The Restaurant “Scene” in DC

We have eaten at a lot of restaurants in our lifetime, be it in NYC or other places around the world. I wouldn’t call us picky or high rollers, but we definitely know what we like. After moving to DC, we were less inspired to go out so much. Instead, we (my better half) cooked a lot more, and I would argue better than what you get at restaurants.

But go out we did, and below is where we went, and what we thought of the food (1 to 5 * with ***** being the best). We haven’t tried all the hot spots (a few) and were often confined to our nabe, that being Capitol Hill. We would agree with many critics that DC seems to be obsessed with the “small plate” sharing thing. Not our thing. Also obsessed with making reservations or waiting in long lines. Again, not our thing. Maybe 2016 will show some new trends beyond bland ramen, overly fried chicken, and fancy tacos. Let’s hope.

  • Bens Chili Bowl—June—(***) classic joint in chocolate city, if you like hotdogs and chili, playing soul music.
  • El Centro DF—June, Dec—(***)—decent hip Mexican/Tequila bar on 14th street. went there again in december and thought it sort of sucked.
  • Satellite Room (next to 930 club)—July—(***)—standard American bar food
  • ShopHouse—July—(***)—good for lunch, got it to go on train
  • Nooshi—July—(***) ok sushi, kinda funky vibe
  • Hank’s Oyster Bar—July—(****) don’t remember much, except lots of kids. sort of expensive for mainly fried seafood. lobster sandwich is good. Been there now a few times.
  • District Taco—July Sept, Oct etc—(****) good for lunch (i went once or twice).  lots of salsa options. good red sauce on burritos
  • Sanphan Thai—Aug— (***) salty + oily + spicy but not in such a flavorful way
  • Capitol Sushi—Aug—(*****) great small local sushi restaurant; great omakasi ($50). Been there several times.
Uni at Sushi Capitol

Uni at Capitol Sushi. Yum.

  • La Lomita II—Aug—(***) dated + kitschy, standard mex
  • Ocopa—Aug—(**) peruvian place on H (near RnR hotel), decent food (tuna ceviche and pollo dish good) but service terrible, outside space with bar
  • Cava Mezze—Aug—(***) good neuvo greek food, tapas style. went there again in Nov and didn’t like it as much – went from 4 to 3 stars.
  • Busboys & Poets— Sept—(***) ok food, interesting vibe
  • Impala— Sept—(***) decent Mexican food (tho not very spicy) in cool outdoor space, went there before Algiers
  • Eat the Rich—Sept—(***) ok oysters + bar snacks ate there before JAMC
  • Rose’s Luxury—Oct—(***)  just okay. pretty overhyped. small dishes without a ton of flavor, a sweet pasta. not sure why it is rated #1 in DC…
  • Osteria Morini —Oct—(****) pretty decent italian food on the water near Navy Yard. Nice space, and imagine that summer outside would be nice. had a good burrata.
  • Barcelona—Dec—(***) close to black cat (saw all them witches after). good tapas style food. their bread is the bomb. wine and beer really reasonable.
  • El Chucho—Dec—(**) taqueria mainly in columbia heights. I wouldn’t go back there again but pretty decent food. guacamole and salsa weren’t mind blowing.
  • Toki Underground—Dec—(****) pretty decent ramen in a relaxed atmosphere. Nothing on par with ramen on japan, but decent. not sure what the hype is…maybe 3 stars in NY but 4 in DC.
Toki Underground 2.JPG

Toki Underground on H Street

  • Acqua Al 2—Dec—(***1/2) Nice atmosphere. Good vegetarian pastas. My fusili con carciofi was delicious. Bread and service were good too. Good nabe italian place. Wouldn’t come here if not living in CH.
  • Le Diplomate—Dec—(****) Beautiful french brasserie atmosphere. Good food, not such great service. I had lobster risotto, derek had steak frite. Not sure it is any better than your typical NY french restaurant.
  • Fiola Mare—Dec—(*****) Went here for our anniversary dinner. In Georgetown. Had a special menu for Xmas eve 5 course seafood. All was very good and they gave us many treats to celebrate our anniversary (prosecco, dessert and some cocoa to take home).
  • Rasika—Dec—(***) Supposedly the best Indian. We had vegetarian, so maybe that was the problem. Pretty fancy place…and not sure what the hype is all about.
  • Oyamel—Dec—(****) Very good, and pretty authentic mexican food in penn quarter. homemade tortillas and guac were excellent, and so was the queso fundido. All tapa style.
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One Response to The Restaurant “Scene” in DC

  1. Pingback: Long, interesting list of restaurants in DC, not one of which I have been to. But does not include the french bistro in Georgetown, which

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