By Kate Oczypok - 05/05/10 09:33 PM EDT
If you’re looking to explore D.C.’s neighborhoods this spring, you’ll find some excellent dining choices along the way.
The Diner, 2453 18th St. NW
The Diner is the quintessential go-to spot for post-weekend breakfast. With whimsical gimmicks like letting people sing for half off their meal,
2 Amy’s, 3715 Macomb St. NW
2 Amy’s is a small but welcoming hang-out with delicious pizza made from fresh ingredients to attract the locals with their delicious pizza topped with fresh ingredients.
Try the “Santa Brigida,” or a tomato, fresh mozzarella, cherry tomatoes and arugula pizza and wash it down with a nice cold beer.
Families, couples and singles will all feel at home here at this cozy eatery and you might just see the Bidens ordering a slice.
The Tasting Room Wine Bar & Shop, 5330 A Wisconsin Ave.
The Tasting Room Wine Bar and Shop recently opened in the new development anchored by Bloomingdale’s in the Friendship Heights neighborhood.
A fun concept here is when guests arrive, they are given their own in-house charge card (minimum $10) to buy drinks. Choose between red and white wine and either a third, half or full glass.
Small plates are also available – the cheese is a great accent to the various types of wine to sample.
H Street Country Club, 1335 H St. NE
Serving upscale Mexican food, the H Street Country Club is a great place to head to with a group of your closest friends.
An extensive tequila list and fun cocktails with names like In the Hole – coconut water mixed with Captain Morgan, pineapple and lime juice – and In the Rough (vodka, pineapple juice and cherry bitters), H Street Country Club is a great place to check out if you want strong-yet-fun cocktails.
After your meal of savory lamb enchiladas or shrimp in pipian sauce, check out the skeeball machines and 18-hole D.C.-themed minigolf course (for those patrons 21+).
Rasika, 633 D St. NW
For those who can’t get enough of Indian food, Rasika is the mecca of the genre in the D.C. area. One mouthful of palak chaat (spinach with a twist) and you’ll be hooked. Trust me.
With Tandoori Chicken Tikka served with chili, garlic and mint chutney or the vast array of vegetarian dishes, Rasika will leave you wanting more, even if you’re new to Indian cuisine.
The restaurant also offers a pre-theater menu for those heading to the many performance venues in the Penn Quarter area.
Art & Soul, 415 New Jersey Ave. NW
Art & Soul offers its own unique spin on southern cooking. Art Smith, chef and owner of the restaurant, grew up in the small Southern town of Jasper, Florida. He calls his cuisine a reflection of his upbringing.
Try the Atlantic salmon with braised apple and green cabbage, beets and citrus brown butter. To keep with the traditional Southern charm of the venue, great sides to pair with your meal include the fried green tomatoes or the macaroni casserole.
Art & Soul also has delicious desserts, in particular their babycakes, Art & Soul’s take on cupcakes and Chef Art’s favorite.
Matchbox, 713 H St. NW
Another great pizza place, Matchbox tends to get crowded on warm evenings. Their patio is an outdoor dining lover’s dream and a great place to enjoy a beer and 16 different pizza choices. Unable to make up your mind, Matchbox also offers a great make-your-own pizza choice. While the pizza is deliciously satisfying, a large one will set you back about $20.
Matchbox also has a great brunch menu. Need something sturdy? Try the steel-cut oatmeal or a fresh fruit salad for those of you who want to eat on the lighter side. If you’re feeling a little more adventurous try the “bloody mary burger,” made with a fried egg, bloody mary mayo, cheddar, gouda, mixed greens and a mustard vinaigrette.
Willow, 4301 N. Fairfax Dr.
Glazed Maine lobster tail. Crispy veal sweetbreads. Marinated and sautéed shrimp. These are just a few of the appetizing choices Arlington staple Willow has to offer.
Willow’s smoked tomato bisque soup, made with parmesan crouton, green olive tapenade and basil, is a great choice if you’re up for something a little lighter.
Also, don’t leave Willow without trying some of their signature flatbreads, such as the “Barbeque Chicken” and “The New Yorker.”
Old Town Alexandria
The Wharf, 119 King St.
The Wharf has been one of Old Town’s signature seafood restaurants since 1971. Serving oysters on the half shell and jumbo lump crab cocktail that tastes fresh from the ocean, Bring your seafood-loving friends with you.
The Wharf potato skins are served with a horseradish sour cream, allowing for a unique taste to this traditional side dish. Try the she-crab soup and filet mignon steak sandwich paired with your favorite wine. You’ll never look back. Also, try The Wharf’s sister restaurant, Warehouse Bar & Grill, also located on King St.
Belga Café, 514 8th St. SE
Located in the hip, trendy Barracks Row area, Belga Café is a small neighborhood eatery serving authentic Belgian cuisine and beers.
Whether you’re looking for a warm Belgian waffle so fluffy and light that it melts in your mouth, or Belgian mussels that remind you of your visit to Brussels, Bruges or Ostend, Belga is the place for you.
Belga is also a great place to take both the beer and liquor lovers alike. Why you might ask? The restaurant offers “beer cocktails,” such as one made with St. Louise Peche beer and Hanger One Lime Vodka. Offering 11 different types of beer cocktails, my guess is everyone in your party will leave happy. Who says you shouldn’t mix your drinks. Cheers!