First, thanks so much for all the great suggestions.
I followed the board's advice and headed to Zaytinya on Friday, w/ my SO, his friend, & my sister. Interestingly, none of our friends in D.C. had heard of this place. Boy, am I glad I am into this board!
We arrived about 8:15, and were seated a bit after 9. We had two seats at the bar, so we didn't mind the wait. The crowd was definitely an all-ages one, and it was not overly trendy, so I think everyone would be pretty comfortable in the environment.
The food was wonderful, and we thought the service was good as well. We had the best spanakanopita (sp?)I've ever tasted, fried mussels, baba ghanoush (again, my spelling is probably off), roasted red peppers and feta, an eggplant dish, a fish, a beef and a lamb dish (the details escape me) and 2 lovely btls of wine, one red and one white - both Greek and both blends.
Everything we had was wonderful, with the exception of the very dry rabbit, which the waiter promptly took off the bill. Even the traditional dessert we had was delicious. But the best part was the bill - $128 for 4 of us.
On Sat morning I had coffee at Java Shack in Arlington - one of the best in the area (made w/ Torrefazione), and snacks at Cake Love (oh yeah!). For dinner, we went to Corduroy, b/c my SO didn't want to kill his dad's wallet w/ a party of 6 dinner at one of our initial picks (Equinox, Obelisk, Kinkead's, etc). First, the restaurant decor was not appealing to us at all. Though it's a hotel restaurant, it need not feel that way, and this place screams it. But in spite of that, the food was pretty darn good.
The appetizers were the true winners: goat cheese w/ fried potato, scallops that were to die for, oysters that were very fresh, and a tasty parsnip soup. The wine list was varied and had several reasonable selections.
The service was a bit disappointing. Our server was just ok - a bit cold I thought - and we waited an eternity btwn appetizers and entrees. When the entrees did arrive, 2 people did not get theirs for least 5-10 minutes, w/ no explanation or acknowledgement that this was wrong. My halibut was waaay overcooked, but to Corduroy's credit, the chef agreed w/ me, they took it off the check and later delivered an exquisitely prepared halibut. The preparation did not excite me, but the fish was outstanding. The peppered rare ahi was just ok - lacking some flavor. The veal cheeks were the best thing I tasted, though the lamb w/ dumplings was very good as well. All in all, despite the service gaffes and the environment, it was a nice meal, though I'm not in a big hurry to return.
Finally, on Sunday I discovered Stompin' Grounds in Capitol Hill (gotta love that area of the City - around Eastern Mkt). Though the cappucino was not perfect, it's made w/ the same coffee as that Murky Coffee place in G-Town, though I think the preparation could use a little work. I think Murky Coffee only recently bought the place - anyone know? - so it will probably get better, and the setup at Stompin Grounds is great. That was a nice place to read the paper and relax. All in all, a great chowhound wkend. Thanks so much for all your help! If you go to Phila or L.A., I hope to return the favor. :)