Hi, friends! I am back with another installment of my quarterly series where I round up the restaurants I’ve enjoyed in the DC area. Recently, I’ve been able to help several people who are planning trips to DC plan their culinary itineraries and nothing makes me happier—if you’re looking for a DC restaurant recommendation, don’t hesitate to email me or DM me on Instagram!
Over the last three months, I’ve been out of town almost every weekend—so my roundup of restaurants isn’t as robust as it normally is given I’ve been enjoying restaurants on the road. I keep a running list of DC area restaurants I want to try on my phone though, and since I am in town pretty much all summer, I’m excited to continue exploring this town’s amazing food scene.
But, for now, here’s the latest installment of dinner club!
THE POINT DC | BUZZARD POINT
I was lucky enough to be invited into The Point last year when it opened and had been dying to go back ever since! They have a great patio right on the water and just such a lovely ambiance. I went twice over the last few months, once to celebrate my sister Jennifer’s birthday and another time with my dinner club. I would recommend trying to schedule your dinner here on a night when there’s not a Nats game or something going on at Audi Field—otherwise, prepare for extra traffic!
Truthfully, I didn’t think the food was as good the past couple of times as I did when I went last year, especially given how out of the way it is for me, but I still would recommend it for the back patio. When I went with Jennifer, we split a Margherita pizza to start and then I did sushi. When I went with my dinner club, we split some calamari and tostadas and then did the burger as my main.
MEJANA | COURTHOUSE
Despite living in Courthouse for many years—both now and in a past life, I had never been to Mejana! That was a huge mistake on my part because it was delicious, and I would love to get back to their patio soon. They offer Lebanese cuisine and have amazing service.
I went a few months ago with my friends Adam and Jess for a lovely Saturday night dinner—we started with some delicious hummus and fresh pita, which paired great with some Lebanese wine. For my main, I did chicken kebabs, which came with some roasted veggies, rice, and toum.
This would be a great spot to bring your parents if you’re looking for something that isn’t too stuffy—they also always seem to be packed for weekend brunch if you need a new place to try.
DOLCE VITA | 14TH STREET
This was our April dinner club spot and we went one of those first sweet, really warm days of spring—it was just great. We started our night with a pre-dinner drink at Estadio, which is known for their Spanish tapas. I hadn’t been there in years and it reminded me that I need to dine there again soon. We sat at the bar and enjoyed sangria before heading over for our dinner reservation at Dolce Vita, which offers Coastal Mediterranean food.
We really loved this spot, which is in the old Ghilbellina space. The atmosphere is very European with lots of club music playing—if you want a quieter dinner, I recommend asking to sit upstairs. Their menu is a variety of tapas meant to be shared family-style, which is how we like to eat.
We started with the bomba de papa, the hamachi crudo, keftes, Brussels sprouts, and the provocative caprese. Then we did a pasta course of the gnocchi and the orzo risotto (which was my favorite!). And then to cap things off, we did the beef souvlaki and the lamb. Everything we ate was delicious and I would recommend this spot to anyone!
L’ARDENTE | JUDICIARY SQUARE
Our May dinner club spot was L’ardente and it was fantastic! I am going back next week to celebrate my friend Jackie’s birthday and my mouth is already watering. The service was also great—they were super attentive without being overbearing.
We started with the focaccia, meatballs, and arancini—everything was so good. Then we did a Caesar salad and carrots, before moving onto pastas. If you go, get the lasagna! We normally opt for more inventive dishes, but their lasagna came highly recommended and lived up to the hype. We also did the ravioli, pappardelle, and squid ink pasta. to cap things off, we did the flambe tiramisu.
This would be a great special occasion or celebratory spot!