Food & Drink

Here are DC's hardest-partying dinner destinations

Published On 12/06/2013 Published On 12/06/2013
BNOYL Party Dinner DC
Laura Hayes
Laura Hayes
Robert Wiedmaier Restaurant Group
Greg Powers & Audrey Crewe
Hill Country
The Hamilton
Founding Farmers
Lisa Shapiro
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1. Hill Country Barbecue 410 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20004 (Penn Quarter)

Because there's nothing more American than Texas, Hill Country Barbecue brings the live music capital to the actual capital. All their meats are Lone Star state-inspired, smoked in-house with a dry rub, and served by the pound. Hill Country also offers classic Texas indulgence like Big Red Soda (for you Yankees, that's a red cream soda) and Blue Bell ice cream.

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2. Ping Pong Dim Sum 900 7th NW, Washington, DC 20009 (Chinatown)

Pong covers 7000sqft of dark wood tables, low-hanging lamps, and lattice-work accented bars, and is serving up delicious dim sum alongisde Eastern-inspired cocktails.

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3. Brasserie Beck 1101 K St NW, Washington, DC 20005

From noted chef Robert Wiedmaier comes the European-style Brasserie Beck in McPherson Square. Brews include classic Belgian styles like dubbels, tripels, and saisons, while eats count options like a ratatouille crepe, classic steak frites with bearnaise and bordelaise, and Maine lobster pappardelle. Maine is notably not in Belgium, but doesn't that sound damn good?

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4. Zaytinya 701 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001 (Downtown)

This airy Mediterranean spot, with Greek, Lebanese, and Turkish influences in its fare, is overflowing with flavor -- and light. Massive floor-to-ceiling windows line the space headed up by Chef José Andrés. Be sure to bring along your family and friends, and have everyone dig into a variety of the menu's shareable small plates (mezze), like spice-rubbed lamb kebab and pan-roasted sweet breads. You'll also find traditional salads, soups, and flatbreads in the lineup, plus a vegetarian-friendly mezze menu that's worth a try whether or not you're meat-free.

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5. The Hamilton 600 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20005 (Capitol Hill)

Within walking distance of the White House itself, this traditional American eatery blends upscale-casual dining with live music. There’s a noticeable maritime focus on the menu, as regulars salivate over popular plates like jumbo lump crab cake, gingerly plated over a swoop of vibrant zucchini puree or available as a sandwich with fries and slaw. The decor blends modern tastes with Belle Époque flair (think mahogany woodwork interspersed by framed contemporary artwork, lit by art nouveau-inspired chandeliers), but the vibe is casual and unpretentious, making it a worthy outing for locals and visitors alike.

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6. Founding Farmers 1924 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20006 (Foggy Bottom)

This spot was doing farm-to-table before it was even cool; enjoy your tasty, sustainable, family-farmed eats in a LEED-certified setting that's as green as the food.

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7. Carmine's 425 7th Street NW, Washington, DC 20004 (Penn Quarter)

The District incarnation of "NYC's legendary family style Italian restaurant", Carmine's is a sprawling behemoth, with a huge circular bar anchoring a 670-seat dining room covered in 500+ photos (...of old Italian people...), in total 20,030sqft, officially making it DC's largest eatery.

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