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Dinner near Constituition Hall


nancyevans
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HELP! I need to take some friends from out of town to lunch this week. They are attending a conference at DAR Constitution Hall (1776 D Street, NW near Constitution Ave). I would prefer to avoid the expensive, typical Washington stuffy type place (unless it would be memorable?) and I want to take them somewhere very good. Any suggestions? A quick cab ride would not be an issue. Please make some recommendations. THANKS!

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Any ideas at all there?  At this point, I am reluctantly deciding among Occidental, the Oval Room, the Willard, DC Coast, Jaleo and Corduroy.  Please advise!

Before you choose Jaleo, make sure everyone's cool with the "sharing" nature of the place. For good, affordable sitdown that feels classy but not stuffy, Corduroy is your place. I've only been to DC Coast once and the others I can't comment on.

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Ben's Chilli Bowl. Love the place. Great DC history and not your typical place.

I don't like it, but how about Breadline. I seem to be the odd person out.

What about Zola? A great space, right next to Spy Museum. The food is sufficient.

I had a great lunch at DC Coast can't go wrong. But I'd go to Old Ebbits instead ONLY because it is a pretty cool place considering how DC it is... why come to DC but for the DCness of the city?

Wouldn't go to Jaleo unless these are good friends. CrescentFresh is right, not everybody likes to share.

Oh and these days I seem to go to Kaz Sushi for lunch a lot.... yum.

Let us know where you decide to go...

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Okay, Jaleo is off the list...I love Kaz Sushi but thought it might be risky and not Washington enough? Isn't Old Ebbitts super touristy? I have heard the same recently about Zola. Don't know Ben's Chilli Place and isn't Breadline super casual? Sorry to be difficult but I am really stressing over finding the right place...

Ben's Chilli Bowl.  Love the place.  Great DC history and not your typical place.

I don't like it, but how about Breadline.  I seem to be the odd person out.

What about Zola?  A great space, right next to Spy Museum.  The food is sufficient. 

I had a great lunch at DC Coast can't go wrong.  But I'd go to Old Ebbits instead ONLY because it is a pretty cool place considering how DC it is... why come to DC but for the DCness of the city?

Wouldn't go to Jaleo unless these are good friends.  CrescentFresh is right, not everybody likes to share.

Oh and these days I seem to go to Kaz Sushi for lunch a lot.... yum. 

Let us know where you decide to go...

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Yes, Breadline is casual. Bens is as well.

I think you'll get better recommendations from us if you tell us more about what you seek. Ethnic/not ethnic? How much do you want to spend? How many people are we talking about anyway?

You might also dig around existing threads for ideas.

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I'm a big fan of doing whatever I want...

How about a quick lunch at Cafe Alantico (on the patio if it's as beautiful on that day as it has been this weekend) followed by  cheap cab to DAR?

I love Cafe Atlantico!!! Second this one...

No, Old Ebbits is not super touristy. It is actually quite fun to go for business as well as tourist lunches because you do see Famous for DC people.

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Yes, Breadline is casual. Bens is as well.

I think you'll get better recommendations from us if you tell us more about what you seek. Ethnic/not ethnic? How much do you want to spend? How many people are we talking about anyway?

You might also dig around existing threads for ideas.

Thanks so much for the advice. There could be five of us with a few who are fairly sophisticated diners. They would probably be okay with ethnic but I feel slightly obligated to do the "DC thing" but don't want a dowdy, stuffy power lunch place. Would love it not to be super expensive in case I am nice and pick up the check. What do you think? :lol:

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I love Cafe Atlantico!!! Second this one...

No, Old Ebbits is not super touristy.  It is actually quite fun to go for business as well as tourist lunches because you do see Famous for DC people.

Really about Old Ebbits? It would be more in my price range. Isn't it a Clyde's chain kind of place though?

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Really about Old Ebbits?  It would be more in my price range.  Isn't it a Clyde's chain kind of place though?

It is owned by Clyde's, and has almost an identical menu (but I do not know of any other Clyde's outlet that has the Orca platter).

Cafe Atlantico just appeared on ESPN, but was unattributed, if they had not shown a picture of Katsuya Fukushima I would have never figured out where it was.

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Won't Kinkead's be very, very pricey?

Sorry I can't get you the exact link to the lunch menu, because my work computer doesn't have Macromedia Flash (what's up with that?) :lol: , but if yours does, click here and then follow the links to the lunch menu, which may or may not have prices.

I'm told by someone who seems to know such things that you might be able to call the restaurant and ask a staff member to fax their lunch menu to you.

I can't wait to read your report on whatever restaurant you select!

[Edited to add:] I've always wanted to go to Kinkead's for lunch, to try their lobster roll, but since I live and work near the outer rim of the galaxy, I haven't gotten there yet.

Edited by ScotteeM
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I don't think Kinkeads at lunch is that much more than any of the other white table cloth restaurants you are considering (except maybe Old Ebbits). I have had a few lunches there, they were okay.. not really my favorite....

I still think Ben's would be fun. Totally throw your guests off guard!

I know that when I am entertaining out of town guests, I often consider what food is readily available where they live. So, if they are from Florida I probably wouldn't go to DC Coast. Just an idea..

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Okay...It is decision time! Thanks to everyone for all of the great ideas. I will definitely check out some of these places even if they aren't picked for tomorrow (yikes). Does anyone know off hand which are near a red line metro stop? That is now an issue. Look forward to getting your advice!

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equinox will be the priciest of what's been mentioned here so far. i would go to corduroy, cafe atlantico or poste, which is in a historic building in roughly the same neighborhood. i like what they did with the lobby and on a nice day you can go outside there as well without sitting on the street the way you do at cafe atlantico. of the three, corduroy has the best food. i wouldn't worry about going to any of these places. i'm not that wild about zola, but only went there once. actually, it's been way to long since i've been to equinox. :lol:

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Cafe Atlantico is on the red line, near Gallery Place. Equinox is at the Farragut North stop. Ceiba is near Metro Center. Corduroy is a few blocks further from a stop, but definitely worth the walk.

I was going to go with Cafe Atlantico but sounds like Corduroy is the crowd favorite...

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I was going to go with Cafe Atlantico but sounds like Corduroy is the crowd favorite...

They're both fantastic, you can't go wrong. It's sort of a question of whether you want a brighter, noisier sort of place with Latin-influenced dishes (Atlantico) or a soothing, quiet space with flawless American cooking (Corduroy.) Just depends which you think is a better match for your friends' tastes.

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Memorable?  There's always the Commons at the Smithsonian Castle if they still do lunch there :lol:

They don't - that dining room has been permanently closed for a while now. There are some very interesting items exhibited in the Commons room, but a Seattle's Best coffee stand is all you'll find for food in The Castle these days.
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I can stand the suspense no longer.   :lol:

Today is the lunch in question, right?  What establishment was chosen, what food was consumed and overall, how did it go?

Lunch was awesome! I took my friends to Cafe Atlantico and it was absolutely the right choice -- great food (chicken and salmon dishes), atmosphere, service -- and not a stuffy, power lunch place. The bill was reasonable so I picked it up. Thanks to everyone who provided such great advice. This listserv is a wonderful, wonderful resource. I am a huge fan! Look forward to getting more great tips. Again, many thanks for all of the thoughtful and informed suggestions. CHEERS!

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Any have any recommendations for dinner near DAR Constitution Hall (on D between 17th and 18th) tonight? I have reservations at Cafe Soleil (17th and E) but can't find much information about the place. Any thoughts on Soleil? Other recommendations within a few blocks of DAR?

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Any have any recommendations for dinner near DAR Constitution Hall (on D between 17th and 18th) tonight? I have reservations at Cafe Soleil (17th and E) but can't find much information about the place. Any thoughts on Soleil? Other recommendations within a few blocks of DAR?
I don't know Cafe Soleil. All I can think of offhand is Kinkead's, which is at 20th and Pennsylvania.
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I just posted this over on Chowhound for someone who asked for something "sit down that isn't too pricey between Farragut West and DAR".

Tapas in the bar at Taberna del Alabardero (on 18th between H and I) would be my first choice. Half price until 7pm! No dress code in the bar, but the dining room is jacket required.

The Oval Room and Equinox are also in that neighborhood, but are probably on the higher side of moderate.

El Chalan (Peruvian) is only a couple of blocks out of the way, as is Restaurant Kolumbia (eat at the bar).

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thanks for all the replies ... i like the Oval Room, but not exactly what I'm looking for tonight ... I did flip through the dining guide and search the posts for "DAR" and "Soleil" ... mktye, that thread seemed to be "where, in DC, should I eat?", not "where, next to DAR, should I eat"

thanks again for any more recommendations

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I have Old Ebbitt reservations for tonight, but you may have a hard time landing them at this point because of the sold-out Shins show (which I'm heading to after dinner). I went to Chef Geoff before the Death Cab show a few months ago, and that walk is not bad at all. Butterfield 9 is also a fairly easy walk, particularly since it's nice out.

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My son's high school graduation is at DAR Contituiton hall in June. We will be 6 including 2 sons who only eat pizza, chiplote, burgers and steaks as well as adventerous parents.

My top choice so far is to rush to the car and head to Ray's in Silver Spring..Hope they take reservation. Most of the other steak places downtown will cost be double I.E. the Capital Grille or more(and I need to pay for college)

Any recommendations?

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My son's high school graduation is at DAR Contituiton hall in June. We will be 6 including 2 sons who only eat pizza, chiplote, burgers and steaks as well as adventerous parents.

My top choice so far is to rush to the car and head to Ray's in Silver Spring..Hope they take reservation. Most of the other steak places downtown will cost be double I.E. the Capital Grille or more(and I need to pay for college)

Any recommendations?

Treat yourselves to Central a few blocks up Penn. Ave.

http://www.centralmichelrichard.com/visit/

What do others think about Les Halles for steak frites and burgers etc. as a recommendation? Good idea or no? The patio is very nice.....

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I'd do Les Halles, though it's still a bit of a walk from DAR. Central seems to be such a pain to get into these days (and good for them) it's no longer a random drop-in spot. Tonic hasn't been getting much love, but if you just want a beer and a burger, might be worth a shot.

Whatever happened to The Exchange (holy shit -- it lives...)? Maison Blanche? Blackie's Junior? Colonel Mustards?

God I'm old.

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any new suggestions? i need a recommendation for a friend. nothing too pricey. i suggested taberna del alaberdero and the half price tapas.
Cafe du Parc? I haven't been in a while, but seem to recall a variety of items that you could put together for a relatively, reasonably-priced meal. They also have a short menu of $4.95 petits plats available at the bar from 5-10pm. Such a nice spot for outdoor dining on a nice evening and an easy walk across the Ellipse to DAR.
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