I live in Toronto for most of the year and travel fairly extensively the rest of the year. I'm coming to DC between Sept 30th and Oct 10th to see some friends. It has been a long time since I was last in the city and on previous visits didn't really have time to eat out so I am looking for interesting and unique things to the DC area.
The specifics are as follows:
a) I'll be taking 3 folks out for dinner someplace. Price isn't really an issue and I'd like it to be something of high quality (but I detest stuffiness), however, I have no interest in playing phone antics with minibar and Komi. I've looked at a lot of menu's and restaurant websites of what I've gathered to be the top restaurants in DC and the surrounding area like Citronelle, Cityzen, Palena, Corduroy, Eve, Black Salt, Equinox, Vidalia, Volt etc., and haven't really been too interested with anything I've seen. If I've missed a restaurant I'd really appreciate someone pointing it out.
I've read that Obelisk is supposed to be very good and that they don't have a website but I've found it difficult to find blog reviews or sample menus images online. Does anyone know when Galileo III is supposed to open? Their site says Sept '10.
I've taken a bit more to menus of places like Bibiana, Proof and Againn - what are your thoughts on these places?
My main gripe with most of these places is the use of similar ingredients in similar preparations without too much variety. I've eaten this type of food for years and while I'm very confident that these places will put out excellent renditions I'm just not motivated to spend money on it anymore.
One of my favourite restaurants in Toronto if anyone has been up there recently is Black Hoof and their associated Hoof Cafe. Here is a link from a blog - http://www.foodpr0n.com/2009/12/22/th... and http://www.foodpr0n.com/2010/03/03/in...
There are images of the menu board at the bottom for some further reference. They make almost all of their cured meats and charcuterie in house and cook everything in a tiny kitchen thats open for everyone. If there is somewhere similar to this around the DC area? Or something else that is a bit more unusual or unique?
I tend to gravitate more towards ethnic eats whether they're cheap or fine dining (though most of the time 'ethnic fine dining' proves to be a disaster, imho). I've looked at Rasika but haven't been impressed with their menu and generally tend to avoid eating Indian outside of someones home. Are there any other recommendations? Ethiopian seems to be a strong suit of DC but we have some pretty good Ethiopian in Toronto as well - can anyone comment on comparing the two? Is Etete the best Ethiopian in the city and would any Ethiopian restaurant fit the bill of a nice dinner out where I'm treating?
Are there any Chinese restaurants that do banquet style dining of good quality in and around the DC area?
I hope I've managed to explain what I'm looking for this dinner out - does anyone have any suggestions? I'd greatly appreciate it.
b) Aside from this one dinner out I'd like to get out there and sample what's great.
I've read that you guys have some pretty good Thai and Vietnamese - what are some good recommendations?
My friend wants to take me to Thai X-ing which I've heard is great and I've heard good things about Ruan. Are there any other recommendations?
What about for Vietnamese?
Is Myanmar still open and is it good?
What are some good recommendations for bars/pubs with great beer selections (food aside)? I've read good things about Churckey and Birch and Barley - any other suggestions or comments?
I've also seen some things written that I must try some salteñas - where is recommended? Luzmila?
Where do I go for top notch local seafood - oysters specifically? Hank's?
I plan on hitting up Ray's Hellburger, Ooh's and Aah's and Pimento Grill as well. Are there any other recommendations for off the beaten path, small, or ethnic eats?
Your help is greatly appreciated, thank you in advance! :)
1942 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
3529 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008
633 D Street, NW, Washington, DC 20004
3000 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20007
1509 17th St NW Ste 1, Washington, DC 20036
1990 M Street, Washington, DC 20036
Pimento Grill Restaurant
4405 Bowen Rd SE, Washington, DC 20019
1100 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20005
Birch and Barley
1337 14th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005