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The Going Out Gurus
of the washingtonpost.com City Guide
Thursday, March 22, 2007; 1:00 PM

Every Thursday at 1 p.m. ET, washingtonpost.com's City 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 City Guide or read transcripts of past Got Plans? discussions.

The transcript follows.

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washingtonpost.com: Hi, everyone, Welcome to Thursday afternoon -- only one more day before the weekend. We're crossing our fingers the forecast that calls for rain is dead wrong. Anyway, spring has arrived and that's good enough reason to cheer! So, let the questions begin. We're ready.

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Washington, D.C.: A couple questions about area restaurants - any word on when the Majestic is opening in Alexandria? Also, is something moving into the old Red Sage space? Thanks for all the great tips!

Erin: From what I've heard, you can look for the Majestic to open sometime on or around April 10. That's one spot I'm very excited for. As for Red Sage, it seems pretty dead over there. I had heard some mention of reorganizing that space to be something other than a restaurant, but does anybody out there have better updates?

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Washington, D.C.: Hi!! Where can my boyfriend and I bring some nonadventurous (meaning, no sushi, Indian food etc) diners to eat tomorrow night that is fun and inexpensive? We want to show them a great time but cant seem to find a place for dinner.

Erin: Georgetown's Pizzeria Paradiso is centrally located and great for the nonadventurous. Even David loved it when we ate there. If you're willing to go a bit of distance, Brightwood's Colorado Kitchen does fabulous takes on American food (fried chicken and the like). Pesce in Dupont is a favorite if they're fishmongers, but dishes can run into the mid-20s per entree. Other ideas: Saint-Ex and Busboys and Poets.

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National Sculpture Garden: When do the Friday Jazz concerts in the Sculpture Garden start up again? The Web site doesn't say.

Thanks GoGs

Julia: Word from the National Gallery's press office is that the concerts start up again May 25.

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Arlington, Va.: After hearing about them from friends and based on one of your recommendations I went to see Middle Distance Runner at the 9:30 club who I thought was a really good band. However, me and my friend got there early and were blown away by The Dance Party (as was the crowd it seemed). I hadn't heard much about them but after picking up their CD at the show, the band has instantly become me and my friends favorite local band and we are really looking forward to seeing them again. However, according to their MySpace page they are only playing at a club in DC that is 21 and up and some shows out of town. Any idea on when we might be able to catch them at an under 21 venue again?

David: Glad you had a fun time at that show, always good to get out and support the locals. The Dance Party is indeed playing a 21+ show on Saturday night at DC9 (going up against MDR at the Rock and Roll Hotel, actually). As for another all-ages gig, the band is scheduled to play at the Rock and Roll Hotel on April 20 as part of the Six Points Music Festival. (Going up against MDR again that night, too.) So you'll have to wait just about a month to get your fix.

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Alexandria, Va.: I'm hosting a bachelorette party overnight in Georgetown in a couple weeks. The bride wants to go to a fashionable place where she can dance. Someplace with some atmosphere (e.g., not college kegger mentality or looks) would be nice. I know there are several places along the waterfront but I'm not familiar with them. Please help!!

Julia: I think Blue Gin or Modern are probably your safest bets. Neither are on the waterfront, but I don't feel like the waterfront bars -- Sequoia, Riverside Grille, etc -- really fit your "fashionable place where she can dance" description.

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Washington, D.C.: My husband is coming in town for a visit; where is a nice place to take him to dinner tonight that isn't too chic and expensive. Outdoor seating would be key. Good wine would be even better. Around Adams Morgan/Woodley Park/Dupont?

Erin: The spacious patio at Woodley's Lebanese Taverna is one of my favorites when the weather heats up. You can also find out if the roof of Perry's is open this evening. Sette Osteria and Hank's Oyster Bar are two other patio-endowed places that would suit your specifications. Have fun.

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Washington, D.C.: Hi, relatively new to DC here and looking for a good bar to watch Thursday night's NCAA tournament games in Chinatown. Any suggestions?

Fritz: Two options: Rocket Bar is a low-key spot with seven decent-sized flatscreens, pool tables, shuffleboard, darts and a number of couches and seats. It's a cozy basement bar run by the folks behind Atomic/Bedrock/Buffalo Billiards.
On the higher end, there's the Lucky Strike bowling alley. I know, it's more well-known for expensive cocktails and gutter balls than watching basketball, but they have some large screens and the bartenders are generally pretty quick.

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Bethesda, Md.: Hey guys- I have a question about tomorrow nights OK Go/Snow Patrol concert at Bender arena. What time do you recommend getting there?? Also, as I am a Bender arena newbie, do they sell alcohol there or is this a good clean fun kinda concert?? Thanks so much.

David: I'd recommend getting there right around 730, but that's because I think the first band of the night, Silversun Pickups, is worth seeing. Not quite as great as some bloggers make them out to be (imagine that), but they might be headlining their own show at Bender in a couple years, at least 9:30 club. And it's a Snow Patrol concert, of course it's "good clean fun." No booze at Bender, sorry.

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Chocolate Decadence, D.C.: Hi GOGs (particularly Erin). Have any of you (or any of the chatters) tried the chocolate buffet at the Ritz Carlton? Anything in particular that is spectacular? My friend and I are going this Friday. Where would be a good place to grab a very light bite beforehand? Thanks!

Erin: Chocolate that you can eat unabashedly in dozens of forms without waiting or having to decide exactly which things you want? Wild anti-chocolate horses could not have kept me from that splendor (as detailed in our blog). You're smart to grab a light bite. I figured I could go without dinner and ended up with a substantial sugar buzz. I'm glad that you're going. It's pretty spectacular.
For a good nearby bite, you could do happy hour bites at David Greggory, lean protein at Grillfish or the recently reviewed Mai Thai.

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Washington, D.C.: It is spring and I am feeling the need to be artistic and creative. Where can I go in DC (In DC-- NOT VA or MD, please!!) to take a relatively inexpensive art class? Painting, drawing, pottery, photography... whatever! If nothing is available, I might be reduced to painting pottery- where might I do that?

Julia: How inexpensive are you thinking? You check out the Art League, Glen Echo, or look at the classes at, say, the Fairfax County rec centers. For something a little more informal -- and cheaper -- check out Post critic Michael O'Sullivan's story on local drop-in art classes.
If you want to paint pottery, All Fired Up in Cleveland Park should fit your needs.

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Arlington, Va.: Can I wear nice jeans with dressy tops and pointy boots to Five?

Fritz: Since Five has no dress code, you can wear whatever you want. It really depends on the night, though -- if you're dancing to Hanik and Tom B. until 5 a.m. this weekend, you're gonna wanna be comfortable.

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Baltimore, Md.: Besides The Tombs, where in D.C. can I go tomorrow night to cheer on the Hoyas with other Georgetown fans? Thanks!

Erin: It shouldn't be too hard to find a local bar showing the game. I imagine it will be challenging to locate places that don't have it on. I think that narrowing the radius to Georgetown would be a top bet. Rhino Bar and Chadwick's will be wild. Where do you want to be?

Fritz: I'd say Town Hall would be a good bet for slightly older fans. Bourbon, too.

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Adams Morgan, Washington, D.C.: What is going on in D.C. this weekend? I saw signs saying that most of the roads will be closed and to take Metro. Where can I find this info in the future?

Anne: One thing that will close big chunks of roads (like Rock Creek Parkway) this Saturday morning is the National Marathon. If you want to cheer the runners on, you're in luck, because between miles 20-21, they'll come right through your hood, along Calvert and then up Columbia. Here's where you can find the street closings (PDF) and a course map. We aim to point you to this kind of info every week.

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Alexandria, Va.: Hey Gurus, two questions, both dress-related: 1. Is anyone collecting donated formal gowns for prom this year? 2. I'd really like to get rid of my wedding dress. What would be the best way to sell it? I'm considering eBay, consignment, etc., but I figured maybe you or the chatters would have ideas.

Janet: On the first question: Goodwill of Greater Washington is collecting; they recently received a major donation of 300 prom dresses that are now on sale at its Laurel, Gaithersburg, Northeast DC (South Dakota Avenue), Sterling and Manassas, VA stores.
Don't know a consignment store that specializes in bridal. I would think eBay would be your best bet. Anyone else?

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Rockville, Md.: I'm looking for an Easter brunch buffet....any suggestions?

Erin: Hotels always go all out with elaborate buffet spreads. The Four Seasons, Fairmont's Colonnade and the Watergate plan huge spreads. An added bonus is always the ability to pose for photographs alongside a matty-fur Easter bunny. Mimosas and bunnies!
My top choice for a non-hotel spot would probably be Georgia Brown's, but make reservations ASAP.

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Washington, D.C.: What do you think about AXIS on U Street? I've been looking for a neighborhood bar in the area and heard good things about it. Does it live up to its compliments?

Thanks Gurus

Fritz: There are several really good neighborhood bars on U Street, actually. I enjoy sampling the large beer selection at Axis (you can read my end-of-December review here), but I think that Solly's, a corner tavern with cheap PBR, and the TV-less Saloon are much better for the 'hood. The Saloon, after all, encourages you to sit at empty seats at tables and make new friends.

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Please Help!: I don't know who to ask, so I'm turning to you guys.

I live near the Courthouse metro in Arlington. Every night (or at least weeknight), I hear a trumpet playing "Taps" at 11pm sharp. I can see the Air Force Memorial from my apartment, and I know we're not far from the Pentagon/Arlington Cemetery -- can you help me discover the source?

Other friends in the area hear it too, and we can't figure it out!

David: I wish I could help, but I can't. So I'm throwing it out there. Anyone know? I hear it at 11pm every night I'm home, too, it's my reminder to flip on the Daily Show or maybe Curb. At first it sort of drove me crazy but now it's just part of my life.

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Arlington, Va.: Just wanted to let you know that a bunch of friends & I went to the Old Dominion Brewhouse last Saturday as a non-irish alternative for St Patrick's Day. I was a little apprehensive because of the bad reviews about the service, but our waitress was great! Very quick and on top of things! The only negative was that it got very crowded later at night, and the manager kept asking us if we were done with our "giraffe" because they ran out. Eventually we turned it over and left. All in all, it was a good experience though!

Fritz: Good to know. Hopefully they'll buy more giraffes -- they only had the one in stock when I wrote my review, and it's not like you're going to chug 120+ ounces of beer.

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Washington, D.C.: Any thoughts on a (relatively) new, moderately-priced restaurant with good food and drinks in DC for a girls night out? Any type of food is fine--we just like checking out the hip new places.

Erin: Did you write in last week? Read my special girls' night blog post.

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Alexandria, Va.: Please help - I need to get out and shake it on the dance floor. I haven't been dancing in years and I don't know where to go any more. I used to be a regular at Buzz, but I also went out to clubs like Platinum on occasion. I'm looking for techno, house, or club music and preferably no or a loose dress code (I like to dance in jeans and sneakers, not high heels and dresses).

The catch is that I'm dragging my husband with me, but he's not really the dancing type. I've only seen him in action at couple of weddings when he's been really, really hammered. He's more of a sports bar or Black Cat/Dremo kind of guy. What are the fun places in Va. or D.C. where I can dance and my husband can be a wallflower without feeling too out of place?

Thanks -- you guys are the greatest.

Julia: This question is near and dear to my heart; my guy's a bit of a wallflower too. Blue Room used to be our go-to, but these days, I guess I like Science Club for this these days. My man can chill at one of the tables on the second floor while I go get down like-minded dancers upstairs. But usually, when I want to dance, I just leave the boyfriend behind. He has a much better time chilling with his friends at a bar of his choice then sitting around while I'm up dancing.
Chatters, what say you? Any suggestions for Alexandria?

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Bhangra Buff: Hey GOGs! I'm Punjabi and very excited about Bhangra Blowout this weekend. We're not going to the actual event, but my hubby and I wanted to hit a party or two (Friday or Saturday) and were wondering which ones in your opinion would be sporting an older crowd. We're in our late 20's, but we still love to Bhangra and enjoy a good hindi/remix DJ here and there. Looking forward to getting our Desi-Groove On.

Fritz: Well, you'll want to skip the Fur party on Saturday, which is 18-and-over...
The Saturday night Waterfront celebration with DJ Bikram Keith should be great, especially if the weather holds. I've seen Keith spin at Bollywood parties and enjoy his mixing; throw in live Dholis and party-hopping and it should be a great night.
Also, Bikram Singh at Ultrabar on Friday should be hot. I heard his song "Kawaan" on the internet archive of the BBC's online South Asian channels. Good voice. And it's free. All the details are in this week's Nightlife Agenda column.

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Washington, D.C.: Where can a pale-skinned Irish skin cancer survivor go to get a spray-on tan in this city? I don't do tanning beds for obvious reasons.

Janet: There are a bunch of locations within the metro area that are variously called Palm Beach Tan, South Beach Tan, At the Beach, etc. They all use the Mystic Tan spray method.

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Washington, D.C.: Do you have a funky, interesting place I could take some friends to from Germany for dinner this weekend? I'm really stumped. Thanks!

Erin: I think Jackie's might be up your alley in the funky/interesting category. Rasika is a favorite, though it's not necessarily funky. It is very unique for our area. The space at Matchbox is fun and different, but the wait for a table and rude hostesses make it less tolerable.
Sonoma is a special spot and Wasabi's conveyor belt is somewhat amusing, but lots of typical funky spots fail in the good food category. Who has funky favorites to share?

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Courthouse, Va.: The trumpet playing is coming from Fort Myer, just a little south of courthouse. They also do it every day at 5pm.

David: Thanks to everyone who wrote in. This makes sense.

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Washington, D.C.: Re: Art Classes I've taken many art and dance classes at the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop and have always found them very affordable and fun. They even have one-day workshops if the chatter is so inclined. I prefer to embarrass myself at hip hop dance.

Janet: For the chatter in search of art classes, here's a recommendation.

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Prom King: To the girl wanting to donate prom dresses YES! There is a brand new charity www.onceuponaprom.org which is collecting dresses, cash and throwing a big "adult prom" the end of April.

Janet: Another place that is collecting prom dresses. Thanks for the heads-up.

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Washington, D.C.: GoGs: This is a weird question, but what's the Pet Expo in Chantilly like? Is it worth the drive out there? Can I pick up cool things for my dog or is it really cheesy vendor-y?

Anne: Really, there's rarely a question that's too weird for us. If you're into hearing pet-related businesses tell you about their stuff, go for it. My sense, though, is that the Pet Expo is more trade show than, say, the Animal Planet Expo (which doesn't seem to be coming by this year), but has more activities for people and pets. Personally, I'd be more into this Sunday's March Mayhem.

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Wedding gown consignment: I DO I DO in Gaithersburg, Md.

Janet: For the woman who wants to get rid of her wedding gown, here's a local option.

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Washington, D.C.: I took some great ones through the Smithsonian. They have watercolors, oil painting, sketching, all kinds of things. And relatively inexpensively, especially if you become a member which is something like $25. Then you get really discounted rates. They have them some weeknights and also on Saturdays/Sundays.

Janet: More art class info!

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Bethesda needs SS help: All mighty gurus: Going to Rays for dinner tomorrow night in Silver Spring. Reservations aren't till 8, so we need somewhere before and after to get drinks, preferably somewhere we can watch some basketball. thoughts??

Fritz: I'd say McGinty's Irish Pub for the game watching, since they have a bunch of flatscreens upstairs. There's a U2 cover band on tomorrow night, but they don't start until late, so you should be able to get your Bruins on.
Also, I still like the Quarry House Tavern, even though it's a little less divey than it was before the owners of Jackie's took over. Good draft beers, low ceiling, has a been-here-for-years charm because, well, it's been on that corner since the end of Prohibition.

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Alexandria, Va.: WOW! Thanks for the tip last week about Tim Tate's amazing glass exhibition at Fraser Gallery in Bethesda -- it was worth the trip. Did you ever get to see it? I've never bought a piece of art before and now I think that I am about to take the plunge!

Any more gallery tips this weekend?

Thanks!

Julia: Tim Tate, is that you?
Seriously, though, I still haven't made my way over to the Tate exhibition. My love of art was tempered by my love of basketball last weekend, but the exhibit is so on the agenda for this one.
Since you liked Tate's work, you should check out Graham Caldwell's exhibit at G Fine Art. It's really amazing -- just look at these pictures. Other than that, my top picks for exhibits this month are listed here. If you're looking for a art opening -- free wine & mingling -- I might consider checking out Transformer's new conceptual exhibition on Saturday night.

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H St Resident: Two things -

Re: Easter brunch - Georgia Browns is already booked - has been for a few weeks.

Two - the Argo employee - Quike - has been mentioned several times on this blog (the horrific shooting last fall). Joe Englert has created the "Quike Challenge" - http://frozentropics.blogspot.com/2007/03/quike-challenge.html#comments - asking concerned folks for a $30 donation to cover the cost of his new skull - his video interview was on WaPo on Sunday as part of the H St piece

Fritz: Thanks, and I'm always happy to put in a plug for charity.

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Columbia Pike, Va.: Hey Erin,

Please help. I have a third date with this guy I really like. He likes Thai and Indian food. Can you recommend a place that is romantic, excellent food and ambiance anywhere in DC/VA? Afterwards, we want to go to a nice,quiet, swanky bar/lounge to talk (nothing crowded or loud). Any suggestion on that also? thanks a million.

Erin: That's exciting. You get brownie points for finding a guy with an adventurous palate. For romantic Thai, I would either stick to your neighborhood with Bangkok 54 or venture up to U St. for Simply Home. Rice is a bit noisy to qualify as romantic, though it's got an industrially cozy vibe going. If you went to Rice, you could bring your own wine to HR-57 for some good jazz.
Regarding Indian, Tandoori Nights in Clarendon is far from perfect food, but it's beautiful at night. Also, Bombay Club is quite regal inside and I find that the formality makes it seem more special. You could follow dinner with a walk around the White House and a drink at the Library Lounge.

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Girls Night Out: Thanks, Erin. I didn't write in last week, but the blog was perfect.

Erin: Well, it seems that there are several groups of girls who like to dine out at the new hot spots. I'm so glad to help.

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Washington, D.C. - RE: Chocolate Decadence: I went to Chocolate Decadence last week with 2 friends. I also had a sugar buzz/near diabetic coma reaction since I didn't eat dinner, but I was also trying to get my $35 worth. I would strongly suggest you arrive early - we got there around 7pm since we thought that's when it started and we got one of the last open tables; some folks waited the entire time we we there (they also will only seat you if your complete party is there). If you call about dress code they'll tell you that they prefer no jeans, but most people in there were pretty casual so you'd be OK in nicer jeans. Enjoy!

Erin: Yes, that's a good point. It's worth calling ahead to reserve a table. I sat at around 7:30 and didn't budge until well after the buffet had closed. There were people in jeans. If I had it to do over again, I would probably wear stretch pants.

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NW Washington D.C.: Hey I am craving Thai food. Is the Thai restaurant in the Georgetown harbor any good?

Erin: Check out my above post on recommended Thai spots. I haven't ever been wowed by Bangkok Joe's, though the dumplings are very creative. If you're in that neighborhood, the unassuming Basil Thai up Wisconsin does a better job.

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For Alexandria: Try Mr. Days in Clarendon. It can be a young crowd, but it's a sports bar with a ton of TVs, plenty of bar seating, and a dance floor and DJ that's usually packed on the weekend!

Fritz: My two cents on the "I want to dance but my boyfriend doesn't" question: This is a situation made for Chief Ike's on the weekend, when the DJ is spinning Top 40 and golden oldie hip-hop on the main floor while it's less of a scene upstairs in the Cosmo Lounge. There are places to sit on both levels. Also, if Dr. Dremo's has a DJ, it seems to have a natural split between dancing and drink areas. Of course, none of these places plays house or techno.
That's why I might send you to Five, where you can hit the main dance floor while your non-dancing SO hangs out on the tropical-style roofdeck. It's got seating and is far more low-key than the main room.

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Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.: Easter question- I want to do something different for Easter. Last year, we did a really nice Easter brunch at a restaurant. This year, I think I want to gather my friends and do a potluck picnic, but I don't know of any "public" picnic grounds. Metro accessible is key, and we are not really "woodsy" people. Any ideas? Not sure if this is possible, but can my friends and I picnic at the zoo? On the mall? Thanks!

Anne: My favorite thing about D.C. is all its public spaces. And sure, people picnic on the Mall or on Tiger Hill at the zoo all the time. I have to believe that's one intention of L'Enfant and the Olmsteads and uh, your tax dollars. The Fourth of July on the Mall, for example, is one giant picnic potluck. As long as you're not talking about a gazillion people or bringing alcohol, no prob. If you need a grill, you can call the D.C. Parks and Rec at 202-673-7647 to learn about reserving a picnic spot in Rock Creek Park.

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Montmartre: Parents are coming into town and we are trying Montmartre. Is it as good as I hear? Any thoughts on what to order? What's the dress like? Thanks GoGs- you guys are the bestest of the best!

Erin: I love Montmartre. The dress is fairly casual, so you won't need to throw on your party clothes. Food-wise, you'll do great with the duck, any steak dish and an apple tart for dessert.

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Pete Yorn: I read this chat religiously but never really had much to post. But now I was hoping you guys could weigh in on a concert etiquette question for me. I went to see Pete Yorn with a friend I hadn't seen in a while last night. We were standing on the second floor of the 9:30 club enjoying the show. In between songs we would chat and catch up. But towards the end of the show before one song this woman rudely asked to stop talking because "this was her favorite song." We were silent for the rest of the show, but wasn't really sure how to handle the situation other than try to find a new spot. I feel like if she had a problem with us though she should have moved locations. But maybe not?

David: OK, time to revisit one of our favorite subjects. If you really were only talking between songs then it seems like that woman was out of place. I'm pretty anti-talking at concerts, but not as militant as some people are. I mean, you're at a nightclub with friends, of course there's going to be some talking. I think that if you know you're going to do some chatting during a show, stand closer to the back away from the (likely) rabid fans that won't want to be disturbed at all. I can understand people not wanted to be disturbed after paying a decent amount of money to attend a show. I also think there's a certain way to talk at shows. I'll usually lean right into the ear of whoever I'm trying to talk to instead of shouting over everything. Maybe (usually?) the person I'm talking to doesn't like that, but it's better than shouting.
Anyway, paying $25 to go and talk through a show seems silly to me, but it doesn't seem like that's what you were doing at all. Just try to be as tactful as possible, that's what I'd say.

Fritz: If you were talking during her favorite song, she had every right to ask you to keep it down. I'm sorry, but it's a concert. You were getting maybe, what, 30-45 seconds between songs to catch up? Save the chatting for an after-show beer at Solly's or the Saloon.

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McPherson Square, D.C.: I posed this question to Tom S. yesterday and he never got to it. Hopefully the GOGs can help me out. If somebody had some serious making up to do and told you to pick a place, would you choose The Inn at Little Washington, The Inn at Easton, or Poplar Springs Inn & Spa? Thanks!

Erin: There's really nothing like the Inn at Little Washington. It's one of those superlative experiences where everything seems to fit into place. It's very special. That would be my top bet, followed by Easton, which is also a unique spot. Good luck.

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Washington, D.C.: Hi GOG's! I'm planning to go to the opening of the new Indian Dresses exhibit at the National Museum of the American Indian this weekend. I think the museum cafe will likely be crowded. Can you please recommend a place for my friends and I to go nearby for snacks and a drink afterwards? Thanks!

Julia: The cafe is likely to be crowded, but it is yummy -- Tom Sietsema even agrees with me on this one! -- so I'd definitely keep that as an option.
Other than that (or getting food at the National Gallery), your closest options are by the Verizon Center. Maybe Ella's or the kitschy Waffle Shop? Keep in mind that these restaurants are several long blocks away from the museum.

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Rock Chalk Jayhawk: Where will the Kansas faithful gather tonight and Saturday for the games? Thanks!

Fritz: Porter's downtown, Bailey's in Ballston and Crystal City. If you go out for the game, all locations are tied to the alumni group, so you might want to ask them about joining. They can probably keep you up to date about chapter info better than we can.

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Rockville, Md.: Hi Gurus! I am meeting some girlfriends for dinner tonight. It's a last minute plan- they are visiting from Richmond for the day, and I will be coming in from Md. I was thinking somewhere near Dupont Circle. Any suggestions for someplace fairly inexpensive? No preferences for any particular type of food. If it's not too late, I would like a place that takes reservations though since the weather is so nice today! Thanks!

Erin: How about Korean food at Mandu on 18th? There's a small patio and an interesting drinks selection. Across the street, Straits of Malaya hasn't been serving excellent food of late, but the rooftop patio is awesome and the prices are low. You shouldn't have a problem getting a good table.

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Re: Romantic Indian restaurant: I -highly- recommend Indique in Cleveland Park. The decor is beautiful, and the food is amazing.

Erin: Oh, such a good call. Indique is an excellent choice.

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SNOW DAY: Some girlfriends and I are playing hookie from work tomorrow for a much needed SNOW DAY....Snow Patrol concert at Bender.

We haven't traveled to AU before so don't know what's in the area for dinner/drinks post show? Also, I'm assuming the AU Metro stop on the red line is key if we are riding in. Do you know if there is free parking, have a friend who has an aversion to the Metro....can you imagine?

David: I haven't been to many shows at Bender, but transportation is a hassle and a half from what I remember. Tenleytown Metro is key, as you said, but then you have to catch a shuttle to the arena because it's a hike from the Metro stop. Not positive about parking, I think there's a garage but not sure how big it is. Any Bender experts?

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Washington, D.C. - Field Trip!: Hi GOGs. There's a store my mom and I want to check out in Baltimore, so I thought we might make a day trip out of it. Any suggestions for a fun Saturday? What should we make sure to see? She's coming from out of town, and I've only been to Baltimore once (did the Aquarium and Camden Yards).

Julia: Express had a whole section on this yesterday and that should totally help you out! The "weird Baltimore" story was a lot of fun. You can download yesterday's print edition on the Express Web site. The Baltimore section starts on 41. I'd say a trip to Hampden is pretty much a must, but read the section, that'll be your best bet.

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Adams Morgan: Hi Gurus!

Some friends and I are going to have a girls night out this Saturday, we're thinking about heading to Adams Morgan bc there seems to be so many choices. We're more of a chic bar/ club with great music to dance to type of group, any suggestions in the Adams Morgan area? Thanks so much!

Fritz: I don't think there are really any chic bars with dancing in Adams Morgan. Closest you'll get is the upstairs at Bourbon, which used to be the old Blue Room. Felix gets way packed on weekends, even if I like going to some events at Spy Lounge. Meze is tiny. Chloe is just too crowded and kinda over-testosteroned.
What I will suggest is the new champagne lounge in the basement of Napoleon, the old Mantis. Wonderful cocktails -- all made with champagne -- and a DJ spinning house music, but not too loud for conversation. I'll have a write-up on the site soon.
If you're serious about going out for a chic girls night out, I'd steer you towards the old reliables of Fly, Eighteenth Street Lounge, Play and Dragonfly near 18th and M. You're sure to find something right there that suits your needs.

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Don't Go to Rhino's:: No self-respecting Hoya fan will go watch the game at Rhino's, since it also claims to be an official bar for Syracuse fans -- hello, rivalry? What an affront.

Fritz: I smell a boycott. Isn't it also an Ohio State bar, too? Think of the brackets, people.

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RE:Thai : Thai food is not that adventurous, now if he were eating bugs or something then I'd agree.

Erin: No, it's not. But compare "Thai and Indian" with "meat and potatoes," which is what many many users write in to request for date ideas. Better yet, hold those tastes up against the Bagel Bites, bagels and pizza regimen that a certain guru favors. I simply meant that it's important to find somebody who won't limit your restaurant experiences around town ... unless that's all the guy will eat.

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Verizon Center: Hey GOGs - I asked before the chat started, but don't know if it got through. Besides Clyde's, what's the best bet for a beer and burger before a hockey game? I like Five Guys, but it doesn't quench my thirst. Anything within walking distance that's a little off-the-beaten-path?

Fritz: The burgers at Capitol City Brewing Company aren't bad, and because it's a whole five blocks or so from the arena, it doesn't get the jerseyed masses.

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Washington, D.C.: For the Easter Picnicker: We pack tea sandwiches and fruit tarts and head over to the National Cathedral grounds (in the back in the Bishop's Garden is nice since the front is currently smacked up by construction). For a small party of 4-6 people it's perfect.

Janet: What a lovely suggestion. Hope the weather is warm enough to do.

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Florida transplant: Hey, gurus, love the chat! This may be more of an "Ask Tom" question ... but seeing as spring has sprung and I hail from near the Strawberry capital of the East Coast ... I was hoping you could suggest a restaurant around these parts that makes a great strawberry shortcake. And that obviously excludes those made with - ick! - frozen berries.

Erin: It's still too early to find any decent offerings around town, but look to places like Blue Duck Tavern, Vidalia, Viridian and 1789 to make that dream come true.

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Washington, D.C.: Is there a place in the metro area where I can hear an 80s cover band?

Fritz: The question really is, is there a place in Northern Virginia where you CAN'T hear an '80s cover band?
The Legwarmers are the Dons, but their Saturday concert at the State Theatre, like most of their performances, is sold out. Shame, because they put on a great show with costumes and top-notch musicianship. My runner up '80s pick is the Reflex, who are performing at McGinty's in Silver Spring this weekend. Don't like them as much as the Legwarmers, but they're not a bad choice.

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Emmitsburg, Md.: Hi, Gurus! I live way up in the sticks now, but hubby and I are planning on hitting the Cherry Blossom Festival (we've both never been) the day after Easter. We're Metro-ing in and making a day of it, so any recommendations for nice but not too pricey lunch and/or dinner spots nearby? Thanks! (Also any not-to-miss attractions at the festival?)

Anne: Cool plan, so you're coming Monday, April 9? The big events are on the weekends, but there are lots of exhibits and a free performance to see that day, and the main attraction is the blossoms themselves, of course. Check our guide for all the details. The Tidal Basin is deceptively far away from everything, including downtown restaurants, so best to bring your own snack or eat during the day at the Holocaust Museum's cafeteria, or else you'll be depending on a hotdog/pretzel cart. For more substantial eats, keep the Japanese theme going by Metro-ing up (from Smithsonian) to Farragut West for Cafe Asia or Foggy Bottom for Kaz Sushi.

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Galaxy Hut: Is karaoke on tonight at galaxy hut? if so, what time should i get there for a table?

David: I don't see any reason why it wouldn't be. Get there around 830 (a little earlier and you can catch the tail end of happy hour), eat some dinner, admire the awesome new hardwood floor and you'll be set.

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Washington, D.C.: Looks like there's rain in the forecast. Which museums here offer podcast tours?

Julia: We do! We do! If you'll forgive the shameless self-promotion, Fritz and I put together some podcast tours for the American Art Museum, Portrait Gallery and Mount Vernon. We'll have two more for other area museums/exhibits next month. They're pretty cool, if I do say so myself....
Other than that, I know the Hirshhorn does podcasts, but they aren't really "tours." The talk they did with Baldessari sheds some light on the downstairs exhibition, though. The Phillips Collection has a cell phone tour for its Moving Pictures exhibit. I didn't love the exhibit, but the cell-phone tour was pretty cool. Hope that helps!

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Arlington, Va.: For the bride looking to sell her wedding dress, there are also some specific web sites for her to check out: www.preownedweddingdresses.com and www.sellyour weddingdress.com. Both of these sites charge a one-time list fee but I think it's pretty reasonable. Also, one other thing to consider would be to donate it. I think there's something called "Brides Against Breast Cancer" (long site address, try Google). A great cause, and a tax deduction, too!

Janet: Thanks, Arlington, all good suggestions.

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Takoma Park, Md.: I'm excited for the DC Rollergirls' debut this Saturday but we need help making an evening of it out in Sterling.

Do you know of a place to get decent vegan food? Decent cheap beer? (Doesn't have to be at the same place, but bonus points if it is.)

Fritz: I just wrote a Weekend Section cover story about nightlife in Loudoun County last week!
Erin suggests going to Sunflower early -- it's in Vienna, which involves hopping on and off 66 -- for dinner, as we're not too familiar with vegetarian places in Sterling.
For beer, I like O'Faolain's, a convivial Irish pub, and the Bungalow, a billiard spot with a beachhouse theme, beer poured in Mason jars and a young, lively crowd. For some more interesting beers (and, I think, vegetarian options), keep driving down Route 7 and check out the new Vintage 50 brewpub.

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Penn Quarter, D.C.: Hey GOG's

Since the Bhangra Blowout is this Saturday where's the after party going to be or any clubs in the area that will be playing some Bhangra music to do some serious dancing to? Thanks!

Fritz: Oh, forgot to include this before -- our longer list of bhangra parties is here.

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Re: Talking during the show: I couldn't agree with Fritz more, concerts are not for chatting. Even though they were only "catching up between songs", that was most certainly not the case as most artists only pause enough for the applause to die down. How would the person behind her know her favorite song was playing if they only talked when the music wasn't playing? I have noticed that the more mainstream the band (and occasionally the younger the crowd), the louder the ambient conversations. There is a great basement bar at 9:30 club they could have adjourned to....

Fritz: Thanks.

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washingtonpost.com: We're outta here. See you next week. Happy weekend.

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