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Breakfast in NOVA.

I thought that Cassatt's Kiwi Cafe was tasty.

Private Room for 15-24 in Southern Montgomery County/Upper NW?

I'm planning a dinner for my father's 70th birthday, and would prefer a private room at a restaurant. There will be between 15 and 24 people attending. I'm having a hard time finding a place that fits my (admittedly difficult) requirements:
- Ideally in Silver Spring, Bethesda, southern Rockville. Upper NW (Cleveland Park, Friendship Heights, etc) is a second choice.
- Not too expensive (i.e., no $2,500 minimum)
- Preferably someplace where some of the seating is on soft benches (or very soft chairs). As I said, my requirements are difficult.
- Not Dino.
- This will be on a Sunday night in a few weeks.

It doesn't have to be a private room, if we could have a sectioned off part of a restaurant, that would be fine. I just don't want to be sitting at a bunch of tables in the middle of the dining room.

The only place I've found that somewhat meets these requirements is Praline Bakery & Bistro, but that location is a bit too far. Someone said McCormick & Schmick's in Bethesda had a good room, but they are closed - is there another restaurant in that space that has retained the layout? has anyone done a private dinner at Mannequin Pis? Ray's the Classics?

new places in arlington and falls church

I went into Taco Baja a few years ago, after it put in the blacked out windows. I'm willing to eat in some pretty sketchy seeming places, but I felt instantly uncomfortable in there. It felt like one of those movie scenes where someone walks into a room and everything screeches to a halt while everybody stares down the newcomer.

There was no one at the counter to take orders, and after a couple of minutes of standing there while being ogled by half of the men there, I left without ordering. It seems like it's now just a skeezy bar that serves a bit of food.

Even if I heard the food was good, I probably wouldn't go back as a female alone. And I was there at about 2 pm on a Sunday.

From a quick glance at the Yelp reviews, it seems like I'm not the only one who had that experience.

Restaurants with private event rooms near the Manchester Grand Hyatt

I'm an out-of-towner tasked with picking a restaurant for a dinner as part of a February conference at the Manchester Grand Hyatt.

The budget is $95 per person (including tax, tip, and wine). We need a place with a private room that would fit 20-30 people, and it has to be within walking distance (less than a half mile) from the Manchester Grand Hyatt. By walking, I mean walking, no water-taxis.

From looking through the boards, one option is Candelas. Someone also recommended Salvatore's. Thoughts? Other choices?

Thank you all so much - I love picking restaurants, but picking a restaurant, in a town that I've never been to, for people I want to impress has me a little overwhelmed!

Dec 17, 2011
jumpingjack in San Diego

Cheap take out in Arlington VA

I'd vote for both Moby Dick's and Ravi Kebab, for different reasons. Ravi Kebab is super delicious, but large portions and pretty oily (in a good way). Moby Dick's chicken salad (just grilled chicken over iceberg lettuce with some olives, feta, tomatoes, etc, is very tasty and very healthy -- a good light meal. Moby's is the only place I've found that makes white meat that tastes good to me. Also, Moby's bread is vastly superior to Ravi Kebab's.

Other spots:
- There's a taco truck with delicious tacos that's usually parked on Fairfax Drive at N Queen Street, just west of the N Queen Street exit from Rt 50. Jesus, the proprietor, is very friendly. He's there until about 8 pm.
- Astor Mediterranean, on Pershing, just off 50, is pretty tasty. They have a nice veggie sampler.
- Ray's Hell Burger does carry out, though you need to box it up yourself.

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Ray's Hell Burger
1713 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22209

Moby Dick
1070 31st Street N.W., Washington, DC 20007

Seven Corners/Eden Center rec?

It won't really work for dinner, but stop into Thanh Son Tofu (on the left as you drive into Eden Center) for fried tofu (onion flavor is my favorite) and some sweet bean and tapioca snacks. The fried tofu is seriously the best I've ever had, and at 5 pieces for a dollar you really can't go wrong. They also have good sinh to (fruit shakes - avocado's my favorite) but that might ruin your appetite for dinner.

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Eden Center
Falls Church, VA, USA, Falls Church, VA

Thanh Son Tofu
6793A Wilson Blvd, Falls Church, VA

Farrah Olivia

Were those two dishes on the RW menu? They're not listed as RW choices on the restaurant's website, but I was hoping to get them.

winter 2008 restaurant week -- DC

Hook has the RW menu on the website. It's not identical to the regular menu, but it's quite extensive.
http://www.hookdc.com/restaurant-week...

Rockland - Rocks Again in Arlington

I used to consider (Glover Park) Rocklands to be among the best BBQ in the area. Now that I'm lucky enough to live in the neighborhood, I haven't had a single good meal from there, and I've tried about once a month for a year now -- the wood smoke smell keeps drawing me in. The pulled pork was bland and gristly, the ribs were tough, and most of the sides have been dull (mustard greens), gummy (mac & cheese) or blah (red beans and rice). The only thing that I still enjoy is the grilled salmon sandwich. I've now transferred my allegiance to Urban BBQ in Rockville.

Inexpensive dinner in/near Gtown

I also agree that Pizzeria Paradiso is the best choice for tasty cheap food in Georgetown. If you need to be able to park close to the restaurant, Cafe Divan is excellent and reasonably priced. Clyde's is reasonable and has something for everyone.

While 2 Amys has good food, the noise level at that place is deafening. There's also always a significant wait, and no comfortable indoor space to wait in.

Just Moved to Silver Spring -- any recs?

I agree with the other poster's recommendations. Especially on Jackie's, Colorado Kitchen, and Samantha's.

Max's in Wheaton (on University) has among the best falafel and schwarma in the area. It's better for carryout -- the atmosphere is underwhelming.

Across University is Sergio's, an El Salvadoran restaurant that has handmade tortillas. They have a carryout section and a pleasant dining room. As long as it's not karaoke night.

Having lived in SF, I know what top notch dim sum tastes like, and I know that we don't it here. However, Hollywood East (also Wheaton) is among the best in the DC area.

El Pollo Rico in Wheaton has delicious Peruvian chicken. They had to close down earlier this year -- the owners had some legal problems. I haven't been since it's reopened.

Sadly, to get real volume of excellent Vietnamese food, you need to go to Virginia.

Le Pain Quotidien?

I went for lunch on Thursday. The space is very pretty (as in all of their locations I presume). The food was fine. My dish was ok, but I wouldn't order it again. I had a special: Tartine of Roasted Peaches, Prosciutto, Parmesan and Asparagus. The asparagus seemed like an afterthought, and strangely, the peaches were crunchy. A friend got the black bean soup and said that they seemed to have forgotten the beans. Others in my group seemed fairly happy with their food. The Tartine portions seem small by American standards, and I don't have a large appetite.

On the way out, I picked up a croissant and a Madeleine. The croissant was delicious. It was warm, and among the better ones I've had in DC. The Madeleine, which was more Madeleine batter in a small cake form, was also very good. I will definitely be back for the pastries.

The biggest problems I attribute to it having opened recently. The service was friendly, but incredibly slow and somewhat inattentive. It took more than a half hour for our food to arrive. One person in our group had gotten a cheese muffin and a soup. The muffin arrived very quickly, leaving all of us staring longingly at it until the rest of the food arrived. After we had waited about 25 minutes, our server stopped by to apologize for the wait (for the first time) and offer us some bread while we waited. We also had to ask for more water, and it never arrived. I asked a different server for more water. He filled my glass, but then turned to leave, ignoring the other empty glasses at the table. These are all little things which I expect will improve with time.

The main reason I would go back for a meal is because I work nearby, it's a pleasant, mid-priced lunch spot, and seems like it has more potential than it showed in its first month open. But no matter how the meal service ends up, I will definitely return for pastries.

Hook

I ate at Hook last week and had a similar experience. The food was a mix. I wasn't especially impressed with the crudo. We got the wahoo, the weakfish, and the tuna. All three were overwhelmed by strong flavored olive oil and salt, even though only one was described as having those ingredients. I would still try the crudo again, but would get different fish.

I had the walnut encrusted weakfish entree, which was delicious. My friend had the lobster risotto, which wasn't especially flavorful and had very little lobster in it. As has been noted elsewhere, the entrees come in small portion sizes, so we had room for two desserts. Both the little donuts and the madeleines were perfect.

The service, however, left a lot to be desired. On the plus side, everyone was very friendly, but that's the only good thing that I can say. From the moment we sat down, we would only see our server about every half hour. This includes from when we placed the drink order to when we received the drinks (simple glasses of wine) and from when we placed the crudo order and asked him to come back in 5 minutes to get our entree order. We didn't get to place the entree order until 20 minutes after we'd finished the crudo. In addition, when we were able to get someone else's attention and ask them to either find our server or, for example, bring us the drink order, those people would say ok, and then stand, looking confused, a few feet from our table, without making any attempt to solve the problem. Hopefully, these are just the growing pains of a new restaurant. Despite this, I will definitely go back to give it another try.

I also second Bill's comment to sit downstairs. We were upstairs. It resembles a rental party space, and the bright street lights shine through the curtains into diner's eyes.

Chipotle

I like the barbacoa too. The burritos are decent, each individual ingredient is very tasty, but they're not constructed particularly well. It's hard to get more than one element in a bite, so you just end up with one bite of rice, one bite of meat, etc. Might be because they are way too wide.

There is no Chipotle in St. Louis. Having moved here from San Francisco, I am sad that I now long for a Chipotle (or even Baja Fresh) in town.

Jul 29, 2006
jumpingjack in Chains

beef oxtail recipes?

I made the epicurious recipe and it was so delicious. For wine, I used a $3.99 wine -- not a Burgundy -- from Trader Joe's call Abrazo del Toro. Also I did use the butter at the end. There was leftover sauce that I froze because it was so good.

Jul 11, 2006
jumpingjack in Home Cooking

Midwest 'hounds: food unique to or that defines your community/town/metro area/state

Do all of the Chop Suey places do St. Paul sandwiches? Any ones that are especially good or bad, especially in the Lafayette Square area?

Desperately Seeking Authentic Malaysian Food in Bay Area

I don't know how authentic it is, or even if it's still open (been a while since I lived there), but Singapore-Malaysian at 8th and Clement in the Richmond used to be really good.

I was a Beard Papa's virgin yesterday...

Try the little round chocolate cakes (Fondant Au Chocolat). 10 seconds in the microwave and they are perfect. Just the right balance of sweet but not too sweet.

Jul 09, 2006
jumpingjack in Chains

New York chowhound in D.C. for the weekend - good spots for solo dining

Pizzeria Paradiso (Dupont Circle location, P at 21st) has excellent pizza -- there is usually not a wait for the seats at the bar/counter, and you get to watch them make the pizza from there. The front area at Palena (Cleveland Park) is tasty and casual.

what MUST I eat before I move away?

I grew up in DC but lived in SF for four years. There are two places that I would cry if I had to visit SF without eating:
- Dim Sum at Ton Kiang (27th? and Geary in the Richmond) and
- a Mission burrito, probably at El Farolito but Can Cun is a close second;

An addition that opened since I left SF: gorge myself on everything (especially the oysters) at the outside portion of the Embarcadero farmer's market.

DC really has some great food, there's especially fabulous ethnic food in the suburbs. Thinking of the schwarma sandwich at Max's in Wheaton makes my mouth water.

Vietnamese in St. Louis

First, butterfly, I found your Spain posts very helpful when planning a trip last year. Thank you!

If you want good American food, Iron Barley is excellent, neat atmosphere and cheap. It's just off 55 at Virgina and Bates. I dream about their ham and cheese sandwich.

Downtown if you want to spend a lot, The American Place is excellent. For lunch (and dinner too), 10th Street Italian (10th just south of Washington) makes the world's most addictive meatball subs, and also excellent pasta and other sandwiches. The Tap Room (where you've been) is still good.

Square One in Lafayette Square has excellent beer, decent food (I like the brat), and a great patio. 1111 Mississippi has very good food (also Lafayette Square). There's a Persian place on South Grand that is excellent, the RFT reviewed it within the past year. And for super delicious (non-St Louis style) pizza that will clog your arteries faster than you can blink, get the Chicago style pizza at Black Thorn Pub on Wyoming just west of S. Grand. Be ready to wait though, it takes an hour to bake.

I hope that you have a great visit!

St Louis suggestions - Clayton/Forest Park area

I agree with Phaedrus regarding the St. Louis style pizza. It's worth trying since it's not something that you will see anyplace else in the country, but the cheese is an unpleasant/disturbing experience, so don't expect to be able to eat a full meal of it. Imo's is the standard, there are locations all over the place. If you want St. Louis pizza without the Provel cheese, Pointers on Big Bend is pretty close to the Cheshire, you get the thin crust, but with real cheese.

The one positive contribution that St. Louis has to the world of food is Gooey Butter Cake, and Kaldi's carries the best one in town. Warning -- it's so rich that one person can probably not eat a full piece.

If you're already getting into a cab, it's a little far, but I think Iron Barley is one of the best restaurants in town. Amazingly delicious, great atmosphere, and quite cheap.
http://www.ironbarley.com/

If it's an option, you might want to consider renting a car. There isn't much that's within walking distance of your hotel, and as others have stated, public transportation in that area isn't the best.