Every Thursday at 1 p.m. ET, washingtonpost.com's Entertainment Guide experts share their best bets for local flavor, great dates and family fun. Got plans? Great. Need plans? Just ask. We have the skinny on the bars and clubs, concerts, kitchens, theaters and special events that keep life interesting. We're going out gurus, and we're at your service.
Of course, we're happy to answer questions about local entertainment, but we need to hear from you, too. Introduce us to the coolest DJ or the fastest bartender you've encountered. Sound off on the week's best concert or the city's best burger. Tell us about the best place to amuse little kids or a big art fan. Together we can plan fun ways to spend weekdays, weekends, dates and holidays. The pleasure is ours, and yours.
Each week a different guru will act as host or hostess, but the entire staff is at your service. If you're looking for more ideas, see the Entertainment Guide.
Submit your questions and comments before or during the discussion.
Editor's Note: Washingtonpost.com moderators retain editorial control over Live Online discussions and choose the most relevant questions for guests and hosts; guests and hosts can decline to answer questions.
The Going Out Gurus:
Hello, everyone. First, a public service announcement. The University of Maryland (Rhome's and my alma mater) is playing a football game tonight, and to accommodate the fans, Metro is staying open until 2 a.m. Anyone can take advantage of the service -- even if they went to UVa or Duke -- so there's your incentive to stay out tonight. We're all here: Kate, Anne, Rhome, Joe, Janet, Maura, Alexa and me, Fritz, your host. Let's get started.
Chevy Chase, Md.:
I've heard about the Bethesda Gallery Art Walk and about one of the galleries in the Art Walk who also serves a great Sangria.
When is the next Bethesda Gallery Art Walk, which galleries are included and which one is the one with the great sangria?
Is there a dress code?
The Going Out Gurus: Good timing, Chevy Chase. The Bethesda Art Walk runs every second Friday of the month -- that's tomorrow. Click here for a map and participating galleries. I know there's no dress code, but I have no answer to your sangria query. Anyone else? -- Maura
The Going Out Gurus:
I'm a bad person. The lovely and talented Jen Chaney is also taking your questions.
Dan, Woodley Park, Washington, D.C.:
Any ideas for a Saturday afternoon date in D.C. that doesn't involve Bed, Bath & Beyond or Home Depot? I'm looking to plan a nice little Saturday.
The Going Out Gurus: Wait, is this question from Frank the Tank? If so, loved you in "Old School." Happy streaking. -- Jen
Where can I drink? I like to drink.
The Going Out Gurus: Duuuude. There are like so many places. 7-11 parking lots are my favorite. - Joe
I am looking to get my boyfriend a massage in Washington DC. What spas would he feel comfortable at?
The Going Out Gurus: Hi, there,
Serenity Day Spa in Herndon (there are also ones in Alexandria and D.C. at Tenley)is a place to try, particularly since they advertise their couples packages. I think that Aveda Georgetown would also be a good bet. They have a lot of men among their clientele.
Hey Fritz, know anything about our new neighborhood restaurant addition, Sake Club? (I think that's what it's called) I need a break from Mr. Chen's & Lebanese Taverna, and you know it's bad when the folks at Chipotle start making your order as they see you approach the counter. Is the new place worth a change for us Woodley Park residents?
The Going Out Gurus: I've walked by, but not gone in. I'll try this weekend and report back. -- Fritz
I am from the Midwest and love Chicago style deep dish pizza. I have been very underwhelmed by pizza in DC and am looking for good deep dish pizza? This would not include fancy brick oven pizza, i.e. 2 Amys, Pizzeria Paradiso or chain pizza, ie Pizzera Unos, Papa Johns. Is there anything else?
The Going Out Gurus: I'm a thin crust gal myself, but have enjoyed the deep dish at Gepetto's. There used to be one in Georgetown, but I am not sure it's still open. The one in Bethesda certainly is. Good luck. -- Maura
Okay, here's the deal:
-Just moved here a couple of months ago
-Not going home for Thanksgiving
-Just me and my spouse
-Recent grad and don't have a lot of money
What's a reasonably priced place to go for a Thanksgiving meal, maybe with a southern slant?
The Going Out Gurus: I think B. Smith and Georgia Brown's should suit you fine, Arlington. Both are southern, and tend to do the feast for around $30 or $40 per person for a set menu. Vidalia is also open, offering their regular a la carte, beefed (dare I say) up with turkey dishes. That might be pricier -- entrees run around $26, but it'd certainly be fine. Does that help a bit?
Hey gogs! Thanks for the chats!
Fiance and I finally have a weekend to play (rare break from wedding plans and house fixing). He wants to watch TV. Please save me from a road rules marathon and suggest a fun/relaxing/low-key activity! Are there any great movies in theaters right now?
The Going Out Gurus: This is a good movie-going season, Bethesda, as the high-caliber holiday releases are now heading to theaters. "Master and Commander" is getting good reviews, and it opens tomorrow. If you're in the Christmas spirit already, "Elf" might be a good bet. There's also lots of good stuff at the Landmark, which is in your 'hood. Or if you need to catch up on some of the fall's earlier flicks, I highly recommend, "School of Rock," starring tonight's "Will & Grace" guest star, Jack Black. Any of these have got to be better than endless hours of "Road Rules." -- Jen
New Vegas Lounge:
Is it open or not? Desperate for info!!!
The Going Out Gurus: It's open!! Unofficial Grand Opening was last weekend, and you might not recognize the place. It's gone, well, upscale -- warm brick walls, no more beer-logo mirrors, attractive high-backed chairs -- but Dr. Blues and the Out of Town Blues Band were excellent, as ever, running through a Stax-heavy version of classic R&B. The crowd was still a racial mix, which is getting rarer in Logan Circle. Beers are still cheap, too.
I'm sitting down with the owners this week, so look for more info in coming days. -- Fritz
Mount Pleasant, Washington, D.C.:
Greetings! I have a question about an event that was going on at Club 5 for a while. It was a monthly(?) showcase called 'The Set' and I loved it. Problem is I haven't heard anything about it in months. Is it still happening or is it defunct?
The Going Out Gurus: 'The Set' was indeed a nice little thing going on, had a good run at Andalu and then at Five but it's been over with for awhile. Ritza is now involved in the Monday night party at Saki. Hopefully we'll we see more stuff from her crew in the future. - Rhome
Any suggestions for a somewhat quiet restaurant in Bethesda tonight? We're three 23 year-olds friends from high school with a lot of catching up to do.
And I know it's early, but any ideas for New Years Eve?
Thanks so much!
The Going Out Gurus: Hands down I'd say Red Tomato -- Always one of my faves and on the quiet side. (I'm planning a catch up dinner with friends there next week). Otherwise, give Green Papaya or Levantes a try. -- Maura
State of Disbelief:
Hi guys. I don't know if this is your department, but I need some help. My best friend is getting married, and I am a bridesmaid (scary as I just turned 22). Her aunt has taken over planning the shower, and is, uh...a little cheesy. She wants to throw a "Caribbean theme" shower (as the bride and groom are going on a cruise for their honeymoon). She wants me to give her ideas for decorations, games, blah blah blah. What can I suggest to make this Caribbean shower somewhat swanky? (It's at a rented hall) I am having nightmares of glittery palm trees and parrot cutouts. All I can think of is wearing pirate hats while shooting Captain. Please help.
The Going Out Gurus: Very little could turn this shower "swanky" but you can help to make aspects memorable. Do you have a caterer? Mango Mike's, a Carribbean-themed bar in Alexandria can be called upon to provide the eats. Or better yet, any chance of getting this party out of the rented hall?
If you want to provide an "Oh my god! I can't believe it" factor: Call one of the shady party rental outfits and hire a live parrot or two. What say you, readers? --Kate
Logan Circle, Washington, D.C.:
I was curious why Twins wasn't included in Rhome's response to the question last week about jazz places in D.C. I know the service, especially at the bar, is HORRIBLE. But they could get great acts.
The Going Out Gurus: A major bungle on my part. Twins does pull in talented acts and merits a slot among best jazz venues. I can't make the call on the service though. Chatters? - Rhome
Been here for about 2 yrs, and still haven't seen anyone "famous". Where can I go that is low key but have a chance at least seeing someone famous?
The Going Out Gurus: Famous is relative. Would you be satisfied with Senators and newsmakers? If so, Crossfire taping at GW and lurking at Degrees, the bar at the new Ritz Carlton's Farhenheit restaurant in Georgetown. Beware: drinks are $10 a piece. -- Kate
Washington, D.C. - Too early for New Year's??:
This may be too early but...what's the word on New Year's Eve parties this year? I've been to the Old Ebbit Grill party and liked it and am looking for something similar. Any ideas? Thanks.
The Going Out Gurus: Still a bit too early. Many of the bars are planning to do something, but they don't know what yet. But until we hear from them, we can tell you about the concerts planned for New Year's Eve and other parties, including a swing dance at Glen Echo. -- Anne
Could it be?:
Is this the Jen Chaney from the Gazette? Please make it so. How I've adored her column for years.
The Going Out Gurus: Yes, it's me. Wait ... is this message also from Frank the Tank? -- Jen
Cleveland Park, Washington, D.C.:
I'm looking for a nice, romantic place to eat in Old Town, preferably near the waterfront. Cuisine is negotiable, but the food should be tasty. Something unique to the area would be a bonus, but I'd prefer not to take out a loan before the date. Any suggestions?
The Going Out Gurus: Oh, this question. Well, if you really insist on being close to the water (even though you won't be able to see it) you could go to the kitchily Italian Il Porto. You know the thing -- checkered tablecloths, candles in chianti bottles, cream-laden pastas etc. etc. Or you could head further up, away from the river, and go to France at Bistrot Lafayette, or the new Vermillion that's quite sexy inside. -- Alexa
Swing Dance on Thursdays?:
A little while ago, I could have sworn that one of the gurus wrote a feature piece for weekend that discussed swing dancing in DC, and mentioned where to go every day of the week. I can't find the article anywhere. Help? Or better yet, is there any place to go _this_ week on Thursday? Timpano isn't until next week, right?
The Going Out Gurus: Really, no. If you want to drive to Baltimore, the Avalon Studio (avalondance.com) has a friendly swing dance with DJs every Thursday, but Thursday night has been fairly dead (except for Timpano and the occasional event) for years. -- Fritz
Woodley Park Wino:
I have some friends coming into to town and I'd like to take them out to dinner on Saturday in D.C. We always spend too much on wine, and this time everyone wants to bring their own. Know of any good BYOBs (corkage fee is fine)? Thanks!;
The Going Out Gurus: hi Woodley Park. I had dinner at Lavandou (great food) in Cleveland Park last week and they allow you to bring your own wine. The corkage fee is $15 though, so I'm not sure how much of a difference it makes. - Joe
Last weekend at McFadden's I saw the curly-haired chick from the first season of MTV's "Sorority Life."
The Going Out Gurus: And dudes from the Real World Vegas and Paris were there a few weeks ago, too.
Two friends and I are looking to go out for dinner in Dupont tomorrow night...someplace with Asian cuisine. We were thinking Raku but were scared off by the online reviews. Any other suggestions? We want someplace within walking distance of bars.
The Going Out Gurus: What about Sala Thai or Thaiphoon? Both fit the bill. -- Alexa
L'Enfant, Washington, D.C.:
Help! Submitting early because I may get stuck in a meeting. A friend set me up with a guy that used to live in DC (in the burbs) but moved to Denver. He is back in town for business for a few days and we're going out tomorrow night. I was thinking it would be fun to do something "D.C." and different from Denver. What I came up with was drinks at Cafe Citron and dinner at Fin, maybe followed by dancing in Adams Morgan. Any better ideas?
The Going Out Gurus: Starting off with drinks at Cafe Citron is a super start. It'll give you a chance to see what sort of evening he's in the mood for. Don't know about you, but my experience at Fin will be my only. Fin's fine at happy hour (I like the 50 cent oysters) but spend your evening somewhere with better food and more to talk about. What about a boisterous evening at Bistrot du Coin or Grill from Ipanema? If he's a dancer, Adams Morgan is at your feet. -- Kate
Old Town, VA.:
Following up on Alexa's comments about good places to eat in Old Town. I have lived there for a number of years - and I have to disagree with you about Il Porto - the food is simply not that great.
If you like seafood, however, I highly recommend either the Fish Market or the Wharf.
The Going Out Gurus: I don't think I said the food was any good, did I?
NW Washington, D.C.:
Has AMC Mazza Gallerie abandoned its Club Cinema?
It used to have the club showtimes separately in the printed/paper Post. It also said which ones were in the club on its infoline, but now there's no indication which movies and times are in the club.
The Going Out Gurus: Good question. Last time I was at Mazza, the Club Cinema seemed to be operational. I plan to go there over the weekend, so I'll try to find out then and give you the scoop next week. -- Jen
Logan Circle, Washington, D.C.:
I live at 14th and Rhode Island and notice a lot of new restaurants opening up in the area (Logan Tavern, Rice), are there going to be any new nightclubs or bars opening in the neighborhood? Specifically, away from U, south of Saint Ex.
The Going Out Gurus: Well, aside from the reopening of the New Vegas Lounge (14th and P), you have the Metro Cafe coming in January (14th around New Hampshire), and I like what they're doing over at Titan (above Hamburger Mary's) with the new gay/straight open mike comedy nights, etc. -- Fritz
Bored at Work in Bethesda:
Hey Gurus --
Went to Republic Gardens on Sunday for "Recess". Had a good time and loved the new look of the Gardens (however could do with less roped off sections for the "ballers" -- us common folk like to lounge too!;). Would love to hear your views on the how successful RG will be based on their new ownership and marketing outlook that was highlighted in Sunday's article in the Style section. Thoughts?
The Going Out Gurus: I think Natalie painted a good picture of the forces at work here. As much as I may cringe at gentrification sometimes, I find the stark race/class lines in DC nightlife much more problematic. Partying in towns like Toronto or San Fran has shown me that DC can really benefit from a "One Nation" approach. It definitely helps good establishments win, as they don't have to be restrained to chasing down narrow, fickle demographics to stay afloat. We're watching closely. So far though, the current events at the Gardens that are trying to find their footing have yet to meet their lofty integrationist aspirations. They have an enormous amount of inertia to push against but they have the right space, money and idealism to give it a good challenge. - Rhome
21st Birthday Question:
Love the chat!;
So the girlfriend who works on the Hill turns 21 today and we have reservations for dinner at Nora's.
Any suggestions where her first--legal--sip of alcohol should be. We obviously don't want a frat scene bar and would prefer to go somewhere historical, beautiful, etc.
I was thinking somewhere along the lines of the Willard Hotel's Oval Bar.
Any other suggestions?
Thanks and keep up the good work!;
The Going Out Gurus: Wow. You're an excellent boyfriend. Beautiful bar, and you can have champagne by the glass, too. -- Fritz
NW Washington, D.C.:
Old friend coming from out of town Saturday. Where could we go for lunch in Glover Park/Georgetown for rather cheap ($15 each or so) that wouldn't mind if we lingered/sat and chatted for awhile? Thanks guys!
The Going Out Gurus: Sounds like a sweet afternoon, NW. Try Cafe Divan on Wisconsin or even Cafe Deluxe. Patisserie Poupon is more on the simple side, except for those luscious desserts. -- Maura
Except for the 3 pubs showing the Rugby World Cup and charging $20, where can a thrifty rugby fan go to watch the semifinals this weekend? Also, any update on the reopening of the Metro Cafe? Thanks.
The Going Out Gurus: Um, no. They (Summers, Fado, Flanagan's) are required to charge at the door by the broadcaster. I think Summers is showing next-day replays without a charge, though. Not sure what the others are doing. -- Fritz
Endorsement for Ching Ching Cha:
I finally got to check out Ching Ching Cha last week- it's a GREAT place to sit and chat and hang out!; Wonderful atmosphere, really neat how they do the loose tea leaves thing in the little Yixing teapots!;
The Going Out Gurus: Ring a ding ding! Thanks.
Taking a West Coast friend to Williamsburg for Thanksgiving this year. Trellis is closed on Turkey day, any other suggestions? Any quirky cool shopping/touristy things to hit either here, there or anywhere in between y'all can think of? We're doing the usual Colonial shlock and Monticello and perhaps James River plantations if they're open, and then some boutique-y shopping in Richmond and C'ville. Also doing the standard D.C. visit thangs. Thanks much!;
The Going Out Gurus: I would imagine that the Williamsburg Inn serves Thanksgiving dinner, though it might be a little expensive. Still, definitely worth looking into. For other Williamsburg ideas, take a look at this feature. Have a great time. -- Jen
Love the chats, first time question. My husband's birthday. Money no object. Would you choose Marcel's or the Willard Hotel. Also, what are the lines for the spy museum like on the weekends in December? Thanks !!
The Going Out Gurus: I'd go to Marcel's if I were you, and my friend Maura says the lines at the Spy are still long (up to an hour she guesses). -- Alexa
One of my friends is turning 25, and I can't think of anything...any ideas??
The Going Out Gurus: Hmm, how about saying happy birthday?
Re. Mazza Club Cinema:
I went there on Veterans Day and saw a film in the Club, but the ticket was the same price as in the regular part of the theater, plus they were showing The Matrix in the other Club theater and obviously letting under 18s in . . . my guess is they still use the two Club facilities to show films without making the same distinction in service that they used to.
The Going Out Gurus: That very well could be. I'll find out for sure -- thanks for the feedback. -- Jen
Washington, D.C., 20001:
Hi GOGs! I'm going out on a first date tomorrow. I'm looking for a good, moderately priced, trendy Italian restaurant in DC. Any suggestions? Secondly, do you know of any bars or lounges that plays hip hop music on Fridays. I'm looking for something that does not have a club-like atmosphere. Lastly, what do you think of the Toka Cafe? Is it still a happening place?
The Going Out Gurus: I'm sure you can muck through these and come out a winner. Sort by 'our pick' then check the reviews until the lightbulb goes on over your head.
As for non-club like hip-hop spots on Fridays, check for Dredd at Aroma. Adrian Loving's gig at Lounge 201 on Fridays might loosely qualify, although you'd be better off opening your mind to some interesting funk and nu-electronica sounds rather than requesting a cut off of Jigga's new Black Album.
The word in Guru-ville is that Toka is not making it happen right now. 'Tis a pity as I had yet to check it out. - Rhome
Hey - I'm looking for a place for a fun Sat lunch in the District, for out of town friends. Any non-run-of-the-mill suggestions?
Thanks for your help!;
The Going Out Gurus: Oh that's easy -- the dim sum Saturday brunch at Cafe Atlantico. -- Alexa
Washington, D.C. BYOB? :
I like monkeys. And BYOB places. Are there any in D.C.? More specifically, in Adams Morgan or Dupont?
The Going Out Gurus: BYOB places are rare in any neighborhood. Lavandou, a very good, very trad French restaurant in Cleveland Park waives all corking fees on Monday nights.
I like monkeys too. This morning I learned the best taxidermied monkeys in town are to be found inside the new Behring Family Hall of Mammals at the National Museum of Natural History. The Hall opens on Saturday, Nov. 15. It's as cool as a Prada store. Unlike a Prada store, the Hall is outfitted with animals, including monkeys of all kinds, frozen in lifelike poses. The orangutan is magnificent, like Cher in a chestnut kaftan. Check it out. -- Kate
last week I saw Dave Grohl at Caryle Grand in Shirlington
The Going Out Gurus: Was he waiting at the bar with a cosmo?
My birthday is next Wednesday and everyone expects me to choose a happy hour spot to meet up. I plan on leaving work around 3 to begin the festivities. I know Lucky Bar's HH starts early, but what other downtown/midtown spots have early specials?
The Going Out Gurus: How about a brewpub? District Chophouse has $2.50 pints after 3 in either of their swank bar areas, and John Harvard's starts discounting beer and food (including a $2 bar menu) at 3. Of course, the lovely and divey Post Pub has $1.99 Miller Highlife at the same time. No contest, really. Also in Dupont and starting early: Childe Harold and Timberlake's. -- Fritz
OK, I know you get this question all the time. But where can women go to meet interesting single guys who aren't trying to pretend they're cool or fashion-conscious and obnoxious metrosexuals?
The Going Out Gurus: Well, DC, what about a pool hall? I was at Atomic Billiards a couple of nights ago and there were lots of regular Joes hanging around and not too many women. Any other ideas out there?
Front Page in Ballston?? Worth going to for a Friday Happy Hour? Thanks.
The Going Out Gurus: Haven't been at Happy Hour yet. Anyone?
Is Mamma Mia worth going to? Commercials look a little cheesy ... have any of you seen it? What did you think?
The Going Out Gurus: I (Jen) saw it last time it came to town. I may be in the minority on this, but I didn't enjoy it very much. I like Abba as much as the next person, but I thought the story was idiotic and the fun factor didn't compensate for that. Plus, one of the male leads could not sing AT ALL, which meant that the audience had to suffer for several minutes through his rendition of "Take a Chance On Me." If you're a hardcore Abba fan or you can get discounted tickets, it might be worth it. But otherwise, I'd skip it.
Out In The Cold...:
Hi, GoGs! This is a bit of a frou-frou question for the girls. When going out, what do you do with the jackets (or do you just do without)? It gets so hot inside most bars/clubs and then you get outside and it's freezing. I am not one going to risk hypothermia to wear fun clothes but I hate tucking my cocoon under my arm.
The Going Out Gurus: Yes, OITC, those of us out of our college years have realized a winter jacket is a necessity, even when bar-hopping. That said, I'd try a short jacket -- and don't forget your scarves and gloves. For storage, look for those lovely hooks under the bar. More solutions, readers? -- Maura
Whats the happy hour vibe like at Ortanique? What time does the dancing start there, on say a Friday.
The Going Out Gurus: It's fun until about 6:30, when it starts to slow. Dancing doesn't start until 11 or so, so there'd be plenty of time to kill. If you go on Thurs or Sat., there's live music around happy hour. -- Fritz
Let's Go TERPS!;!;!;!;
The Going Out Gurus: *Cue "Rock and Roll, Pt. 2"*
Re: Star Spotting:
George Clooney has been spotted at several of the city's nicest restaurants lately....Cashion's just last week.
The Going Out Gurus: I (Jen) came within 10 feet of George a couple of weeks ago at the Kennedy Center. Mr. Handsome does seem to be everywhere these days, though that will likely change once "K Street" stops filming in Washington.
Broke in D.C.:
Anything free happening Friday night/afternoon? Besides art galleries? I'm super broke and tired of staying in to save money. I'm open for just about anything. Thanks!
The Going Out Gurus: Just have to know how to play your cards, BiD-C. You can get a pass from Dream's Web site that lets you get in free before 8 p.m. The Kennedy Center has free shows 364 days per year at Millennium Stage: tomorrow's is the Blue Rhythm Boys with harmonica star Phil Wiggins. The Library of Congress is always good for a freebie. Tomorrow, you can hear jazz pianist and three-time Oscar nominee Richard Rodney Bennett perform. And Ortanique hosts a free salsa dance party with live music every Friday. -- Anne
What's a good dance club for the under-21 crowd?
The Going Out Gurus: Platinum and Insomnia seem a good fit for you out of this list. Make sure you check on what night you're going for the latter because not everything there is 18 and up. - Rhome
Silver Spring, Md.:
What's the word on the new gay bar/club in Wheaton, De Lounge? Thinking of heading up that way this weekend. What kind of crowd can I expect?
The Going Out Gurus: Here's a piece I did on De Lounge a few weeks ago. It's mostly gay, with a few straight couples looking for DJs (hard to find in MoCo), crowd is both young and old, and checking each other out. Disco lights, fog machine, good times. -- Fritz
I am a new resident of Arlington and I am looking for a fun place to go on a first date...along the lines of dinner and some form of entertainment. (That is different then the usual dinner & a movie routine.) Is there such a thing as a restaurant that is new or interesting or different in Arlington area?
Help an Arlington single out!
The Going Out Gurus: Do you think you could dig Iota? It's a club with live music, mostly folkier rock, countryfied bands like Joe Henry (this Monday) and the ever-rocking Marah. on Nov. 24. Iota has a cozy kitchen and a bar too. It's dinner and a concert for about $30 per person, or just dinner (concert heard but unseen: no charge) or just beers and the band. Very chill. -- Kate
New to area... looking for somewhere downtown to chill out and listen to good jazz. Any ideas?
The Going Out Gurus: Holla atcha boy Marshall Keys.
This is like the no-brainer answer in this chat for the last couple of weeks. Have any of you out there run across any other jazz in the downtown area? - Rhome
D.C. wishing it was Buffalo:
I know you must get this one ALL the time, but I'd love another answer -- are there any bars in DC where Bills fans gather to watch the games? Even if there are no other fans is there anyplace good to watch the games? For some reason they are never on my 3 TV channels. Always showing those durned redskins...
The Going Out Gurus: McFadden's is an official Bills bar, according to the team's fan club. -- Fritz
Re: Out in the Cold:
What about coat check?
The Going Out Gurus: A nice idea, but bars with coat checks aren't easy to find.
Morning guys. Just heard an interesting bit about a new movie theatre coming to Fairfax that has a bar. Where is it? When is it opening? Do you guys have the scoop or did I just mishear? Thanks!
The Going Out Gurus: I heard that a new movie theater is opening soon (in December or January, I think) in Fairfax, but didn't hear details regarding a bar. I thought it was just a regular multiplex, though I could be wrong. If you're looking for that sort of experience more immediately, try the Sterling Cinema Draft. -- Jen
Tenley, Washington, D.C.:
Is there an Italian Market anywhere in the DC area/VA/MD? Or, how about an Asian Market?
Have a wonderful day, kids!
The Going Out Gurus: There Litteri's, which is off in a wasteland north of Union Station and the best, I'd say, of its kind. As for Asian, I enjoy Han Ah Reum, the huge Korean market on Lee Highway. It's another world in there. -- Alexa
Downtown, Washington, D.C. :
Please suggest someplace where a couple of friends can sit down and have a cup of coffee after work...the local chains all seem to close by 7pm!;
The Going Out Gurus: Kramerbook's cafe will stay open late, late. If you don't mind smoke, Soho keeps late hours too. Or get a glam seat at Zatyinya for some Turkish coffee. Must it be coffee? If not, Teaism is your perfect choice. -- Anne
I'd like to hear from everyone...GOGs and the readers...Where to 5 hot women go for a GREAT Happy Hour in DC? Good drink specials and EXCELLENT bar food. Thanks! I love the weekly chats!
The Going Out Gurus: Fritz would send you to Topaz or Rouge. I'd send you to Snap! at Washington International Hotel on Thursdays, Indique or Flirt, Wednesdays at 1223.
Falls Church, VA.:
So I work in DC and was driving on 14th Street with a co-worker today. She and I noticed Saint-Ex and I recall hearing it mentioned in past chats. What is it exactly? A club? A restaurant? What are the crowds like there? (music/age, etc?)
The Going Out Gurus: I'm a fan of Cafe Saint-Ex. French-style restaurant (in decor) upstairs, groovy basement lounge with nightly DJs downstairs. Airplane theme throughout. The crowds are mid-20s to 40s, and DJs vary from reggae to hip-hop, although there's a lot of rock on the menu -- Britpop, '60s mod, even heavy metal. -- Fritz
Court House, Arlington, Va.:
Understand it's a little more than a month in advance ... but do you know when the Uptown starts selling Return of the King tickets?
The Going Out Gurus: The Trilogy Tuesday screenings sold out long ago. But I don't think tickets for the regular release of "King" have gone on sale yet. My guess is that they will next week, when we'll be four weeks away from opening day. (If someone has more specifics, please speak now.) We'll start posting info as soon as we get it, Court House. -- Jen
The Going Out Gurus:
It's true that not every spot has a coat check but there has to be a better alternative than seeing some of y'all walking around in the freezing cold in halter tops, mini's, with your toes out. You look CRAZY. - Rhome
What's the word on L'Enfant Cafe, next to the Duplex Diner? Looks cute, but I haven't heard much buzz...
The Going Out Gurus: There's not much to buzz about.
If you dig jazz, HR-57 on 14th Street is a nice place to hang out. Last time I checked, you can BYOB for a fairly inexpensive corkage fee. Most of its patrons aren't there to drink though.
The Going Out Gurus: Duh. Thanks.
Re: Front Page in Ballston:
Yes!; Go for Friday HH!; Jorge (George) is the BEST bartender. He left the Dupont location, our regular hangout, and we miss him terribly.
The Going Out Gurus: Have you been to the one in Ballston, or are you just big-upping Jorge?
Is Coyote Ugly open yet? Is it in the old Rock location? Thanks...you guys rock!;
The Going Out Gurus: It's opening next year (spring?), Arlington, or so the PR told me earlier this month. Delays, delays, delays. Tryouts for "coyotes" in the next month or so, I'm told. -- Fritz
How could you forget The Italian Store on Lee Highway in Arlington (Spout Run intersection). For shame!;
The Going Out Gurus: Because I don't think it's so great. That's all.
Washington, D.C. Bar Hopper:
Just to answer some of these:
Swing Dance on Thursdays?: Clarendon Ballroom. 3185 Wilson Blvd Arlington, VA
22201 Call: 703-469-2244.
Front Page: Ok happy hours. The thing is...you have lots of other places to hop to within walking distance if that place is beat.
The Going Out Gurus: Thursdays in Clarendon? You're thinking of Tom and Debra's event, which is on Tuesdays (check www.gottaswing.com). The Ballroom has live rock bands on Thursdays -- Emmit Swimming is playing tonight.
Thanks for the info on Front Page. I'm partial to Rock Bottom and Bailey's myself. -- Fritz
Men + Grooming = GROOMING LOUNGE:
I would recommend the Grooming Lounge on L Street downtown for massage... or any other dude treatment for that matter, they offer business manicures, pedicures and old-timey shaves (w/straight razor).....my boyfriend loves it!;!;!;
The Going Out Gurus: Yes, the Grooming Lounge treats men, metrosexual or otherwise, very well indeed. They offer a hot lather shave ($40 a go). Straight razor shaving is illegal in D.C. But the kind folks on L Street think hot lather gives a closer shave regardless. A nice gift, no? -- Kate
Mt. Pleasant wants some outdoor action...:
I know this isn't exactly the season to ask, but does anyone know of any free public tennis courts in DC (aside from the ones on 18th in lower Adams Morgan?) I'm tryin to get some game on in the cold weather; hopefully the crowds will be home drinking hot chocolate.
The Going Out Gurus: Mount Pleasant, cold weather tennis is a great idea and there are lots of courts to choose from. Just about any court that is on public school grounds or in a park is fair game. Here's a list of courts in Northwest, but type "tennis" in our search box, and you'll find tons more. -- Maura
L'Enfant, Washington, D.C.:
I've been there (L'Enfant) only twice, but loved it each time. Small menu but tasty. Outdoor patio in summer looked great. Nice service. Beautiful space. MUCH BETTER THAN PREVIOUS OCCUPANT!;
The Going Out Gurus: Come now, Caps, Franklin's had it's moment. They were very nice to orphaned dogs and kitties. L'Enfant is a treat, low key, nicely priced and no smoking inside. -- Kate
Need Baltimore advice:
Headed to Baltimore with three girlfriends on Saturday for a night of drinking and (hopefully) debauchery. We need some tips on a couple good bars and a fun place for dinner (something relatively light, as we must save room for beer). Got a great deal on a hotel in Fells Point, so we sorta want to stay in the area. Is there anything you can suggest that is not too painfully touristy or Lulu's-esque? Thanks, you guys are the best!
The Going Out Gurus: Okay, ladies. I like the Blarney Stone (on Broadway), which is a fun little dive bar with draft PBR and Natty Boh, pool and a great Jukebox. Also love the Wharf Rat, which brews its own English-style beers, and Max's on Broadway, which has a fantastic beer selection and redid the upstairs lounge earlier this year. Ze Mean Bean is another place worth going to, especially if you like Eastern European food (delicious pirogis) and beer -- you won't find that around here. Avoid the Greene Turtle, etc. at all costs.
Let's hear some Fells Point advice from the readers. -- Fritz
First off, Jacket- I have a cheap, fun, fake leather one that I got from a second hand shop, so I can wear it to bars and not worry about anyone spilling something on it since its so cheap, but it is cute enough to wear indoors until I get hot
Second, front page Ballston- ? do they have the same HH deals, ie- free taco bar on Thursday?
The Going Out Gurus: 1. Thanks for the advice.
2. No idea. People?
Do you know anywhere in the Washington, D.C. area where I can volunteer serving Thanksgiving dinners to the homeless? Thank You!!!
The Going Out Gurus: What a generous spirit you have, Arlington. One event is put on by the DCJCC. Volunteer help is needed the day before Thanksgiving to make side dishes desserts and bag lunches for 2,000 residents in a homeless shelter. You contribute your time at $10, and you can register online or call 202-518-9400, Ext. 581. The Salvation Army also needs help on Nov. 26 to feed the homeless. Call 202-756-2600. For more ideas, check in with volunteer clearinghouses like D.C. Cares or Touch D.C.. -- Anne
Hi - I'm not sure if you'll have time for this, but any suggestions for "quieter," but nice, bars where a girl can go with a few friends on Saturday night for a good drink (i.e, a bartender who knows how to make a good Sidecar) and have a conversation? I'm a big beer fan and love the Brickskeller, but some nights I yearn for something a little swankier -- 18th Street Lounge is great with good drinks, but loud. And even at the tender age of 24, I feel too old at many of the Adams Morgan haunts. Should I try hotel bars? I've seen you guys mention Degrees from time to time.
The Going Out Gurus: First, you must go visit Bistro Bis at the Hotel George on the Hill. Sam Harris (October's Bartender of the Month) makes a fantastic sidecar. The other truly great Sidecar in town is at the Library Lounge at the St. Regis Hotel on 16th. It's a gorgeous wood-panelled room, but very pricey. The catch is that the Sidecar is made with really, really high-quality ingredients. -- Fritz
Eats in Old Town & Dupont:
Recommendations for previous posters
Asian near Dupont - Try Uni Sushi on P St. about a block west of Sala Thai
Good food in Old Town - how about Bilbo Baggins, the food is usually quite good and they have decent wine list.
The Going Out Gurus: Good advice, thanks, although we find Bilbo a bit dreary.
Desperate Grey Cup Help!;:
There are Bills bars and Chiefs bars and Red Sox bars, but no place where a displaced Canadian can watch the Alouettes and Eskimos?
The Going Out Gurus: I dream of a place where We watch Connie Laliberte curl her way into the history books and all Rough Riders are equal. A place where Mr. Big, Aero, Crispy Crunch AND Coffee Crisps are less than a looney (three for a two-ony!) and Lucky only comes in big bottles. A place where hot dog buns are toasted on the inside AND outside, where Casey hangs out with Finnigan and David Frum is unwelcome.
Yup. Sucks there's nowhere to watch the Grey Cup. -- Kate
I have a real job now with the accompanying drab suits, etc. I tire of the dull! I just moved here recently - where do the tattooed and pierced crowd hang out?
The Going Out Gurus: Black Cat, Asylum, Common Share, Velvet Lounge, Kingpin, the basement bar at the 9:30.
Stash your coat in any out of the way corner or nook!; Under tables, on back of chairs, etc. Be creative--the faux fireplace in Fado is a good spot!; Done it for years, coat never lost or stolen.
Who's showing the Ireland v. Canada friendly next week?
The Going Out Gurus: Good advice re:coats.
As for the soccer: No one really seems to be showing the Friendlies over the World Cup qualifiers. I was looking forward to France-Germany on Saturday, but it doesn't seem to be on anywhere. -- Fritz
I just moved down here from New York and I have to admit, I'm having a really hard time figuring out what the closest metro station is to the places I go. I don't drive and I haven't tackled the bus routes yet. I feel like this is a duh question, but if I hear about a bar or restaurant here on your chat, and look it up in the review, there's no mention of the nearest station. Do you think it is because more people drive or because the system is relatively simple? And don't get me started on WMATA's travel guide on their website. (I don't seem to speak it's language?) Any tips for the local mass-transit-challenged??
The Going Out Gurus: We'll soon have 'nearest Metro station' information available in our location profiles.
The Metro system is really simple though. Contrasting it to NYC, I'd say that it's much easier to understand but the New York subway can get you to many more places with more convenience (and it's cheaper). But hey, ours is clean!
Folks that live outside of city limits generally do drive. We do have some of the worst traffic congestion in the nation, you know.
I find that the WMATA Ride Guide doesn't come into play for me until I need to figure out trips that involve bus/subway combinations. Otherwise it's easy gain a decent enough familiarity with this city (it is small) to be able to recall off the top of the head which places are close to which stations.
1. I tried to go to the Brenaked Ladies concert on Monday, but it was sold out and the only tickets I could find were VERY EXPENSIVE. Did any of you go to the show? How was it?
2. Which upcoming concerts do you expect will be very sold out, like this one, so that I can make sure to look for tickets when they go on sale and not miss out like I did on this one. Not interested in Simon and Garfunkel. What other upcoming shows are highly anticipated or in a small venue like the Barenaked Ladies?
The Going Out Gurus: 1) our colleague Ben went to the show and said he enjoyed it though he thought bnl were a little on the "precious" side.
2) tough tickets in the next month or so: White Stripes, the Wiggles (seriously), Harry Connick Jr, Ryan Adams. I'm sure there are others I'm not thinking of right now.
Where would you recommend going with a group for Bottle table service downtown, aside from 1223?
The Going Out Gurus: Republic Gardens or Home -- you get better treatment than usual at the latter if you drop some cash. We've also heard good things about bottle service at Andalu, but never tried it. -- Fritz
Serenity Day Spa:
The Serenity Day Spa is AWESOME!; Have spent some time there and it's both affordable and comfortable for both men and women!;
The Going Out Gurus: Nice get.
Can you get advanced tickets other than going to the box office there?
The Going Out Gurus: Yes, you can. Just look right here for details.
I know this is a chat about DC/MD/VA, but I'm a Marylander headed to the big apple for the weekend and I was hoping to get some reasonably priced (read: around 15 bucks a person) restaurant recomendations. We are staying on the upper west side, if that helps... THANK YOU!;
The Going Out Gurus: I have one word -- Kitchenette. The best breakfast/brunch you could ask for. I always end up at the one downtown, but there's an Upper West Side location too. Have fun. -- Maura
College Park, Md.:
Though a couple days late, Summers is showing the two rugby semis Monday night at 7 / 9 for either a $10 cover or $10 food/drink buy.
More palatable than $20 just to get in Sat/Sun morning.
The Going Out Gurus: Much more palatable, even if their food isn't. Thanks.
My brother is coming into town Friday night and I'm looking for a good place to eat in DC followed by drinks somewhere. It needs to be somewhere very laid back and not at all pretentious. Have any good suggestions? I was thinking Dupont/Adams Morgan area. Thanks!
The Going Out Gurus: It's hard to be pretentious when you're eating with your hands. Take him to one of Adams Morgan's Ethiopian restaurants for some communal dining. See if he'll believe AAA magazine's claim: that the neighborhood is now commonly known as "Little Ethiopia." Whatever. Afterwards: Bedrock Billiards, the Reef and Pharmacy Bar are all true to their nature. -- Anne
Ledroit Park, Washington, D.C.:
Looking for a happy hour place that's "fun and swank" -- not too over the top but a bit more swanky than the usual holes in the wall like Lucky Bar, etc... another requirement: not too crowded or smoky, preferably. Ideas?
The Going Out Gurus: Saint Ex might be good. It's policy is "no smoking until 11 p.m." upstairs.
Otherwise, what about Lounge 201 (the Hill), Chi Cha (Adams M.), Bourbon (Glover Park) or Gazuza (Dupont)? -- Kate
Where can a guy go for a manicure and not feel .. well .. you know, like he's auditioning for host on Queer Eye? No offense to you guys on the other side of the preference aisle, I hope.
The Going Out Gurus: Grooming Lounge. I'm straight, never had/wanted a pedicure, but I hear good things from guys who do. -- Fritz
I'm a native of Baltimore and go up frequently. If you are looking for more swanky than the "brewpubby" places the Gurus suggested - Red Maple on Charles St. is the place to go - there is a cover but its worth it for the scene and the scenery.
The Going Out Gurus: Thank you, thank you. I'm red, because I just sent a friend's bachelorette party there and they loved it. I had Fells Point block or something. Yes, ladies, you'll love Red Maple. Minimalist mod design and cocktails that will make you swoon. -- Fritz
Weekends in DC (including Thursdays) are always easy to find fun places to go. In contrast, however, it seems like it's nearly impossible to find fun, social places to go during the early to midweek doldrums. There are a few college student/Hill intern spots -- McFaddens, Garrett's, Red River, etc. -- that seem to pick up by Wednesday, but it doesn't seem like there's much in the way of options for late 20-early 30s professionals who want to meet new people and socialize during that long Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday slog. Any suggestions?
-- Dreading the Winter Wasteland
The Going Out Gurus: Fritz is your man. He's listed the best, cheapest and smartest of our area's happy hours by day. Here are his Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday archives. -- Kate
Punk Rock. Where?
The Going Out Gurus: Check pheer.com, which lists a lot of house shows, small-time concert venues, etc. Very valuable punk rock resource. -- Fritz
The Going Out Gurus:
More on mid-week fun...
Aubergine 3 at Gazuza on Mondays. Movies at Dr. Dremo's on Tuesdays. Belgian Beer Happy Hour at Bohemian Caverns on Tuesdays. Try your hand at rocking a party on Wednesdays at Galaxy Hut or Blue Room.
The Going Out Gurus:
On that note, we're signing off. See you all next week. Stay out late tonight, okay?