar seats, though, if you can't get the kitchen seats. I don't believe I've ever sat at a table there, so I'm not sure if the service is consistent across all seating, but I would hope it is!

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Why not the bar/lounge at Marcel's?

I've never been to Marcel's. The current menu online certainly has me drooling...

I've been thinking fondly of my meal at Le Pigeon, sitting at the bar watching the chef prepare my food and pass it to me and hoping more for something along those lines. I've done the tasting menu at Beuchert's already, which is the reason that isn't on my list. I realize I may not be able to get exactly what I want though and Marcel's menu does call to me...

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I've never been to Marcel's. The current menu online certainly has me drooling...

There is no better service in Washington than what you'll receive at Marcel's. You will feel very well taken care of, guaranteed. There's also no better food than what you'll get at Marcel's. You owe it to yourself. Get the justly celebrated boudin blanc.

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There is no better service in Washington than what you'll receive at Marcel's. You will feel very well taken care of, guaranteed. There's also no better food than what you'll get at Marcel's. You owe it to yourself. Get the justly celebrated boudin blanc.

So if you disregarded my earlier comments, where would you recommend sitting? Bar, lounge, or dining room? Do you feel the service would be equal regardless?

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So if you disregarded my earlier comments, where would you recommend sitting? Bar, lounge, or dining room? Do you feel the service would be equal regardless?

Oh dear, you've put me on the spot. I've never dined alone at Marcel's, and have always been seated in the dining room. If I were to dine alone there, I'd probably sit at the bar. The atmosphere of quiet grace, professionalism, and care that pervades the entire establishment governs the bar and lounge as well as the dining room, I have not one doubt. Rocks has elsewhere recommended the bar for solo diners, if I remember correctly. Now that I live about two blocks from Marcel's, I probably will be dining there solo now and then, when I feel flush, and will probably sit at the bar. If you're planning for a dinner this Sunday, it's probably too late to reserve in the dining room, unless it's for an oddball time.

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 If you're planning for a dinner this Sunday, it's probably too late to reserve in the dining room, unless it's for an oddball time.

There were actually spots left when I looked earlier today. This Sunday seems to be slow, maybe post holidays people are recovering. But, the bar would allow for human interaction should I want to have it so probably not a bad idea. I've just never done such a fine dining meal at a bar. I tend to hunker down at the bar for more casual (or medium casual :P) meals, but on the rare occasions when I do fine dining alone, I've always done the table. I kind of appreciate sitting there and just totally focusing on my food. I dunno. I'm apparently not in a decisive mood at the moment. :P

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Well, if you dined at Marcel's bar solo, you had a wonderful meal - that much I can guarantee.

Dr. Hall takes his dinner there (or used to) nearly every night.

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Don, am I supposed to know who Dr. Hall is?

I posted in the Marcel's thread as well, but any can't miss items (other than the boudin blanc) from the current menu? I don't know if what is online is accurate, but it's missing the other dishes I've seen heavily recommended. I am going to have a difficult time choosing regardless!

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Don, am I supposed to know who Dr. Hall is?

I posted in the Marcel's thread as well, but any can't miss items (other than the boudin blanc) from the current menu? I don't know if what is online is accurate, but it's missing the other dishes I've seen heavily recommended. I am going to have a difficult time choosing regardless!

I haven't been there in a long time, so I have no advice on ordering, but Marcel's was the favorite restaurant of one of my favorite people, who passed away a decade ago now.  I always associate her with that restaurant.  She lived right nearby and dined there often.

She didn't eat there as often as Professor Hall, though.  This is the article Don is probably referring to, but the Post mentions him in this one too.

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So I will reserve most of my comments for a proper review in the Marcel's thread in the next couple of days, but The Hersch, I wanted to thank you for suggesting Marcel's and Don, I'd like to thank you as well for reinforcing the suggestion. It was not even on my radar and wasn't in the least what I was envisioning when I started this thread, but for some reason the recommendation stuck with me and I had an outstanding evening. I'd love to meet the 2 of you there sometime and treat you to a drink as thanks. :)

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Gosh, I couldn't be more pleased. I often avoid giving advice or recommendations (about anything, not just restaurants) for fear that someone will follow my advice, have a horrible experience, and hate me ever after. I can't imagine a horrible experience at Marcel's, although it's possible given the right circumstances (say, you have dinner there with a serial killer). I'm scheduled to have dinner there next Sunday (not solo and not at the bar) so will read your review with particular attention.

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