Downtown/Farragut Square Restaurants

Bombay Club

815 Connecticut Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20006
202-659-3727

Indian


 

$$
$20.55
 

★★½

Good Value

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★★½

Good Value

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Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Restaurateur Ashok Bajaj raised the bar for Indian cuisine in DC when he opened Bombay Club. Over 25 years later, the restaurant still sets that standard for classic dishes in much the same way that sibling Rasika does for modern ones. The restaurant, has long been a favorite among power players and celebrities thanks to its elegant setting (it was recently renovated) and prime location a block away from the White House. Yet its prices are still relatively gentle, making this a restaurant that you don't need a special occasion to visit.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
3 Stars (10/21/2012) — 2012 Fall Dining Guide
"Fussing servers, coffered ceilings, slow-moving fans — the eldest of six restaurants in the empire of Ashok Bajaj puts diners in a New Delhi state of mind. The scene, set to piano music at dinner, is regal; the cooking, from veteran chef Nilesh Singhvi, is sublime. If you like spice, head for tender duck kebab, pulsing with ginger and chilies. Tamer options include a samosa that breaks open to a center that’s meaty with mushrooms and corn.…Those who dislike decisions should head for one of three thalis. Each multiple choice gathers colorful dishes on a showy silver platter that makes you the envy of the table when it’s delivered." See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
No. 43 (2/8/2016) — 100 Very Best Restaurants 2016
"Ashok Bajaj’s stately first restaurant wears its 28 years well, thanks to stellar service and a genteel ambience, plus touches that are just throwback enough to fit the vibe (tunes from a white piano). Still, for all the supper-clubby qualities, chef Nilesh Singhvi’s cooking tastes present tense. A variety of curries and artful thali tastings proffered on silver trays join seasonal specialties such as squash-stuffed samosas or vigorously seasoned ground-duck kebabs. Even carnivores shouldn’t ignore the vegetarian section …" See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Italic — Recommended
"Beautiful, formal Indian dining with impeccable service, a lovely dining room with linens, a special-occasion restaurant that's not priced like one."

The Oval Room

800 Connecticut Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20006
202-463-8700

American


 

$$$
$29.11
 

★★½

Average Value

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★★½

Average Value

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Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Ashok Bajaj's power restaurant near the White House (across the street from Bombay Club) just received a full makeover. Also new is chef John Melfi, who recently came from Fiola Mare to take over for Tony Conte. The results? The room now lives up to the cooking, which is as good as ever. In addition to the regular, a la carte menu, a $60, four course tasting menu is available ($90 with wine pairings). There's also a $20 lunch menu available at the bar, which includes "one drink, one dish, and one dessert."
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
3 Stars (3/11/2015) — Fall Dining Guide 2014
"Melfi, who comes to the downtown dining room from the sizzling Fiola Mare in Georgetown and earlier made a mark at Blue Duck Tavern in the West End, hit the ground running when he took over the kitchen in January. The guy can cook. … Melfi has a penchant for Asian accents and for slipping surprises into traditional dishes. … Some restaurants forget that vegetarians aren’t the only customers who want to forgo meat. … Melfi embraces the challenge. … Throughout winter, pastry chef Traci Fritz offered desserts designed to celebrate the season…. Meals at the Oval Room are all the merrier for a dining room that got a million-dollar makeover last year and attracts famous faces from nearby corridors of power." See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
2.5 Stars (1/28/2014) — 100 Very Best Restaurants 2014
"The seared duck isn’t just a signal example of cooking expertise—crisp, salty skin; tender, juicy meat—but also a dish of imagination: Pungent, lightly spicy onion kimchee is an unexpected dance partner and is typical of executive chef (and Jean-Georges Vongerichten disciple) Tony Conte’s penchant for infusing his dishes with Asian accents." See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Italic — Recommended
"Complex, intricate plates with a virtual absence of cream or butter, Tony Conte is no longer running the kitchen day-to-day."

Equinox

818 Connecticut Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20006
202-331-8118

American


 

$$$
$32.50
 

★★½

Average Value

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★★½

Average Value

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Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Locavore chef Todd Gray's flagship restaurant has had its ups and downs in recent years, but Gray has reasserted himself of late and returned Equinox to form. Throughout, its has remained as one of the areas most dedicated restaurants to local sourcing and honest ingredients. And it's also one of the most vegetarian-friendly fine dining places in the city.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
2.5 Stars (5/13/2015) — 2015 Spring Dining Guide
"If you’re looking for memorable modern American cooking, I’d send you to a dozen other places around town. If you’re in search of a meatless meal with some pomp near the White House, allow me to introduce you to Equinox, where chef-owner Todd Gray is taking some cues from his (mostly) vegetarian wife and business partner and spreading the message that you don’t need fish, fowl or flesh to draw people to the table. Introduced two summers ago, his vegan tasting menu is beautiful and bountiful, five courses for $65 and not a sinker in the bunch. ..." See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
No. 76 (2/8/2016) — 100 Very Best Restaurants 2016
"Time was, big chunks of protein were an emblem of upscale cuisine. These days, though, famous chefs are moving away from meat and toward vegetables: Witness the popularity of José Andrés’s Beefsteak (named for the tomato). Now Todd and Ellen Gray are getting into the act at their 17-year-old restaurant—roughly half the dinner menu is now vegan. And it works, most of the time. …" See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Italic — Recommended
"My most recent meal at Equinox was the best I've had in years, *but* that was two Chefs de Cuisine ago, i.e., about a year." See 4/15/2011 Review…»

The Prime Rib

2020 K St NW
Washington, DC 20006
202-466-8811

American
Steak

 

$$$$
$43.87
 

★★½

Poor Value

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★★½

Poor Value

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Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
While, now more than ever, the DC dining scene seems to be chasing the latest fad, The Prime Rib soldiers on, the same as it ever was. The white tablecloths and piano in the dining room transport you to another era when dining strove to be a glamorous affair. And the restaurant's namesake is still the star of the show.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
2.5 Stars (5/11/2016) — Spring 2016 Dining Guide
"There are bigger steakhouses and better steakhouses, but none as dignified as the Prime Rib, a time capsule lined with broad leather chairs, leopard-print carpet, sprays of flowers and art deco accents. (No matter your age, you are likely to be the youngest diner.) At a time when tables tend to go uncovered, this Ford-era restaurant still insists on jackets for gentlemen at dinner. …" See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Unrated (3/1/2015)
"Step inside this K Street stalwart and all the rigidness of your trumped-up daytime existence fades, replaced by a new sense of cool, possibly even swagger. Somewhere near the bar, a piano is playing. You’re escorted to your white-tableclothed booth, and as you slip into the black patent-leather seat…. Now order the prime rib, and make it the 24-ounce full cut, so juicy and tender you’ll wonder why it’s taken you so long to get right where you are at that very second." See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
 
Don Rockwell does not recommend this restaurant.

Kaz Sushi Bistro

1915 I St NW
Washington, DC 20006
202-216-5988

Japanese
Sushi

 

$$$
$28.35
 

★★

Average Value

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★★

Average Value

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Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Kaz Okochi's "fusion" Japanese restaurant specializes in sushi with innovative combinations of flavors. One of the oldest restaurants in the city, it's definitely showing its age and it's not nearly as groundbreaking -- or as good -- as it once was. But if you get a seat at the counter and have Okochi pick the fish, it can be a truly special experience.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
3 Stars (4/24/2005)
An outdated review from Tom Sietsema highlighting Chef Okochi’s innovative combinations. See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
No. 93 (1/8/2015) — 100 Very Best Restaurants 2015
"Chef Kaz Okochi’s Foggy Bottom sushi spot has been around since 1999, and he’s still drawing plenty of customers with precise slices of high-quality fish. Okochi paired salmon nigiri with mango purée long before the onslaught of Japanese fusion, and his signature combinations such as sake-poached scallops or torch-charred salmon belly are still exceptional. Small plates—such as umami-packed slices of calamari, uni, quail egg, and truffle-soy sauce—go beyond the typical lineup of gyoza and tempura." See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Italic — Recommended
"Innovative flavor combinations, quality sushi rice, and saucing (yes, saucing) are strengths here."

BLT Steak

1625 I St. NW
Washington, DC 20006
202-689-8999

American
French
Steak
 

$$$$
$40.55
 

★★

Poor Value

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★★

Poor Value

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Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
This French-influenced steakhouse, a New York-based chain, is expensive and somewhat formulaic. But it's not without its charms, like the excellent, free popovers that accompany every meal and the solid cooking of Chef de Cuisine, Jeremy Shelton.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
2 Stars (5/11/2016) — Spring 2016 Dining Guide
"Know before you go: The hot, baseball-size popovers can torpedo your appetite if you’re not careful; the Caesar bests the chopped salad; specials are spotty; and the bone-in rib-eye and dry-aged New York strip emerge from BLT’s 1,700-degree broiler as equals (both are excellent). Also, as long as you’re splurging, you might as well throw in a tower of crisp onion rings and a puffy crepe souffle for dessert. Oh, and here’s the place to admire Dover sole…. The steakhouse continues to woo customers not just with good beef, including American wagyu, but watchful service. …" See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
2.5 Stars (1/28/2014) — 100 Very Best Restaurants 2014
"The billable-hours crowd adores this downtown steakhouse, where tables of six and eight dominate the room and there’s plenty of backslapping. Although you’ll likely blow plenty of cash, this is more than an expense-accounter’s paradise." See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Italic — Recommended
Don Rockwell does not recommend this restaurant.

Taberna del Alabardero

1776 I St NW
Washington, DC 20006
202-429-2200

Spanish


 

$$$
$33.22
 

★★

Poor Value

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★★

Poor Value

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Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Executive Chef Javier Romero's traditional menu complements the old world feel of Taberna del Alabardero. Classic dishes are the best here, particularly the tapas menu and paellas.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
2 Stars (5/11/2016) — Spring 2016 Dining Guide
"The red interior with the high ceilings and the glittering chandeliers couldn’t be more regal than if the king of Spain were sitting next to you. Yet the trick to ordering well at Taberna del Alabardero is to focus on the basics (and the tapas list): anchovies shimmering in vinegar, tender baby squid served with rice and a tomato-bread sauce, molten ham croquettes dispensed in a little fry basket. …" See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Unrated (2/1/2009)
"Taberna has been a mainstay of classic Old World cuisine…. The red room, with its domed private rotunda in view, teeters between baroquely romantic and nightclub VIP lounge." See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
 
Don Rockwell does not recommend this restaurant.

Chop't Creative Salad Company

1730 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20006
202-499-2393

Salads
Wraps
Healthy
 

$
$9.99
 

Cheap Eats
Excellent Value

MORE INFO

Cheap Eats
Excellent Value

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Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
This small salad chain with locations in New York and DC is a great spot for a quick salad or salad wrap. You can make your own combination or select from a number of tasty pre-selected ones. And, with the calories posted on the menu and a good selection of "spa" dressings (all under 50 calories per serving), it's one of our picks for healthy "cheap eats."
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Unrated (11/18/2012)
The story about Chop’t highlights some of what we like about it: it’s healthy, fast, has a wide variety of ingredients to choose from, and offers a number of tasty combinations. But that's only half of what caught the reporter's eye. "The other half is the theater that comes with the salad assembly line." See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 

Washingtonian has not reviewed this restaurant.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
 
Don Rockwell has not reviewed this restaurant.

Chop't Creative Salad Company

1629 K St NW
Washington, DC 20006
202-688-0333

Salads
Wraps
Healthy
 

$
$9.99
 

Cheap Eats
Excellent Value

MORE INFO

Cheap Eats
Excellent Value

LESS INFO  

Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
This small salad chain with locations in New York and DC is a great spot for a quick salad or salad wrap. You can make your own combination or select from a number of tasty pre-selected ones. And, with the calories posted on the menu and a good selection of "spa" dressings (all under 50 calories per serving), it's one of our picks for healthy "cheap eats."
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Unrated (11/18/2012)
The story about Chop’t highlights some of what we like about it: it’s healthy, fast, has a wide variety of ingredients to choose from, and offers a number of tasty combinations. But that's only half of what caught the reporter's eye. "The other half is the theater that comes with the salad assembly line." See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 

Washingtonian has not reviewed this restaurant.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
 
Don Rockwell has not reviewed this restaurant.

Protein Bar

925 17th St NW
Washington, DC 20006
202-621-9574

Wraps
Salads
Healthy
 

$
$9.99
 

Cheap Eats
Excellent Value

MORE INFO

Cheap Eats
Excellent Value

LESS INFO  

Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
This fast-casual chain from Chicago focuses on healthier, lower calorie food that still manages to be tastier than the high-fat, high calorie meals it aims to replace. The menu includes wraps (called "bar-ritos" here), salads, and quinoa bowls, all at around 500 calories (most are less). It's one of our choices for healthy cheap eats.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Unrated (9/26/2012)
"Protein Bar … aims to give the lunchtime crowd a more healthful alternative with its Bar-ritos, which contain half the fat and less than half the calories." See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Unrated (6/13/2013)
"Breakfast options include quinoa bowls and oatmeal, while lunch involves “grilled” and “chilled” protein bar-ritos, salads, and more quinoa bowls[.] … You can also pick food and shakes up for dinner; Protein Bar keeps the lights on until 8 PM." See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
 
Don Rockwell does not recommend this restaurant.

Teaism

800 Connecticut Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20006
202-835-2233

Asian


 

$
$10.70
 

Cheap Eats
Excellent Value

MORE INFO

Cheap Eats
Excellent Value

LESS INFO  

Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
These Asian-inspired tea houses feature simple, good food and small selection of beer and wine alongside an extensive menu of teas. Don't miss the salted oat cookies, easily worth purchasing a whole bag.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Unrated (11/30/2008)
An outdated review of Teaism's breakfast, but we still agree with its recommendation of "scrambled eggs with tea-smoked salmon or chicken sausage with nan and raita." See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Unrated (12/14/2009)
This outdated review still holds true: "the food is fast, healthy, cheap, and tasty," featuring eclectic "Bento Boxes" at lunch and, of course, tea. And definitely "don’t forget those salty oat cookies." See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Italic — Recommended
"These tea houses are treasures, the food is simple and good, try the salted oat cookie with your tea."
Ratings Guide:
★★★★ Extraordinary;  ★★★ Excellent;  ★★ Good;  ★ Average
All restaurants listed rate above-average or better. DCDiningGuide.com also includes a number of unrated local favorites, casual places, and other restaurants that we recommend if you’re in the neighborhood.
Price Guide:
$$$$$ Unlimited (>$45); $$$$ Very Expensive ($35-$45); $$$ Expensive ($25-$35); $$ Moderate ($15-$25); Inexpensive (<$15)
Price is based on the average cost of a dinner entree, which generally reflects a third of the cost of a full meal. Please note, however, that appetizer and beverage prices vary widely. Tasting menus are indicated with an asterisk (*).