Dining on Dupont
and Beyond...
By Tim & Carolyn Sinniger
  Washington DC in the spring and summer! We have been there in April to see the Cherry Blossoms, in May when the weather seemed just perfect and this year in June when admittedly it was a tad hot.

There is so much to do in DC, you really need more than one trip to soak in everything the city has to offer.

In this article you will find links to most places we visited so we have not rated restaurants as to affordability, or their wine lists. Most have menus posted on their websites. We encourage you to click the pictures and links to further explore Washington D.C.!
Back to the Article Page
Back to the Index Page
Contents copyright Northwest Wine Fan 2007
DuPont Circle is always bustling, even at breakfast.
On our way to a museum or a meeting we stopped at...
  Firehook Bakery ^
Serving breakfast and lunch
1909 Q Street NW

A great place to catch a croissant and a coffee before heading off to the office or hopping onto the Metrorail to explore the greater DC area.

One of several locations in the DC area, Firehook Bakery near Dupont Circle is a must stop instead of those national coffee house chains that shall remain nameless.
Talk To The Cellarmaster
Tim Sinniger
Teaism on 8th Street
Bistro Du Coin on Connecticut
Giovanni at Etrusco on Connecticut
Odeon on Connecticut
One of the few above ground Metro terminals is at Arlington
The DC Metro Map
  Washington DC is one of the most unique cities to travel in. We have been there for the last three years and have only been in a car or cab a few times.

By far the best way to travel around the city to see the sights, take in history, art, food and the mood of DC is to ride the Metrorail. This year we were there for 6 days of meetings, sightseeing and dining. We spent a total of $40 on transportation and rode the Metrorail every day, usually more than once.

More Metrorail Information
Teaism on 8th Street
Carolyn found this gem in one of the travel guides she reads before we go anywhere new. Boasting three locations in the greater D.C. area this one is conveniently located just off of Connecticut Ave.

We had a cozy breakfast on the second floor enjoying the view of the neighborhood before walking over to the Phillips Collection art gallery just around the corner. Teaism offers over 25 teas on their menu. I had a Sourdough Waffle and a Iced Assam Tea (Heavenly), Carolyn had the Granola with a Chai Tea.

The following day, an employee at the Washington National Cathedral recommended Teaism as the one restaurant we should visit in D.C.
Click me to learn more about Dupont Circle
Dupont Circle ^  
One of the most famous intersections in DC this roundabout is a hub of activity. From just enjoying the day reading a book to rallies and music recitals this is an important gathering place for the neighborhood.
Dupont Circle Info
< Teaism
Serving Breakfast, Lunch
and Dinner
400 8th Street NW
DC is known for its "Power Lunches" but we found some unique restaurants to enjoy a quiet meal at...
Marrakesh Palace on P Street
Maine Lobster appetizer at 701 Pennsylvania Ave.
Circa at Dupont
Owned by the proprietors of Odeon Cafe, this turned out to be one of the pleasant surprises of our trip. Highly recommeded by our friend Hamid at Odeon, we had a wonderful lunch here with our server Zachariah.

Over a glass of cava we enjoyed an appetizer of Seafood Bastilla. Our lunch entrees consisted of a Couscous Tfaya and a Lamb Barkouk. We were treated to a basket of bread and a bowl of marinated olives. After our lunch we were served Moroccan tea and an assortment of pastries. This is perhaps one of the most ornate restaurants we have ever been to. You will not be disappointed!
  701 Pennsylvania Ave. >
Serving lunch and dinner
701 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
  I found this restaurant on my first trip to D.C. Just off of the Archives/Navy Memorial Metro stop this is a great place to catch a bite while downtown.

We sat out on the patio on a warm afternoon for a late lunch. We each had a glass of wine, Carolyn a Ken Forrester Chenin Blanc (South Africa) and I had a Pascal Jolivet Sancerre (France). For our meal we enjoyed a Caesar Salad, a Shrimp Chopped Salad and the dish you see pictured, the Maine Lobster appetizer with Mango, Cucumber and a Passion Fruit Vinaigrette (Yummy).

  < Circa at Dupont
Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner
1601 Connecticut Ave. NW

  OK! Here is the rushing off part... I had a meeting at the Department of Labor and Carolyn and I walked down Connecticut towards the Metrorail looking for a quick bite.

Circa was not open for lunch yet, but we stuck our heads in and asked if they might serve us. They graciously sat us at the pictured table and we enjoyed a quiet meal, a Pannini sandwich and beverage all to ourselves. How cool!
Dinner on Dupont and beyond. The streets come to life each evening as people are coming home. Friends and business associates gather for a drink, dinner and to enjoy each others company...
In love at Bistro Du Coin.
Etrusco on 20th Street
Jaleo at 7th and E
Lavandou on Connecticut
The interior at Etrusco
Revelry at Jaleo
The brightly decorated interior at Lavandou
Carolyn and General Manager William Toumadi
Main dining room at Bistro Du Coin
Our favorite French restaurant! Three years and it just keeps getting better. Noisy, crowded and festive this is a great place to hang out. Here are some of our favorite dishes...

Gratinne des Halles (French Onion Soup), Salad de magret et gesiers de canard fume (Smoked duck breast salad), Salade verte au Roquefort (Salad with Roquefort cheese).
Moules Marinieres (Mussels in white wine), Onglet a l'echalotte (Hanger steak with French Fries), Tartiflette Savoyarde (Potatoes, roblochon cheese, onion) Escargot (Snails with garlic butter).

We have brought wine with us most times we have dined here but Bistro Du Coin also has a great wine list, and don't forget their chalkboard wine specials. They are some really great bargains. Thanks to Kareem, our server for the last two years.
< Bistro Du Coin >
Serving Dinner
1738 Connecticut Ave. NW
Talk about feeling like you are in a local restaurant!
When Carolyn and I walked into the restaurant this year we were recognized right away by William, the manager (left) and Hamid, one of our servers from last year. How cool is that.

The service is impeccable, the food delightful and let's not forget Fabio our Vietnamese bartender par excellence. He remembered our evening cocktails after the first night (and more times than we probably care to remember).
The Bistro Bar
Odeon by night
Can't miss dishes include:
Bruschetta Pomodoro, Carpaccio Di Manzo (Sliced raw beef with olive oil and capers), Insalata della Casa, Lobster Ravioli, Vitello con Funghi (Veal with Portabella mushrooms) and the to die for Filleto Al Barolo (Pan seared Filet with mushrooms and Barolo sauce).

The wine list here is smallish with a tilt towards Italian. We have also brought some of our own cellar selections and shared them with our waitstaff. Our home away from home in D.C.
Lavandou ^
Lavandou is two stops up on the Metrorail from Dupont Circle at the Cleveland Park exit. I remember we had reservations and it was hot as can be in D.C.! The Metrorail broke down on the way (the only time that happened in the three years we have ridden it) and we were late for our reservations. Wonderful and  accomodating people here. It made no difference that we were late!
This was our first time here, but not our last. The owner greeted us and escorted us to our table. It seems most restaurants in the area have a special "Theater Menu" for when the play is on. Since this was our first visit we ordered from the main menu.

Our favoites:
Pate Lavandou (Country Style Pate), Tarte aux Figues et Oignons Caramelises (OK it was the yummiest tart ever), Salade Lavandou (Baby Lettuces with House Dressing), Loup de Mer Mediterraneen (Pan Seared Rockfish, Melted Eggplant, Shrimp & Basil Beignets, Tomato Carpaccio) and the Agneau Sauce "Navarin" (Grilled Loin of Lamb, Turned Vegetables & Potatoes with Sauce Navarin).

For wine we enjoyed a glass of Sancerre and a bottle of 1999 Guigal Chateaneuf-du-Pape. The service was good and this is definitely a neighborhood eatery.
  ^ Lavandou
Serving lunch and dinner
3321 Connecticut Ave. NW
Etrusco ^
Serving brunch, lunch
and dinner
1606 20th Street. NW
No Website Available
Etrusco was one of those restaurants we walked by for a couple of years before finally trying it. As the photos show this is a really cute restaurant and we were pleasantly surprised. The service here was more formal than other establishments we visited in D.C. (The photo at the beginning of the article is our server Giovanni decanting our Valpolicella).

As you may notice whenever we go to a new restaurant I will always try the "House Salad." I figure if they can grab me with that the meal has great possibilities.
For our meal we enjoyed:
Inslata Mista (House salad!), Mussells Marinara (with wine, tomato & Crostini), Penne alla siracusana (Olives, anchovies, garlic, bell peppers & breadcrumbs), and Saltimbocca alla romana (Veal scaloppine, sage prosciutto & Swiss chard).

We started the evening with a glass of Pinot Bianco and then a bottle of 2004 Tedeschi San Rocco Valpolicella that we purchased across the street at Connecticut Wine & Liquor (our favorite DC wine source). Corkage was $25 (ouch) but the service and food made up for it. Our friend Cary Brennan joined us on our outing but since he had already eaten, he feasted on a Beck's Beer and a dessert (Chocolate & amaretti caramel custard with whipped cream). A good time was had by all!
Dinner Beyond Dupont! ...
Jaleo ^
Serving lunch
and dinner
480 7th Street NW
Kudos to our friends Jim and Dee Ritchie here in Bend for recommending this restaurant.

We dined here after visiting the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery. We arrived at Jaleo by taking the Metro and exiting at Archives/Navy Memorial. It was just a one block walk from there. Even with early reservations the restaurant was abuzz with activity. What a great time we had! Jaleo means "uproar, revelry, merry-making" in Spanish.
Jaleo is a Spanish tapas restaurant. On the recommendation of our excellent server Mauricio we ordered an assortment of cold, warm and hot tapas dishes.

They included:
Surtido de queso (Regional Spanish cheeses with quince), Setas silvestres (Wild mushrooms with garlic and herbs), Conejo en salmorejo (Confit of rabbit, garlic, herbs and potato puree), Cordorniz con allioli (Grilled quail with honey alioli and rosemary sauce), Calamares a la romana (Fried squid with alioli) and Vieras con romesco (Scallops with Romesco sauce). All were delightful and the tapas portions were just right for relaxing and taking your time.

We ordered a bottle of wine on Jim and Dee's recommendation, a Spanish rose called 1+1=3. They had raved about this and it was still available when we visited Jaleo. Excellent!
OK he's not a vegetarian!
I'm Dinner???

See more restaurants and some of the sites of DC by clicking the picture >>>
Firehook Bakery on Q Street
< Marrakesh Palace >
Serving lunch
and dinner
2147 P Street NW
(near Dupont Circle)
Fresh made bread with olives
The ornate banquet room at Marrakesh
< Odeon Cafe Italian Bistro >
Serving brunch, lunch and dinner
1738 Connecticut Ave. NW