Got Plans?: Horse Races, Outdoor Bars and Biddy's

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The Going Out Gurus
of the washingtonpost.com Going Out Guide
Thursday, April 23, 2009; 1:00 PM

The Going Out Guide staff discussed horse races, outdoor bars and the bar formerly known as Biddy's on Thursday, April 23 at 1 p.m. ET.

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washingtonpost.com: Hey there. We're going to do this chat thing now, are you ready? Rhome's not here, the rest of us are, let's get to it.

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Wahoowa, (U)VA: Any of you all going to make it to Foxfield on Saturday?! :)

Stephanie: You know this! I'll be the girl NOT wearing an ostentatious hat. And consequently, the girl with the really bad sunburn.

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Mt. Vernon Square: Hey Gurus! Could you please recommend a bar (or few) with laid-back rooftops or patios? I'd prefer someplace between Columbia Heights and Penn Quarter that's open on Saturday afternoons. I keep finding places that don't open until 6 or so, and I'd like to head out for a late brunch and afternoon of relaxed imbibing. Thank you!

Fritz: I really like the Red Derby in Columbia Heights -- open for brunch at 11 on Saturday and Sunday, with mimosas and Bloody Marys for $2. I've also killed a few Sunday afternoons at CommonWealth -- the meat-and-two-veg Sunday Roast has always been fantastic.

Further down, Saint-Ex fits the bill, too.

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Washington, D.C.: My friend recently got me hooked on Boddington's. We normally go to Elephant & Castle or Fado's, but are wondering where else we should check out. Any suggestions? Thanks!

Stephanie: Fritz and I were just discussing this when we were debating the merits of the bar formerly known as Biddy's. Biddy's stopped serving it, but its successor Bar Dupont has it.

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Chaperoning: I am submitting this early because I missed last week's chat and this is really last minute: my younger sister is turning 18 this Saturday and she wants to go to dinner (10+ people) and then clubbing (no table/drinks needed obviously). I know it might be hard to find a (good and cheaper) place that will accept reservation this late but we aren't really worried about dinner since we could stick to somewhere in Nova then drive into D.C. Which club (no cover) would you recommend for an 18-ish crowd to have a blast? She was thinking Fur but it's been ages since I've been there and I do not like the part of town that it's located at.

Please please help a sister (ha!) out. Thanks so much gurus!

Julia: If you stick in NoVa, I really like Fontaine Caffe and Creperie. Regent Thai doesn't strike me as the best place for groups, but it's pretty cheap. And cute.

Ultrabar seems like a club that might fit your needs: different levels, lots of music, etc. And, according to the club's Web site, it's reduced admission for ladies under 21 on Saturdays if you print out this flyer.

Of course, this prompted David to say that that's probably NOT the type of club you want to bring your 18-year-old sister to, but hey, that's up to you guys.

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Adams Morgan: Happy Thursday, gurus. Have you guys tried the Gibson Patio? I have heard that it makes getting in a breeze and the cocktails are just as good as inside. What's the scoop?

Fritz: Actually, I wrote about the Gibson's patio on the GOG Blog last week. The cocktails are great -- they even have frozen blender drinks, which aren't served inside -- and the 40 new first-come, first-seated chairs have basically doubled the bar's capacity.

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Kings of Leon: Last week in response to K Street who wanted to get to the Patriot Center ... "It involves taking the Metro to Vienna and then some combination of bus + walking + cab." If you're taking a cab, I'm not sure why you'd need the bus/walk combo in addition. However you can take metro to Vienna and get on any of the Cue buses (Green/Gold, #1/2). They will drop you off at the GMU campus, less than 10 minutes walk from the Patriot Center. They take a roundabout route but they do get there, and they run until after midnight. Google "Fairfax Cue" for routes and schedules. I take this approach myself and stop off in Olde Towne Fairfaxe for a few pre-show scoops.

David: What can I say, I was never good at math. But if people are still trying to use public transportation for the show tomorrow night, here you go. Thanks for the tip.

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Washington, D.C.: Hey Gurus, I have a request for either a blog or as part of the Going Out Guide. Can you include info on whether a bar has TV sports packages? I'm getting frustrated with bars calling themselves sports bars, yet they don't have my games! Thanks.

Fritz: That has been considered, actually, but we just don't have the manpower to call every sports bar in the area and, more importantly, keep it updated for every sport every season. Which sports are you looking for?

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Washington, D.C.: I think there needs to be a new standard in this city for great beer lists. Molly Mallone's on 8th Street SE looks like a lovely place and could only be an improvement over its predecessor in the food and service departments, but its beer offerings are a huge disappointment. Maybe in Podunk, USA, Magic Hat #9 would be serenaded with the "Hallelujah" chorus, but given the presence of Matchbox and Belga up the street and Finn MacCools' drafts, it's apparent that the owners of an Irish pub put very little care into their beer list. That may be fine with them, but there shouldn't be any expectation that it is where a lot of people want to go to hang out with a good ale.

Fritz: Have you been reading my tweets? The Matchbox beer lineup basically crushes anything else in Southeast D.C. right now, from Brooklyner Weisse to Great Divide Porter to Bell's Oberon. I was really hoping for more from Molly Malone's in terms of beer, because if I'm paying $7 for most pints (!!!), I want something better in my glass than Amstel Light.

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To the Beach!: Daytripping to the beach on Sunday. Question is which beach? Rehoboth, Dewey, OC? Haven't been to those shores in more than 20 years. (Several years living on the left coast spoiled me.) We want to drive from Nova, park convenient to the water, change into beachwear after arrival (I don't wear swimsuit material in the car), have access to food, bathrooms, and dare I say shower before heading back to Nova. Ideas on location and conveniences? Thanks!!

Jen: Given your requirements, I would say try Rehoboth. The boardwalk and surrounding shopping areas have plenty of food options and a few fun shops, too. And they do have some sizeable bathrooms with (I think?) maybe even changing areas? I can't speak to the showers, that might be tough to find. But as far as everything else, you shoul be covered.

Now, I will note that you could theoretically find a similar situation in Ocean City, since there is a boardwalk there as well. I just happen to be partial to the Delaware beaches, so I am giving you my biased, Delaware answer.

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Washington, D.C.: Hey, gurus: weather permitting, I want to go to yard sales on Saturday, just like I did with my mom when I was a kid. Preferably in posh neighborhoods. Back in the day, we found out where the sales would be in the newspaper classifieds. Is that still the best source for area yard sales? Should I be looking on Craigslist? Somewhere else?

Julia: Of course you should be looking in the newspaper! Buy a newspaper! Seriously. Help a newspaper-employed bunch of gurus out! I've got a copy of tomorrow's classified pages from the Post on my desk right now and I see a bunch in Arlington, Alexandria -- oh look, ding ding ding, estate sales in Chevy Chase and Georgetown!

I usually look for signs in neighborhoods, too, but those don't usually go up until a day or so in advance.

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Former Biddy's lover too: Stephanie, I didn't realize you were a lover of Biddy's too! I mourn and miss it. Do you, or anyone else, know where Robb the bartender landed? I miss him and his sass in my life.

Stephanie: Who knows? We could have been sipping Strongbow at neighboring tables. Any chatters know where Robb is these days? I personally miss Griff's service with a smile. Sigh.

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Adams Morgan, D.C.: Hey guys you know when the new Paradiso is opeing up in Dupont, if it hasn't already, I have checked in a few weeks. I know they said end of March a while ago but they were still working on it them. Thanks

Fritz: I asked a couple of weeks ago and was told early May.

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Arlington, Va.: Hi Gurus, my mom is coming into town this weekend and the weather is supposed to be gorgeous, so I'd like to take her somewhere outside on Saturday afternoon. I took her to Dumbarton Oaks last year when she came and she loved it. Is there anywhere else similar to that in or around the city where I could take her to that has a nice garden/area to walk around outside? Thanks!

Anne: Did you also go to its neighbor Tudor Place on that stop? One of our co-workers just took here mom there. Although, this Saturday in Georgetown you could do even better in peeking into the lives of those with beautiful gardens -- the Georgetown house tour is on.

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Washington, DC: Looking for 80's dress & posters for a party. Any 2nd hand or vintage stores specialize in this? One great gnarly poster or two would be a nice touch.

Jen: On the dress tip, I would say check out a Goodwill store or a place like Meeps. Posters might be more difficult, though. I don't know how much time you have but if the party is still a week or more away, your best bet might be e-Bay. If readers have other suggestions, by all means, shout them out.

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Washington, D.C.: Have you seen the show at Ford's Theater titled "Civil War Musical?" If so, what can you tell me about it, because I'll be watching it w/my family on Saturday afternoon? Thanks.

Stephanie: Civil War has been on my to-do list, but I've yet to check it out. Any chatters have feedback?

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Tiki Bar, Georgetown: Fritz - what about the tiki bar at Third Edition in Georgetown? Agraria's won't be the first!

Fritz: I really don't count the Tiki Bar at Third Edition as a real tiki bar. I mean, ever tried asking for a Scorpion Bowl or a Fog Cutter there? It's fine as an outdoor space, and lord knows Georgetown needs more of those. The promise of excellent rum cocktails made by one of D.C.'s top bartenders at the Waterfront is on a completely different level.

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Bowie, Md.: My boyfriend looooooves fried chicken. His birthday is this weekend and I wanted to take him somewhere that has great fried chicken. The only place I know of is Glady's Kinight's chicken and waffles but we have been there and we didn't like the area to much. Do you all have any suggestions?

Fritz: Best chicken and waffles in D.C.: Marvin. Ridiculously good. Runner up is Florida Avenue Grill, which remains one of the best places for soul food in the area.

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Columbia Heights: Does Marvin charge a cover to get onto their roof deck on weekends?

Fritz: Nope. Everyone is free to wait in line to get up there.

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Arlington, Va.: Gurus,

Just moved back to the area and I gotta say, I missed you guys! My question is: Can you recommend a fun restaurant that two couples can go to on a Sunday night. We want something interesting and fun, and not too expensive?

Thanks so much and it's good to be back.

Julia: Define "not to expensive." In your neck of the woods, perhaps Liberty Tavern could work? (Woulda said Eventide, not open Sunday unfortunately). EatBar could also work.

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Biddy's: Haven't spoken to Rob in awhile, but I heard he was getting involved in a new Logan Circle area bar. I bet he pops up soon!

Stephanie: There you have it!

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Washington, D.C.: Hey Fritz! Do you have any suggestions on a bar where a few of us can go to Rock the Red tomorrow night? Bonus points if it's in D.C., and not near the Verizon Center. Go Caps!

Fritz: I still have yet to find a better bar for watching hockey than Bugsy's in Old Town Alexandria. (Something about the framed Gretzky jersey, I think, or watching Hockey Night in Canada.)

But please, people: prove me wrong.

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Clifton, Va.: Sorry Foxfield is the minor leagues single A for a bunch of UVA pukes! Go to the Gold Cup see the real thing!

Stephanie: I've been to Belmont. Does that give me horse race cred? P.S. You're mean.

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Alexandria, Va.: GoGs: Coming into D.C. this weekend to go to the Newseum and then to dinner with a guy I've been on a couple of dates with. Any ideas on where we could grab a bite to eat after visiting the museum (nothing too casual but not too romantic either). I have an adventurous palette but he's a meat and potatoes kind of guy, salt and pepper are spicy enough for him. I'm stumped on a place to go where we'll both be satisfied. We're open to D.C. or Va. recommendations. Thanks!

Julia: Hmmm, tough call. The menu at Proof seems like it could fit both of your needs, but it's pretty pricey for an early date. What about Matchbox? Not exactly cheap, but come on, everyone likes pizza and sliders?

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Sunday night at Eatbar: Eatbar has movies on Sunday nights starting at 8pm, so if you're planning on catching up with old friends, get there early so you don't get shushed!

Julia: Oh my gosh -- you're so right. My bad.

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Patriot Center: GMU also has a direct shuttle that leaves every 30 minutes. It runs until 3:30 am. It says its for Mason students but I've never been asked to show my GMU card. Thats a whole lot easier than the CUE. (And free!)

David: Yep, this is another option. Just don't blame us if you try this and the bus driver starts checking IDs for the first time.

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Goooooooooollllllllllll!!!!!!!!: Fritz! Where is the best place to take off work and watch Champions League Match Chelsea knock out Arsenal next Tuesday! Any drink specials mid-day? Go Blue!!!

Fritz: A.) Chelsea has Barcelona on Tuesday. Arsenal has Man Utd. on Wednesday.

B.) Lucky Bar is still the prime sneaking-out-of-work-for-soccer spot, thanks to happy hour that begin at 3. Tuesday means $2.50 drafts and $3 Yuengling, plus half-price burgers.

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Washington, D.C.: I have a friend visiting this weekend - a former D.C. resident, so she's done the "tourist" bit already. She's also on a restricted diet, so that pretty much rules out an eating and drinking-focused weekend. Any fun outdoor ideas for us that don't involve the usual suspects of museums, the National Mall, etc?

Stephanie: There are a bunch of fun festivals this weekend that are far from the beaten Mall. How about Kingman Island Day to celebrate the island's reopening? The French Market in Georgetown could be a nice way to spend an unseasonably warm afternoon. And of course, there's always Maryland Day.

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No offence, Fritz, really: Curious--is it possible that you just have superb taste all around or should I/we treat your food recommendations with reservation since it seems that you spend many a days numbing your tastebuds?

Fritz: "Numbing [my] tastebuds"? Really? You can't taste awesome 21-year-old Scotches if your tastebuds are numb.

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Gardens: I recommend the gardens around the Smithsonian Castle and Arts & Industries Building. I walked through some of them last weekend (suring the warm weather) on my walk over to Arlington Cemetery and they are beautiful and very colorful.

Fritz: Ah, I love the Enid Haupt garden. And it's relatively tourist-free, too.

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Kinda oddball proposal: I want to propose to my girlfriend next month, and although we both purport to be D.C.-ites, she lives in a neighborhood in close-in NoVa and has always loved it to much to actually make the leap into the city (While I live in Columbia Heights, where she loves to visit). That being said, I would like to make the proposal weekend a taste of both worlds. I know all the stereotypical places to propose in D.C., but are there such places in NoVa? I was thinking that little waterfront by the Pentagon where we've always joked about putting our first boat or the Iwo Jima memorial, but that's not very romantic. Help?

Julia: Oh man -- go for that waterfront by the Pentagon. It's a cute story between the two of you and it's a nice space, if it's the area I'm thinking of. I'm sure the chatters will be able to add a few, but these Va. proposal options come to mind for me: on the Key Bridge, Teddy Roosevelt Island, maybe on that little ferry that goes between Old Town and National Harbor, Pentagon City. (I kid, I kid.)

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Yea, speaking of what was Biddys: Now that you mention Biddys, that reminds me I've been meaning to ask you for your take on its swanky replacement--Bar Dupont. I only stopped by quickly one evening (I was en route) and at first glance, it reminds me of Founding Farmers. Like I said, only glancing, no imbibing or eating at that time.

Thanks

Fritz: Stephanie posted the link to our dueling review in her other answer. Personally, I think the place is nice, but a little soulless.

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Glover Park: My fiance is taking me out to dinner tonight - we're saving up for our wedding, so we haven't been out in a really long time and would love your suggestions on a delicious but not too pricey place where we can also get good beer (that's not too hard to get to from GP). We're not opposed to sitting at a bar, but we don't want anything that's going to be super crowded with Thursday happy hour goers. Do you have a couple recommendations? Thanks gurus!

Julia: This may be too obvious, but Birreria Paradiso? Does that work?

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Alexandria, Va.: I'm a down and dirty blues fan - not Diana Krall, and BB King is great but his concerts are huge. Where in the metro area can you go to find some real, soulful, blues joints - harmonicas, bass, feet stomping, and wailing about sorrow?

Fritz: Bangkok Blues in Falls Church and the Old Bowie Town Grille are two of my favorites. This area needs more real blues joints...

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For entertaining your mother: I would definitely check out the Hillwood estate...beautiful gardens, especially the Japanese water garden. Also, they have a really lovely tea which you can enjoy outside, which could be perfect for you and your mother!

Fritz: Great idea.

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Del Ray: Any news on the opening of Birch and Barley/Churchkey in NW? Wasn't it supposed to open in October and then last month? What gives?

Fritz: Yeah, I'm trying to get updates, but I think the owners have learned their lesson about giving out opening dates.

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Washington, D.C.: So last week you posted a question, with a blog post follow-up, on what a recently single girl could do in D.C. What advice would you give to a recently single guy? Nats games are been there/done that, and none of my guy friends are really the wing-man type. Any suggestions?

Julia: Hey there, sorry to hear about your recent change in status. Your guy friends don't really have to be wing-man types to take you out to a good pub and buy you a few drinks -- is something like that possible? If you'd rather just swing it solo, maybe this weekend's a good one to just act like a tourist. Take long walks, get out of the house and just explore the city. Maybe check out a neighborhood you've never been to. What do you think, chatters?

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Downtown, D.C.: I'm looking for a cozy and cute place for a weekday breakfast near Georgetown. A coffee shop with more than just pastries would be perfect. I recently tried Marvelous Market and was really disappointed with the food and ambiance. Any ideas?

Julia: Tom Sietsema just gave a tip of the hat (fork?) to Leopold's in a recent breakfast story.

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Washington, D.C.: This weekend looks to break into 80 on Saturday. Where are some good places to take a drive and go hiking for a much needed nature fix?

Anne: This weekend weather forecast is so perfect, it's crazy, right? Using it as a hiking day sounds awesome. One option for hiking this weekend that fascinates me -- if you want to keep the driving to a minimum (and be all eco-friendly like that) is Kingman Island Day. It seems like getting to this island is only slightly less involved than finding an Ajira Airlines flight to Guam, but that is part of the intrigue. For longer range hiking (and if you want to bring your dog with you) think about Prince William Forest Park, which is having a dog fest this weekend.

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Washington, D.C.: Gurus, is there a really casual burgers or pizza lunch place within reasonable walking distance of the Washington Monuments/Smithsonian? Is there still a Five Guys at National Place? Thanks.

Julia: According to the Five Guys Web site, there is. I really think the divey Harry's is a good casual place to keep in mind for burgers.

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Washington, D.C.: Left field question, but here goes: what would you say is the most Tom Waitsian bar in the area? By Waitsian, I mean either a bar where you imagine Tom Waits would drink at, or a bar that makes you think, "This place is like something out of a Tom Waits song."

Or maybe you have a different interpretation.

David: The Raven immediately springs to mind, at least on a Monday or Tuesday. Then again I'm not sure any bar in D.C. would be very Waitsian on a weekend.

Fritz: Tom Waits could definitely get some mileage out of the regulars at the Lil' Pub, and maybe Tune Inn, too.

Or JV's.

David: Yeah, JV's.

I'm trying to think of a place that looks like the one on the cover of "Nighthawks at the Diner" but, honestly, that's probably most diners.

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Washington D.C.: Gurus,

I've lived in the area for 2 years and haven't been to Annapolis yet. I was thinking of going this weekend. What do I need to see and know for a day trip?

Fritz: Man, this would be a perfect weekend to go wander around Annapolis. I think it's great city to just explore on foot, ducking down the little alleyways south of the State House and checking out all the gardens. You can wander the grounds of the Naval Academy (make sure you have ID), watch the boats come in from a harborside barstool at Pusser's Landing, get a great crabcake sandwich at Boatyard Bar and Grill or Davis's in Eastport ...

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Oddball proposal: What about the rotating bar at the top of the double tree in Crystal City? Or maybe the restaurant one floor down? Standing in her past (Va.) while looking into her future (D.C.).

Stephanie: I was thinking about the Netherlands Carillon for the exact same reason. It's a beautiful spot, the tulips are currently in bloom and you have a phenom view of D.C.

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Rehoboth Beach ALERT: From: http://www.cityofrehoboth.com/beach.html

"No changing clothes in comfort stations, on the boardwalk, under the boardwalk or in vehicles while parked on any public streets."

Doesn't say on the website, but my memory suggests those bathrooms are open only Memorial Day-Labor Day.

Jen: Oh, bummer. Thanks for passing this on. Hopefully our Rehoboth reader sees this.

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Dupont Circle: I'm headed up to Annapolis for the weekend and was wondering if the gurus can suggest anywhere to go get steamed crabs? I've never had them before and am looking forward to getting out some pent up aggression using the mallet.

Love the chat.

Julia: Funny you should ask, we were just arguing about this the other day. I say Mike's Crab House on the South River, because it rules! Many others say Cantler's. You can't really go wrong either way.

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Arlington, Va.: What is the best bar to watch the Kentucky Derby? Looking for the big hat, pretty dresses scene in Washington, D.C.!

Fritz: The Willard Hotel has its annual Bonnets and Bow-Ties party with a buffet, mint juleps, "My Old Kentucky Home" and contests for the best (large) hat and best bowtie. I've been before -- lots of fun, though the crowd is mostly 40-and-up. My date and I felt kind of young.

The Saint Regis is doing something this year, too.

Really, though, the big "big hat, pretty dresses scene" in the D.C. area on May 2 is at Gold Cup. I really, really wish it wasn't the same day as the Derby.

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Vienna, Va.: Now that it's finally starting to get nice outside can you please list some places (in VA & DC) that have a full outdoor bar?

Fritz: Would you like to see my list of my favorite outdoor bars in the D.C. area? Your wish is my command.

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Washington, D.C.: Help, how does one go about getting a reservation at the new Ray's the Steaks location? We've suffered long enough living in the city without getting in... Can I call a couple of days in advance or is it day of?

Julia: You can call weeks in advance if you so choose. It's been a while since I spoke to proprietor Michael Landrum about the new location's policy, but I think I recall that something like 45 seats are reserved for reservations, the rest are open to people who want to get on the list for that night.

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Birch and Barley: I walk by all the time, and its seems that nothing is being done. Its looked the same for months, and that look is far from almost open.

Fritz: I get the same impression from looking through the windows.

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Recently Single Guy: Borrow a cute dog from a friend and take it for a long walk around the city. I was dogsitting for a friend a few weeks ago and met so many women just walking him!

Fritz: Dogs are indeed a man's best friend.

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Proposal Suggestion: My now husband proposed as we were walking along the Mt Vernon Trail. We had parked at Gravelly Point because he wanted to go for a walk on a nice Saturday morning in May and he got down on one knee near the water at one point during the walk. I did not notice at the time, but the monuments were in the background. I may be partial, but I thought it was the perfect proposal spot. Also, its a place that will never go out of business or change really.

Julia: An excellent suggestion, thanks! The trail gets pretty busy during the day so I think the morning is our proposer's best option.

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RE: Gold Cup, Va.: Foxfield is the only race I have ever been to with class. PS: You are mean.

Fritz: You should check out the Preakness!

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Cozy and cute place for a weekday breakfast near Georgetown: Patisserie Poupon would be perfect for this chatter. In our courtship days, my wife and I started many days of hooky with coffee, OJ and pastries from Poupon.

Julia: An excellent suggestion. I love Patisserie Poupon.

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Horse Talk, D.C. : All this Horse Talk is making me wonder...I'm brand new to D.C. (Chicago transplant) and some co-workers are going to Gold Cup next week and some to the Americas Cup Polo the week after. What is the difference between these two events? Both seem pricy. Is there a better one to attend?

Fritz: America's Cup is more of a moneyed scene, serious about the polo, less about the partying. Gold Cup can be serious -- if you're in the exclusive Members Hill area -- but a lot of young Washingtonians use it as an excuse to dress up in summer clothes and spend the afternoon drinking.

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Arlington, Va.: If I have my facts right, tomorrow is Guinness' 250th birthday. I saw they are brewing a special limited edition stout for the occasion. Does anyone (Fritz?) know what bars will be serving this or having Guinness specials tomorrow?

Fritz: I've been told that a number of the usual suspects (ie Fado, the 4Ps, etc.) will be serving it tomorrow. Gotta say, the Guinness people are really good at marketing.

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Washington, D.C.: Last summer, a friend and I had a lovely breakfast in Georgetown at Peacock Cafe. We sat outside under the shade of some trees and enjoyed the weather before it got too hot.

Julia: Another brekky suggestion.

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Chaperoning:: David, is there any club that you WOULD recommend me taking my 18 year old sister to? And for the record, she wants to go clubbing, I'm just tagging along, not the other way around. Looks like her friends and her want to go to club Love now.

Fritz: Not David, but Love is 21-and-over on weekends, so she's not going to get in there. Her best bet is either Glow at Fur (house, techno, trance, some hip-hop in a side room) or Ibiza (techno, house, etc.). I'd probably hit the latter, if only because it feels like a more "grown up" club to me, whereas Fur is a giant warehouse.

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Former Baltimorean: Fritz, in case you didnt hear, the Preakness has lost its class this year. They have banned bringing in alcohol from the outside! You have to buy overpriced beers inside! What is the world coming to?

Fritz: That's just awful. I know the track is losing money hand over fist, but there was something special about bringing in your own (six) cases of Natty Boh.

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Washington, D.C.: Hey there, Guys n Gals,

I need a place that can easily hold a party of about 20 or so, is metro-accessible, wheelchair-accessible, offers a reasonably priced array of food and beverages and has WiFi access. Do you have any suggestions?

Julia: Tryst comes to mind, I suppose, but the configurations of the seats would make it really difficult for a wheelchair. Maybe it's worth giving sister restaurant Open City a call?

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Arlington, Va.: I wrote in last week asking for a bar suggestion for D.C. (metro accessible) to meet up with a guy I'm interested in. We're both in our late 30s, but pretty laid back. I was looking for something like Liberty Tavern or EatBar. You guys wanted to know day of the week, so I'm writing back in to say it would probably be a Friday or Saturday and if you could give suggestions for early-ish (say 7) and later (say 10), that would be great! Thanks!

Julia: I *almost* remember this question, but I have no idea which one of us answered it. It very well could have been me, so I'm going for this! I feel like CommonWealth in Columbia Heights is a good bet. I'm not over the moon with the food there, but the small bar area has really grown on me. You could play checkers on the tables! It's not overly busy on Fridays either, but I've found that I much prefer the place after 10 p.m.

Fritz: I'll co-sign on this, though I also like it for happy hour (half-price beers and wines until 7).

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Walking tours of city?: Hi Gurus, any word on the walking tours of the city that are themed? I loved them so much in the past but haven't heard anything...

Stephanie: If you're talking about the Washington Walks tours, they started up on April 1. If you're looking for the free weekend, it will be May 30-31; stay tuned for which tours will be offered (in addition to the usual suspects like "Before Harlem, There Was U Street" and the embassy row tour).

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Washington, D.C.: Hi GOGs! Looking to go out with a group on a Saturday night where we can dance to hip hop/top 40. Is there anywhere like Saint Ex but maybe bigger? Definitely want to stay in DC. Thanks!

Fritz: With a group, I'd say Chief Ike's, Town Tavern, Gin and Tonic, Third Edition (skews college age, if that matters), maybe the Rock Candy party upstairs at the Rock and Roll Hotel.

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Cheap date in D.C.: Since my boyfriend makes waaaaay more $ than I do, he usually is kind enough to pay for everything when we go out without even thinking about it. I'd like to take him out for once, and need help thinking of somewhere I can actually afford dinner and drinks but that won't be 'below' his standards. Near the Dupont area if possible. Thanks!

Julia: Sette Osteria, maybe? The Cantina at Darlington House?

And for the record, he loves you. I'm sure he'll be just touched that you're treating him.

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Too popular for their own good: Fritz/Rhome et al -

Live near U St. area and it's really the only nightlife spot I enjoy hanging out in. The problem that it's just become almost unbearable b/f of crowds. Marvin, cool as it is, defies logic. I saw a line all the way to U St around 11:30 last Saturday.

It's not THAT cool! But St. Ex, Cork, etc. all suffer from this issue.

Not sure there is a solution (although I know new places are slated to open), but any other thoughts on addressing this?

thanks

Fritz: Yeah, I know the feeling. It seems like 14th and U has just been blowing up TOO much lately. It used to just be lines at Chi-Cha and Local 16 -- then it was Saint-Ex, then it was Marvin, etc. I just wonder when people are going to get tired of standing in line every weekend.

Honestly, there are some cool little spots that don't seem to get packed to the gills every weekend, like 1905 or Dahlak, but they're few and far between.

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Foxfield is the only race I have ever been to with class: With or without money, a drunk housefrau is still a drunk.

Stephanie: I always have fun at Foxfield, but I'm with you -- classy isn't the first adjective that comes to mind.

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Arlington, Va.: I'm hoping to get a group of mid-20 somethings together to hit up U Street. Ambiance a little classier than the typical scene in Adams Morgan or Clarendon Ballroom. There will be about 6-8 of us. Any thoughts on where we should go? Unfortunately, I haven't been out to U in ages...

Fritz: With that many people, you need to arrive early -- like 10 -- or, as the previous questioner noted, you'll be standing in long lines, or worse, you won't all get in at the same time.

The Gibson's the spot for cocktails, Marvin and Local 16 are the cool places with DJs and outdoor decks. (I can't imagine what Marvin's patio is going to look like on Saturday night.) Bar Pilar is a good place to start the night. If you want something more clubby, try Policy.

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Cathedral Heights: Good afternoon, Gurus! Hoping for your advice ... you've hit them out of the park in the past (thanks!) I'm moving from Columbia Heights to Cathedral Heights in about a month. I know there are some great restaurants in northern Glover Park and also stuff up around Tenleytown, but what else is going on in that neck of the woods? I know there isn't any jammin' nightlife, but are there any good bars(ish) that offer a good happy hour or a place to spend a Friday/Saturday night? My friends are already laughing that I'm living in no-man's-land (ha! no crime!) and I'd love a great drink special to guilt them into visiting me. Just once. Anything else you think I should know about my new 'hood would be great, too. Thanks, Gurus!

Julia: In yet another shockingly mundane discussion we gurus have in our spare time, we spent quite a few minutes during the chat debating your actual location. Regardless of your precise home location, I feel like the best draw you have for your friends is happy hour at Enology (dollar off wines, beers and cocktails from 5 to 7 p.m. on weekdays and all day Monday) and cheap Mexican and swirly margaritas at Cactus.

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Falls Church/Tysons: What are you top 3 Friday happy hours in Falls Church/Tysons area? The weather is warming up and I want to enjoy! Preferably somewhere where you don't have to wait forever for a drink...

Fritz: Dogwood Tavern in Falls Church, especially for the patio.

The Dogfish Head Ale House in Falls Church/7 Corners, because the beer selection is awesome.

Ireland's Four Provinces is probably a given, but if you want to sit outside, it's a good one.

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washingtonpost.com: Oh my, look at the time. We only put an hour in the meter, we gotta split! See you next week...

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The Going Out Gurus write about restaurants, bars, movies, the arts, special events and visitor attractions, and they're out every night to keep you on top of the D.C. entertainment scene. Check out our updates throughout the week on the GOG Blog and join us on Thursdays at 1 p.m. for our live Q&A.

Editor's Note: washingtonpost.com moderators retain editorial control over Discussions and choose the most relevant questions for guests and hosts; guests and hosts can decline to answer questions. washingtonpost.com is not responsible for any content posted by third parties.


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