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40th Birthday - Looking for a Special-Occasion Meal


DC in DC
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DR-- I used to be a frequent poster, but kids have taken me out of the dining circuit for the last 5 years or so.  Husband is turning 40 this year and would very much like to go to Rose's Luxury but the logistics are too difficult for us. What is a place that feels special but is not "stuffy."  Examples of places we love are Obelisk, Komi, Palena Cafe (RIP).  We also like Mintwood Place, Ripple (although our last meal was only OK), but would like something a little more special for the 40th.  Husband is not into "trendy" food, like Minibar.

Would Fiola Mare/Fiola feel too corporate/stuffy?

Thanks for your help!

DC in DC

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I have celebrated a few special family occasions at Fiola and Fiola Mare, and always had a wonderful time. The hospitality was exceptional, as was the food.I certainly don't warrant any special treatment because of fame or fortune. (sigh)

Neither restaurant felt corporate or stuffy, and I felt quite at ease.

Coincidentally, my wife and I were just discussing plans to celebrate my birthday next month, and Fiola Mare is on the short list.

If you'll allow me to piggyback on your topic, I'm open to other options as well.  :)

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The three previous suggestions couldn't be any better; they also couldn't be any more different.

Don't forget "regular old" Fiola and Convivial as well.

Do you want to stay in the city? If not, consider also Inn at Little Washington and Restaurant at Patowmack Farm (also let's not forget Restaurant Eve).

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Hi all-

Thanks for your responses.  We need to stay in the city, so no Inn at Little Washington.  Have been to Restaurant Eve and looking for a new place.  I'm leaning towards Kinship, but it doesn't look "cozy."  Which of these options won't feel too upscale, corporate or stuffy? I love the feel of places like Komi, Obelisk (small, intimate, not overly formal but excellent food).

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What's the time frame?

Can you wait until the fine dining restaurant opens from Rose's Luxury - "Pineapple and Pearls", or the fine dining restaurant opens from Kinship - "Métier"? I think they are both weeks away from opening, and I'm sure both will rocket to the top of the "Best of DC" list once they open and both will be very special.

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1.  Red Hen.  They take reservations and you should book at least four or more weeks in advance.  It is as wildly popular as any restaurant in D. C.  They also have a window table that is directly by the open kitchen and would be perfect for a 40th birthday.

2.  I would also consider Marcel's as well as Fiola Mare but as Don noted the ambience is totally different.  Marcel's is white table cloth and upscale but is outstanding.  Fiola Mare has one of the most beautiful dining rooms in D. C. and is similarly upscale.

3.  I also seriously suggest the back room at Black Salt which is an entirely different ambience from the front of the house.  It is a private dining area with white table cloths.  I also believe that Black Salt is the best non Italian seafood restaurant in the Washington area. (To differentiate it from Fiola Mare.)  For myself Black Salt's back room is a truly special place and entirely appropriate for a 40th birthday (as are Marcel's and Fiola Mare).

There can be a bit of stuffiness associated with turning 40.

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Kinship or Marcel's would be my pick for such an occasion. Both have low key but lovely dining rooms that feels romantic. Marcel's might verge on stuffy for some, but I was delighted by the old school intimacy and the excellent cooking. Kinship skews younger and more modern.

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Folks- I've settled on Kinship- the booths look lovely but want to make a reservation (don't have a lot of flexibility because of babysitter, etc).  Thanks everyone!!

Nice!

All we (I) ask in return is a 1000 word review of the meal.

With photos.

And audio.

And video

And smell-o-vision

Dora, has it really been five years since you posted regularly? You're definitely a community veteran, but *five years*? It just doesn't seem possible - regardless, we've missed you, and you'll always have this place to call home. I'm so glad you thought to come back here, even though I don't think you were ever "entirely" gone. Welcome home, prodigal daughter! I hope *all* our founding members realize that they have refuge here, awaiting them, even if it's been many years since they've been here. It's my job to make sure they're honored and welcomed back, always - and if they receive a few moments of joy in the process, so much the better. Seeing people happy represents all the membership dues I need.

And yes, what Bart says. :)

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