[We've moved this digression from this thread on the DC/Baltimore board: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/411432 -- THE CHOWHOUND TEAM]
I'll second RE as one of the top 5 in the area. Bistro just as good as tasting room. Heck, eating at the bar is better than some of the high-end places I've tried downtown.
I think the issue is that Pool Boy's expectations are extremely high and RE didn't meet those expectations on the first visit. Fair enough. That's the problem when so many people rave about a place like Eve or Maestro or Palena; some people come to expect the greatest meal of their life every time. Of course people are going to be disappointed when every single bite doesn't make them faint from ecstasy.