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Ask Lisa

DCMapwithMetroLiving in a large Metropolitan area such as Washington, DC, there are hundreds of dining options. The city and surrounding suburbs are chock-full of restaurants. With such a wide array of nationalities and ethnicities represented from American, Belgian, Chinese, Ethiopian, French, Italian and more in the area … sometimes it can be quite difficult and even frustrating finding the best places to eat. Have you ever asked yourself or others:

  • Who has the best pizza in Alexandria?
  • Where’s the best restaurant for a first date?
  • Where is a romantic restaurant to celebrate an Anniversary?
  • Where is the best place to take the man in my life for Father’s Day?
  • Who has the best Mother’s Day brunch?
  • What’s the best burger joint?
  • Who has the best service?

As a Native Washingtonian – born and raised in the DC area, Lisa has become well versed in the subject of “Dining in DC”. Do you have a dining question?

Simple … Just Ask Lisa.

30 Responses

  1. Hi Lisa – saw your writing on Examiner.com. I’m in need of some advice on where to take a date for dinner. We’re both young professionals (so not too expensive), like pubilc transportation (so need close to the metro), and like a wide variety of foods. Any advice you can give me is much appreciated! Maybe you could even do a column for guys like me who want to impress girls but haven’t a clue about fine dining!


  2. Best Thai in DC?

  3. Hi Lisa! I need some advise on a good restaurant or 2 to take a group of colleagues to in February in DC. I’m looking for at least one place that would be group friendly (one night we’ll likely take ~ 40 people) that would be willing to work with a reasonable budget. I struck gold this summer in Chicago with Sol y Nieve (tapas) just when it was made very clear by multiple restaurants that I was crazy to think I could feed people for under $40 a person and not have to resort to fast food and a case of beer. Any advise would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

    • Hi Tatiana,
      I can do better than provide some advise on a good restaurant. I can provide recommendations on where to go and then help negotiate your menu and budget with the managers, etc. I’ve gotten some experience doing some party planning recently and I really enjoy it.
      I am thinking of a couple of places that would be great:
      Oya – DC (Asian Fusion with Sushi)
      La Tapas – Old Town, Alexandria
      Masa 14 (not open yet) – DC (Latin and Asian Tapas)
      Ardeo – Cleveland Park, DC
      Cafe Atlantico, DC
      I will be in touch with you! 🙂

      • It’s almost time for me to visit DC and take some colleagues out – the official dinner got canned so I am looking for gems that will have my colleagues talking and not break my corp card. We’re near the JW Marriott for the week. Got any good suggestions? I am going to try Masa 14 if it’s open. Am also thinking about taking them to Ethiopian, but my favorite place in Adams Morgan closed a few years ago.

  4. Lisa — it was good to meet you last night at the food blogger happy hour. I’m psyched to have discovered your blog. Good luck with the pies sales —

    BTW: tell me about the scotch eggs — i was too chicken to try one, but were they yummy?

    take care, Lori

  5. QUESTION: “Lisa, need a upper mid to high end french place for saturday ….you’re the expert! thanks!”
    Answer: Hi! where? DC? VA? Bastille is in Old Town, VA (great cozy place); Montmartre (327 Seventh St., SE) is an amazing restaurant. Chefs go there to eat it is so good (capitol Hill).
    QUESTION: “We have tickets for a 7:30 show at the kennedy center”
    Answer: Marcel’s (2401 Pennsylvania Ave., NW), you can get 3 courses of Robert Wiedmaier’s rich French/Flemish/Belgian cooking for $52 plus car service to and from the Kennedy Center. Can’t beat that!

  6. There is a lot of rumor about the new chef’s table at teatro Goldoni and his acclaimed chef Enzo Fargione.
    Can you give me some details?

  7. Hi Lisa:

    I’d like to talk to you offline about a local event. What’s the best way to contact you? Thanks. Doug Naegele

  8. I am looking for a restaurant that serves a Sunday night prix fixe menu. Ideas? Suggestions?

    • Hi Sharon,
      Some of my favorite restaurants in the area offer a prix fixe menu on Sunday. I think you will find a lot of options listed under the “pre-theatre” category.
      Examples: Dino for $39 a person, Cafe Atlantico is just $35 a person. 701 was hugely renovated and has a new chef. On Sundays, 701 offers their pre-theater menu all evening from 5 – 930 PM for just $29.95 per person! At Bastille in Old Town you can enjoy French the Sunday family dinner (5-8 pm) $29!
      Acadiana offers a sumptous pre-theatre three course menu (530-630 p.m.) for $29: http://www.acadianarestaurant.com/news.html
      I have more suggestions, if needed.
      Let me know!
      Thanks and happy eating!

  9. Hi,

    UpTake has recently launched a new program called Travel Gems that features blog content from across the web. It brings great blog content to a wider audience and helps bloggers like yourself to increase traffic to their own blogs. I’d love to speak to you more about how this program works and see if you are interested in participating.

    Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you!

    Example: http://hotels.uptake.com/colorado/ouray/364576531.html



  10. Did you hear what Jamie Oliver said last night? Parents should be
    really angry about what their kids are being fed in school.

    Well, there is a food revolution underway in D.C. schools and it’s
    called Parents for Better D.C. School Food. We are a Google group:


    A Facebook page:


    A blog:


    And you can follow us on Twitter:


    Please join us, join the conversation, and spread the word.

  11. Great website, Lisa! I’m a foodie myself and I’m constantly exploring new recipes and restaurants. I’ve discovered some GREAT restaurants here in DC and have a never-ending list of more places to try for dinner. My question is brunch- Where can I get a reasonable champagne brunch that’s nice but not over the top? $30 or less… Any suggestions? 🙂

    • Hi Bethesda Foodie,
      So have you been to Redwood yet? (http://www.redwoodbethesda.com)
      Brunch for adults is $19.95 and you can get bottomless mimosas for an extra $15.00. I took my mother and mother-in-law for brunch on Mother’s Day and it was a nice buffet, and even had live jazz. How about Visions in Bethesda? They have a bottomless mimosa Sunday Brunch. You order a la carte, dishes range from $9-$15 (here is the menu) http://www.visionsbethesda.com/sunday_brunch.html
      Are you looking for outside of Bethesda Area? In downtown, Silver Spring right next to the metro, the new 8407 kitchen bar just started serving brunch. I’ve been there several times for lunch and was always blow away! Here is their menu: http://8407kb.com/menus.html
      I’m not sure about the champagne, but I’m sure that they have it, after all it is a “wine bar”.
      Need more ideas?
      Let me know.
      Lisa Shapiro xox

  12. Dear Lisa, do you have any info on new bakery opening in the spot where Kinosos used to be, next to the Amphora restaurant. I have heard that a husband and wife pastry team has rented the space. Would be glad to hear from you.

  13. Dear Lisa,
    Have you ever tried “El Poyo Rico”? From the outside it looks like a dumpy warehouse and nothing like the delicious chicken it produces. It is peruvian chicken and the best you will ever taste. It is located in Arlington near Ballston, closer to VA Sq. Metro. People come from DC just for the chicken. On Friday’s you have to go at like 11:20 AM or the line circles around the door. The best part is the price, you can get a quarter chicken, fries and cole slaw for $5.
    One day about a year ago I was in there with my boss and the Anthony Bordain show came in because they were doing a piece on a restaurant in DC and head about the chicken place. You should check it out…

  14. My family will be vacationing in DC in late July. I’m looking for family friendly restaurants that will welcome 8 and 9 year olds, but also offer flavorful food for the adults.

  15. Hey Lisa!

    I’ve been trying to get reservations at Minibar for awhile now with no luck. What’s the secret?

    Thanks and keep up the awesome job!


  16. Hi Lisa

    I have a friend who lives in Alexandria who is getting married in the fall. I thought a gift certificate to a special restaurant in DC would be a great gift. Any suggestions for a special restaurant with fantastic food? Looking to spend $150 – $200 for two.


    • Hi Liz,
      Thank you for your question. You’re a very thoughtful friend. They’re lucky to have you. So this is an easy one. No question in my mind that dinner at Restaurant Eve’s tasting room would be an amazing gift. It’s definitely for a special occasion. With wine pairings, if they are into wine is a very memorable experience.
      Can’t go wrong on this one!
      Let me know how it goes!

  17. Do you have any info on where the former Mrs. Cam is opening a new rest. in DC. Nona??

  18. Lisa,
    How about a column on best Happy Hours, including the times they run and the deals they include. My friends and I are always looking for a resource that will list the best Happy Hour locations. For example, in Penn Quarter Oyamel offers their tacos for $2 from 4:30-6:30. Zola has $1.50 sliders from 5-7and Legal seafood offers some great seafood specials for Happy hour!

    • Hey Charlie,
      Try looking on this website: http://www.dchappyhours.com/
      They list all of the places that offer happy hour specials and you can sort by day and area.
      It has everything from Acadiana’s $4 Draft Beer; $5 Selected Cocktails; Wine Specials and 1/2 Price Apps to Zaytinya’s $4 Mezze Specials!

  19. I was thinking about relocating to Springfield……if I do so, what is your fave NON CHAIN restaurants in the area? Thanks

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