Got Plans?

Jan 20, 2011

The Going Out Guide staff discuss great ideas for local entertainment, dates and family fun.

Hey folks, welcome aboard. We've got theater tickets to hand out today, and since we know a lot of you are busy restaurant surfing this Restaurant Week, we figured we'd pair them up for a little giveaway contest.

 

So -- a pair of tickets to "Perseus Bayou" at Imagination Stage and a pair for the Fringe Festival remount "Genesis" are yours if you give us your Restaurant Week reviews...in standard 5-7-5 haiku format. The top two win.

 

Something like:

What a foodie deal

For a mere thirty dollars

My taste buds explode

Or:

Oh Restaurant Week

Short menus, overcrowded

What's with all the hype?

Vamanos!

Thinking about checking out Eden either Fri or Sat. What is the crowd like? Is this a club or bar atmosphere? Should I get dressed like I'm going clubbing or jeans & cute top for bar hopping?

The new first floor of Eden -- which I wrote about in the Style section/Nightlife Agenda earlier this week -- is gorgeous with its pebble-studded walls, bamboo and indoor waterfall, and the interactive video screens on the walls and atop the bar are fun to play with.

It's definitely a lounge with pumping house music, though -- no athletic wear, no sneakers, no ballcaps -- so I'd go a little above barhopping-in-Adams-Morgan, but not quite table-at-Josephine, if that makes any sense.

I'm extremely fashion challenged, and I have to go to an evening wedding this weekend. Is it okay to wear a black dress to a wedding? That's all I have, but I seem to remember hearing when I was a kid that a woman should not wear black or white to a wedding (unless she was the bride). If black is out, I'm pretty much screwed....

You can definitely get by with your black dress, especially since it's an evening wedding. Just make sure to keep the rest of your outfit as non-funereal as possible -- choose a metallic shoe, some bold, fun jewelry and maybe a scarf or wrap in a deep jewel-tone or an earthy neutral.

My 19 year old niece will be visiting at the end of the month. She's a budding artist and is particularly into Anime type art and computer graphics. Any exhibits or galleries around town she might be interested in?

You're in luck: There are at two excellent options for you: "Party Crashers" at Artisphere in Arlington is a show with a lot of great pop artists whose work in the show is inspired by comic books. And a year-round purveyor of low-brow, anime-inspired, skateboard-culture inspired work is Art Whino, a gallery loaded with work that should inspire your neice.

Hello gurus. We are planning a weekend getaway to Charlottesville next month and will be staying at a nearby B&B. Could you recommend a few casual, but foodie-worthy places for lunch and dinner (not Mexican or sushi)? And some fun things to do besides visiting wineries and Monticello? Thank you!

Last time I was in C-Ville, I checked out Zocalo on the downtown mall, which was totally delicious, and you could pair eating there with exploring the cute little surrounding pedestrian-only strip. I always love a good meal at L'Etoile, too, which is closer to UVa where you can take a free historical tour of the Rotunda and the lawn.

The sinister ploy To up sales with slim menus Ruse of modest eats

And we're off...

What a deal it seems

But limited menus lade

Service underwhelms

All right, the poems are trickling in...

 

It's that time of year that all wonknerds love! Where to gather to watch State of the Union speech where you can actually HEAR it? (I'm sure you have a rundown, but I'm doing a reunion happy hour for some Bush era folks and we want to meet downtown and have drinks and nosh a bit before the speech and our typical venues (W, Le Bar) don't have TVs.)

Ventnor in Adams Morgan is doing its usual "pick a word and whenever Obama says it, you get a $1 shot" game, which can be dangerous.

All of the usual Hill bars have the speech on. For food as well as drinks, you'll want Lounge 201 or Tortilla Coast.

The season is nigh

For few veggie offerings

Pathetic, try. Why?

I'm confused. But it's 5-7-5, at least.

I think I understand

It's all comfort food

That's our enemy, friend

Why am I tempted

By promises of cuisine

That never live up?

Good one.

Restaurant week menus usually offer very very few vegetarian options on their menus! makes it hard to go and have a good time....

I got the gist (and I agree!); I think the syntax just confused me, but I'm operating on very little sleep, so it could just be me!

There's a person flying in to see me this weekend and we really don't know each other that well, so honestly I'm not sure what kind of scene he's into. He lives in Chicago if that gives you any ideas. I like museums, live music and bars...and free things...the last event in DC I think I really loved was H Street festival, for example...are there any fascinating exhibits or non-touristy DC things we can do together?

Take him to Eastern Market. There are so many different vendors that you will be able to start conversations about anything. Plus there are some fun shops and places to eat nearby.

Maybe fritz can help since he's a shoe guy. I wear a men's 9.5 shoe. I own close to 50 pairs of shoes. I am desperately looking for an over the door shoe pocket holder that accomodates mens size shoes. Any suggestions?

I use something like this in my own closet, but if you own lots of dress boots or other odd-height shoes, you might want to try one of the hanging shelf options. If you simply must have an over-the-door version, try two of these.

I'm in a similar boat, and my shoes reside on something close to the first link Holly posted.

At B.D. Tavern,

I learned bone marrow mostly

Tastes like meat butter.

Very descriptive....thanks for that.

I live in the 'burbs and work in DC. That means no running home between work and night time activities. So what can I do to entertain myself from 6pm to say, 8pm, when dinner reservation is? I work downtown if that matters. Thanks gurus!

Whenever I have time to kill between work and dinner, I like to grab a drink somewhere. "A drink," not "many drinks," since I don't want to show up to dinner half-way pickled. Such cases call for a nice, long-sipping cocktail that you can savor while awakening your tastebuds. I think hotel bars like Off the Record or Round Robin, would be the perfect mix of drink mixing proficiency and ambience to make the time fly by. There's also the Tabard Inn and Passenger for this situation, depending on where you're located.

There's also plenty of browsing to be done at the National Portrait Gallery and SAAM, both  open until 7 p.m. From there, you can head across the street to Poste for some great warmers.

Heading to Tosca tonight to take advantage of restaurant week. We have an 8:30 reservation, so we were planning on grabbing a few drinks beforehand somewhere else. Since we'll be splurging on dinner, any suggestions for walkable drinks close by? I can only think of Gordon Biersch, and I don't think heavy beers before a nice Italian dinner is the way to go. Thoughts? Thanks!

Most of the places that I would recommend for cocktails in the Penn Quarter area are doing Restaurant Week, which means their bars will be way more crowded than usual. One exception: Proof, which has one of the city's top drink menus. Always inventive stuff on there. (Don't miss the new hot drinks, which are served in thermoses for two.)

Oh, and the mojitos at Cuba Libre are much, much better than you'd think, given the Epcot-esque decor.

Where can I go in NoVa & DC to rent ski equipment? I rarely ski so I don't want to purchase anything & I don't want to stand in long lines at the location. Thanks!

Ski Chalet in Arlington is a good option.

Gurus! I am getting cabin fever and am itching to get out of the house and into the country. I know area wineries are open during the winter, and would love to take my boyfriend for some wine tasting and live music, but don't know where to start. What do you recommend? Thanks!

You miss out on some of the picnicking, lounging outside and taking in the amazing views if you go in the winter, so, I'd try to do something extra special during a  wintertime visit. Tarara Winery has cool Sunday "premier tastings" that feature wines you can't usually taste and talks about food pairings.  If you can stand to wait a few weeks, you can take your boo to Breaux's chocolate and cabernet event (yes, right around Valentine's Day...). In Maryland, Black Ankle ( small winery with a great green ethos and highly competitive wines) is doing chocolate and wine events, too, but they also host live music by the fireplace (!) every Friday. It's a pretty great place to get a cheese board and hang out.

Fritz, thank you for recommending the Arlington Rooftop bar for watching the playoffs this past weekend. We enjoyed it a lot. Food and drinks were more than adequate. Another question: heading out to Charleston, SC this Friday. Have never been. Any cool bars anyone could recommend? Not into college scene but also doesn't have to be an upscale wine bar. Something like Liberty Tavern for exemple.

Glad to hear I'm not the only one who likes Arlington Rooftop for football viewing -- a much better option than Velocity Five or Whitlow's in my opinion, though I do have a soft spot for Hard Times' chilil mac and dozens of screens.

As for Charleston ... never been. Chatters?

Celebrate one year

With surprise meal for foodie -

Morton's Steak, Really?

Wow. Somebody done messed up.

Cruel Restaurant Week, I gorge until I vomit. Should I eat some more?

YES.

Hi Gurus! So where should a girl go in this town (or anywhere in the greater DC area if needed) to have her hair cut and styled to accentuate her face and features? I have been watching What Not To Wear a lot recently and am impressed by the work of Ted Gibson but don't know where to head around here for a similar experience...any thoughts or advice is much appreciated!

Well, there's an actual Ted Gibson salon in Chevy Chase, if you're willing to spend a bit of cash on your new look (cuts start at $95). I'm a devotee of PR at Partners Metro Center, but you might also want to check out Bang, Parlour and Immortal Beloved for high-style services. And PS -- check out the new Deal Hunter column in Style next weekend, which will tell you how to save money on hair care.

Do I need all this? Drinks blew my budget again Should have gone next week....

The omnipresent Restaurant Week Drinks Not Included Trap.

I thought I would take a class in something fun (painting, cooking, welding, I really don't care!), because this can be such a boring time of year. Is there a website that has extra-curricular type classes for adults in the area? If not, can you recommend a few places to start looking? I would love to start tonight!

Arlington County offers a bunch of different classes that might fit the bill. Otherwise, you can choose from an array of arts classes at Glen Echo and cooking classes at CulinAerie. Fritz, Lavanya and Julia also wrote a story last year that might interest you -- they covered all kinds of food- and drink-related classes, including cocktail seminars and cupcake tutorials.

I'm interested in The Gibson. Why isn't their menu posted on their website? What are the food and prices like?

The fact that the Gibson even has a Web site is a remarkable achievement. After all, the place doesn't even have a sign.

I'm guessing there's a reason that has to do with the changing of the menu or something, but I've honestly always put it down to the pseudo-speakeasy vibe. You want to know what's good? You come in!

I have, uh, "obtained" copies of the menu in the past. Cocktails are roughly $10 to $16 each, with the more exotic and interesting ones on the high end of that scale.

Gurus, I was looking to make a preshow reservation in Bethesda, and had narrowed down to Assaggi Mozzarella and Grapeseed. Both looked couply, but Tom’s opinions seemed to deviate from everyone else’s. So I thought I would try a higher authority. Which is more suited to an after work, pre jazz show, wind-down, glass of wine sort of meal? The old lobster sways, from atop the lobster pile. He knows he’s on sale.

I haven't been to Assaggi, but I really enjoy the environment at Grapeseed, especially if wine is among your top priorities. And I share Tom's enthusiasm for the chicken livers as well.

 

 

food fit for weddings and to get rushed in and out A rookie mistake

I like it!

Restaurant deals yo

I tried lunch, Sushi Taro

Just one word, Bravo

This one offers a valuable lesson in haiku: When you need a syllable, just throw in "yo."

some friends and I are planning to hit DC Friday night for dinner. I know Friday will be peak restaurant week time and will be hard to find a reservation, but none the less we are going to try :) We have been to many restaurants in DC. Most of the popular ones have already been checked off our list, so I need some recommendations on any hidden gem restaurants you guys can recommend. That also has some veggie options. Thanks!

How about Bar Pillar? I think its an underrated gem that has some nice vegetarian options. I would also heartily recommend the recently opened Atlas Room on H Street. Neither are part of the Restaurant Week promotion, so that improves your chances of missing that crowd.

As the staff's resident veggie, I second Atlas Room. They have a nice little vegetables section of the menu, and I asked -- the main entree is even vegan, should anyone be wondering.

Not really - a 2 part question: 1) Why no website for Am Ice Co? It would be nice to at least see a menu. 2) Going to a friend's bday at Dirty Martini - any word on the crowd vibe, etc? thanks!

1. The menu at American Ice Company: House-smoked barbecue that changes daily, and is either chicken, beef or pork with sides. Six beers on draft served in Mason jars. Around 10 cans, ranging from 21st Amendment Back in Black IPA to PBR tallboys. And lots of whiskey, but no set cocktail menu.

2. Dirty Martini reminds me of a nicer-looking, less-clubby MCCXXIII/1223. The interior has all changed -- it's wood now instead of white fabric -- but for some reason it still has a very Euro vibe to me. Crowd is older than at Midtown or Public Bar, maybe closer to Current. Still need to eat there. Drink menu involves lots of flavored vodkas, fresh fruit and sugar, but I did like that there's a "Classics" section with a Blood and Sand and a Vesper.

Happy Thursday Gurus- I was just in Chicago and had a great Harpoon Leviathan Imperial IPA- do you know if there's anywhere in DC that sells/serves this fine beverage? Thanks!

I've seen it at ChurchKey for sure, maybe RFD?

S.O.S., foodies

Work is holding me hostage

Bland lunch at my desk :(

We just got a new cafeteria in the Post building.

We recently discovered the quaint little town of Clifton a few weeks back, and I was wondering what other quaint little towns I've been missing - something surprisingly near by, but with a removed Mayberryness. Takoma occurs to me (but still has a fairly urban feel) and Old Town far exceeds the Mayberry threshold. Your thoughts - gurus? As for Clifton, very cute; apparently the restaurants are color coded (Red, Green and White). We had a fantastic soup in the White Restaurant (Trummers?). And they are near what is reported to be the best white wine in Virginia this year, Paradise Springs. PS-careful GPSing to Paradise Springs, we ended up on an interesting dirt road along Bull Run

Try Ellicott City's main street. It has a old-timey charm with plenty of nice people, shops and restaurants.

Hey GOGs, I am looking for a wedding ring and definitely want something non-traditional, colorful, and preferably vintage/"used" (don't want to fund blood diamonds, etc.). I've looked into places like Tiny Jewel Box and I Gorman but they are out of my price range. Where can I go to look for old, cool, affordable (under $1k) rings? I have a car so can travel outside the metro. Thanks!

Finding a diamond ring for under $1K is going to be tough, but here are some ideas for where to start: Mia Gemma on F Street NW has some reasonably-priced and interesting pieces within your price range (not necessarily diamonds, though); same goes for Etsy if you want something non-traditional; the estate jewelry selection at Anthropologie Accessories in Chevy Chase is worth a look; and definitely hit up some of the antique malls in the area, since you have a car -- Kensington, Fredericksburg, Leesburg and Harrisonburg are all good spots to try. Otherwise, check 1stDibs.com and hope for a good deal. If you're really willing to do some legwork, check out estate sales in your area -- find them on Craigslist, the Post's classified sales and my personal fave, EstateSales.net.

My good friend just became single after a several year relationship. We are looking for a good place in Alexandria or Arlington that we can grab several, cheap drinks and mingle with other singles. Do you have any recommendations for a place close to the metro or in Old Town that would be a great place for a group of ten 20-somethings can go? All of my bar knowledge is DC-focused.

Alexandria's Bayou Room would be a good place to start. - Lively, fun crowd. Continental in Rosslyn's another one I'd suggest. Oh, and the Ballston Mall hop from Union Jack's and Rock Bottom Brewery can be a little cheesy -- YOU'RE PARTYING IN A MALL! -- but it has crowds of 20-somethings for sure.

GOGs, I am from out of town but lived in DC for several years and followed your blog religiously. I am planning on proposing to my girlfriend shortly, and since with met in DC, I have decided to take her on a surprise trip to DC to ask the big question. We still have plenty of friends in the area, so I want to hold a party Saturday evening to celebrate. I was hoping to find a private party room so that we can catch up with old friends and actually hear each other before heading out to the louder/rowdier bars. The problem is it seems impossible to find a private space on Saturday evenings. Do you know of any bars or other venues that might work out for a group of 25-30? Dupont area would be preferred but I am open to other suggestions. I was thinking earlier (say 8:30) so hopefully before most bars peak time. Thanks for the help!

I know this isn't Dupont, but I love SOVA on H St NE. They host private events and have catering options, etc. The bar is small and intimate, so you'll definitely be able to hear each other and catch up with your friends. And there are plenty of rowdy bars on H to head out to after!

They've got turkey too (and it's delicious)

They had Turkey the first time I was in, but not last week. Hopefully it will be a regular thing.

Girls brunch, what a deal Excited for Bisto Bis Love french food and friends

An extra point for alliteration!

J & G Steakhouse

No steak on special menu

Won't go back again

Wow, what a ripoff

You would expect a steakhouse...

Really, where's the beef?

Oh PS7's

Unique cocktail libations

For just so so meal

I prefer the bar menu at PS 7's -- primanti bros sandwiches, pork belly, damn good burgers ...

It pains me to say that this could have easily been written about the meal I had at PS7's during summer restaurant week.

My boyfriend and I are attending his companies annual party in DC Saturday night. I'm looking for fun ideas of what to do Sunday after we wake up. We paid for a hotel downtown so I'd like to make the most of our time in the city. Thoughts?

You didn't say where your hotel is, but I'll give it a shot anyway: If I had a wide-open Sunday, I'd ask the hotel to stash my bags and start with brunch downtown, perhaps Cafe Atlantico, where there's Latin-Asian dim sum, and you can even do a full tasting menu for just $35. (Vegetarians, there is a veggie tasting menu, too, and  they don't charge you for meat you don't eat. It's $25.) If you want to get on the pho wagon, there's the new  Pho DC. From there, depending on your mood, you could go to the Portrait Gallery just to roam for a bit, or just do some shopping/people-watching  -- the area is teeming with clothing stores, the Barnes & Noble, the Macy's etc. (It's so rare you get a chance to waste a day doing that.)  Then before it gets too late in the afternoon, I'd end the day with ice-skating and hot cocoa at the National Gallery Sculpture Garden. All-in-all, a full day.

I am going to a show Friday night with my girlfriends at Arena Stage and we are pretty sure Penn Quarter is the best place/quickest place to get a good meal--do you agree? We're actually headed to Merzi to check it out.

Definitely agree on the Penn Quarter call, assuming you're taking the Metro.

Oh wise gurus...do you know of any local hotels that have day passes for their indoor pools? I am in need of a vacation-vibe but can't afford the time (or the money) for a real getaway. DC or NoVa preferred. Thank you kindly.

Are you a DC resident? All DC pools are free for those who call the city home.

Miller Lite Vortex? Seppuku is only way. Beer dishonors floor.

Wait... which restaurant week menu featured Miller Lite Vortex? Was it an option for the first course or third?

Oy vey, too yummy Lunch at RIS was so divine From start to finish Began with smooth soup Second course, citrus salmon Chocolate cake-tight pants!

**Double Haiku Bonus Score**

Where can I find some this weekend, both on tap and a six pack to enjoy at home?

RFD and Rustico have both tapped kegs this week, and Big Hunt is going to tap one soon -- and they have Sierra's Hoptimum on tonight.

We liked Zocalo too, but it's Mexican, which I think the poster didn't want. Mas Tapas is very good (although it leans Spanish). Can't help with activities, because we did, um, wineries and Monticello. Also Ash Lawn Highland, which was actually better than Monticello because it was less crowded by a lot and therefore less rushed.

I wouldn't call Zocalo Mexican. There's definitely a Latin infusion, though, I'll give you that. Ash Lawn is a good call. If the weather turns out to be unseasonably warm, there good hiking in the area, too.

Unfortunately, it looks like I'm going to have to do some work this weekend. I wouldn't mind finding a coffeeshop nearby or someplace else that wouldn't mind me plopping down with my laptop for a few hours. Starbucks is obviously an option but I am hoping for someplace more interesting. Do you have any suggestions of places within about a mile radius of Tenleytown/Cleveland Park? Free wireless would be a bonus. Thanks!

I'm not in that area a whole lot, but I remember stopping with my computer at Firehook Bakery once, right on Connecticut Ave in Cleveland Park. Don't remember if they have wifi or not, but the coffee is good and pastries are definitely a step up from Starbucks.

I'm getting married this year and was thinking of surprising my fiance with a dance class so we can brush up for the big day. Do you guys have any suggestions for a place in the Rosslyn/Courthouse/Clarendon section of Arlington?

What kind of dancing? Swing? General two-step ballroom shuffle?

The old lobster sways,

from atop the lobster pile.

He knows he's on sale.

High marks for emotional impact.

I'm a guest at what the bride is calling a "black-and-white wedding." Bridesmaids are wearing black. I assume that means I should *not* wear a black dress? (My husband is in the wedding party, so I really do not want anyone thinking that I'm showing any displeasure about not being in the wedding...)

I'd steer clear of black and take the opportunity to indulge in something striking, like an icy neutral or a brilliant jewel-tone.

Hi Holly, Thanks for your response; I actually DON'T necessarily want diamonds, hence my "blood diamond" comment, I just phrased it weird. It seems at all the traditional jewelry stores there are diamonds on everything, even the colored gemstones have little diamonds, which is why I'd prefer used. If that makes sense. Will check out your suggestions!

Hope they're helpful -- it sounds like you're on the right track for finding something really special. Good luck!

The Ski Center on Mass Ave is also a good option.

FYI

To the person seeking a place to find vintage rings - I got my engagement ring and wedding band at Silverman Galleries in Old Town Alexandria. Their prices are good, the couple that owns the store is very knowledgeable, and the pieces are lovely.

Great suggestion, thank you!

You could also give Occoquan a visit, or if you go out toward Deep Creek Lake there are lots of little towns out that way and around the Frederick area like New Market. You could also head west for an hour or two and hit Harper's Ferry, Sperryville, Berryville, Luray, etc. etc.

I second Occoquan and Deep Creek Lake (Cumberland is on the way and it is very cool). Harper's Ferry is also a great option. Thanks!

I know they've announced the Cherry Blossom festival, but if we're interested in doing a mini photo shoot for wedding or prenup around the basin, what do you suggest is the best time to go? Definitely not during festival season, right? Any suggestions on where and when to go? Thanks so much!!

There are actually a couple of things you could do. Peak bloom is usually around in that first few days of April; you could try to beat it by a few days (but not too many, because there will be no blooms).  And definitely head there super early in the day, because I've noticed that tourists don't seem to get up and moving till just before noon -- they've got kids, large groups and treks from hotel rooms. I've also always noticed that there's a space just to the left of the Jefferson Memorial that people don't seem to make it to - it's a long walk from the main traffic at the Kutz Bridge part of the basin, but there are trees and the  pretty Inlet Bridge, and never a lot of people.

And finally, another thought entirely -- it's a total D.C. insider thing that Hains Point has tons  of trees, and you still get the views of the water. Here are some other off-the-Mall options for finding cherry blossoms. Good luck!

We are looking for something to amuse ourselves and our two small kids this weekend. We thought that a day trip to ski liberty might be really fun. But here's my question- we do not ski so we would be going there primarily to take in the scene and sit in the lodge and drink hot chocolate. Would this be fun? I've never been there so I'm not sure how large the lodge area is, though from the website it looks like there are numerous restaurants.

I haven't been there in ages, but my recollection is that the lodge can get pretty crowded. If you start to get claustrophobic, they have tubing. Any chatters care to weigh in?

Thirty five dollars?

Please, they get you on upgrades.

Try twice that at least.

... and that's without the wine.

darn, you just missed the Route9 barrel tasting last weekend, but that being said: For the firt time we went the few extra miles to hillsborough vineyard, and the view , with the snow in the valley, was great, they have a nice fireplace, but we thougth the walls need a new color of paint. Loudoun Valley Vineyards has a new owner, she has had music everytime we have been there, and she brings her California skills to her making, with nice results. Sunset Hills Vineyard has an enourmous barn and was easily the busiest, and always seems to have music. I used to always recommend Linden, there are some nice places out 66, but, as you can see, we seem to be doing our tasting up the Greenway lately.

The barrel tasting event crossed my mind too. It is a pity they missed it. I am also a fan of Pearmund Cellars in Broad Run, on Sundays in January and February you can get homemade soup, a glass of wine and bread for $10.

Hey GoGs - I work on 15th about a block from the Post building. Can I get into the new cafeteria??

Only if you're on The List. Have you SEEN the line to get in here?

Too bad the niece isn't coming in a few weeks later. There's a huge anime convention over at national Harbor on President's Day weekend. For now, if it's still showing at the West End Cinema, there's a new anime film out called "Summer Wars" that's a lot of fun. The 10 o'clock show each night is in Japanese, the rest are English dubbed.

Thanks!

And there's also always the Freer and Sackler Anime Festival, part of the Cherry Blossom Festival in April. Maybe she can come back? But in the meantime those galleries should answer her question about Anime-style and computer-generated art.

This will be my first weekend in Arlington after living in the district for 5 years. Instead of being sour on leaving DC, my husband and I wanted to start off on the right foot and enjoy all that Arlington has to offer. Any suggestions of things to do/places to go this weekend? Especially any good low key bars....

Well, bar-wise ... Jay's Saloon is an Arlington treasure -- it looks and feels like you're in a 1980s time-warp. Amazing little dive. And tiny little Galaxy Hut is the place to go for amazing beers, great tunes and grilled cheese sandwiches with tater tots.

 

What part of Arlington are you in? Food wise you have some nice options. Since there is way too much to list comprehensively, here is a selection that gives you some variety: Bayou Bakery is the new kid on the block, but a wonderful addition to Courthouse area. Lyon Hall does French/Alsatian well, and has a good beer and wine list. Ravi Kabob is a wonderful Pakistani restaurant on Glebe and Pershing.  Westover Market on Washington Blvd. has a great beer garden. The new Rustico has a seasonal menu that is as thoughtful as the restaurants beer list (get the ricotta donuts). And finally there is everyone's favorite Peruvian chicken joint, El Pollo Rico, which is famous for a reason.

I'm looking for something fun / romantic for my boyfriend and I, without being super expensive (so probably not a prix fixe). Right now I'm thinking about starting with drinks at the Passenger, but at a loss for somewhere close enough for me to walk to in heels for dinner. Definitely not set on the location, and Arlington also works well for us. We're both early 20s and appreciate good food and drinks. For Holly - any suggestions on dresses? I'm petite and tend to lean towards classic styles - love sheaths and such.

Drinks at the Passenger is a winning way to start any evening, romantic holiday or not. Corduroy is right around the corner, and is a great date spot, but its not exactly wallet friendly. Assuming you have had your pre-dinner drinks fix, you could head to Cuba Libre. But beware, bar tabs there can get out of control quickly.

For dresses, the H&M at Metro Center is packed with tons of cute Mod dresses and coats right now ... you should be able to find a great sheath for cheap. Get in line with spring trends and opt for one in either a bright hue or a muted, pretty nude or beige-y pink shade.

I don't usually go to Georgetown, but I have plans to go there tomorrow night with some friends. What are some good bars/clubs to go to, and what can we skip? No cover is preferable, but we'll pay if it's worth it. We're young-mid 20s.

Modern's the cool lounge with lots of dancing, Rugby's the fun no-pressure bar, Rhino Bar's the sports bar, Third Edition is packed with college students.

Another option -- and one I'd prefer -- would be to go up to Glover Park for dancing at Gin and Tonic, drinks at Kitchen or pool and beers at Breadsoda.

Hi Gurus! I have a question of utmost importance, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. I am a Packers fan (woooo!!). I have several friends who are Bears fans. While normally we get along swimmingly, this weekend could change things. We were thinking of heading to watch the game at Blackfinn near Farragut - is this neutral enough territory for the lot of us to get together, cheer on our respective teams, and leave with our friendships intact? I realize the last part is up to us, but the bar atmosphere will go a long way in helping us. If it's not neutral territory, any other bars nearby that you could recommend? We'll stay for the second game, but only so that I can size up GB's future opponent. Thank you!!

I really wouldn't worry about being overwhelmed by boorish Chicagoans or Wisconsinites at Blackfinn, or anywhere else in these parts, for that matter.

Just stear clear of Union Pub, which is a total Bears hangout. (The picture of Ditka might be a clue there.)

Small menus they are With prices that go too far Let's go to a bar

Succinct and rhythmic. Well done.

I'm so grateful that you always suggest affordable options, instead of relying on high-end brands all the time. Thank you!

Glad to be of service!

Hoping Justin can answer a question about Tom's chat. Did he have it yesterday? The link goes to a blank page with no Q&As: http://live.washingtonpost.com/ask-tom-sietsema-0119.html

Indeed I can. Tom had to cancel this week's chat due to travel preparations. The link will be used for next week's chat. If you submitted a question, don't worry, I made sure all submitted questions will be at the top of the queue next Wednesday. If you had something time sensitive to ask, send it on through and maybe we can help.

Unfortunately, I am not a DC resident. I'm looking for a pool with lounge chairs, where I can just hang out and relax for a few hours.

Not sure how accurate this is, but here's a random list I came across on line -- it's worth calling to see if any of these spots offer day passes. Another suggestion? See if any local gyms/sports clubs with pools offer temporary or trial memberships.

I have been out of town for a couple of weeks. I'm looking forward to seeing my bf on Sat night, but haven't decided on what to do or where to go. We're not really into theatre (unless it's comedic or political). We are into bars, live music, dancing & eating. I came back broke so not looking to spend too much. Anywhere in NoVA/DC

Two of my must-dos for Saturday are in the Nightlife Agenda: D.C. buzz band U.S. Royalty finally, finally releases its new album at the Rock and Roll Hotel, and I'm looking forward to hearing some great Southern rock-influenced boogie indie.

And then there's Fatback, the amazing monthly funk/soul/R&B dance party that's celebrating its birthday at Liv. No cover, no dress code, just dancing until you work up a sweat. (Get a hint of the great tunes over at fatbackdc.com, where you can download mixtapes and watch videos.)

Has anyone been? I'm taking a vegan friend there next week.

I have been meaning to get out there! They went all-vegan pretty recently; I'm currently devoting myself to finding good vegetarian and vegan food served at restaurants catering to omnivores.   Can you report back? We're always looking for ideas. If you're looking for similar food in Washington proper, Cafe Green fits the bill; Science Club is all vegetarian with vegan options, and the staff at Masala Art is so knowledgeable about what's vegan on their menu (there is a LOT).

Well, to be fair, they did have Braised Short Ribs on the RW menu (which my friend tried, and noted it was prety good), but it wasn't steak. They could have at least offered a small sirloin or a smaller version of their Hanger Steak Frites as an RW option. All in all, pretty lame.

Still pretty bad form to not have any sort of steak at a steakhouse.

For the person interested in classes, check out Take a Class (www.takeaclass.org) in Dupont. they have TONS of great one time classes in all sorts of random topics. Their motto is "Learn it on Tuesday, Use it By Wednesday!" :)

Another option for the class-seeker.

Winners Winners Winners! Email me: baldingera@washpost.com.

Top prize goes to the unhappy Morton's diner:

Celebrate one year

With surprise meal for foodie

Morton's Steak, Really?

Because even though you had an unsatisfactory one-year meal, you deserve something nice.

Our runner-up claimed the spot because their discovery of bone marrow's similarity to meat butter highlights the try-something-new aesthetic of the week:

At B.D. Tavern,

I learned bone marrow mostly

Tastes like meat butter.


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The Going Out Gurus
The Going Out Gurus are the experts behind The Washington Post's Going Out Guide. They write about restaurants, bars, movies, the arts, special events and visitor attractions, and they're out every night to keep you on top of the D.C. entertainment scene. Join the thousands of readers who have followed us on Twitter and Facebook. And for nightlife news delivered twice-weekly to your inbox, make sure to sign up for the Going Out Guide newsletter.
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