DC has so many great restaurants you will definitely not run out of places to try. We personally tend to like local, neighborhood restaurants, but if you enjoy people-watching and don’t mind a hefty tab, it’s hard to beat DC’s steak houses for sightings of important people.
There are two links that are indispensable to your DC dining adventure. The Washingtonian Magazine 100 Very Best Restaurants. To book your favorite restaurant use Open Table Washington, DC Restaurants.
Following are a few of our favorites:
DUPONT CIRCLE RESTAURANTS
BGR The Burger Joint- When you just want a great burger. Organic meats, lobster (in season). Delicious veggie burger. Reservations not needed.
Eola - Rustic, organic prix fixe dinner. Inventive menus with many tasty surprises. Reservations suggested.
Mourayo (Great Greek! Like being in the Greek islands in Washington, DC)
Mourayo, right around the corner from Embassy Cirlce Guest House on Connecticut Avenue, is one of our favorite DC restaurants. The food is fresh, zesty, vibrant and tasty! Great fish, including whole fish baked in salt (try the branzino!), wonderful grilled lamb, excellent pork dishes (try Pythagoras “Theorema” – Pork loin medallions with figs, almonds, manouri cheese and honey sauce) and Laura’s favorite appetizer, Garides Saganaki (Sauteed shrimp, tomato/feta sauce). Add a wonderful, dry Santorini wine and you have quite a meal.
Pesce (All kinds of fresh fish!)
Another great choice for fresh fish! Pesce’s menu is extensive and changes daily – in fact, it’s not printed, but written on a chalkboard that circulates throughout the dining room. All types of fish are prepared all types of ways. Favorites here are the lobster risotto and soft shell crabs (in season). Definitely save room for dessert. We’ve had guests go back just for the chocolate concoctions.
Restaurant Nora (delicious locally grown, organic ingredients of the highest quality)
The excellent Restaurant Nora is world renowned as one of the first organic restaurants. Nora Pouillon is a force in the “eat local” and “slow food” movements, having now taught a generation that grew up with iceberg lettuce and frozen vegetables that there is nothing in the world that tastes as good as fresh, local, organically grown food. The menu is innovative, with a prix fixe or an a la carte option, the wine selections are superb, and the clientele is a Who’s Who in Washington, DC.
Sette Osteria (A neighborhood Italian bistro with an awesome sidewalk cafe)
Right down the street from Embassy Circle, at the corner of Connecticut and R, this Italian Bistro has great pizzas, a wonderful grilled calamari served with a green salad, excellent beans and sausage, a delicious seafood risotto that is the perfect comfort food, and great pasta specials. Catering to the Dupont Circle crowd, the restaurant kitchen is open until 11 PM and the pizza oven is open until midnight. With a lovely sidewalk café, this bistro is a great place for lunch, dinner, or a late evening snack after the Monuments by Moonlight tour.
WOODLEY PARK RESTAURANTS
Petits Plats (“Little Plates” from the south of France)
This charming restaurant owned by Cecile and Frederic, a brother and sister from Biaritz, is a real delight. They make their own bread and the baguette absolutely melts in your mouth. Try the grilled seafood salad for lunch or the seafood risotto for dinner. Or try one of the variations on steamed mussels! The broth is so good you will need extra baguette for soaking!. If you like lamb and venison, Frederic does a wonderful job with both! And, if you love chocolate, the Chocolate Fondant for desert is a pleasure not to be missed.
Lebanese Taverna (Try the Mezza – the Lebanese way to spend time with friends)
This wonderful cuisine is superbly represented in this fabulous neighborhood restaurant owned by the Abi Najim family. We always order off of the 3-page Mezza (hors d’oeuvres) menu rather than ordering main dishes. This is a traditional Lebanese way to eat, having many small plates on the table, and if you have never tried Lebanese food you have the advantage of trying a lot of different things in one meal. Lebanese food is light and healthy, and there are many great selections for vegetarians.