Saturday, May 7, 2016

Favorite places in the Washington DC area

My friend, Laura, and earlier, my friend, Josh, both asked for recommendations for the DC area. I gave each of them a far too long list of suggestions for far too few meals!

In no particular order, my favorite places to eat and drink in the DC area:

Off the Record at the Hay-Adams Hotel
800 16th St NW, Washington, DC 20006
What happens at the Hay-Adams is Off the Record. Go for large classic cocktails and clubby atmosphere.

selection of courses from minibar by José Andrés
minibar and barmini by José Andrés
855 E Street NW, Washington, DC 20004
minibar is a bucket list restaurant. barmini is far more affordable to get a glimpse of what's going on at minibar. Go to barmini for a creative cocktail and some noshes; go to minibar for a once in a lifetime meal.

Jaleo Crystal City
Various tapas from Jaleo
2250-A Crystal Drive, Arlington, VA 22202
Another José Andrés concept, I prefer this location (and the Las Vegas Jaleo) to the other locations. I always order a jamon, the pan con tomate, and patatas bravas. Often I'll add in the pulpo, and maybe some liquid olives.

Hot n' Juicy Crawfish
2651 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20008
Yes, it's a chain, but I like it. You have to be family or practically family to eat with me here, though. It's not pretty, but it is delicious.
1309 5th St NE, Washington, DC 20002
Great collection of local food and product vendors, and fun to graze for a leisurely lunch.

Mitsitam Cafe at the National Museum of the American Indian
4th St & Independence Ave SW
Skip right on past the "American" food station of chicken strips and burgers and browse the several different food stations representing various regions of indigenous cultures. I usually get the sampler plate, which includes your choice of four different side dishes from any region you like.

Old Ebbitt Grill
675 15th St NW, Washington DC 20005
Near the White House, this classic restaurant was long the hang out of politicos for long lunches. I think almost everyone here is a tourist now, but it still has a good classic vibe. They are famous for the Oyster Riot in November, and their oyster happy hour from 3-6 pm.

NoPa Kitchen + Bar
Lobster Cake Soup at Sushi Taro
800 F Street, NW Washington, DC 20004
Hip place at the International Spy Museum, this is a good place for cocktails and appetizers after a day of exploring the Penn Quarter area.

Sushi Taro
1503 17th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036
A healthy, but not long walk from DuPont Circle, this restaurant serves a beautiful omakase dinner, a Japanese prix fixe option.

Russia House
1800 Connecticut Ave NW DC 20009
Great for happy hour and a overabundance of vodka choices. Caviar Mondays!

Hank's Oyster Bar
1026 King Street, Alexandria VA 22314
I'm usually at the Old Town Alexandria location, where the bartenders are skilled and the oyster selection is great.

Bistrot Royal
1201 N. Royal St., Alexandria, VA 22314
Charming little French restaurant near Old Town Alexandria with an affordable three course prix fixe menu every day.

La Fromagerie
Cheese and charcuterie with wine flight at La Fromagerie
1222 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
Was not disappointed when I asked the staff to select cheese, meat and a wine flight for me.

Haute Dog and Fries
610 Montgomery Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
Any of their creative signature dogs are great, and they make an amazing lobster roll. There's also craft beer and milkshakes. What's not to love?

Food Trucks near L'Enfant Plaza Metro on Maryland Avenue SW
There are always a bunch of food trucks along this stretch on weekdays, and often on weekends too. Great for when you're hungry after exploring the nearby Smithsonian museums.

Zaytinya
701 9th Street NW, Washington DC 20001
Yeah, another José Andrés restaurant. I have a foodie crush on José. It doesn't help that I once hosted the national pledge event for his now ended PBS series, Made in Spain. He was a charming in real life as he is on television. Jim Anderson and I had a great meal of Mediterranean mezze (small plates) here that is documented here. We've since been back several times and it's always lively and great.

Enjoy!

This post first appeared on Alice's Restaurants blog. All photos by me.