Boston Restaurant Blog -- April, 2006
Monday, April 10, 2006
Just got back from Washington, DC; I was in Washington from Friday through today, and while I was there, I was able to check out a number of restaurants in the DC area, some of which were some of the best restaurants I have been to anywhere.
On Friday, we went over to the Taj Mahal in Dupont Circle, in the northwest part of Washington. I had read a little about how good an Indian restaurant the Taj Mahal was, but it was even better than I had expected. They had an amazing lunch buffet there on Friday, and we had outstanding dishes at this classy, attractive spot on Connecticut Avenue. Some of the standouts were the lamb curry, the chicken tikka masala, and the tofu with onion sauce. I ate so much at the Taj Mahal that I didn't really think I would be able to eat anymore on Friday, but ended up having a decent dinner at another place on Connecticut Avenue in the trendy Dupont Circle area. The Odeon Cafe is a low-key Italian restaurant just northwest of Dupont Circle, and while it was not the best Italian restaurant I have been to, our meals were very tasty. Both the pollo gorgonzola and the tortellini panna were above average, and the portions were not huge, as I tend to find in so many Italian restaurants these days.
Saturday was a rainy day in Washington, DC, so we decided to walk to the nearest restaurant for breakfast rather than trek all over town looking for one. We took a short walk down to the White House area, which is just down the street from where I was staying between Dupont Circle and Farragut Square. There, we had what may have been the best breakfast I have had anywhere. Indeed, the Hay-Adams hotel may be better known for its classy, elegant rooms, some of which have views of the White House, but it also has a truly amazing restaurant in the Lafayette Room. Of course, for $35 per person, you would expect breakfast to be good, but I can say without hesitation that I would be willing to go back to the Lafayette Room in Hay-Adams in a heartbeat.
After having a quick, adequate lunch at the Greek Taverna in the Old Post Office Pavillion downtown, we went up to Capitol Hill for a few hours, then made our way up to the rather funky, unusual Adams Morgan district of Washington. This neighborhood, which borders the more bustling (and more trendy) Dupont Circle, feels more like Haight-Ashbury or Greenwich Village than a section of Washington, DC; African shops, used record stores, and eclectic restaurants line 18th Street, the main drag in this offbeat area. And we decided to go with one of the best restaurants in Adams Morgan, a dining spot called Meskerem Ethiopian Restaurant. This friendly, popular spot is considered a must for lovers of Ethiopian food, and we could see why; everything we tried here, including the beef, chicken, lamb, and vegetables, were top notch. We saved enough room for a couple of cold brews at a local hangout called TS Muttly's, then had a nightcap at the cool, hip bar in the Hotel Topaz near Dupont Circle.
Sunday was mostly a day of relaxation in Washington, DC. We started with an adequate breakfast at the Baci Vini Restaurant in Adams Morgan, then headed over to Georgetown for the day. After touring the truly fascinating G and O Canal National Historic Park in the center of Georgetown, we had some excellent mesquite-grilled burgers at a Mexican restaurant called the Alamo Grill. Then it was off to what is one of the best public gardens in the United States--the gardens at Dumbarton Oaks, high above the center of Georgetown. Then it was back down to Dupont Circle and a place that beer lovers only dream about (unless they live in Washington, DC). The Brickskeller, which is around the corner from Embassy Row, has the largest selection of beers in America. They stock more than 1000 (that's one THOUSAND) beers in their cozy little restaurant and bar. Needless to say, a part-time beermaker like me lives for places like this, and I must say, it was one of the highlights of my stay in Washington, DC. The only problem is, which beers do you try at the Brickskeller if you are only able to have, say, two or three rounds? I guess that is what is known as a "nice problem," and one that did not bother me all that much. By the way, the food at the Brickskeller was also excellent.
I hope to return to Washington, DC, soon. The city definitely has a great restaurant scene, and I was only able to scratch the surface this time. Hopefully I'll be able to try a few more restaurants on my next trip to Washington.
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