The Going Out Gurus
of the washingtonpost.com City Guide
Thursday, December 6, 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.
washingtonpost.com: Hi, glad you could make it, despite all the ice out there. This is Anne, and I don't want to see any more spinning wheels, so let's just start! We're all here except for Rhome, and I have a feeling Fritz has something special he wants to say.
Kensington, Md.: Hi, can you recommend a good but moderately priced New Orleans fare restaurant in Silver Spring, Bethesda or Rockville? Thanks in advance!
U St.!!: Hi Gurus, I'm looking for a bar (or two) on U St. within walking distance of the metro that plays good music, has maybe some room for dancing, and serves up more than just Bud Light. I also love the uniqueness of the Red Derby but it's just too far away! Anything closer that has lots of mid 20-somethings having fun on a Saturday night? Thanks!!
Fritz: Depends on what kind of music you like. This Saturday, DJ Will Eastman of Bliss and Le Freak is spinning at Saint-Ex, which will be crowded with 20-somethings, and by "crowded" I mean "packed really tightly." You might be able to dance, and the beer is great -- I was there at a soul night on Tuesday and had a few pints of Hobgoblin, one of my favorite English ales.
Marvin, too, is often crowded, but I love the upstairs lounge, with its soundtrack of vintage funk and R&B, and they have a decent (but not great) selection of Belgian beers available.
I'm also a fan of DJ Jahsonic at Jin, though that spot can get pretty crowded, and you might have to dress up, depending on the doorman.
Fairfax, Va.: Hey there GOGs!!! I'm getting together with a friend on Saturday and we wanted to do something kind of holiday-y. Outdoors is ok but indoor is better. Food and drinks are great too. What do you suggest in D.C. or Va. I'll go to Md. only if it's reeeeeaaaallly worthwhile. And no, I have nothing against Md. Thanks for your help!
Julia: As the only born-and-bred Virginian on the Guru crew, you'll get no beef from me about the Maryland slight (even if you didn't mean it that way). On to the holidays....
If you want to stay indoors this weekend, Tudor Place's Holiday Open House may be for you. The planned activities sound kind of kid-oriented, but the house will still be all decked out in its 19th-century finest. It's $10. The Union Station tree and train display is another idea.
I know you're not wild about going outside, but for my $10, I think ZooLights is absolutely worth an evening visit. It's a fun little walk-through and hot chocolate's only a $1.50.
If shopping's on the agenda, this weekend is a good one. The Holiday Art Market is going down at the National Museum of the American Indian and Corcoran College's annual sale is also on tap.
The Downtown Holiday Market has good food vendors, mellow musical accompaniment and great gifts. I got my mom and awesome necklace there last year.
NW D.C.: I miss AV! Where else can I go for authentic, down-home, italian-old-men-arguiing-in-the-lobby ambience?
Erin: I'm at kind of a loss for this sort of ambiance now that we've lost AV. When the topic came up over the summer, I fielded a few rave reviews for Edgardo's in Alexandria. Margellina in Clinton was another one that was mentioned. For a convivial atmosphere and red sauce Italian, Dupont Italian Kitchen is far from authentic, but quite popular.
It may not be down-home food, but the seafood-oriented D'Acqua has fabulous food. I love the salt-crusted fish and the lobster pasta. The other perk is that the entire staff seems to have emigrated from Italy together.
Who out there has some thoughts for scouting out old Italian men?
Washington, D.C.: Is the Matzo Ball on the 24th any good?
Fritz: If you're young, Jewish and single, then Five is where you should be on Christmas Eve. Three different DJs over the three level club, spinning hip-hop, salsa and Top 40. It's always slammed, year after year.
I'm not saying you can't go if you're not under 35, Jewish and looking for love, but it seems like that criteria fits about 80-90 percent of the people who come out.
Christmas Shopping Unwinding: Best movie bet for Sat. afternoon after a hectic morning Christmas shopping?
Jen: I'm going to say "Atonement," especially if you want something serious, cerebral and beautifully shot. (Is there anyone who doesn't want that?) If you seek a really well done flick where lots of people get shot and Javier Bardem sports the same haircut as a young Ricky Schroeder, I direct you to "No Country for Old Men." And if you just want something fluffy, girly and fun: "Enchanted." If you're really exhausted after the shopping, "Enchanted" is certainly the least taxing of the three, though I'd recommend the first two above it overall.
Lafayette Park, D.C.: Hello, mighty Gurus. This is not really a going out inquiry, but I have seen similar questions previously posed. My office building is located on NW 15th, between H Street and New York Avenue. Any suggestions as to where to get a decent manicure or pedicure around here? Lafayette Park is lovely, but it doesn't offer nail services! Thank you!
Erin: I've had good luck with Extremities at 1400 L St.
Washington, D.C.: I need your help GOGs! We are taking a friend down to the vineyards as a belated surprise birthday activity. I realize this is not the prime season to go to the vineyards, but she loves going down to the Virginia Wine Country.
Do you have any suggestions for vineyards that serve mostly red wine? We have frequented Oasis, Linden, Rappahanack, Barboursville, Swedenberg, Naked, Pearmond, and Chrysalis vineyards -- I would prefer to try something new. Any new suggestions of vineyards within an hour or so distance would be greatly appreciated.
Dupont Circle: Hi, I just discovered that the place above the Chipotle in Dupont is actually a swanky bar/lounge. I work literally up the street from Gazuza, and so I want to know if it's worth trying. How much is the cover charge, what's the dress code, and as a Black female can I go in there and not be met sneers and rolling eyes?
Fritz: First things first: Gazuza doesn't have a cover charge, or at least I haven't ever encountered one. You should dress up, though, as they can frown on people wearing gym shoes, T-shirts, etc. (I haven't had much trouble getting in, except for that one night I wore white Adidas.)
I think the drinks, concocted by an all-female barstaff, are generally good. The house drinks, Guarapos, are worth exploring -- mixes of various rums and fruit purees. Haven't tried them all, but like the pineapple and dark rum version.
It's a pretty sleek place, with very modern decor, and it attracts a mixed crowd -- black, white, Asian -- especially at happy hour, which is 5 to 7 on weekdays.
Anniversary Dinner: Hi GOGs,
Tomorrow is my husband and my anniversary, and he has left dinner plans to me. We live in southern Prince George's county, and would prefer to stay close to home. Is there anything worth going to in Charles or southern Prince George's? We aren't picky food wise, and money doesn't really matter. Is it out there or do I have to go to the DC or Alexandria?
Erin: Happy anniversary. I have two ideas, though I haven't personally been to either one.
In Bowie, Grace's is supposed to be fabulous and quite romantic for Asian fusion cuisine.
It's probably too far to go, but I've heard fabulous things about the Crossing at Casey Jones. Anybody else out there have favorites?
Washington, D.C.: Any idea when the next Hirshhorn After Hours event will be?
Julia: None, actually. It doesn't look like they have another one on the calendar just yet. I'd expect to see one in the first quarter of 2008, though.
If you're looking for a similar art + party vibe, next Friday's opening at Art Whino might be for you -- DJs, cash bar, lowbrow/grafitti-inspired art. Scroll down to "Reception of the Month" in this blog post for more info.
Alexandria, Va.: We are going to an event on Saturday in Bethessa and would like to go out to dinner in DC on the way home - but so many choices!
Any nice small place for a romantic dinner come to mind?
Erin: If you're interested in Portuguese, try Tavira. The other choice would be the lovely David Craig. Also - We're having a few technical issues today, so hold tight while Anne, David and Janet scurry to rejoin us.
Hatton vs. Mayweather: My boyfriend is gung-ho about watching this fight on Saturday. What bars will be broadcasting it? We live in Dupont, but can travel wherever.
Fritz: If you're in Dupont, I know that Pasha (the lounge above Marrakesh Lounge on P) is showing the fight. Momo's, the new two-level sports bar above Cafe Nema on U, will have it on their 14 screens. Tickets are $10 in advance or $20 at the door -- either way, it includes one drink. And H2O will have it throughout the club, if you want to get your party on afterwards.
FWIW, I'm betting on Hatton. I think he can pull it out.
Washington, D.C.: Gurus, I vaguely remember in years past that the Botanical Garden did a big model train exhibit for the holidays. I quickly looked around their web site and didn't see anything this year. Do you know if this exhibit is still going on? Has it moved to another location? Thanks.
Anne: There are trains running on a multi-level display out front of the Botanic Garden and there's a big ol' Christmas tree just inside. Interesting question: Apparently, we're not the only ones where the trains aren't quite living up to expectations. When I was there last week, an irate woman marched up to me and demanded to know where the trains were. But there's still the mini versions of Mall and other other landmarks modeled out of fibrous plants and surrounded in hanging greenery, almost giving the space an antebellum, Mall-on-the-Bayou feel. And when I say mini, I don't mean train-scale size. The White House, for example, is about as wide as a Gilbert Arenas wingspan, I'd wager. Anyway, if you go, watch out for hordes of parents in full-on holiday photo-shoot mode.
20006: Gurus, I have an East Wing tour to see this year's White House Christmas decor. Its at 8:30am on a Saturday, any good spots to go for breakfast right in the neighborhood after the tour? A group of 5, not too expensive, but not fast food either, maybe theres a cute little place open Saturday mornings?
Erin: It's far from little, but Old Ebbitt Grill offers brunch beginning at 8:30 on Saturdays. The menu's pretty extensive and you'll find breads, eggs, burgers and the like, so it's fairly all-inclusive for larger parties.
Otherwise, you'll have good luck seeking breakfast at the darling Cafe du Parc. Diners have the option of choosing from the buffet or ordering a la carte with plenty of great breakfast pastries.
L.A.: Hello guys!!! (or gals)--hint hint
I wanted to know where will be a great place in georgetown(only) to brunch--- with some good mimosa-- Thanks
Erin: I would say Peacock Cafe. It's light inside and there are some delicious brunch items. If that doesn't appeal, try Hook. I would imagine that the smoked salmon and doughnuts are pretty sensational in the a.m.
Arlington, Va.: What are some good restaurants/bars/cafes that you could get good hot chocolate at in the evening? Prefer DC locations.
Erin: Murky Coffee has fabulous hot chocolate. I would also enthusiastically recommend Oyamel and Vidalia. Where are you chatters getting liquidy warm chocolate?
Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.: Do you know of any nurseries that are close to D.C. where you can cut down your own small (3' - 4') Christmas tree?
Anne: You're going for the Charlie Brown look? I think the closest to you would be in Prince George's. Here are some Virginia options, and cut-your-own tree farm highlights, too. Most farms are about an hour away.
Washington, D.C.: I have never submitted before, but have always thought that you seem to hold all the answers (yes, I am hoping flattery will work here!) Anyway, I have my eight-old-nephew this Saturday afternoon; he and his mother are visiting me, but I am letting her spend an afternoon with friends so he can hang out with his favorite (well, only!) aunt. I want to be the cool aunt of course (right now he thinks I am cool b/c I let him buy whatever snacks he wants at the movies and I can do the Cha Cha slide). So I want to keep up this image; where should I take him? He loves the Air and Space Museum, but has been pretty resistant to any other museum. I want to do something where he'll have fun, but that is also unique to DC. Can you help a girl out?
Julia: The Spy Museum is another unique-to-DC spot that boys of any age seem to adore, but it's definitely not a cheap visit.
I find that kids also like playing on the Awakening Statue at Hains Point (which was still there as of two weeks ago when my boyfriend and I drove by), tooling around at the Zoo and going bowling.
McLean, Va.: Hey Gurus! I know you've answered this before so I apologize...what are the best thrift stores in the area for more upscale, designer clothes? I'm looking for something in DC (metro accessible would be perfect!) or Northern VA. Thank you so much for your help!
Janet: Do you mean thrift shop or consignment store? If the latter, I'd recommend trying Inga's Once is Not Enough for more upscale choices in designers.
Waldorf, MD: "...Fritz has something special he wants to say."
Well, we're waaitinngg...
Fritz: Sorry. I tried to do this once but it didn't work. Technical difficulties. I'd just like to take a moment to remember Tom Terrell, the critic, promoter and DJ, who passed away last week after a long battle with prostate cancer.
Tom was the first house DJ at the 9:30 club (back in the '70s) and then the legendary d.c. space. He promoted shows in D.C., bringing artists like Steel Pulse to the city for the first time, and organized art happenings at d.c. space. He was a voice for new music on WPFW and WHFS (remember "Reggae Splashdown"? All Tom.) He wrote smartly and relentlessly for magazines ranging from Vibe to the City Paper, and was most recent the director of XM's world channel and a jazz critic for NPR.
I talked to him in July for a piece about a d.c. space reunion, which turned into a benefit for him, and he was a funny, warm man who had so many stories to share, and had so much to do with the evolution of Washington nightlife. He will be missed.
Arlington, Va.: Is the Skins game going to be over the air tonight or just on NFL Network?
Julia: It'll be on Channel 20 locally.
Winter Libations: After reading Jason Wilson's Spirits column last week, I have to try a Stinger (and possibly a Snowball). Could you suggest a bartender that might be able to help me out, preferably in the District and at a bar with a cozy wintery feel? Thank you!
Fritz: Sam Lek at the Mayflower's Town and Country Lounge and Jim Hewes (or anyone else, really) at the Willard's Round Robin Bar would be my first two stops. I think PX has (or had) a Stinger on the menu.
Falls Church, Va.: Hey, Gurus! The Sunday Source story on makeup has me wondering if you can please give me some advice, as I'm feeling inspired to finally seek help. I'm 36 and have never had any talent for applying makeup, and my normal daily routine is lip balm and out the door. Is there a particular store or makeup counter (preferably in Northern Virginia, though DC would be okay, too) where I can go to get some help? I don't want to feel pressured to drop $300 on products, but I would like to learn about what I should be doing to make myself look better. Thanks for the advice!
Janet: A couple of suggestions: in Northern Virginia, in Tysons Galleria, there's a MAC Cosmetics store that can provide makeup advice. Another choice would be Sephora, which supposedly does not pressure anyone to buy anything, or any of the dept. store makeup counters, where it's hard to get away without buying something. Stalk the counters and see if you can find someone who has a light touch. If you're only accustomed to lip balm, you need to take it slowly.
Alexandria, Va.: Hi, GoGs! My 87 year old firecracker of a grandmother is always saying she never goes anywhere special for meals because she doesn't know any good places. For a Christmas gift, I was thinking of taking her for a nice brunch. Any recommendations for a not too fancy traditional brunch in the Alexandria or Arlington area? Some place with nice decor and/or a view would be nice. Thanks so much, and I love the chats!
Erin: That sounds like a super Christmas day. For festive decorations and a good brunch, your best bet will be a hotel. The Grill at Morrison House will have brunch on Christmas morning from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. You can decide between prix fixe ($48) or a la carte. There's an Irish breakfast, grilled salmon, steak and eggs and the like. Another good choice would be the Grill at the Ritz in Pentagon City. The restaurant will prepare "over 100 items" that will be offered from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. for $80 per person including champagne.
Washington, D.C.: Hey Gurus! I was wondering if you had some suggestions for small gifts that are DC themed/inspired that I can take back home to some folks in LA for Christmas. Thanks!
Janet: Apres Peau has "Founding Father's" stationery and chocolate candy bars called Capitol Coconut, Georgetown Toffee, etc. Also, the National Building Museum has fab bookends in the shape of DC monuments.
Adams Morgan, Washington, D.C.: Have tickets to the Bears game tonight is metro going to be staying open late to account for the game? Thanks and love the chat.
Julia: Yes it is! Have fun at the game. My boyfriend's going too -- without me. Not that I'm bitter or anything.
Re: Anniversary dinner: Ooohh- forgot about Casey Jones. La Plata is about as far as Bowie, so the distance is great. Casey Jones is excellent and very elegant. It's perfect for our dinner! Thanks so much for reminding me!
Erin: Oh, perfect. I hope that it is a fantastic anniversary meal. Write back and let us know.
U Street: Booo recent large crowds at Marvin...
Hooray chicken and waffles.
Fritz: It's called Sun-Wed. You still get soul music and Belgian beers, but you also get room to breathe.
Washington, D.C.: Is there any secret to obtaining discounted theater tickets.
Erin: Ticketplace in Penn Quarter is a great destination for day-of discounts. Also, if you sign up for Goldstar events, they'll shoot out emails with updates on theaters that are discounting tickets.
Check out tomorrow's Weekend section for a big guide to local theater discounts and deals for students, seniors and everyone in between.
Mclean, Va.: Love the chats! I've heard that there is a delish pizza place right next to Cafe Asia in Rosslyn. Do you happen to know what the name of it is?
Erin: That would be Piola.
Alexandria, VA: Hi Gurus,
I'm planning a surprise celebration for my husband's 40th birthday this spring, and I would love to start the party out with a private whisky tasting for him and a few close friends. Do you have any recommendations on either a restaurant or bar that might offer such a thing? I could also hire someone to come and conduct the tasting at home, and would be willing to go that route, as well.
Thanks so much for your help!
Fritz: Yes. Try the Royal Mile Pub in Wheaton, which has dozens -- no, hundreds -- of varieties of Scotch, from bargain basement to lottery winner.
If you mean American Whiskey, I might try Temperance Hall in Petworth, where you can taste a wide variety of the lesser-known American rye whiskeys, or Bourbon, which has dozens of, you know, bourbons. Steve King at the latter should be able to help you set something up.
Washington, D.C.: Hello Gurus -
Submitting early -
Looking to pick up a distressed leather, edgy guy's messenger bag. I hope not to break the bank. Any suggestions for a shop/boutique that might help? Anywhere in DC/Metro accessible would be best, unless there's a can't-miss elsewhere -
Janet: I can't vouch for the distressed leather part, but I've found a lot of good-looking guy messenger bags on the Urban Outfitter Web site. So, click on or if head on to one of their DC stores.
Bowling!: I want to go bowling this weekend, but I'm not a fan of fancy-schmancy Lucky Strike-ish bowling. DC, MD, and VA are probably all fine, I just want to go somewhere that's kind of gross but not completely sketchy. Thanks!
David: It goes against the whole point of bowling, doesn't it? I live in Arlington and I used to go to Bowl America in Falls Church but then one day I showed up and the parking lot was empty ... a little too empty. Turns out the building was closed because of structural issues. Not sure if that's been resolved. One of my best days of 2007 came at Shady Grove Lanes in Gaithersburg, right next to the Red Lobster. Not only did I get my second highest bowling score ever, but I also set the high score on the quick-shot basketball game in the arcade. Yeah, you can say it's been a down year, I suppose.
A Charlie Brown Christmas: For the person wanting a small Christmas tree, just make sure you cut in an approved section of the tree farm (trees 3-4 feet tall are usually off limits, still growing for next season); most placed provide you with a map. One year I accidentally chopped a small one down in a closed field, and the farm owner went berserk; stuffed the tree in a wood chipper right in front of my kids( they were horrified at the time, now like to give me grief about the whole thing).
Anne: That sounds highly disturbing, like Fargo at the tree farm. But point well taken. Generally, the management tells you where to go.
Need Makeup: I would recommend a Bobbi Brown session, for a natural look. MAC is hardcore.
Janet: That's generally true. Still, it all depends on the makeup artist.
Washington, D.C.: My friend and I are in a rut -- we usually go out to the movies on Fridays because it seems to be the only alternative at night to going out and getting drunk. All the fun stuff happens during the day! Do you have any ideas beyond movies that we could enjoy?
I appreciate things like the Zoolights although it does seem pretty cheesy for a weekend night (esp. for $10!)
Thanks for the help!
Julia: Point taken about Zoolights. I loved it and it is really pleasant, but it's pretty much like 15-20 minute stroll, which hardly gives you a packed Friday night.
The Downtown Holiday Market that I mentioned above stays open until 8 p.m. If you're still doing holiday shopping (I haven't even started!), I totally recommend it. It's right near the American Art Museum/Portrait Gallery and that's open until 7 p.m., so if you get out of work early enough, you could wander through the museum for a little bit before shopping. There's also an opening reception at the Arlington Arts Center from 6 to 9 p.m. this Friday that might be another alternative.
Re: 8 year old: When I was younger I always loved climbing on and playing around the Einsetien statue over on Constitution avenue. Might be worth checking out.
Julia: Another good suggestion! I went there when I was a kid too.
Glover Park, D.C.: Saw the blog about restaurant week 08. Are there any restaurants you all are dying to try out that don't usually make the top five list? What about suggestions for a delicious Asian meal?
Erin: The list for Restaurant Week hasn't even been officially posted. Once it is, you can bet that I'll have a more detailed post about where to go. If it's a good deal on Asian food, I'd probably recommend Ten Penh. The restaurant group behind that (and DC Coast and Acadiana) usually offers the whole menu as the special, which is better than being pigeon-holed into a choice of two entrees.
As for places that are must-tries, you should think about where you typically wouldn't want to spend the money. There's no point in enduring the crowds of Restaurant Week for a meal that you could get on an ordinary night. Think about Oval Room, Prime Rib and places that are high-end and sometimes out of the realm of affordability.
Washington D.C.: Here's a can of worms to open... I think club dress codes are really, really lame. Why don't these places understand that the coolest clubs on earth (think London, NYC, Berlin, Barcelona, etc - don't have 'em). Thoughts?
Fritz: You're right, and I've been saying it for years. That's not to say that some of the biggest clubs in London DON'T have dress codes -- Ministry, for example -- but it's more often the case that they really big ones, like Fabric, don't.
It's because club owners in Washington are obsessed with creating an "upscale" environment, as if someone's sneakers are going to ruin the whole atmosphere of the room. It's rubbed off on the customers, and now everyone thinks that you have to have an "exclusive" atmosphere to keep out the riff-raff, and the best way to do that is to tell people not to wear $200 sneakers and $400 jeans on a night out.
Cleveland Park: This may be more of a Tom question, but I am hoping you guys can help. I really like the crab dip at the Phillips in Annapolis, but my friends are restaurant snobs and don't like going there. Can you guys recommend a place in Annapolis or DC that has really good crab dip?
Fritz: We'll talk Naptown first: Boatyard Bar and Grill, Davis's Pub and McGarvey's are my choices. Your restaurant-snob friends won't really be wowed by the atmosphere at these, either -- especially the divey Davis's -- but man, the crab dip is really good at all three, and they have plenty of atmosphere.
In D.C. I'm gonna put in a vote for Bourbon, of all places. The crab dip at Clyde's in respectable, but nothing that overwhelms this Maryland boy.
Erin: I've also had the dip at Firefly, which is good, if a bit salty.
Arlington, Va.: Hey GoGs! Some friends and I want to do a New Year's Day brunch after partying all night. But since it's a weekday, we're not sure who is doing a brunch and who isn't? Besides a standby like The Diner in AdMo, any news from restaurants regarding their serving brunch on New Year's Day? THANKS!
Erin: The one that sounds like the most fun is Nage, which is putting together morning-after gatorade cocktails and hangover egg skillets filled with all sorts of delicious items.
Suppose......: you are a 23 year old, single female who is moving from DC (long time resident) to NYC. Where is the last place in DC you'd go for dinner and then for drinks (which bar) and then when you got to NYC, where is the first place you 'd have dinner and what is the fist bar you'd hit up?
Erin: Wow. The be-all-end-all D.C. question. In my perfect world, distance between the two spots wouldn't matter, so I would probably go for dinner at Rasika and drinks at PX. If distance did matter, I'd move drinks to the Source.
Part of the beauty of New York is being able to go to great dinner/drinks right on your own block. That said, I'd probably go to Babbo at 5:30 for a seat at the bar and have drinks at this tiny little Cuban place with the best mojitos on Ave. B (or is it C) in the East Village.
Washington, D.C.: Please help! My boss has commissioned me to find a suitable place to take some clients for drinks. It is kind of a holiday appreciation type thing, and I am not exactly sure where they should go. Somewhere nice, I don't think cost is an issue. The clients are male and the my colleagues and I are all female, and except for me, who is hanging on to her twenties by mere weeks now, everyone else is in their thirties and forties. I know this question is kind of generic and yes, vague, but I really need help! I have lurked in this chat before and I really appreciate advice you have dispensed! So please, please help! Thanks!
Julia: This is kind of random and very D.C., but last year around this time, I had some steaks with friends at the District ChopHouse. The holiday decorations made the woodsy, man's-man kind of space feel really cosy. I think the male clients would feel right at home there. Plus, the beers are yummy.
Washington, DC: Hi GOGs,
This weekend is my birthday and I need help figuring out where to go! I'd like to go out dancing and there will probably be 10-15 of us. I don't really want to do the Adams Morgan scene or a huge nightclub. We're in our mid-twenties, both men and women, and just want to have some fun. I wouldn't mind having to dress up or paying a small cover. I'd love to go somewhere where we could sit down or have some space to hang out but also a dance floor. Any places come to mind? Thank you!
Fritz: Someday, some smart club owner is going to realize that people would like to sit down without pay $500 for bottle service. People will love them for it. Right now, though, dressing up and sitting down seem to be mutually exclusive at a lot of places.
What about the Space at 9th and N? It's a really nice lounge that swears it's going members-only at some point, but right now, it's open to everyone. There's a lovely bar, a heated rooftop deck, couches and DJs spinning house and hip-hop music. You can definitely bring your own crowd, and the folks who are there have been pretty cool and welcoming when I've stopped in. It's something completely different than the usual.
I'd like to steer you to Lotus or Lima or something similar, but with 10-15 people, you're not going to get space to sit down.
Best beer in town?: Hi there! Thanks for taking my question. My brother will be in town for the holidays. He's a total beer geek - he home brews, he goes to festivals, he'll happily discuss Belgian water rights. I'd like to take him to one of the newish beer-focused places. Where's the best spot to show off D.C. beer hipness? Birreria Paradiso? Brasserie Beck? Granville Moore? We've done Brickskeller and RFD in the past. Thanks!
Fritz: For Belgians: the giant menu at Beck, which is brimming with delicious (and high-alcohol) Christmas beers right now, including some that you can't get anywhere else. Beer sommelier Bill Catron, a knight of the Belgian Brewer's Guild, really knows how to work his contacts. It might be the best Belgian beer bar on the East Coast right now -- no disrespect to Monk's in Philly.
For other beers: Birreria Paradiso has a fantastic mix of Belgians, Americans and other things your brother may have heard of but probably hasn't tried.
Centreville, Va.: Hi Gurus! Not exactly a Going Out questions, but since I know you're all rather smart and knowledgeable in all things D.C., I'll give it a go. I am a college student looking for an internship in D.C. I don't even know where to start looking, help me please?
Anne: Either you're a plant or you're psychic. And you're a college student, which is the only kind of intern we can have! Did you know I was going to remind everyone that the Gurus need interns? Don't tell HR, but we still want a Gurus' helper for this coming semester. And we always are looking for people for this summer and next fall, too. If you're a stellar writer and you have some reporting experience and really care about the arts and going out, e-mail your info and a letter saying why we should hire you to events (at) washingtonpost.com. But please, people, remember, you must be a current college or graduate student to play. Oh, and for other internships, I'd have to tell you to look here.
washingtonpost.com: Gotta go now. Thanks for keeping us on our toes today, and good luck staying on yours on the slick surfaces out there.
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