Living in a large Metropolitan area such as Washington, DC, there are hundreds of dining options. The city and surrounding suburbs are chock-full of restaurants. With such a wide array of nationalities and ethnicities represented from American, Belgian, Chinese, Ethiopian, French, Italian and more in the area … sometimes it can be quite difficult and even frustrating finding the best places to eat. Have you ever asked yourself or others:
- Who has the best pizza in Alexandria?
- Where’s the best restaurant for a first date?
- Where is a romantic restaurant to celebrate an Anniversary?
- Where is the best place to take the man in my life for Father’s Day?
- Who has the best Mother’s Day brunch?
- What’s the best burger joint?
- Who has the best service?
As a Native Washingtonian – born and raised in the DC area, Lisa has become well versed in the subject of “Dining in DC”. Do you have a dining question?
Simple … Just Ask Lisa.
Listing of Topics Covered:
Date Submitted: November 18, 2010
My BFF is coming into town and I need a cool place to go to dinner and drinks downtown, the day before Thanksgiving. Some place with atmosphere, and where we can walk around afterwards safely. Any ideas??
Hi Natalie! One of my favorite places to go is Co Co. Sala, in Penn Quarter. You'll feel safe because it is a very nice part of town. Best cocktails of your life. Sumptuous desserts. It doesn’t get better than this. The atmosphere is fun, hip, trendy, and vibrant. You can check out Gallery Place, Chinatown, afterwards near Verizon Center. I promise you a great time!
Date Submitted: April 19, 2012
I stumbled upon your blog while researching restaurants in the Metro DC area for a business meeting that I am coordinating for early June. I would love your recommendations for (1) dinner for approximately 12 on a Thursday evening and (2) lunch for 7-8 on a Friday afternoon. For dinner, I would love to stay downtown or around Dupont Circle or perhaps venture out to Georgetown. (I was considering the Occidental, J&G Steakhouse or Sequoia.) For lunch, I would like to find a venue within walking distance of the Lafayette Square area. I am planning to suggest P.O.V. for an after meeting drink & view on Friday afternoon (approx. 4 PM). Your suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks so much,
Hi Cathy, Thank you for submitting your “Ask Lisa” today. Depending your day and availability of the restaurant, I think that Equinox (near the White House) is a great option and it's walking distance from Lafayette Square; would be an excellent choice for your lunch or dinner. They have a small private dining room that is just gorgeous and would fit your group nicely. The Chef(s) are award-winning, not to mention White House endorsed. You can’t go wrong with Equinox. One of the front-runners in the seasonal, organic sustainable movement. Also, they would help you choose a menu for your guests within your budget.Another great option for lunch that is walking distance from Lafayette Square, is The Oval Room.
While I like J&G Steakhouse, their private dining options aren’t as inviting, in my opinion. Sequoia is best known for its view of the Riverfront, not for its food. If you’re interested in solid food, I would not choose Sequoia.
Another Dinner idea near Dupont Circle is Founding Farmers. Strong seasonal, organic sustainable message, which is important in DC, right now.
I love your idea about P.O.V. People love it and their cocktails are some of the best around. Ask for Joseph Ambrose, if you go. He’s the best mixologist there.
Please let me know if there is anything else that I can do to help you.
Date Submitted: December 16, 2011
Hi Lisa, Do you have any suggestions for a place to eat on Christmas Day? There will be six people, including one child. We’re looking for a decent place but not too expensive or fancy. We’re going to Mount Vernon for the National Treasure tour, then going to the Pentagon Memorial and to see the trees at the White House and are looking for a place to have dinner afterwards. I live in Northern Virginia.
Hi Brandi, Thank you for your question. Christmas Day Dinner will be available at Bourbon Steak located in the Four Seasons hotel in Georgetown. Enjoy a holiday-themed three-course prix-fixe dinner. Priced at $90 per person, not including tax and gratuity. The restaurant will serve dinner from 5:30 – 10:00PM on December 25, 2011.
One of my favorites, J&G Steakhouse is offering for $75, delicious interpretations of Christmas classics, including butternut squash soup with fall mushrooms (see my post and recipe), rice cracker crusted tuna with citrus chili sauce, grilled filet mignon with soy-caramel sauce and gingered mushrooms, and green apple crisp with cinnamon ice cream. 515 15th Street NW. Reservations are recommended and can be made on JGSteakhouseWashingtonDC.com or by phone at (202) 661-2440.
Another favorite of mine, Westend Bistro by Eric Ripert will offer Christmas dinner in The Lobby Cafe & Bar offers a festive three-course prix fixe menu offered from 11 a.m. to 9:00 PM.; $70 per adult, $35 per child, ages 12 and under. 1150 22nd St., NW. For reservations, call 202-974-5566.
Please let me know if you need anything else. Thanks, Lisa
Date Submitted: September 13, 2010
Lisa, How about a column on best Happy Hours, including the times they run and the deals they include. My friends and I are always looking for a resource that will list the best Happy Hour locations. For example, in Penn Quarter Oyamel offers their tacos for $2 from 4:30-6:30. Zola has $1.50 sliders from 5-7and Legal seafood offers some great seafood specials for Happy hour!
Hi Chaz! Try looking on this website: http://www.dchappyhours.com/
They list all of the places that offer happy hour specials and you can sort by day and DC area neighborhood.
It has everything from Acadiana’s $4 Draft Beer; $5 Selected Cocktails; Wine Specials and 1/2 Price Apps to Zaytinya’s $4 Mezze Specials!
Date Submitted: August 16, 2010
Hi Lisa. I have a friend who lives in Alexandria who is getting married in the fall. I thought a gift certificate to a special restaurant in DC would be a great gift. Any suggestions for a special restaurant with fantastic food? Looking to spend $150 – $200 for two. Thanks!
Hi Liz, Thank you for your question. You’re a very thoughtful friend. They’re lucky to have you. So this is an easy one. No question in my mind that dinner at Restaurant Eve’s tasting room would be an amazing gift. It’s definitely a place to go for a special occasion. With wine pairings, if they are into wine would be a very memorable experience. You can’t go wrong on this one! Let me know how it goes!
Submitted: July 14, 2010
I’ve been trying to get reservations at Minibar for awhile now with no luck. What’s the secret? Thanks and keep up the awesome job!
Hi Rhett, Thanks for your question. I went to Minibar in March 2009
, and it was one of the most incredible gastronomic experiences of my life. Minibar only has six seats and two seatings per night. Reservations are difficult to obtain, in that potential diners must call at precisely 10:00 a.m. thirty days (to the day) in advance. Maybe I was just lucky, but the first time that I called I got on the waiting list. The next time that I called, I got right in. My suggestion is to call ahead the day before and ask the reservations person what time their clock says. Seriously. Then set your clock to match so that when you call back the next day you'll be able to call exactly at 10 a.m. I also called using more than one phone. For example, using your cell and work phone. Have the number dialed and ready to hit that last button JUST before it hits 10 a.m. Try several days in a row for a week! Odds are that you'll get in. Good Luck!
Submitted: December 16, 2009
I am looking for a restaurant that serves a Sunday night prix fixe menu. Ideas? Suggestions?
Some of my favorite restaurants in the area offer a prix-fixe menu on Sunday. I think you will find a lot of options listed under the “pre-theatre” category.
Examples: Dino for $39 a person, Cafe Atlantico is just $35 a person. 701 was hugely renovated and has a new chef. On Sundays, 701 offers their pre-theater menu all evening from 5 – 930 PM for just $29.95 per person! At Bastille in Old Town you can enjoy French the Sunday family dinner (5-8 pm) $29!
offers a sumptous pre-theatre three course menu (530-630 p.m.) for $29:
I have more suggestions, if needed. Let me know!
Thanks and happy eating!
Submitted: November 23, 2009
Lisa, need a upper mid to high end french place for saturday ….you’re the expert! Thanks!
We have tickets for a 7:30 show at the Kennedy center.
Marcel’s (2401 Pennsylvania Ave., NW), you can get 3 courses of Robert Wiedmaier’s rich French/Flemish/Belgian cooking for $52 plus car service to and from the Kennedy Center. Can’t beat that!
Submitted: August 5, 2009
Hi Lisa – saw your writing on Examiner.com. I’m in need of some advice on where to take a date for dinner. We’re both young professionals (so not too expensive), like public transportation (so need close to the metro), and like a wide variety of foods. Any advice you can give me is much appreciated! Maybe you could even do a column for guys like me who want to impress girls but haven’t a clue about fine dining! Thanks!
Check it out! Good Luck, Lisa