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DC Chowhound needs help with visit with kids - seafood, salmon, and Japanese!

These are fabulous responses! Thank you all so much - can't wait to go - hopefully I can hit a lot of these (have to see if I can make in to Wallingford). Will definitely try Ivar's for the mussels - and sounds like a good spot for kids too for the view.
Thanks also for the recommendation for Indian in Redmond. My kids actually love Indian and I wasn't really thinking about that when I was thinking of Seattle.

Jul 20, 2010
baconjen in Greater Seattle

DC Chowhound needs help with visit with kids - seafood, salmon, and Japanese!

DC Chowhound coming to Seattle next week for a week - kind of an impromptu visit with family (near Redmond) so I apologize in advance for not doing much research.

I spent time in Seattle in early 90s but not much since. This is my first visit with my kids - 5 and 8. Although we will be doing a lot of visiting in suburbs, we will also be doing tourist stuff like the Market since my kids have not been there before. My kids are good eaters and I am looking specifically for seafood recommendations, places with good salmon, and Japanese. My kids both like salmon a lot, and my 5 year old daughter's favorite food (I am not making this up) is mussels! The problem is they don't eat huge amounts of food so I am looking for places that will let them split an entree (rather than kids menu stuff). Places can't be too fancy/quiet. Nice views are a bonus! As much as I love small plates, the kids need to eat places where the dinner is not 2-3 hours long.

Interested primarily in:
-Good seafood/salmon, near the Market maybe - have seen Etta's, Matt's, and Steelhead on the board but don't know if they are okay for kids. Especially looking for somewhere to get mussels, salmon, or crab.
-Japanese. I LOVE sushi and our sushi in DC is not that great. So this is a must for me. But my kids don't eat sushi. Have heard of izakaya (sp?) places but haven't been to one. Have heard they have sushi, but also skewers and noodles and stuff like that which kids would eat. But if it is just a young people's bar scene, then that is probably out.
-Recommendations near Redmond that aren't chains

Thanks so much for your help!

Jul 19, 2010
baconjen in Greater Seattle

any ideas for a goood restaurant dc 50th birthday party 24 guests without breaking the bank

I'm not sure about the size of the room (might be a little small), but there is a back room upstairs at Dino. Dino is a very reasonable, fun and friendly Italian restaurant (food everyone likes and great wine list). I was eating dinner there a couple months ago and noticed a bridal shower or rehearsal dinner in the back room and the people were having a ball! We did a group dinner for 10 upstairs (not in the back room) last year for a college reunion and it was fantastic. The owner is so friendly and helped us pick out big trays of 4-5 of his favorite appetizers and wine ahead of time - that way, when guests arrived, they could chat and drink wine and not be in the 'menu reading zone.' Then everyone just ordered entrees off the menu and then we shared dessert. Very reasonable - definitely under your price limit! (although if you keep ordering wine who knows) Don't know if that would work for a group your size - I remember seeing that they had more set menus for larger groups on their website (lots of info on the website if I recall) Just not sure of the size...the room is nice though because it has glass walls so you are part of the action but no one can hear you. I don't normally like 'private rooms' because they tend to be in a basement or lack the ambience of the restaraunt. Not true at Dino! Good luck!

Mar 19, 2010
baconjen in Washington DC & Baltimore

Planning a trip to D.C., have a couple specific food questions...

I would stay in Penn Quarter because it is so accessible to metro, museums, and good food. In fact, I like the Hotel Monaco because it is more reasonable than many DC hotels, kinda cool, and has a good bar - always nice to grab a cocktail before heading out (and good bar food too). Restaurant Poste in the hotel is pretty good, although expensive. Nice outdoor patio.

If you stay in Penn Quarter, it's great for combining touring and eating. Going to the National Portrait Gallery? Then grab a glass of wine and some amazing cheese at the bar at Proof across the street (you'll feel right at home because I know you'll need some good wine).

Go to some of the Jose Andres places that are everywhere in Penn Quarter. Yes, you have many small plates places that are amazing in SF, but I think it would be fun to see what our celebrity chefs offer here. Do the Jose Andres grazing tour - couple of tapas at Jaleo, grab a ceviche at the ceviche bar across the street at Oyamel, and finish up a couple blocks up at Zaytinya (Greek/Turkish influence). If you like what you have, go to the Cafe' Atlantico Latin Dim Sum brunch on Sunday in the same area. Also, try Central on Pennsylvania Avenue another night if you want to sample some Michel Richard cuisine at not so terrible prices. If you don't have the difficult-to-get reservation, just try to eat at the bar which is definitiely possible for two people.

Do a U street night too. Go to Dukem for Ethiopian, then hit one of the bars/lounges, and when you get the munchies again, head with the late night crowed to Ben's Chilli Bowl for a half smoke. (That night will may require some Rolaids).

If you want to tour the sites in Old Town Alexandria (not sure how long you are here but if it's for more than a couple days, it's a nice historic destination to check out if you are into early American history), then of course you must try the places owned by Cathal Armstrong (not sure I spelled that correctly) - fish n' chips at Eammon's for lunch, tour of old town, then a drink at PX, and dinner at Eve if you want to break the bank. (Or just eat the lunch special at Eve in the bar on a weekday for $13.)

Oh, and yes, agree with everyone who said you need to have some MD crabs - either in crabcake or shell form. I know people are going to yell at me because it is so touristy and not mega amazing from a food perspective, but I actually think Clyde's is a great destination for visitors because a) it's across from White House, b) I like all the rooms and the animal heads in the bar (plus the rumor that they were shot by Teddy Roosevelt), and c) the crab cake is pretty good and the staff is friendly. It's a Washington institution and the crab cake is a good enough version to have if you are trying to combine sightseeing/food sampling.

Anyway, just some ideas to combine food/touring and do more than one place per night. I like to graze at lots of different places when I go to SF, so thought you might like to do the same.

-----
Zaytinya
701 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

Mar 18, 2010
baconjen in Washington DC & Baltimore

Wedding at DC Hotel for foodies - St. Regis, Hay Adams, The Williard or The Madison?

Went to a wedding at Women in the Arts Museum last year. Just beautiful! I think it would be especially great for a group your size. Was the food knock your socks of amazing? Of course not - but the caterer did a great job IMO and it was all quite good. I have been to a ton of hotel weddings where the food was not nearly as good, and be realistic, you are looking at a set number of entrees that will have to be acceptable to a wide variety of tastes. Things I loved: Cocktail reception amongst the museum galleries (with great mojitos), atmosphere, GORGEOUS space, and there was a delciious 'chocolate bar' at the wedding I attended. I don't know if they work with a specific caterer, but I really thought this was a fabulous wedding. Maybe one of the most lovely and well done I had ever attended!

Mar 16, 2010
baconjen in Washington DC & Baltimore

CH from Montreal-Where to go???

Regarding Cafe Atlantico, if you are here on a Sunday, you can enjoy the delicious Latin Dim Sum brunch. I just love that!

Mar 16, 2010
baconjen in Washington DC & Baltimore

Italian recommendations?

A lot people on this board, myself included, love Dino (right near Cleveland Park metro stop) However, if you are going before a race, I guess you won't be drinking much wine, which would be a pity at Dino.

I also really like A La Lucia in Old Town Alexandria (especially their cannelloni) but I imagine that is too far/inconvient unless you are staying in VA.

Mar 15, 2010
baconjen in Washington DC & Baltimore

Your 10 favorite DC Metro restaurants

Yes! I especially love going there with a friend for lunch in the bar. We can each order two things for under $14 and share. It's a great deal for some of the best food in the DC area.

Mar 15, 2010
baconjen in Washington DC & Baltimore

DC Italian for Sat. night, 25 year old's bithday.

I'm glad you are going to Dino. We went there for my husband's birthday this year and everyone loved it! I especially love the appetizers/small plates there - the meatballs, the zucchini blossoms. the buratta, and the grilled radicchio were standouts on our last visit, as was the duck salad.

Mar 12, 2010
baconjen in Washington DC & Baltimore

Cooking Lessons in DC Area

It's been years, but I took a couple french cooking classes at L'Academie de Cuisine in Bethesda. The classes I took were fabulous and had many techniques and simple recipes (salad dressing, au gratin potatoes, beef tenderloin, etc.) that I use again and again. Lots of emphasis on equipment and ingredients. Classes weren't cheap, but they were reasonable and I always got to eat a pretty good meal with wine in the classs. Not a huge meal or anything, but a significant tasting of everything made. As I said though, it's been years, so I would look at the catalog to see what is offered. Took a good Italian class there too.

Mar 12, 2010
baconjen in Washington DC & Baltimore

NYC Hounds Coming to DC for 4 Days

And if you eat at Eve, you can make a reservation beforehand at PX (just a block away). for fabulous drinks. It has no street sign, but it is the door with the blue light right behind Eammon's.

Mar 12, 2010
baconjen in Washington DC & Baltimore

Good Restaurants in Vienna, Virginia

Third. I used to work near there and haven't found a better gyro yet.

Mar 12, 2010
baconjen in Washington DC & Baltimore

Your 10 favorite DC Metro restaurants

Getting back on DC Chowhound after a long absence! This seems like a great thread to start up again. My favorities are below (no particular order) - and by favorites I mean places where I love the food, dig the atmosphere, and the staff are friendly and knowledgeable.

Eve (especially lunch special in the bar, which I can actually afford)
Komi
Dino
Present
Proof
Rabieng (thai)
Central
PS7 lounge area - specifically for the tuna sliders which I could eat every week!
2941
Cafe Atlantico (brunch)

I really wanted to put My Karma in Lorton, VA in the mix, but I think that is too far for "DC Metro" - love that place though!

Mar 12, 2010
baconjen in Washington DC & Baltimore

Wu's Garden in Vienna--Any Good?

I read the article too, and was intrigued. I hadn't eaten at Wu's in over 10 years (maybe 15?), back when I had first lived in that area. I remembered it being an attractive, decent, Chinese restaurant with good service but it had completely fallen off my radar. Well, I found myself in Tysons the other day with a group of old work friends, and we decided to give in a try again. My first impression on walking in was that it looked exactly the same as I remembered. We sat down at a table with a somewhat older, formal waiter (not smiling) standing off to the side. The menu looked like complete average Chinese American stuff (the stuff I surely ordered when I had been here in the 90s). The waiter came over and politely asked for our order. I asked if there were any specials, and his demeanor completely changed. He started describing specials to us and recommending things. We followed his lead and ordered completely from the specials menu (be sure to note the blackboard on the way in which we at first had overlooked): boneless braised chicken, something that I think was 'salty spicy shrimp', chicken with eggplant, and beef chow fun. One person in our party ordered off the regular menu (beef with snowpeas, which was actually quite good), and the waiter started giving him gentle ribbing on picking badly (and pretending to hesitate to give him chopsticks). I thought the braised chicken was delicious - although a few in my party declared it unexciting - but I found it amazingly good it its simplicity. The chicken with eggplant was terrific, with very fresh vegetables, and was declared the best by most people at the table. The shrimp were great, but be warned, you need to eat the shells to get the full flavor, and the beef chow fun was a very good version of this dish, with chopped super fresh green onions that made it just that much better. Didn't get the special singapore rice noodles, but they looked really good at the table next to mine. In short (sorry if this is wordy), I was pleasantly surprised and would most definitely go again. In fact, probably the best Chinese-American experience I have found in some time due to the service, decor, and good versions of standard food. No amazing new ground at this place - but a terrific place to go if you have a Chinese food craving and want something a step above.

Oct 11, 2009
baconjen in Washington DC & Baltimore

First-Time Visitor with One Dinner in DC - Please Help!

Thanks for the update...I'm pretty bummed about this.

Sep 16, 2008
baconjen in Washington DC & Baltimore

First-Time Visitor with One Dinner in DC - Please Help!

I'd go to Central (unless you are looking for somethng fancy). I love the food there, it's a cool atmosphere, and it won't break the bank. The other reason I like to recommend this to visitors is that it is only a couple blocks from the Hotel Washington. The terrace at the top of the hotel has a terrific view of the monuments and White House at night, if that kind of thing interests you - good place to buy a basic drink before dinner (it's not a good place in terms of quality but the view is worth a drink).

Also, love Komi and you can walk to Dupont Circle from there.

Sep 15, 2008
baconjen in Washington DC & Baltimore

Restaurant in No. Va. with tables for 8?

Not sure where you are looking - Northern Virginia's a pretty wide area.

Rabieng in Seven Corners (Thai) has an interesting large table upstairs that is sort of on it's own level. Homey Thai place.

Bombay Bistro in Fairfax has a fun table with low cushions for a group (instead of a traditional table).

Austin Grill in Burke/Springfield can accommodate groups easily - I like it better than Rio Grande

Peking Gourmet Inn in Seven Corners has quite a few big tables, some with lazy susans. I must admit I haven't been in years, but always enjoyed it when I used to go out with friends all the time. Not like the best Chinese food you'll ever have or anything, but I remember the Peking Duck and Szechuan Beef Proper were really good. Check a recent review though - I never see it in the magazines and reviews anymore - maybe it's gone downhill. But it used to be kind of a fun place for a group.

Sep 15, 2008
baconjen in Washington DC & Baltimore

Any good Virginia/Maryland vineyards?

Wine is different for everyone, and part of the winery experience for me includes the staff, the location, and the overall experience.

Some of my favorites for a fun daytrip: Linden (in Linden VA) and La Grange (near Haymarket. La Grange is owned by Pearmund, so it may not be to your liking, but we had a fabulous trip there last fall/ Those are probably my two favorites overall right now.

Linden does not accept any tour buses, has a lovely patio with a beautiful view, and they usually have great whites and a nice Riesling Vidal. There is also this quirky apple store somewhere near there (can't recall the name) that makes great doughnuts...kind of a fun place to stop on a day trip,.

La Grange surprised me because they had really good red wines IMO (at more reasonable price point than Barboursville), and just about the friendliest staff I have ever encountered. Nice tasting room too. Gets a bit crowded though, because it is so close to 66.

I think Barboursville is overpriced and usually PACKED with people in the fall. Been there several times on trips to C-ville and have never been a huge fan - but that's just me. Chrysalis is a beautiful spot for a picnic but I actually thought their suite of wines, outside of a few of the whites, were so bad as to be undrinkable.

Sep 15, 2008
baconjen in Washington DC & Baltimore

Where to get dinner in DC with a group of 15-20?

I just arranged a dinner for 12 at Dino in Cleveland Park that was out of this world! Best group dining experience I've had in a long time. On the night we were there, there was a group in the back room upstairs that was at least as big as your group (a baby shower for 25 or so). They seemed VERY happy.

I'm not sure what the rules are for a group your size, but it seems there are options at Dino - either ordering off the menu or doing a 'family style' feast arranged by Dean. We did kind of a hybrid, which was perfect! We pre-arranged family style appetizers so that people could drink wine and have apps while they talked and got ready to order entrees - after that, everyone ordered off the menu. For our appetizer selection, we did fried squash blossoms, peaches and prosciutto, burrata, and the house famous meatballs - all were fabulous.

I think for a party your size, you will have to leave a credit card ahead of time and there will be a fee for a cancellation within a certain amount of time. I think that is only reasonable, since for a lot of restaurants, this means giving up a large portion of their seats for the evenings, and a last minute 20 person cancellation could really leave them at a loss on a weekend night.

Anyway, hats off to Dino for a fabulous (and incredibly reasonable) group event. Check out the Dino website 'special events' section - it says something like 'tired of boring party rooms with preset menus'.

BTW, this is my first post on chowhound for about a year - I was an addict for a while, but life threw me a couple curveballs so I didn't have a lot of free time. Anyway, I'm so excited to be back on Chowhound again!

Sep 14, 2008
baconjen in Washington DC & Baltimore

Need 3 great DC dinners

I have to agree with this post - Palena all the way. Nothing against Dino, but there are so many incredible Italian places with great wine list in NYC - I wouldn't use up one of my 3 nights on DC for this. I think you'd be better off with Palena on your visit down here. It's an incredible place!

Oct 16, 2007
baconjen in Washington DC & Baltimore

Hank's Oyster Bar coming to Old Town

Bookbinder's in Philly may be well-known, but it's well past it's prime. Most Philly chowhounders regard it as a place for out of towners and tourists. I grew up in the Philly area, and my parents don't even go there anymore! I was hoping for something more original in the Portner's space. Psyched about Hanks though.

Oct 15, 2007
baconjen in Washington DC & Baltimore

3 days without the kids - please help!

Hi there. Just wanted to give a follow up report and big THANK YOU for all the suggestions. We absolutely loved our meals. Here's the quick rundown if you are interested:

-Annisa: Wonderful, romantic little place, which was just perfect for our anniversary. We got the tasting menu with wine pairings. The food was terrific - selection of three rare tunas for appetizer (one with cardamon was fantastic). Next course was the famous soup dumplings - really original and delicious although a bit difficult to eat. Next course was skate - a fried preparation with a hint of kimchee. Next course was sliced veal tenderloin and sweetbreats - very nice but not a standout compared to the others. Dessert was a delicious lemon bread pudding. I completely loved this dessert and usually am not one to rave about desserts (I have more of a bacon tooth than a sweet tooth). Also a chocolate torte 'extra' with a sparkler candle for our anniversary. Service was attentive and non-pretentious - our waiter seemed to really enjoy working there and talking about the food. I should add that the wine pairings were fairly ordinary in my opinion, except for one red blend with the veal course.

-Momofuku: All I can say is that this place is just a pork lovers paradise! We had the pork belly buns (then a second order because we needed more), the grilled sweetbreads (to compare to the fried ones the night before), the fried cauliflower, the three terrine sandwich, and the apple salad. Yes, a little scary how much food we had. I really can't say enough for a place that puts such delicious smoky bacon in an apple salad in order to prevent it from being too healthy. And I was shocked at how good the cauliflower was - just amazing really - a truly excellent example of how frying and delicious lime-fish sauce dressing can save the most hideous of vegetables. Had a Sparkling Shiraz (Black Chook) that paired perfectly with this food.

Lupa - So glad I went! Wonderful service and nice simple pasta courses. My bucatini al'amatriciana did not disappoint. Now I need to find pork jowels at home! Good, bold concentrated sauce with the right amount of spice. My husband also really enjoyed a special taglietelle with duck ragu. Of course, we also had some of the cured meats, the copa cotta being the standout. Also a rather simple squash/pecorino antipasta so we could pretend we ate something healthy on the trip. A nice bonus - our waiter overheard us talking about limoncello, and brought us a special limoncello/lemon gelato 'shake' that was not on the menu.

DiPalo-So fun, and such helpful staff. Brought back some incredible soppressato, sheep's milk pecorino, and the best parmigiano regiano I have ever tasted. So glad you turned us on to this place.

All in all, a fabulous eating weekend, especially for a pork lover. Didn't get into Degustation but that's on the top of the list for next visit! Thanks again!

Oct 04, 2007
baconjen in Manhattan

Best Hotel Bar in Washington, DC

We stayed there once and loved it, and the bar has some great cocktails (a lot of red choices of course). Great choice for the money in DC if you ask me (and a quick walk to Komi). I'm sure you know it is a funky, hip lounge kind of place - just putting that in here because a lot of the 'hotel bars' listed on this post are more old-school dignified places, so this is a completely different kind of atmosphere. To answer your question, I'm thinking 9PM on any Sunday (Vets Day weekend or not), is going to be uncrowded, perhaps dead. It's not really a football kind of bar either - I'm sure they had a TV someplace, but I didn't notice it.

Also, complimentary bloody mary's and cold pepperoni pizza in the lobby in the morning - what could be better than that!

Oct 04, 2007
baconjen in Washington DC & Baltimore

Fun DC Restaurants

I am completely agreeing with the suggestions of Zola and Poste on this one! Great places with unique atmosphere for out-of-towners. Zola has the subtle spy theme (with bathrooms accessible by 'secret' wall panel), and Poste is in the old converted post-office building with the neat bar. Both have great food which is not super-expensive. Personllay, I think the food as Poste is better, but Zola is a little more 'fun' (they might enjoy the dessert fondue including peanut butter balls that you dip in chocolate).

Bar at the hotel Washington is a great place to take visitors, but please, only for a drink. Maybe have a drink there before or after a meal at Central - it's a short walk away.

Oct 04, 2007
baconjen in Washington DC & Baltimore

Good place for a Christmas Party in DC?

A group experience is usually never as good as the experience one has when dining on your own, mostly because for a group that size, the restaurant usually has to work with a somewhat preset menu. Make sure to pick somewhere where you will have input on the menu and at least some choices for the guests. You also want a place with a private room or area for parties this size.

District Chophouse would not be on my list to consider. The one meal I had there was terrible, and that was not even in a group situation.

DC Coast has a private room downstairs, and offers a lot of selections to groups. I ate there on restaurant week after not going for a while, and was pleasantly surprised. Bad choice if there are people who don't eat seafood in your group however.

1789 in Georgetown might be perfect for you. They did a great job with a group dinner for 10 we had a few years back. Nice atmosphere in the old house at Christmas-time. With a group your size, they might be able to offer you one of the many rooms all to yourself.

I also agree with the other posters that Vidalia is a good choice.

Lastly,I know you said DC, but 2941 in VA does a fabulous job with groups, the food is top notch, and the ambience is wonderul. I think one of the group rooms looks right out onto the little pond in the front.

Oct 04, 2007
baconjen in Washington DC & Baltimore

Dim Sum Disaster

I'm SO disappointed that Lucky Three has changed to a buffet on weekends! I only like Dim Sum when it is cart service so probably won't go back.

Sep 21, 2007
baconjen in Washington DC & Baltimore

Where are the Apples?

Elyssa, you owe it to yourself to find a beautiful fall day and get out to Linden. The Apple House has all kinds of kitschy stuff, if I'm remembering the same place. Not only is the Apple House good for donuts and lunch, but it is really close to Linden vineyard which is one of the prettiest vineyards with the some of the best wines in Virginia. There is a great picnic area or a place you can get yummy snacks and cheeses at the winery. Very nice white wines, pretty scenery - one of my favorite fall excursions. Website is http://www.lindenvineyards.com

Sep 21, 2007
baconjen in Washington DC & Baltimore

Where are the Apples?

Okay, I know everyone is going to laugh, but I just got some delicious Honey Crisp Apples at my Giant (Huntsman Giant off Fairfax County Parkway). There was a guy handing out cut-up samples and they were absolutely delicious. I was completely baffled because Giant usually has pretty limited and yucky produce. Go figure.

Sep 19, 2007
baconjen in Washington DC & Baltimore

3 days without the kids - please help!

Thanks for the ridiculously speedy replies! I'm really looking forward to this.

I bet yours (and Lupa's) is made with pancetta - my cheapo version is made with bacon (of course).

Sep 19, 2007
baconjen in Manhattan

3 days without the kids - please help!

That is my favorite pasta dish of all time (in fact, probably the best pasta I make) so I will definitely try!

Hope I'm not annoying you but I have one more quick question: Since you just went to Annisa, what is the dress like? Is it more nice casual/hip, or a place my husband should wear a suit?

Sep 19, 2007
baconjen in Manhattan