Got Plans?: Halloween bashes, quirky costumes, superlative cocktails, after-hours art parties, dress codes

The Going Out Gurus
of The Washington Post's Going Out Guide
Thursday, October 22, 2009; 1:00 PM

The Going Out Guide staff dished about Halloween bashes, quirky costumes, superlative cocktails and after-hours art parties on Thursday, Oct. 22 at 1 p.m.

____________________ You're busy. We're busy. So let's just skip the pleasantries and get right to "Got Plans"-ing. Bring it.


College Park: Hi GOGs,

So my girlfriend and I are celebrating our four-year anniversary tomorrow night down at Zaytinya, but don't have a reservation -- we're planning on heading down and waiting for a table and killing time by grabbing drinks at a bar in the area. Any ideas for a good bar near Zaytinya, or good nightlife options for after dinner?

-An Extremely Lucky Guy

Julia: Congrats on the anniversary! My first reaction is that the bar *at* Zaytinya is actually a pretty good option. But, if you want to try other ones, perhaps I could point you in the direction of Proof with new(ish) mixologist Adam Bernbach.

Fritz: As I said somewhere else (last week's chat?), the cocktails at Proof as tasty as in the glory days of Bar Pilar's Cocktail Sessions, and I hear Proof will even be changing two or three a week.

Zaytinya's bar is a great option. Also: PS 7's is around the corner, and Gina's a great mixologist.


Washington, D.C.: Happy Thursday, GURUS! Sorry if this is an entirely un-original question, but my cursory searches of the archives have not been fruitful. I have tickets to Streetcar Named Desire on November 10th. It's my SO's birthday gift and afterwards we'll want to go out for romantic drinks and dessert. What's nearby that fits the bill? I want something with great ambiance and great drinks, not too worried about $$$$. Thanks!

Julia: Interesting question. Marcel's is our usual go-to for KenCen-goers and a gentleman who just picked up the phone at the restaurant assures me that you can just order dessert at the three-star spot. If you don't mind a quick cab ride over to Georgetown, let me add the lounge at Bourbon Steak to your list. It's romantically lit and offers some really great cocktails. And lobster corndogs.... Mmmmmm. Unfortunately, my last date at Bourbon Steak was uber-platonic friend Fritz, but you know, it does seem like a good spot for a date.


Arlington, Va.: My wife and I are looking to play hooky and go see an exhibit or something similiar one weekday afternoon next week. any ideas?

Bonus points for something with a nearby bar so that we can get pre-lubed to really appreciate the art.

Stephanie: Well I mentioned last week that I was a big fan of the new Anne Truitt show at the Hirshhorn, but if drinking is your priority (and nothing wrong with that!), then I might stick to the Portrait Gallery and the American Art Museum given their proximity to any number of Chinatown/Penn Quarter watering holes (Matchbox, RFD, Rocketbar, get the picture). If you go with this plan, be sure to check out William T. Wiley's wacky art and the Faces of the Frontier exhibition with photos of Geronimo, Buffalo Bill, Annie Oakley and other big names from the wild west.


Ballston Dude: GOGs,

Your thoughts on buying a tux vs. renting. Any suggestions for rental or purchase that won't break the bank?

Fritz: I own. I've owned for years. (I'm now on my second, in fact.)

The rule is simple: If you go to more than one black-tie event a year, you should own. All those rental fees will add up in two or three years.

For a "starter" tuxedo -- i.e. you don't need Brooks Brothers -- my go-to recommendation was the Masters shop in Shirlington, but I believe they've closed.

With several black-tie events coming up, I'll send this out -- any suggestions on places to buy a tux?


Petworth, D.C.: So what can I expect at the schlager Swedish Embassy Party this saturday?

Fritz: Open bar + karaoke + Eurovision songs + an international crowd should make for a very, very entertaining evening of people-watching, especially if everyone gets all dressed up in sequined '80s style clothes. You have no idea how much I'm looking forward to this.


Arlington, Va.: Gurus---

Two things:

1. A large group of us want to eat dinner at Granville Moore's on Friday at around 9. What time should we put our name in?



Fritz: 1. Eight.

2. Pumking was on earlier this year at Birreria Paradiso and Rustico. It's currently my third-favorite of the year, after Dogfish Head's Pumkin and the Shipyard Pumpkin.


Rockville, Md.: What's the attire for attending a performance at the Kennedy Center?

Stephanie: These days, it seems like anything goes. If it's a nighttime performance, then you'll see everything from jeans to floor-length dresses. I usually try to stick somewhere in the middle -- skirt of nice pants (slacks, if you will) -- and never feel out of place. For guys, I'd say the blazer without the tie look is pretty popular.


Arlington, Va.: My friends and I are running in a 5k on a Saturday and would like to eat all those calories we burn off at brunch. Ideally it would have some drink specials to celebrate with but no biggie if not. I can think of tons of places that offer Sunday brunch but not Saturday. The race is being held in Alexandria but Arlington and maybe even D.C. if the deal is good enough would work. Also not looking for any ethnic brunches, just yummy waffles and pancakes please. Any ideas???

Julia: Due to some Va. laws that aren't really worth going into here, you won't find bottomless brunch specials in Va. Best brunches I've had in Virginia were at Vermilion, The Carlyle and Fontaine (not pancakes, crepes -- but really, really good crepes). There are some great bottomless brunch specials in D.C. (at Creme, Front Page, etc.), but I feel like the Va. options are probably best for your crew. The Front Page food isn't all that and Creme doesn't take reservations, which can be annoying. Enjoy the run!


Mt. Pleasant: Is it true? Is Birch & Barley and Churchkey set to open tonight? Any word of the beers on draft? Also, which one is the more beer-centric place or are both the same?

Fritz: I'm awaiting a beer list right now, which is kind of important because -- wait for it -- they won't be selling any beers in bottles until tomorrow night. There are 500 bottles and they're not all in the inventory system yet. You'll have to make do with 50 drafts and FIVE CASK ALES if you swing by tonight. Five. Cask. Ales.


Re: College Park: Oh dear GOGs,

I just had to write in to say, I hope GF of College Park is really as lucky as she appears to have a guy sign off as "Extremely Lucky Guy," especially after four years. I love it!

That was awesome and made my day!

Julia: I know! What a sweetheart, right?


Boo at the Zoo: I am babysitting my dear niece and was hoping to take her to the Boo at the Zoo but tickets are sold out for Sat. Do you or the chatters know if there's -any- way of getting tix? I realize this is a long shot but I wanted to try all options before admitting defeat.

Fritz: You can still get tix for Friday and Sunday nights. If that doesn't work, try pleading on neighborhood listservs or craigslist.


Washington, D.C.: Any thoughts on a fun alternative for a group to the sold out Hirshorn After Hours party?

Stephanie: Do you want to stick with the drinks and art theme? Then I'd say check out an exhibition opening like Barbara Josephs Liotta's cool string-based work at Reyes Davis. The opening reception is 6:30 to 9 on Friday night. Then after that you can head to the Black Cat or something to get your dancing fix. I think that would be a very fun (and way cheaper) After Hours alternative.


Halloween: Hi guys,

I don't usually go out for Halloween but am makng an exception this year. Any ideas for decent revelry?


Fritz: Here's a preview of my big costume contest/party story that's running in tomorrow's Weekend section. The best costume at Fur wins $3,000. That's a pretty good incentive to go, no?

Shadow Room, Clarendon Ballroom, Town and George all sound like winners to me.


SS, MD: I know this has been discussed plenty before, but what are some good options for Halloween in the city this year considering both Friday and Saturday are sure party nights? Nightmare on M has been overhyped and (nightmarish) in the past, and since it's a weekend this year the usual bars will likely be packed early...

Fritz: Yeah, I think the parties (some in the link posted above) will be especially scary this year, and not just because of the costumes. My feeling is that no matter where you go, it's going to be really, really crowded because of all the Saturday (and Friday) parties.


Washington, D.C.: Hey what's the usual dress for the Hirshhorn After Hours for women? Thanks!

Stephanie: Just call me the dress code guru for the day. You can wear seriously anything (last time I went, I was in line behind a girl in a glittery dress and in front of a bunch of high schoolers in jeans and Chucks), but I'd say comfy shoes because you'll probably be on your feet for most of the evening.


Washington, D.C.: GOGs, while I appreciate brevity, I hope you're not too busy to answer questions.

I've been dating a guy for six months and we've moved in together! I want to go somewhere for our six-month anniversary dinner but we have different tastes when it comes to eating out. I love good, OK great, food, especially after going to culinary school in France and love great wines and am willing to pay top-dollar for the best. My boyfriend is pretty much the opposite, so where would you suggest we go for our dinner?


Julia: Congrats on the milestone and here's to many more. I'd pick a spot like Eventide for a date like this. The space is romantic. The entrees are approachable and reasonable (under $30). The wine list is managed by the fantastically knowledgeable Glen Fisher. He'll steer you toward a good one. If you want to stay in the city, perhaps opt for Cork, Siroc or Proof.


H street NE - D.C. Banjo Insanity : Hoping for a nod to get the word out for DC Banjo Insanity @ SOVA on Saturday @ 9 p.m. Local acts at a locally owned venue. Plus great regional music by young people keeping the tradition alive! "Lobbying for more twang inside the beltway" More deets can be found on Facebook.

Fritz: Man, Sova's becoming quite the Bluegrass capital of D.C. There's a free show there tonight that former Guru (and current Post editor) Joe Heim has been talking up.


Washington, D.C.: Hi Gurus! I live right near the new restaurant Againn. Do you know when it is actually going to be open? Any idea what it will look like? We can see in the window now -- kind looks like a more casual copy of Beck. Any info? Thanks!

Julia: The latest e-mail in my inbox says that it's opening to the public on Oct. 27. There will be a raw bar (like Beck), but where Beck leans Belgian, it's my understanding that Againn will lean British/Irish. Here are the deets from Tom Sietsema.


Van Ness, D.C.: My co-worker has been grumpy all week. Any suggestions in the Van Ness/Cleveland Park area where we can take her out for Happy Hour to get her in a better mood?

Fritz: I never leave the bar at Dino in a bad mood -- it's 25 pecent off all drinks, plus free snacks. The only caveat is that the bar area can be tight if you have a group larger than four or five. If that's the case, I'd head down to Aroma (mixed drinks under $5 until 8) where you can spread out.


Washington, D.C.: Hey Gurus -

I'm headed to Sova next Wednesday for an early show (7 p.m.). I've never been, should I count on drinks and snacks there or grab an early dinner somewhere else?

Fritz: The drink list is very good -- tasty wines, good martinis. But.... none of us has ever eaten there. I might go down to Taylor or Horace and Dickey's, or down the block for the reliable pub grub at Argonaut.



Washington, D.C.: While walking past Ford's Theatre the other day I saw an advertisement for a history type walking tour around the area focusing on, what else, the Lincoln assassination. I'm a history nut and thought this might be interesting, but I'm thinking it also might be very corny and touristy. Any idea if it is a fun way to learn more about the event and its connection to the downtown area or if it is just kind of lame?

Any other interesting walking tours in D.C.? Whenever I walk by some of these buildings and see small plaques I wish there were some type of tour to go on that could expand a bit. Does this even exist? Thanks!

Stephanie: You were probably seeing Ford's History on Foot tours led by costumed actors. And if you're a history nut, I doubt you'll think it's lame. Plus I'm not judging since I used to give historical tours (there goes my cred). For other walking tours, check out Cultural Tourism DC's web site.


RE: Virginia Brunches: I'm not sure what law you are referring to, but I have been to all you can eat brunch bars in Virginia before. One was at a hotel restaurant, but the other was at the Royal in Alexandria. Cozy but good omletes and belgian waffles!

Julia: Oh! I see the confusion. I'm talking about all-you-can-drink, not all-you-can-eat. Bars can't have all-you-can-drink specials in Virginia. All you can eat? That's up to the restaurant -- and totally legal.


Hokie: What is the deal with the competing Smith Point/LNS parties? Went to their joint party last year and it was fun but now looks like each went their own ways. Which will be the better party this year?

Fritz: Well, the big LNS party at the City Museum is sold out, so the point is kind of moot. There's one at George -- hosted by Julia's Heartthrob Ryan Zimmerman -- with $40 tickets that offers all-you-can-drink from 9 to 1, plus scary movies on all the TVs. The Smith Point/Bullpen party is at the Bullpen, and has better bands (local reggae stars Soldiers of Jah army, go-go band Mambo Sauce of "Welcome to D.C." fame and '80s cover band Judo Chop plus an open bar, and it's only $60. Thing is, it's at the Bullpen, which means it's outdoors. If it's cold and rainy, that's definitely a factor.


Bottomless Brunch: It's pricey, I believe $45 a head, but Tony and Joe's in Georgetown has an excellent bottomless Jazz brunch.

Julia: It does indeed. A reader flagged this one for me last year -- still haven't been by though. Sounds like a good one.


Help a pregnant lady out!!: Hi Gurus!!

So, I'm pregnant! (Woo-hoo!) And I recall reading the fabulous article Fritz (I think?) did on the best non-alcoholic cocktails in the area. But I can't seem to find it. Can you pretty please post the link? Thank you!

Fritz: Congrats! I seem to have a lot of pregnant friends right now, so it seems like a good time to repost my non-alcoholic cocktails story (aka Fritz's liver takes a vacation).


Washington, D.C.: Howdy, I know that this isn't the usual kind of post that you get on these chats but I was hoping that you could offer some advice... I the guitarist and manager of a cool little acid jazz band and we've been playing in one of the smaller clubs on U. St for a little over a year now. It's a great place and we love playing there but most of our traffic is walk-in from people on their way to other places... they hear the music from the street, come in for a few drinks and head out after the set is over. We always get very positive feedback but one of the things we hear the most is that we should be playing in a place that has room for people to dance. We're much funkier than a traditional jazz band but we don't have a vocalist or play any standards or covers (think The Roots with a horn instead of the vocals). I was hoping that you could recommend a few venues that we should try to get gigs at that may be more suited for dancing vs chill times at a chill jazz club. Thanks!

Rhome: Bossa keeps a great rotation of jazz, funk and latin bands on the bottom floor. They curate the gigs well, with email blasts detailing who's playing on which nights. Folks clear out from the tables and booths and get their boogie on. People dance to the bands at Indulj as well as on the bottom level of JoJo. That's not where you're playing, is it? And make sure you send your gig schedule to so one of us can come check you out.

Note to other bands reading this: plugs are generally frowned upon in this chat but this was a good question. Please send us info about your band too, if you're dope! We stay in these streets!


Tuxedo: Buy buy buy from a reputable place. A friend of mine was once shot down by a girl who told him he was wearing a rental tux. And he thought he was all dressed up and looking good...

Julia: This is so sad. A friend of mine got his tux at the Joseph A. Banks in Bethesda. They were having some insane sale and it was like $300 -- a really nice tux for a third of the price.


D.C.: I'm trying to plan a night out with some co-workers for about a month from now. We're going to see the new Twilight movie on a Thursday night (I know, I know. It's a guilty pleasure for all of us involved), probably at the movie theater at the Verizon Center. Where should we go for dinner (or maybe just drinks/apps) before the movie? Anything in Chinatown, Penn Quarter, or by Judiciary Square would be great. It's mostly ladies (surprised?), 24 to early 50s. We're not looking to pick up guys; we're looking more at a place to eat and chat. Please help!!

Jen: You don't need to justify this by calling it a guilty pleasure, my friend. There are plenty of older "Twilight" fans out there. Although I must admit that planning dinner for opening night when it's a month away takes this to a whole other level.

But anyhoo, back to your question ... Penn Quarter is a great area with a lot of options in this department. If you want to get some nice glasses of wine beforehand (red wine ... like drinking blood, except -- presumably -- much more pleasant), you could go to the bar at Proof. Clyde's is also not a bad option if you want a quick bite and a drink, especially since it's essentially right next to the theater. And if you just want some pizza, Matchbox is nearby, too.


Washington, D.C.: Dear Going Out Gurus,

I want to donate my Redskins tickets to a charity, maybe something with vets, maybe something local for families. Do you know of any charities that will take them?


Fritz: Would you really want to subject our vets or families with young children to that? Really?

Julia: Best thing I've seen on the internet today.

Fritz: Honestly, I might call the USO (202-290-3907) or Walter Reed Army Hospital and ask if they know anyone who could use them. I bet they do.


Tux Purchase: An inexpensive place to buy a tuxedo is Syms in Falls Church. They have some very entry level suits and some that are a little nicer.

Fritz: Here's an option.


Tuxedo: Ew. I don't like that girl one bit. I think that guy can consider that bullet dodged!!

(Referring to guy being shot down by girl who commented he's wearing a rented tux.)

Fritz: See? If you own, you have a built-in comeback.


Arlington, Va.: We're meeting some friends for Evil Dead: The Musical at the DC Arts Center on Sunday (7:30 showtime) -- any suggestions for a meetup place beforehand? I'm thinking good beer and snacks/appetizers.

Fritz: I'd say the Bourbon, Black Squirrel or the Reef are all good bets within a block or so, and none gets overly clogged with football fans.


Washington, D.C.: Places like Ronald McDonald House will accept tix for events for families. Used to work there and there are two houses in the area. For veteran's families with sick kids try the Fisher House.

Fritz: This is why I love our readers. Thanks.


Dupont Circle: Hi Gurus,

My parents are coming to visit this weekend and it is their first time in D.C. I obviously want to show them the mall and the monuments, but do you have any suggestions for must-see exhibits right now or any other fun activities going on this weekend? They will also be meeting my boyfriend for the first time (yikes). Any suggestions on parent friendly restaurants? I am really open to anywhere in the district that is nice but not overly expensive and stuffy. Maybe something along the lines of Tabard Inn or Iron Gate? Thanks!

Stephanie: Ooh another boyfriend-parent meet-and-greet! For exhibits, the National Gallery is always my go-to and they recently opened too many exhibits to list, but the survey of photography opening on Sunday would be on my short list. The American Indian Museum also has the very cool Brian Jungen exhibition which riffs on Native American art using crazy objects, like Nike Airs and garbage bins. And another note, if you think they might be into the aforementioned Ford's tours, it's been brought to my attention that the weekend section wrote about the tours back in August, so you can read all about them.


Washington, D.C.: Are there any good ghost walking tours in the DC area? I've done both the Old Town Alexandria and Lafayette Park tour. Old Town's was very, um, lame, though Lafayette Park wasn't too bad. I'm not looking for actors jumping out at you or something like that, rather a walking tour with cool ghost stories in a town where there have to be some. Any ideas?

Fritz: Take a drive up to Ellicott City, Maryland -- which is known as "the most haunted town" in the state. Really cool ghost tours around Halloween, and the abandoned Patapsco Female Institute is downright creepy.


Washington, D.C.: Please help because the MCM chat didn't give a great answer.

My friend is running the marathon this Sunday. It is also her birthday. Where do we go out after for drinks and food?

Julia: I hate to be so non-specific, but my reaction is that you should take her to the closest breakfast place to her house. Chances are you will all be exhausted and it will be nice to only have to amble a few steps home after such a long run. That being said, the race finishes at the Iwo Jima memorial. If you want to stay nearby, I'd hit up a place like Ragtime or Rhodeside, divey spots where you can share a few brews and no one will care if you're in running gear.


"A friend of mine was once shot down by a girl who told him he was wearing a rental tux. And he thought he was all dressed up and looking good..": Poor guy! The nicest thing I can say is that he certainly dodged a bullet in that situation.

Fritz: I'll co-sign 100 percent.


Arlington, Va.: Hello Gurus!

I love pumpkin-themed foods this time of year, especially pumpkin-themed desserts! In your opinion, where is the best place to get pumpkin pie, pumpkin ice cream, or anything else with pumpkin?

Stephanie: Seriously, get yourself to the U Street farmer's market on Saturday and pick up some pumpkin whoopie pies (sold at one of the stands closest to 14th and U). They are like little sandwiches made of pumpkin heaven.

Fritz: Dogfish Head Alehouse (Fairfax, Seven Corners, Gaithersburg) for Pumkin beer.

Or the pumpkin beer tasting that I blogged about yesterday.


D.C. - for the twilight fans: FYI for the Twilight fans, the Thursday nite shows are at midnight and you should buy tix asap because advanced tix in the area have been on sale (and possibly sold out) since September.

Jen: Very true. I get the buying tickets in advance, it's the planning dinner that impressed me!

I believe advance tickets for other screenings beyond the midnight ones are also on sale as well. Thanks for sharing the info, Bella (or Edward).


Halloween Costume Watching: We want to go out to view the naughty outfits the ladies put on for this one night a year. Where is a good location for naughty elves, nurses, secretaries etc?

Fritz: Ladies, this is what you're up against this time of year. Just wanted to share.

(And seriously, naughty ELVES???!?!)


Dupont Scene: I have guests coming in from out of town (we're all young 20-somethings) and they have never been to D.C. before. Normally I go to places like Big Hunt or Buffalo Billards, but I feel like stepping it up and branching out. Do you have any suggestions for places to go out while still remaining in my neighborhood?

Fritz: Try vodka cocktails (or shots!) at Russia House, some lounge seats at Gazuza, sampling new-to-you beers at Birreria Paradiso, free beers at Midtown Loft happy hour, dancing at Fly or Cafe Citron. (Actually, Citron's happy hour works too.)


Dupont Circle: I would like to remind everyone that the High Heel Race on 17th Street is this Tuesday.

Julia: Reminder posted.


Washington, D.C.: Are there any good places to see good rock cover bands in the D.C. area? Preferably metro accessible. Looking for something fun with a good vibe, but not "too cool for school."

Fritz: For my money, it's the Legwarmers (who do all '80s covers) who put on the most entertaining retro show around -- costumes, dancing, etc. They're at the State Theatre all weekend, which isn't really Metro accessible. (Yeah, it's a hike from the Falls Church metro.)

But the teenager in me also really digs Toxic Mouse, who dress like early '80s Motley Crue and do songs by GNR, Def Leppard, Judas Priest, Ozzy, Dokken, etc. So much fun, especially if you want '80s music that's not Simple Minds or Madonna. They're at Clarendon Grill on Halloween.


RE: Redskins tickets: I volunteer for both the USO and the Yellow Ribbon Fund, and while I'm sure both would appreciate the tickets, I would lean towards the Yellow Ribbon Fund. It's a charity solely dedicated to recuperating soldiers at Walter Reed and their families. They're not as well known as the USO so they don't get nearly as much support, but they do a lot of good work.

Fritz: More great, great ideas.


Rockville: Where can an adult woman (30s) find a jazz dance class in Montgomery County? Thanks!

Jen: Joy of Motion in Bethesda is the first place that pops to mind. (They also have D.C. locations, but that's the only one in Montgomery County.)

I also have taken classes at Motion Mania in Gaithersburg, which is in the process of moving to a new studio in Germantown called Commotion. If you're in Rockville, though, Bethesda is probably more convenient.

A third option: Montgomery County Rec. offers dance classes. I am not sure if they take drop-ins, but it's worth exploring. Pretty sure they offer jazz.


Rented tux: If someone shoots you down for wearing a rental tux, that person is superficial and mean and you don't want them in your life anyway. Your friend dodged a bullet.

Rhome: One thing that needs to be said is that a lot of rented tuxes are really corny looking and totally ignore the standards of black tie dress. The tux rental business is often all about pushing those cheap wedding costumes instead of true tuxes. So like Fritz said, make the rent or own decision based on economics. But if you do decide to rent, don't get one of those penguin clown suits. And if you do rock a penguin clown suit you still shouldn't get ridiculed about it by your date.


Farragut North: Challenge: One friend is hosting a house party in Mount Pleasant Saturday evening. Another friend has asked for a birthday dinner gathering on same evening. I have been charged with finding a restaurant semi-near the house party so that we can do both. Dinner/drinks at restaurant would be at 8 p.m. Birthday girl has not expressed a preference for cuisine or vibe. We will all be on foot/public transportation. Any tips? I am not familiar with this area of town, or areas surrounding (such as Cleveland Park, Woodley Park, Adams Morgan, Columbia Heights).

Julia: Okay, it's a crime that I haven't been to Social yet, but I think that place could be what you're looking for. Check out what Fritz and Tom had to say. CommonWealth is good if she likes beer. In Adams Morgan, I'm partial to Bourbon.


FOGs: Thanks for the suggestion of Le Bar & Ici at the Sofitel -- the Four Old Girls loved it. Charming bartenders are always a plus...

Julia: Love you guys! Thanks for writing back!


Centreville, Va.: I recently began a relationship with a great girl here in Northern Virginia. This weekend her parents are talking about taking us out to dinner since I have yet to meet either of them. I'm thinking of coming up with something more creative to do Sunday evening, along the lines of... local theater?? There's no history or motive here, I just think that something creative coming from the new boyfriend might win me some points. I would prefer a comedy or something equally light-hearted; and it would have to be an informal affair that wouldn't break the bank. Any ideas? Thanks. -Brendan

Stephanie: Cute idea! My first inclination was Jersey Boys, a pretty surefire bet with the parents. But that would probably fall in the break the bank category. Other options: Musical of Musicals: The Musical at MetroStage or Lost in Yonkers at Theater J.


Arlington, Va.: The Dairy Godmother's flavor of the day is pumpkin four days next week!

Julia: Good to know. Can I just say that the Dairy Godmother has one of my favorite Twitter feeds? Informative, with a side dish of sports commentary.


Corcoran -- Saturday: Hi Gurus! Are any of you attending the Corcoran event on Saturday? If you've been in the past, what's it like? Is the crowd young, old, etc.?

Fritz: I've been a couple of times, and I'll be there again. I'm trying to bug Steph into going after her yoga class. It's a mix of people, but I'd guess mostly 25-35, and most are probably more interested in dancing and sipping cocktails than pondering the brushstrokes of John Singer Sargent. But I like wandering around the museum and socialising. But it's also weird sometimes because girls tend to stick to the clique they came with the whole night. Be social. Best advice I can give.

P.S. I will most likely be wearing a tux.


Cleveland Park, Md.: My girlfriend and I have been extremely busy the past few weeks so I was planning on taking her to Rasika next Friday, but was only able to get 9:15 p.m. reservations. She loves wine so I plan on taking her to Vinoteca for happy hour. I'm at a loss as for what to do between happy hour and dinner...any ideas? Thanks!

Julia: Have a really long happy hour?

Seriously though, I think your best bet might just be walking down to Rasika together. It's a long walk, but it could be a cool one. What I like best about the U Street to Penn Quarter walk is that you pass through so many different-looking neighborhoods. You could walk down 14th and duck into shops along the way.

If she's got tall shoes on, you might want to rethink this plan. You could Metro to Chinatown, play a few games of pool at Lucky Strike and then hit up your reservation.

Stephanie: I'm with Julia and vote for either a long wine stop or some sort of activity, like shuffleboard at Rocket Bar.


Va.: Okay, Fritz. Friends visiting from L.A. They are cocktail fiends. I need places that will IMPRESS them tomorrow and Saturday. Please help!

Fritz: Well, if you're in Virginia, there's the PX (call for reservations to avoid disappointment) and the Majestic in Old Town, and some interesting drinks at Eventide in Clarendon. Tom loves the drinks at Trummer's in Clifton, but I haven't been out there recently.

Honestly, that's about it for great cocktails in Va. at the moment. Outside of the PX, you'll have to head into D.C. for the truly memorable drinks. The Gibson, PS7's, Proof, Rasika and Cork (where you just tell the bartender what you're in the mood for) top my list these days. POV at the W is great if you can get in -- views and DJs to match the excellent cocktails, but the line can be a hassle.


Rockville, Md.: My wife and I spent a weekend in New Orleans earlier this month -- and we're really missing the food (especially the fried oyster po' boys). Do you have any suggestions for good low country food in D.C.?


Julia: I like the Louisiana eats at Lousiana Kitchen (GREAT po boys). Acadiana has some of the best New Orleans-style cuisine around, but that's a more upscale dining experience.


Bethesda, Md.: Hope I'm not too late!! A group of college friends are coming down Saturday for Penn State football game and staying near my house in Bethesda. Where can I take them out at night nearby that will be fun and not outrageously expensive?? I was thinking maybe Black's or Caddie's??

Fritz: Rock Bottom (bands on Saturdays!), Ri-Ra (ditto!), Caddies or BlackFinn would get my vote. BlackFinn also has LOTS of specials if you're out when college football's on. We like Black's for happy hour, but it gets really crowded on weekends.


For the guy donating the 'Skins tickets : Definitely, please, please, PLEASE call Walter Reed, that's a tremendous thing to do.

Julia: This poster is right. In all of our snark, we should have also mentioned how awesome an idea this is. I'm sure Walter Reed would love to hear from you -- in spite of the 2-4 record.


Re: costume watching: Give the guy (I assume) a break! Obviously girls who wear showy costumes like that do it bc the attention is fun!

Fritz: I'm sure.

I was just amused by the idea of dudes staring at sexy elves. That's all.


Female costumes: I love that bit in the Sex and the City movie where Miranda is looking for a costume and she says, "Really? Sexy kitten or witch? These are our options?"

And people like that dude wanting to see sexy elves are almost as bad as the women themselves. If you want to dress like a tramp, why not just embrace it and do it every weekend?

Fritz: The other side.


Dupont: I have always wanted to try out the bar at the Tabard Inn. What is the dress code to grab a drink at the bar? Are nice jeans okay?

I have the same question about the bar at the Jefferson Hotel -- would nice jeans be okay?

Thank you, Gurus!!

Fritz: Bar at the Tabard is very casual. I don't think I've ever done anything but jeans and sneakers there, to be honest.

Jefferson is dressier, lots of suits. But I also saw some fashionable people wearing jeans there and didn't think, "Boy, THEY look out of place."


Naughty: Dudes who say "naughty" are likely to never get any.

Fritz: Tell it to Austin Powers.


Hallowe, EN: Any idea where I can get a cheap adult polar bear costume or the makings of one (fake fur, perhaps)? Bruce's Variety had nothing that would help (though I still love that place). Thanks

Julia: Hmmmmm. There are lots of things about this question that have raised eyebrows here at Guru Central, but either way, you can probably get fake fur at G Street or Hancock Fabrics. As someone so helpfully noted last week, there is a temporary costume store at 7016 Wisconsin Ave. in Bethesda.

_______________________ And that's it for us for this week. Thanks for all your questions. Sorry we couldn't answer all of them, but there's always next Thursday. See you online then.


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 in with them throughout the week on the GOG Blog or join their live Q&A every Thursday at 1 p.m.

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