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February 17, 2011

1:03
P.M.

Got Plans?

Total Responses: 67

About the hosts

About the host

Host: The Going Out Gurus

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.

About the topic

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

Alex Baldinger :

Welcome to another installment of Got Plans, everyone.

As you may have heard, we're giving away three tickets to Lady Gaga's performance next week at Verizon Center.

Here's how you can win them: In light of her proclivity for outlandish entrances (the Meat Suit, the Egg, etc.) tell us how Gaga can top herself at the next grand entrance, wherever that may be. Maybe it involves wearing King Tut's burial mask or arriving via one of those giant robot things from "Empire Strikes Back." We'll look extra kindly on ideas that involve a D.C. twist.

Sound good? And with that, let us chat.

Q.

Washington, DC

Can you recommend some things to do in Dupont Circle during the day on Saturday? I'm taking guests to the Phillips Collection and we have early dinner reservations in Dupont. I'm not sure how long the Phillips will take and want to have some other things to do in the neighborhood to fill the afternoon before dinner. Thanks.
A.
Stephanie Merry :

There's a lot to see at the Phillips right now, but if you find yourself with time to kill, I'd head to the Textile Museum. Both the ikat exhibit and the show of recycled textiles are worth a look.

– February 17, 2011 1:10 PM
Q.

Bars closing

What is with all the bars closing or changing ownership this week? First we have Adams Mill, then Toledo Lounge and now Commonwealth. Such a sad week for the DC bar scene. Any ideas what will happen to these spaces? I am hoping Adams Mill will remain a bar, that patio was the best in Adams Morgan. Also, have you heard much about Lou's City Bar? I have heard they are opening early next month and will be a sports bar, but other than that I have never heard of the ownership group. Is this going to be another chain?
A.
Alex Baldinger :

It's certainly been an odd week for restaurant closings; as to a 'why', I don't know of a good answer that ties all three together. 

The good news is that, in most of these cases, new is replacing old: A similarly-themed gastropub is going to re-open by May in the CommonWealth space, says chef Jamie Leeds; and the folks from Toledo Lounge told Prince of Petworth that they hope the new owners, who are renovating the space, will keep the place's spirit alive. 

There are a slew of new openings planned for the next few months, as well (of course, the usual caveats about "planned openings" apply; delays happen): Lou's, as you mentioned, is coming by St. Patty's Day; a new sports bar, called Touchdown, is slated to open on U Street (in the old Momo's) by the time March Madness rolls around. And the folks behind American Ice Company are supposedly opening not one, but two new nightspots in the coming months, both along the U Street corridor. 

As for Adams Mill, no word on a possible replacement as of yet, but an entrepreneurial type would recognize the value in preserving the location's patio. 

– February 17, 2011 1:10 PM
Q.

Lady Gaga Entrance

It would be awesome if she arrived wearing the same outfit that Cee Lo Green was wearing at the Grammy's with all of the feather's and be surrounded by dancing puppets.
A.
Brandon Weigel :

The Gaga does not repeat. She mush push the line, break new ground.

– February 17, 2011 1:12 PM
Q.

Desparately Seeking Tickets in NW

My Lady Gaga prediction: she will arrive in the Back to the Future DeLorean and reveal that she is actually Madonna from 1989.
A.
Jess Righthand :

Could very well be.

– February 17, 2011 1:13 PM
Q.

day trip for family with teens

Finally . . . a long weekend and our kids have a well-deserved break from high school homework. Any suggestions for a "cool" day trip on Saturday?
A.
Amy Orndorff :

The weather is going to be lovely, so why not take a hike? You don't say if you are in MD or VA, but there are plenty of options in both.

– February 17, 2011 1:13 PM
Q.

Birthday

I am turning 40 next month. I already have great plans with my husband - The Inn at Little Washington. What I need to figure out are plans to celebrate with my best friends and colleagues from work. I like good wine and good food, but don't want to pick somewhere that will break the bank. And I want everyone to mingle and have fun too.
A.
Justin Rude :

This raises so many other questions. What neighborhood are you looking for and how many people are you planning on celebrating with? My immediate inclinations turn towards spots like the Dickson Wine Bar on U Street or Eat Bar in Arlington, but I could probably be more helpful with a few more details.

– February 17, 2011 1:16 PM
Q.

Pre DBT Friday

I was supposed to go see the Drive By Truckers on Saturday with some friends but it turns out I have to go to my in-laws this weekend. So I am going to Friday's show, alone. Is there anywhere within walking distance of the 9:30 where I can sort of "pre-game" the show? And because I am old and terribly unhip, for me "pre-gaming" would be probably having a few beers at a bar or booth while reading a magazine or paperback. Maybe getting a bite to eat too. Is there any place mellow like that? I am aware of the Saloon. So alternatives are welcome. Thanks.
A.
Lavanya Ramanathan :

It's kind of scaring me how much American Ice Company would be the perfect spot for a pre-Drive By Truckers drink. Barbecue, unpretentious atmosphere, drinks in mason jars. And it's within a block of the 9:30. My work here is done.

– February 17, 2011 1:16 PM
Q.

Oysters in DC?

I love oysters and could eat them any given day. Other than Hank's in Dupont - what are the great oyster spots in DC?
A.
Alex Baldinger :

I hear you on that. I love slurping down oysters at Brasserie Beck's bar during happy hour, especially with a side of frites and a crunchy French loaf. 

Other good options: The raw bar at P.J. Clarke's; Johnny's Half-Shell; and the tried-and-true Old Ebbitt Grill,  where the raw bar is half-price from 3-6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 11 p.m.-1 a.m. Sunday through Thursday.

– February 17, 2011 1:17 PM
Q.

Gaga Entrance

In honor of the Lego exhibit at the National Building Museum, a 25 foot Lego Gaga should be lowered onto the stage. After the first few lines of Poker Face, Gaga could burst out of Lego Gaga's stomach wearing an outfit made entirely of Legos. Maybe throw in some blood too, because that seems to be her thing.
A.
Amy Orndorff :

Not bad. Can't go wrong with Legos.

– February 17, 2011 1:18 PM
Q.

Question for Holly

Got some great dark brown boots at end-of-season sale. Have some brown tights. Most of my things are gray and black. What to wear these boots and tights with?
A.
Holly Thomas :

You can definitely mix neutrals -- the key is to make it look intentional. So try your brown boots with black tights and a black dress, and use a wide brown belt to tie it all together. Or try pairing them with denim and a neutral top, with a brown handbag to add some continuity. Keeping the outfit simple and close-to-monochromatic with other brown accents will make you look chic and polished.

– February 17, 2011 1:19 PM
Q.

Hair help!!!

Dear gurus, Now that I can’t hide the shapeless disaster that’s my current haircut under hats and scarves anymore I’m in dire need of a new stylist. Focus on fine hair/short do’s preferred. Any recommendations from you or the 'nuts for the Georgetown/Dupont Circle/downtown DC area? Thank you so much!
A.
Holly Thomas :

I swear by PR at Partners, but you might want to scope out Bang, Bubbles, Immortal Beloved, Parlour or Urban Style Lab. You might find this helpful, too. Other suggestions?

– February 17, 2011 1:22 PM
Q.

Entertaining Mom and Dad!

Hey Guys, So my parents are coming to town this weekend from Long Island and I am obliged to show them a good time. They aren't into the touristy scene but enjoy walking around, discovering new shops, and a good meal. Any ideas on how to show them a nice weekend away from home?? I'm in the Bethesda area but willing to cruise around! Thanks a bunch!!!
A.
Stephanie Merry :

Head to Eastern Market/Barracks Row, in that case. And check out our handy-dandy new neighborhood guide that Alex just put together. The area is teeming with cute shops (including Capitol Hill Books -- one of my fave spots in all of Washington) and good restaurants. The U Street/14th Street neighborhood would also be a good option.

– February 17, 2011 1:23 PM
Q.

Beer Bars on H Street NE

I'm heading over to H Street on Saturday and was wondering who has the best selection of beer (I lean toward US craft beers, but Belgian menus will work too). Of the few I've been to (RnR Hotel, Star & Shamrock, Little Miss Whiskey's, and the Pug), Little Miss Whiskey's impressed the most, but obviously there's a lot of ground I've yet to cover. Thanks!
A.
Jess Righthand :

If beer is what you're after, definitely head to Biergarden Haus. The beer list is extensive, featuring lighter hefeweisens, darker, smokier brews and everything in between. If you go, ask someone for the beer that tastes like bacon -- I'm forgetting the name right now, but the flavor is truly uncanny.

– February 17, 2011 1:23 PM
Q.

Birthday Bar?

So my boyfriend is about to turn 35 and I've been charged with setting up the celebratory happy hour. We're expecting about 15-20 friends and would love to have a reserved area of a bar. He's not a sports bar kind of guy, but the real catch is, his birthday is on a Friday. Apparently most bars don't want to give up real estate on a Friday night. Any ideas?
A.
Alex Baldinger :

It's a tough formula, picking a spot for a large group on a Friday night like this. A reserved spot is going to be tough on short notice (I assume this is for tomorrow?), so I would recommend choosing one of the more airy venues in the city. Namely: Iron Horse, Meridian Pint (neither is a sports bar, per se, though you'll have TVs with sports on); same deal applies at RedLine, which is a sports bar but has a food menu that might make you think otherwise. Those are the three places that immediately pop into my mind that could fit a party of your size without much of a fuss. E-mail me (baldingera@washpost.com) if you'd like some more suggestions. 

– February 17, 2011 1:23 PM
Q.

Dinner/drinks in Georgetown?

I am heading to Georgetown with a friend tomorrow evening to pick up something at a store. We wanted to get dinner and drinks after that (nothing fancy, but not a chain), but I am not familiar with the area. I am inclined to go to Dupont, but is there anything in Georgetown I should check out?
A.
Justin Rude :

Honestly, in the "nothing fancy" range there isn't a lot in Georgetown that gets me real excited, though there are a few newcomers that are probably worth mentioning. Thunder Burger and Bar has good burgers (go figure) and a great beer list. And don't judge Muncheez Mania too harshly on its name, that kitchen makes some real good interesting sandwiches.

– February 17, 2011 1:24 PM
Q.

For Holly...

Khaki pants (or black), white blouse, blue cardigan - would red loafers look too 4th-of-July? Should I stick with black//brown loafers?
A.
Holly Thomas :

I'd go with black pants, white blouse, blue cardigan and black loafers. Granted, I have no idea where you're wearing this outfit ...  if you want to wear the red loafers, I'd swap the khakis for some dark-wash trouser-cut jeans.

– February 17, 2011 1:24 PM
Q.

Gaga

Alright, my guess is that she will come in bound to a crucifix. Her next single is apparently entitled Judas and that tie into that song and definitely get people talking and snapping pictures.
A.
Alex Baldinger :

This gambit always backfires; remember when Nas was roundly criticized for carrying the cross in the "Hate Me Now" video? 

My question: Could Gaga get away with such a daring stunt because she's Gaga? 

– February 17, 2011 1:26 PM
Q.

Sat night date

40 somethings like to try new things. Thinking of going to the free dance party at Liv and wonderng if there is a great bar and/or restaurant nearby to go to first.
A.
Lavanya Ramanathan :

There are cool places near Liv, but since the weather is going to be positively balmy this weekend, I can't help but think about summer drinks. You could sip on Dark & Stormies at the Islander; even better, a few blocks away is Patty Boom Boom, where you can get a rum punch and check out the DJs, which should also get you nice and loose for  Fatback.  Given the weather, and the fact that there is typically a line down the block, though,  I'd probably shoot to get to Liv earlier rather than at midnight.  

– February 17, 2011 1:28 PM
Q.

Game Mode

After watching Watson kill it on Jeopordy this week, I am in the mood for a trivia night. Is there anywhere that does this on the weekends?? Your "Best Bets for Trivia" only has one entry.... Thanks for fueling my competitive spirit!
A.
Brandon Weigel :

Whitlow's on Wilson and Bedrock Billiards both have trivia nights on Sunday. It seems like a majority of them are scheduled during the middle of the week, presumably as a way to scare up crowds.

– February 17, 2011 1:28 PM
Q.

Boyfriend

My boyfriend is coming in from Boston this weekend and we'll have free time on Friday. I saw that Brikskellers closed - is there anywhere else in town comparable? We like cool beer.
A.
Stephanie Merry :

I'm channeling Fritz, who's an ocean away at the moment. You should check out the list he compiled of bars with the best beer selections. I personally love Churchkey, but that place gets so packed on weekends. Another option is Bistro la Bonne, which has a surprisingly impressive selection of brews.

– February 17, 2011 1:29 PM
Q.

National Harbor--Best Way to Get there

Hi Gurus---going to National Harbor for the first time on Friday night for the Chesapeake Oyster and Beer Festival. I am not sure the best way to get there. We do not have a car, so we were thinking of metro to a stop in Alexandria then catching a cab to cross the bridge. I know there is a boat thing, but since is February (although nice weather) I am not sure if that is running. Any help will be appreciated! Thanks!
A.
Amy Orndorff :

The water taxi is run by the Potomac Riverboat Company and, unfortunately it doesn't start running again until March 1. Catching a cab from Alexandria is not be a bad idea, but you also might want to consider taking the Metro to the Branch Avenue station and then catching the bus to the harbor.

– February 17, 2011 1:30 PM
Q.

Hair Help

I had a great experience at Salon Bleu in Tyson's Galleria.
A.
Holly Thomas :

Thanks for chiming in!

– February 17, 2011 1:31 PM
Q.

Gaga becomes eco-friendly

In addition to making beautiful music, Gaga cares about the earth and will arrive via Capital Bikeshare.
A.
Stephanie Merry :

Understated. I like it...

– February 17, 2011 1:33 PM
Q.

Lady Ga-ga

She should definitely come as the Capstronaut...maybe she could finally bring some offense to the Caps.
A.
Amy Orndorff :

Wow, it took a lot to tie the Caps to Lady Gaga. Nice, though not a good follow up the day after they scored seven goals...

– February 17, 2011 1:34 PM
Q.

Cricket World Cup

Now that the ICC Cricket World Cup is upon us, where can Cricket enthusiasts go to watch? Any bars in the District or NoVA showing the matches? Given the time differences, I realize this may be a challenge...
A.
Alex Baldinger :

I checked with Summers in Arlington and -- shock of shocks -- they don't plan to broadcast the matches. I have to believe someone in this area is, but if they aren't, it's not an encouraging sign. I'll do some further checking later today. Email me and I'll let you know what I've come up with. 

– February 17, 2011 1:34 PM
Q.

How to submit?

Hey, wondering how to submit the suggestions for the next grand entrance:)
A.
Stephanie Merry :

You just did.

– February 17, 2011 1:38 PM
Q.

Hemming jeans

Hi Holly, I bought some dark-wash, boot cut jeans recently in my regular size and they are waaayyy too long, so I need to get them hemmed. In the meantime, I've folded up the cuffs a couple of times so I'm not dragging them in all the melting snow. Do I look like a complete dork? Is this a fashion faux pas?
A.
Holly Thomas :

Rolled-up straight leg jeans are cute in a 1950s sort of way, but rolled-up boot-cut jeans are another story. Get thee to a tailor, stat! Most tailors can shorten jeans and keep the original hem, but some are better at this than others. It'll probably run you about $20 to keep the original hem.

– February 17, 2011 1:39 PM
Q.

Lady Gaga's next big entrance

Lady Gaga will be seen riding a Trojan Horse to a Justin Bieber concert. Then an epic battle between the Little Monsters and the Bielebers will end in reconcilliation as both sides realize that together they can take over the world (well, even more than they have). Together the band of little bieber monsters will coordinate a takeover in Washington, Los Angeles, New York and everywhere in between and become our new pop culture overlords. During all of this, Lady Gaga will be wearing an equestrian themed dress, those ridiculous hoof shoes and a Trojan condom box as a purse/hat.
A.
Lavanya Ramanathan :

The first thing I thought was there was no way Gaga's totally emo Monsters were going to survive a battle with Beiber fans. Those girls are scary. Did you see what they did to Esperanza Spalding?

– February 17, 2011 1:39 PM
Q.

Saturday Day Trip

In the DC area for work training and coming into the city on Saturday to get a break from living in a hotel. Only have metro transportation available. Have seen the tourist sites, what else is going on this weekend that we could check out? Thanks!
A.
Brandon Weigel :

The Midatlantic Jazz Festival in Rockville is going on all weekend long, featuring a lineup that includes Jimmy Heath and Freddy Cole. And as Rockville Guru Amy Orndorff will tell you, there's plenty of other wonderful things to do in that wonderful Montgomery County town.

Also, the dance company used in the movie "Avatar" is performing at Prince George's Publick Playhouse.

– February 17, 2011 1:39 PM
Q.

Embassy events...?

Hey Gurus, and happy Thursday! I've never been to an embassy event and would love to check some out sometime (I'm thinking the big evening parties with drinks, music, etc). Is there a website out there that consolidates all of the upcoming events at each embassy? Or do I have to go to each individual country's page and check out the calendars that way? If you could help me out with this, I'd really appreciate it. Thank you!
A.
Alex Baldinger :

Unfortunately, there's no centralized Embassy Events database that I'm aware of; your best bet is to continually check the more social embassies' events pages: The biggest around is House of Sweden, but also check the French Embassy or Alliance Francaise and Austria

And of course, there's always Passport DC, which is coming up again in May. 

– February 17, 2011 1:40 PM
Q.

Gaga in the District...

She should make her entrance covered in cherry blossom branches...
A.
Amy Orndorff :

Sounds pretty, but not quite odd enough...

– February 17, 2011 1:42 PM
Q.

Crazy nice weather tomorrow

Gurus - it is supposed to be really nice out tomorrow. Any suggestions for outdoorsy activity in the DC area (I have a car)?
A.
Stephanie Merry :

Car schmar. Tomorrow you should dust off your bike (or rent one). Or try some of the ideas thrown out by our editor extraordinaire Amy Joyce.

– February 17, 2011 1:42 PM
Q.

Kid Friendly but Not Lame Food?

Any thoughts on kid friendly restaurants in the NVA area where the food isn't just chicken fingers and fries? I've got a 7 & 9 year old who will eat pretty much anything other than shrimp
A.
Justin Rude :

My favorite place to take my son is Hank's Oyster Bar in Old Town on Tuesday and Saturday nights. They have an early evening deal where kids eat free off the kid's menu with an order of an adult entree. Everyone eats well in a nice dining room and its a little bit easier on the wallet. Plus I use any excuse to get at the lobster roll they serve there.

 

We also have a best bets list of novel kid's menus that has lots of great ideas.

– February 17, 2011 1:42 PM
Q.

Washington, DC

Hi Gurus, So I have a first date this weekend and I am extremely nervous. We are supposed to have brunch in Georgetown - what's a good place? I haven't been there in years and all that comes to mind is Clyde's (boring). Thanks!
A.
Lavanya Ramanathan :

I think brunch is fun date, but Clyde's is kind of heavy, isn't it? How about Leopold's? It's very European, light and airy-looking. Since the weather's nice, you could also head to Snap for crepes and sit in the back patio (though, I have to say, maybe it's a little too informal....depends on how well you know the person.)

– February 17, 2011 1:45 PM
Q.

Gaga Stunts

I think she is going to create a real-life murder mystery situation. She'll stage her own death and then show up at a tour as the audience wonders with anticipation if anyone will show up.
A.
Brandon Weigel :

Lady Gaga as film noir. Interesting.

– February 17, 2011 1:45 PM
Q.

So the food truck frenzy seems to be slowing down ?

What's next on the radar? Food bikes or food delivery made at your door? The good truck idea was cool for awhile, but now there are some many idiots waiting in line for 45 min for a swampdog I can't stand it. Will any vendor just come to my office, make me food and then feed me?
A.
Lavanya Ramanathan :

If you were Indian, like me, your mom probably would do that. Then she'd ask you when you're going to get married.

Seriously, though, everybody these days seems to be losing their minds over pho. (Wait time: like 5 minutes flat.) I'm not sure we'll all want to eat steaming bowls of soup come July, so it's a good thing a taqueria trend should be kicking in right about then. 

 

 

– February 17, 2011 1:46 PM
Q.

Gaga Entrance

She needs to roll up (in true DC style) as a food truck that sells meat and egg-based products.
A.
Stephanie Merry :

Only if she's sporting a Fojol Bros.-style 'stache....

– February 17, 2011 1:47 PM
Q.

Lady Gaga

Meat, egg... next obvious choice is a stack of pancakes from IHOP in DC :o)
A.
Alex Baldinger :

Completing the grand slam breakfast. Yes. 

– February 17, 2011 1:47 PM
Q.

Diner recommendations after a marathon

Hi Guru's, a 3 of us are running a marathon next month and would like to go to a diner afterwards to refuel. The total party will be approx 6-8 people with 3 of us being all sweaty. The marathon ends at RFK but I was thinking of City Diner in Woodley Park. What places metro accessible would be good and not mind some of us smelling bad and looking like we ran a marathon?
A.
Alex Baldinger :

There are lots of great options way closer to RFK: namely, Eastern Market and Barracks Row. Our consensus is Tunnicliff's, on 7th Street SE. Really, there's no point in schlepping to the City Diner (which is actually north of Woodley, and not really all that Metro accessible). 

If you're able to clean up at all and want something a bit more high-end, Ted's Bulletin would be the place, on 8th Street SE. Both are walkable (or limpable, depending on how your legs feel) from RFK, too...

– February 17, 2011 1:48 PM
A.
Justin Rude :

If you haven't already made plans, we also have a best bets list for pre-marathon eats.

– February 17, 2011 1:48 PM
Q.

Lady Gaga grand entrance

She arrives dressed as Dan Snyder, with devil horns, devil tail, and beard/moustache. She's accompanied by her entourage of Fat Albert and the Redskin cheerleaders.
A.
Stephanie Merry :

Now THAT is awesome!

– February 17, 2011 1:48 PM
Q.

Lady Gaga

Obviously, Lady Gaga should arrive in a metro car. At first, the crowd might be upset that the concert isn't starting on time, but when they see her arrive in the metro car they will understand the delay. The metro car entrance also allows for pyrotechnics since track fires are a common occurence.
A.
Brandon Weigel :

And then she samples "Step back, doors closing. Please step back to allow the doors to close" in "Poker Face."

– February 17, 2011 1:48 PM
Q.

first date this weekend

seeking ideas for a first date on the saturday or the monday
A.
Lavanya Ramanathan :

Here's a list of first date ideas to use any time -- any chance you could do it Friday? I think the Africa Underground party crosses off several dates in one: museum, cocktails, dancing.

– February 17, 2011 1:49 PM
Q.

Lady Gaga Entrance

Lady Gaga would top herself at her next grand entrance if she arrived riding the Loch Ness Monster, with Big Foot as her date, and an Alien, the Chupacabra, and the Ghosts of Christmas Past/Present/Future in her entourage. Then we'd finally know if all of these unexplained phenomena are real or not!

A.
Stephanie Merry :

But we'd still always wonder about the abominable snowman...

– February 17, 2011 1:51 PM
Q.

Lady Gaga entrance

How do you know who the submission belongs to?
A.
Lavanya Ramanathan :

We're like Big Brother, we have all of your IP addresses and we will know if you are trying to pull one over on us. Not that anyone would do that.

– February 17, 2011 1:52 PM
Q.

DC Birthday Girl

I have a birthday coming up and would like to plan a fun Sunday brunch. Any suggestions? (But not Perry's Drag Queen brunch - done that) I live in Columbia Heights but am willing to travel wherever! Bottomless bevs would be nice but not required. Thanks!
A.
Brandon Weigel :

Here's our Best Best list of brunches. There are plenty of options, and they all sound amazing.

– February 17, 2011 1:54 PM
Q.

Embassy Events

For the person looking to hang out at the embassies, join International Club DC. It is free and they list events at embassies plus non-embassy events. It is free to join.
A.
Amy Orndorff :

Thanks for the suggestion!

– February 17, 2011 1:54 PM
Q.

Clarendon

I need to run an errand at Crate and Barrel tonight and am not familiar with the area. Where do you recommend grabbing a light bite to eat, preferably within walking distance. From previous chats, there almost seem to be too many options!
A.
Alex Baldinger :

At the bar at Restaurant 3; Faccia Luna for pizza; maybe Galaxy Hut for some brews and onion rings? 

– February 17, 2011 1:56 PM
Q.

National Gallery of Art

I was surfing the 'net for things to do this weekend and just realized that the National Gallery does not appear to be part of the Smithsonian Institution. I'm really surprised! Is it a private museum?
A.
Stephanie Merry :

Yeah, that's a common misconception. The National Gallery isn't part of the Smithsonian network, but it is a public museum; you can get the full scoop on NGA's web site.

– February 17, 2011 1:58 PM
Q.

Best Place to Ditch Unwanted Co-worker

I have this co-worker who is completely disgusting. He talks with his mouth full all the time and chews like a horse. Unfortunately another co-worker invited him out with the rest of us tomorrow. We want to go for drinks someplace before dinner in Adams Morgan where we can ditch him. Not someplace he'll get murdered or anything, but a place where we can give him the slip after we get him to do 5 or 6 shots.
A.
Alex Baldinger :

Remember, you're going to have to see this person again at the office on Monday morning...

– February 17, 2011 1:58 PM
Q.

Pasty - I had no idea

I was in vienna and saw a sign for "Pure Pasty", which I though had to have something to do with drunkin Irishmen. Turns out it was a place that makes Pasty - the meat filled pastry things. The food was really good, but I wonder how many people even know what those things are... I sure didn't
A.
Justin Rude :
– February 17, 2011 1:58 PM
Q.

Happy Hour

Do you know of any places doing out door happy hours? I assume most places won't since it is only February, but if anyone would know, you would. (Locations in Chinatown-ish/NoVa are preferable.)
A.
Justin Rude :

In NoVa I know that Lyon Hall and Fireworks Pizza are going to have patio space available. Expect a wait though. In Chinatown Buddha Bar has their patio open, though they don't do a Friday happy hour, so you would have to get there tonight.

– February 17, 2011 1:59 PM
Q.

makeup classes

Since you guys seem to know everything ... do you know where someone might go to take makeup classes? I am pretty comfortable with day-to-day application, so am interested in learning some more advanced techniques. I know that the department store counters and Sephora can sometimes demonstrate tricks, but I've never found them to be the best place to actually learn something. Have you have heard of some kind of makeup course?
A.
Lavanya Ramanathan :

I'm going to throw this one to the readers? Any one heard of makeup classes? In the meantime, there are a lot of makeup artists who now post tutorials on YouTube. Lauren Luke is a big deal, MakeupgeekTV is even better.  You actually can learn from watching them (some of their videos have more than a million views). 

– February 17, 2011 2:00 PM
Q.

GaGa's Entrance

HUGE motorcade pulls up to the red carpet (full Secret Service style with out-riders, police, follow-on SUVs w/ armed officers, ambulance, etc.) GaGa steps out with VP Biden. The President couldn't do it be Biden might just be able to get away with it! (Hey, he dug that stuff about him washing his T-bird on the Onion!)
A.
Justin Rude :

His response to his portrayal in the Onion was pretty endearing.

– February 17, 2011 2:01 PM
Q.

Lady Gaga entrance

She wears jeans and a t-shirt. plain jeans. plain white t-shirt. $50 max outfit.
A.
Lavanya Ramanathan :

The paparazzi ask her to please move out of  their way, because they're waiting for Lady Gaga.

– February 17, 2011 2:01 PM
Q.

Lady Gaga entrance

I think Gaga doesn't actually show up for her entrance... she arrives virtually by 3-D hologram... the amazing part is she doesn't just stay in one area, she walks the entire red carpet via hologram
A.
Brandon Weigel :

Will there also be an interview with Anderson Cooper?

– February 17, 2011 2:01 PM
Q.

NOLA Inspired Dinner?

I plan to celebrate Fat Tuesday with a group of girlfriends. Any restaurants with Cajun/Creole fare you would recommend for a dinner in the Arlington, Bethesda, or Downtown DC neighborhoods?
A.
Alex Baldinger :

Louisiana Kitchen gets my vote. Formerly the beloved Louisiana Express, this place is perfect for groups and is informal and homey in the best ways. A great bar, too, with Hurricanes, Sazeracs and a whole line of Abita brews. I love this place. Two words: alligator beignets.

There's also Bayou Bakery in Arlington; I haven't been, though I hear they make a great muffaletta. 

– February 17, 2011 2:04 PM
Q.

re Georgetown

Despite the "not a chain" stipulation, would the chatter consider Pizzeria Paradiso?
A.
Stephanie Merry :

Good one. I'm guessing when the chatter said "chain" they meant something more TGIFridays-like, though I could be wrong.

– February 17, 2011 2:04 PM
Q.

Metro Gaga entrance

What if Lady Gaga made an entrance riding a metro train into the Verizon Center in business suit...fit in with the DC scene...too normal? haha
A.
Justin Rude :

Like a Kermit the frog pantsuit?

– February 17, 2011 2:04 PM
Q.

Holly, I need an expert tailor

Hi, Holly. I need more than a dry cleaner who does alterations. I have a skirt that needs to be re-worked because of its design and needs to be made smaller but still retain the original design of the skirt. I've never found anyone in DC that can do that expert tailoring. We're not talking about shortening or even in taking in the waist. I don't want to experiment with any tailor and find out by the altered product that, oops, they can't do what I'm looking for. Any suggestions, please, for an expert tailor in DC? Thanks so much!
A.
Holly Thomas :

I can only speak to my own experience -- I take everything to Lee's Custom Tailoring (as I've disclosed before, primarily because it's across the street from the Post) and have had really impressive results each time. I had a size-10 ballgown taken down to a size 4 a few years ago, then had it shortened to tea length last fall (neither of which were easy jobs) and both times they did excellent work.

– February 17, 2011 2:08 PM
Q.

Emergency St Patty's problem

Hi Gurus, I am in charge of finding a place for approximately 20 people (half from out of town) to go out for a casual and low-key night of drinks and dinner before a full day of meetings. The idea is to have a bit of a meet and greet before a very hectic day, and to have a chance to chat and introduce one another. Unfortunately, the night is - St Patricks Day. Where can I take people for fairly cheap food and beer that will not be completely swarmed? To give an idea, in previous years we have gone to Buffalo Billiards on non St Patties dates. Since few people will have cars, metro accessible places would be ideal. Thanks so much!
A.
Stephanie Merry :

Congratulations, you've practically stumped us. We've been going back and forth on this one, and after some sort of goofy ideas (Chevy Chase Lounge), we decided your best bet might be something in a hotel. It's tough to predict crowds on St. Paddy's, but we're guessing 15 Ria will be a good bet.

– February 17, 2011 2:09 PM
Q.

Rooney Pre-Show

Good afternoon- I'm heading to the Rooney show at Rock N Roll hotel tomorrow night. What's a good place in the area to get some food before the show? Anywhere that takes reservations would be ideal.
A.
Alex Baldinger :

Some of the best Ethiopian cuisine in this town is at Ethiopic, and they do take reservations, so I'd look there first. Other reservation-y spots in the vicinity are Smith Commons and the Atlas Room. You can always just pop in to the Star and Shamrock, too. 

– February 17, 2011 2:10 PM
Q.

Makeup class

Check out Fairfax County Public Schools Continuing Education: In their Winter/Spring catalog they had at least one makeup class. You can sign up even if you don't live in the county.
A.
Brandon Weigel :

Thanks for this!

– February 17, 2011 2:10 PM
Q.

fried Olives

Now that CommonWealth is closing, where can I go to get deep fried olives to go with my beer?
A.
Justin Rude :

That is a tragedy. We can only hope that the new owners consider keeping that one when they reopen.

– February 17, 2011 2:12 PM
Q.

30th Birthday Ideas

Hi Gurus, it's my husband's 30th birthday this weekend, and I need a few fabulous ideas! We're staying downtown in Georgetown and have dinner reservations, but after that, I'm a little bit at a loss. I want to be armed with a few after-dinner ideas that he can choose from. Any suggestions? He's not a huge fan of crowds, so things like crazy-packed bars and dance clubs are out. I was thinking Blues Alley might be one option, but would love to have a few other ideas. Doesn't necessarily need to be in Georgetown, either, we're perfectly fine taking a cab to other parts of the city. Thanks in advance!
A.
Lavanya Ramanathan :

I think Blues Alley is an excellent idea. Another option:  about cocktails at the Ritz? Or you could make reservations at the Gibson, take a cab there, and split a punchbowl.  If you're interested in something a little more cultural, there's the play Cymbeline downtown, which Stephanie gives a hearty rave.

– February 17, 2011 2:13 PM
Q.

Old Town Alexandria

Hey Gurus! I had an amazing time at Tiffany Tavern last Saturday night listening to live bluegrass. The laid back friendly atmosphere along with all the places to just relax and just enjoy the music really worked for me. Is there anything similar for rock or Irish music in the area? Actually I'm open to pretty much any kind of music that isn't Hip Hop. Thanks!
A.
Alex Baldinger :

Definitely check out Quarry House Tavern in Silver Spring for some rockabilly and roadhouse rock. 

– February 17, 2011 2:14 PM
Q.

Oscars?

It may be a bit early for this....but any suggestions on places to get dressed up and watch the Oscars?
A.
Brandon Weigel :

Quill, the bar in the Jefferson Hotel, is hosting a viewing party with drinks inspired by each of the Best Picture nominees and plenty of delicious food. It sounds like a lot of fun.

– February 17, 2011 2:16 PM
Q.

Thaw!

It's going to be the first really nice day outside on Saturday - what can we do outside?
A.
Alex Baldinger :

I'm going to wander through Eastern Market, and then grab some lunch al fresco (If the weather holds) on Barracks Row -- hey, speaking of which, those two 'hoods are the subject of the cover story in tomorrow's Weekend section!

– February 17, 2011 2:18 PM
Q.

Alex Baldinger :

Alright, thanks to all for the overwhelming number of Lady Gaga scenarios, but we have our winner: 

Lady Gaga as Dan Snyder!

E-mail me: baldingera@washpost.com, por favor. 

And to all of the Gaga-gnostics out there, we promise we won't even mention her in next week's chat. 

One quick PSA for all you fashion lovers out there:  If you want to meet Guru Holly Thomas, she's hosting a shopping event at American Ice Company this Saturday from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Details here. 

http://butlerandclaypool.com/events

Thanks for tuning in! Tah. 

 

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