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Eating in DC

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by DNW, Jun 1, 2007.

  1. JoeWoah

    JoeWoah Senior member

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    Beck is definitely worth going to to sample their beers. I would say it's a bargain compared to the chef's other place, Marcel's, which was surprisingly good, although the boudin blanc should have been called boudin bland -- like eating air. Outside of DC, the only other place I found with decent mussels and frites with Belgian Beer is Mannequin Pis out in Olney... much cheaper than Beck if you can stand the drive. Unlike Nora's, Beck is probably worth the money.

    Nora's is too stuffy, and the people eating there are so stiff, like they're afraid to have a dinner conversation or drop a fork. Not one person had their blazer off, and proper dress isn't even required. The prices aren't that bad and the entries are a decent size conpared to other pretentious restaurants in the city. The only way to do Nora's right is to order the tasting menu, it's the only thing there that's worth it.

    You can leave Beck's for under $100 for two people if you a.) stick to apps (which are very yummy and large or b.) Don't drink that much. B isn't an option.

    It has a good atmosphere for a date, that's about it. Neyla is better and cheaper for real Mediterranean food, and not that weird fusion going on at Palena (Le Tomate can fit that bill).

    Yup, wasabi meatloaf rocks too. I've been meaning to try their brunch.
     
  2. JoeWoah

    JoeWoah Senior member

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    Thanks for the reviews of the Belgian places. My wife and I are heading there in October and want a nice preview. Does Marcels really require black tie? I thought I read that somewhere. What about the rest of their menus aside from the beers? I'm not a beer drinker (though my wife is) so that's not my big interest. thanks, b
    No, a jacket is required at Marcels, so a suit will be fine. It is a really good restaurant, but one that is a little too expensive for me to visit often enough to really get acquainted with the menu well. Their theater menu has always been decent. Marcels is more of a fine dinning atmosphere, Beck's isn't cheap by no stretch, but it's more relaxed and easy going... also, louder because people aren't holding back, not because of music. Beck's menu is more hearty fare, true Belgian food; with the starters being old Belgian peasant fare. Entries are more generous, but then again, they don't force you into courses like at Marcels. They are both very different dining experiences... I wouldn't even consider ordering beer at Marcels.
     
  3. Roikins

    Roikins Senior member

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    Thanks for the reviews of the Belgian places. My wife and I are heading there in October and want a nice preview.

    Does Marcels really require black tie? I thought I read that somewhere.

    What about the rest of their menus aside from the beers? I'm not a beer drinker (though my wife is) so that's not my big interest.

    thanks,
    b


    Marcel's doesn't require black tie, at least they didn't when I went there. Granted, I was still in a suit and tie, but I only saw the piano player in a dinner jacket and bow tie. They have a special dinner menu for people attending performances at the Kennedy Center, so perhaps people were dressed in black tie for that.

    With respect to Marcel's (I luckily have my tasting notes for that dinner on my phone still), I thought the amuse was excellent -- a smoked salmon with creme fraiche and chives... the creme and salt tempered each other perfectly so neither flavor was overpowering. The lobster bisque was good, but not great. The PEI mussels were amazing. The plating was colorful with cheese, spinach, and tomato sauce -- it was like mussel lasagna. The texture was good, with a crispy top layer, but a terrific gooey cheese and sauce beneath. The spinach was prepared to my liking and wasn't gritty or bitter. The mussels themselves were nicely firm and not chewy.

    My slow cooked salmon with olives was, as my friend likes to describe salmon, "perfectly pink." It was better than the salmon I had at Westend Bistro, which was odd given Ripert's involvement with Westend. The boudin blanc was very bland and gritty, but melted in your mouth like a foam -- Palena put boudin blanc on their new tasting menu, and that was one of the courses I found memorable and improved my second Palena experience. I opted to get a course of seared foie gras instead of cheese, and that was very good, mainly because it was your "traditional" seared foie gras with caramelized pears... why mess with perfection?

    My pepper encrusted bison came with a puree of spinach and haricot vert. I thought the puree was on the bland side, but the bison was nice and tender and juicy... not at all gamey. I thought the pepper was a little too strong. I ended with the mousse with a little sugar cage and raspberry. The raspberry sauce was so rich and sweet it was too much that I would have much preferred the chocolate alone. Overall, the food was very good, although some of the preps were a bit repetitive.

    The only major issue I had there was with the service being very slow, a consequence being my wine pairings showing up well after my food, and my table captain was wearing a pretty heavy cologne.

    Wow, that was a lot more than I was expecting to write about Marcel's. [​IMG] I'll be sure to keep any future "reviews" on the shorter side.
     
  4. Roikins

    Roikins Senior member

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    Nora's is too stuffy, and the people eating there are so stiff, like they're afraid to have a dinner conversation or drop a fork. Not one person had their blazer off, and proper dress isn't even required. The prices aren't that bad and the entries are a decent size conpared to other pretentious restaurants in the city. The only way to do Nora's right is to order the tasting menu, it's the only thing there that's worth it.


    Yeah, it was near the hotel I was living out of for a few weeks, so I stopped by and had the tasting. The cocktails were interesting, but not great. When I was there for dinner, not many people were dressed up. There was a couple on a date and the guy was in a suit with a purple seersucker pocket square. I thought that was cooler than the food. [​IMG]

    One place with really great food and a great atmosphere was Restaurant Eve (my personal #2 favorite of DC restaurants). I was in the tasting room and it was pretty lively with conversation, something I didn't see at Citronelle. Although, Citronelle's food was definitely better, which is why it's still my #1 favorite spot for good, but pricey food. I was actually at Eve this past weekend and a random chick just sat down at my table and started talking to me, thinking I was a food critic. That definitely wouldn't have happened at the French Laundry, but it's definitely a more laid back attitude at Eve, which is why I keep going back.
     
  5. sweisman

    sweisman Senior member

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    D.C. Metro Area
    Has anyone ever been to Buck's Fishing and Camping on Connecticut Ave...I have been to Comet Pizza, which the chef from Bucks also owns, also a few doors down which I like a lot. I know Bucks is totally different, just curious for some feedback. Thanks in advance.
     
  6. rdawson808

    rdawson808 Senior member

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    Has anyone ever been to Buck's Fishing and Camping on Connecticut Ave...I have been to Comet Pizza, which the chef from Bucks also owns, also a few doors down which I like a lot. I know Bucks is totally different, just curious for some feedback. Thanks in advance.

    My wife has been to Buck's (once, fwiw) and every time we pass it she tells me it was disappointing (she might have used stronger language). On the one hand, she's not a snob about food, but, on the other, she knows her cooking damned well.

    b
     
  7. Mauro

    Mauro Senior member Affiliate Vendor

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    Buck's is pretty good in my opinion.
     
  8. KJT

    KJT Senior member

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    I went to Buck's on Friday night and was not that impressed. I had the fried oysters and the steak (because it was my birthday). At $46, the steak was not up to par. Better than say, Outback, but nowhere close to a steak at Charlie Palmers or some other place with similar prices. Everything else that people ordered were pretty good and reasonably priced, but nothing was exceptional. I won't be going back anytime soon. If you do go, I'd reccommend avoiding the overpriced steak.

    I had a bite of ~ half the menu (4 people all ordering different apps and entrees), so I think I'm being fair to the restaurant.
     
  9. rdawson808

    rdawson808 Senior member

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    Is there any particularly good delivery in DC? I'm not looking for anything in particular (though I'm partial to Thai and Vietnamese), but would just like to hear if anyone has any strong feelings.

    We haven't found too much.

    b
     
  10. spreadcollar

    spreadcollar Senior member

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    I haven't read the whole thread and don't know what you want exactly, but here are favorites off the top of my head from my days in DC:

    Lunchy - Five Guys (chain), Amsterdam Falafelshop, The Greek Deli
    Pasta Mia
    Two Amy's
    Fogo de Chao (chain)
    Bistro du Coin, Montmartre, Les Halles
    Almost any of the Ethiopian around Howard University
    Russia House
    Brunch - Cafe St. Ex
    The sushi doesn't hold a candle to NYC, but the best are Sushi-Ko. and Sushi Taro
     
  11. RJman

    RJman Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I love scoring some Moby Dick when I am in DC.
     
  12. rdawson808

    rdawson808 Senior member

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    Were you replying to my question about delivery?


    b



    I haven't read the whole thread and don't know what you want exactly, but here are favorites off the top of my head from my days in DC:

    Lunchy - Five Guys (chain), Amsterdam Falafelshop, The Greek Deli
    Pasta Mia
    Two Amy's
    Fogo de Chao (chain)
    Bistro du Coin, Montmartre, Les Halles
    Almost any of the Ethiopian around Howard University
    Russia House
    Brunch - Cafe St. Ex
    The sushi doesn't hold a candle to NYC, but the best are Sushi-Ko. and Sushi Taro
     
  13. spreadcollar

    spreadcollar Senior member

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    Sep 15, 2007
    Unfortunately, to my knowledge, delivery options are not a forte: Chinese, Thai, pizza, etc. If you're near Chix, it looks like they're starting lunch delivery soon. And, sorry, I didn't notice this was a resurrected thread from last year...
    Were you replying to my question about delivery? b
     
  14. Mauro

    Mauro Senior member Affiliate Vendor

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    Washington, DC and a few months out of the year in
    this post is so long I didn't read it all if it hasn't been mentioned THE BEST
    italian resurant in DC is al tirimisu on P ST NW between 21 and 22nd.
    The staff is AWESOME and the food is consistently excellent.
    If you need a table and they don't have one say "Mauro sent me" they will hook it up.

    My favorite places to go in general are

    AL TIRIMISU ( naturally)
    Granville Moores on H ST
    Pho 76 on Conn AVE NW ( quick and yummy)
    Belga's on 8th ST SW
    Mini Bar ( for a good night out)

    I will think of more later but this is getting me hungry
     
  15. GoSurface

    GoSurface Senior member

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    I had dinner at GrapeSeeds in Bethesda Friday night. Food was excellent.
     
  16. shoreman1782

    shoreman1782 Senior member

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    Mauro, what about Champps? [​IMG]

    Family's coming to town this weekend, but I think we're going to hit the same old places: Dino, Bistro du Coin, etc.
     
  17. Mauro

    Mauro Senior member Affiliate Vendor

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    Only with you do I hit up Champps.
    You should try bistro duck.
     
  18. xtreamskyr

    xtreamskyr Member

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    Many of these places haven't been mentioned, so here's my two cents:

    I'd consider all of these very similar as far as pricing goes - $20-35 entrees.

    Vidalia - Excellent American food with a southern flare. Great wine as well.

    DC Coast, Acadiana, and Ceiba - all under same owner / management - Ten Penh is the last in this group, but I haven't been there. Each of these is very good though - DC Coast (seafood), Acadiana (southern flare), and Ceiba (probably my favorite of the three).

    D'Acqua - Italian Seafood. Very good. Try the salt cod appetizer - excellent.

    I Ricchi - probably the best Italian in the city, although rather pricey. Consistently getting awards. Very true Tuscan dining - lots of meats.

    Cafe Atlantico - really good South American type food. A bit more lively than the others above.

    Brasserie Beck - a bit loud but food was pretty decent. Large selection of Belgian beers, with a lot on tap and constantly rotating.

    Zaytinya - priced differently, Greek/Lebanese tapas, but probably would amount to same bill total per person. Awesome food. Go with a somewhat large group so you can try a bunch of different things.

    West End Bistro by Eric Ripert - his Le Bernardin in NYC is the best restaurant I've eaten in. This, although completely different, cannot compare to the restaurants listed above. It was overpriced, mediocre service, and food was a bit boring (it is very new so kinks could have been worked out by now or in future).
     
  19. amerikajinda

    amerikajinda Senior member

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    I love scoring some Moby Dick when I am in DC.
    I bet you do... ...because they have some of the best kabobs in the city.
     
  20. Roikins

    Roikins Senior member

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    Many of these places haven't been mentioned, so here's my two cents:

    I'd consider all of these very similar as far as pricing goes - $20-35 entrees.

    Vidalia - Excellent American food with a southern flare. Great wine as well.


    West End Bistro by Eric Ripert - his Le Bernardin in NYC is the best restaurant I've eaten in. This, although completely different, cannot compare to the restaurants listed above. It was overpriced, mediocre service, and food was a bit boring (it is very new so kinks could have been worked out by now or in future).



    I agree on the quality of food at Vidala and on the bland, plain fish prep at West End.
     

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