Alright friends, it’s time for another fabulous DC dining guide. We asked a handful of our foodie friends what their favorite special occasion restaurant was, and we can’t wait to share their responses with you all. For those of you looking for a splurgeworthy restaurant in the Capitol, you’re gonna want to bookmark this post because we’re about to drop some serious knowledge. So, without further ado, let’s kick things off with the lovely Stephanie Wight.
1. DC_Licious: Chloe
Chloe, a relatively new addition to Navy Yard, which is becoming quite the foodie hot spot, has a crisp, modern vibe–beautifully designed and light-filled to offer a perfect setting for a Sunday date night splurge. The food did not disappoint– each dish was a creative yet careful take on classic favorites– including perfectly charred scallops, melt-in-your-mouth mushroom gnocchi and crispy cauliflower with smart pairings: raisins and tahini lemon dressing.
When asked to pick some splurge worthy places, there was not a second of hesitation in knowing what I wanted to share. I have been talking about these a lot lately. I am going to list two today. First pick for me is Del Mar de Fabio Trabocchi.
First I wanted to choose a place in DC proper. And in DC this truly is a shining star! A beautiful restaurant. For me this is where DC and New York began blurring the lines. The size of the restaurant, the kitchen and the design are all on the highest scale. To sit on the waterfront with the stunning bar looking into the open kitchen all while wonderful dishes pass by or even better are in front of you, is just as great a dining experience as you will find. Chef Fabio really went all out in this homage to his wife Maria. It’s a tribute to her heritage and its amazing. Expect delicious Tapas and many other Spanish delicacies here. You can travel the world to find special bites or just come to Del Mar.
Chef Fabio brings in the best ingredients. You will find fresh fish, the best Jamon Iberico de Bellota from Cinco Jotas and several other gems that are World class. Caviar! Truffles! Paellas and more. And the bar and wine program equal the food. Even the kitchen has the special cooking stations for the Paellas. A big part of a satisfactory Splurge worthy experience for me is service. The team here is just wonderful. From the door to the floor, to the bar to the kitchen. It’s just great. Also a plus is the location. The Wharf is beautiful and there are so many other things to make a night of it.
So if you just want to make it a weekly splurge and enjoy Pan con Tomate and a Paella you are set. Or if you want to make it a very special occasion and get the Monster Prawns, Jamon, Caviar and Turbot with an amazing wine that night, you wont be disappointed.
As an alternative I wanted to go in a totally different direction. For a splurge I thought we should look at a mini getaway. Just outside of DC we have a blossoming Wine Country. I truly believe Loudoun County and Virginia Wines are very much like Napa Valley of the late 70s and 80s. And as young winemakers hone their craft and the restaurants continue developing their relationships with local farms and these winemakers, we will see a similar world class level here as we now have out west.
Luckily today we have some exceptional front runners already. And while most folks know one famous restaurant, I want to suggest another newcomer that after a couple of visits I can safely say is definitely Splurge worthy. That second pick is Three Blacksmiths in Sperryville. Easily a favorite of mine for many reasons.
I highly recommend making a day of it and maybe a stayover out of the visit. One Vineyard that’s already a standout is RDV. Say hi to my friend Karl there. Its an hour away but if you are already out there its worth the time.
As for Three Blacksmiths get ready for a truly charming evening filled with great food, drink and service. The entire space was remodeled by the owners John and Diane. They also have some great talent on the team as well. When you arrive you enter this beautiful building. The dining room is in front of the open kitchen. Since the entire team presents dishes as well, it ends up feeling like you are dining in a home, but oh so elevated!
Your dinner will start with Bubbles. Then a wonderful progression through the courses. Expect all local or very close by ingredients that shine. Every bite I enjoyed truly stood out. As Fall hits into winter, expect to enjoy items being grilled on the open hearth. I was lucky to enjoy seasonal Tomatoes, Crudos and grilled meats that all left a lasting impression.
The bottom line is this restaurant deserves A Michelin star, is easily worth a trip for stand out meal and is a perfect warm delightful night. Food wonderful and service perfect and charming. A standout in The DC dining scene that needs to be experienced and definitely splurge worthy! So take stock of the days and events and all that you do… and then treat yourself! Eat well and be happy.
When I went to Rooster and Owl for their media preview dinner at the beginning of the year, I was easily blown away. For $65, each person gets four courses from a rotating set menu featuring innovative small plates like Carolina-style BBQ carrots (pictured here), pekin duck, and brie custard. You can also add on the $35 beverage pairing or $55 wine pairing. This newcomer to the DC food scene consistently makes Tom Sietsema’s list of top restaurants for a very good reason.
4. Nomtastic Foods: Pineapple & Pearls
Located on 715 8th St SE in Barrack’s Row, this 2 Michelin starred restaurant will leave you completely and utterly satisfied. Their beautiful nine-course tasting menu comes with a fabulous drink pairing (alcoholic or non-alcoholic), and tax and service are both included in the price. Expect exquisite dishes like 150 layer seafood lasagne, a caviar taco bar and more.
P&P charges half up front when you make an online reservation and the rest after you enjoy so you don’t have to worry about the bill at the end of your meal. The dinner takes about 2-3 hours, and everything from food to service will seriously wow. Want something a little less extravagant? Their bar offers a five-course menu, and you can purchase drinks a la carte. The full experience is definitely worth the splurge though so go and indulge.
Alright Nomsters, we hope you enjoyed our latest DC guide! A huge thanks to our blogger frands for participating in yet another bomb roundup. If you liked this post, make sure to check out, “The Best Brunches in Washington, DC,” “Top Bloggers Discuss The Best Ramen in DC,” and “The Best Gluten Free Desserts in DC.” Also, David Ortiz (aka @dcfoodfreak) did his own piece on fine dining for us awhile back so you should check that out if you haven’t yet. Until next time, friends. Happy eating!