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The Going Out Gurus
Thursday, December 2, 2010; 1:00 PM

The Going Out Guide staff discuss great ideas for local entertainment, dates and family fun.

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Alex Baldinger: Sure, you might have gained a few pounds, but congratulations to you, hearty souls, for surviving Round One of the 2010 Holiday Season. Next up: Christmas, but in the meantime, we know you're looking for places to grab holiday drinks, celebrate Hanukkah or, you know, do things that have nothing whatsoever to do with the holidays. Things like bar trivia contests. Well, it just so happens we're hosting one Sunday at Bedrock Billiards, and to get you into the spirit, we've got some sample questions for you that we'll serve up in just a moment. First correct response to each lands a pair of tickets for the reggae stylings of See-I at the Artisphere on Saturday. And we're off...

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Adams Morgan: Why did the Gurus pick Bedrock Billiards for their trivia night instead of a bigger event like those at Fado or Wonderland? Bedrock is small, and Fado, for example, hosts trivia every week,

Alex Baldinger: Because we want to be closer to you, dear readers.Actually, one reason is that Fritz has hosted trivia there in the past and since it's our first shot at this, we figured we'd go with what we know. Plus, the folks at Bedrock are a breeze to work with, so that helps. Hope to see you there.

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Saturday night cocktails: Hey gurus! 3 girlfriends going out for a night on the town this Saturday night for our 30th birthdays. We have late dinner reservations at CoCo Sala. Where is a good place to head after for some fun? We're talking hip, good atmosphere, music and cocktails. Thanks!

Justin Rude: You won't be too far from PS 7's or the Passenger, which both fit that bill perfectly.

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Alex Baldinger: Alright, so here's the first of this hour's three warm-up trivia questions. Most of the questions you'll find on Sunday are D.C. themed, so these are no different. First correct answers win a pair of tickets to See-I at Artisphere on Sunday. Let's start with an easy one. H Street is teeming with bars these days. Of all the nightspots in the Atlas District, the oldest continuously operating bar opened in 2005. (Seriously.) Which place is it?

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shooting range: My boyfriend has expressed an interest in going to a shooting range so I was thinking maybe I'd take him to celebrate his upcoming birthday. He's never been before and not a hunter/gun owner so I'm thinking it would be best if the place had some sort of program for these types of visits. Any thoughts on places in the MD/DC/VA area? Thanks!

Justin Rude: Just contacted a gun-owning buddy of mine and he had a couple suggestions:"The NRA range out 66 probably welcomes beginners. Blue Ridge Arsenal is a good indoor range, and Izaac Walton League is a nice pick for long guns."

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Where did Fashion Fix go???: Holly, where had Fashion Fix gone?? I miss my Tuesday chats!!

Holly Thomas: Fashion Fix was canceled a few weeks ago, and we miss you all terribly. You can fire away with your style q's here every Thursday at 1, and you can always reach us via email at fashion@washpost.com. We're also on Twitter and Facebook, and we love hearing from you!

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BYT Holiday Party: Gurus,Going to the BYT Holiday Party at the Newseum this Friday. Do you know what to expect? I've never been to any big BYT parties. Also, how much do you think drinks are gonna be? Thanks.

Stephanie Merry: I'm headed to the All Access party, as well. BYT parties are always a funny mix of people and offbeat activities, and this should be no different -- especially the silent disco room (people dancing with headphones on? Wacky). I just hope the wine is better than what they served at the Artisphere opening: Worst. Hangover. Ever. Oh, and the guys reported in Nightlife Agenda that drinks will be $5-$7.

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Best liquor stores in Va, DC: Can you recommend liquor stores with impressive selections, in Va or DC? I'm looking for things like ginger liqueur and other hard to source items. Thanks!

Justin Rude: This is easy. Ace Beverage up by AU. The selection is amazing and the prices are very reasonable.

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Thurdsay Night Football: Will you please recommend venues for watching the NFL game tonight? Ideally I'd like to find a place in Old Town, but I'd consider taking Metro to another neighborhood if the draw is sufficient.

Alex Baldinger: If you're a Philly fan, Rhino Bar in Georgetown always draws a sizable crowd.I was at Public Bar two weeks ago for TNF, by the way, and it was a great time from a sports-watching perspective thanks to the huge projection screen above the bar. It's aided by the fact that Thursday's Spin-the-Wheel happy hour means a different rotating drink special at the bar every 15 minutes. You can put away a lot of Sam Adams in a quarter-hour when they only cost $2 or $3 a pop.If I was sticking strictly to Old Town, I'd opt for Bugsy's.

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H Street Bar: Is it the Argonaut?

Alex Baldinger: Ding ding ding. Thanks. Drop me an e-mail: baldingera@washpost.com.

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Fashion Question for Holly and Janet - blue suede boots? : Hello ladies! I just bought a pair of blue, knee-length, suede boots. They're beautiful, and I bought them thinking they'd look great with jeans. But I'm having trouble figuring out a way to make them work - if I wear them with jeans, I can't decide what color shirt to wear, since the blue suede and the denim are already two neutrals. Today I'm wearing them with a denim skirt, grey tights and a slate-grey shirt, and I feel like I'm not working it...help!

Holly Thomas: First off, your boots sound fabulous. But I actually vote against wearing them with blue jeans -- it's a little too coordinated, and you want the boots (which are a statement piece) to stand out while also looking effortlessly stylish. I'd stick with tights, leggings and jeans in black, charcoal or dove gray -- or the darkest blue jean rinse you can find. As long as most of your palette is a dark neutral, your boots will pop, which is exactly what blue suede knee-high boots should do. If you want to have a bit more fun with it, try a basic black (or charcoal gray) dress and add some opaque tights in fuchsia, magenta or burgundy.

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Alex Baldinger: Alright, Question No. 2, one for the foodies:Question: Cathal Armstrong of Restaurant Eve, Eric Ziebold of CityZen and Johnny Monis of Komi have all been named "Best New Chef" by Food and Wine Magazine. But which of that trio was first to win the award?

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WaPo Powers That Be Will Be Sorry...: That they got rid of Fashion Fix. Was it not one of the most popular chats? Grrr...I will also miss the opportunity to win pretty beauty items--of which I now have two from you guys. Anyway, I need to buy a new pair of shoes to match my navy work pants (I had nude but the season is over). I was thinking brown, any other suggestions?

Holly Thomas: Thanks for the support! You'll be able to snag beauty goodies from this chat occasionally, so don't despair -- and you can get them through our Twitter giveaways too (tune in tomorrow!). Personally, I think navy looks best with black -- close enough to nearly match, but not as jarring a contrast as brown and not as dowdy as navy. Try black patent pumps if you feel especially daring; matte black if you're on the more conservative side.

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Arlington, VA: Ziebold?

Alex Baldinger: You got it, Arlington. Ziebold won it in 2005, followed by Armstrong in 2006 and Monis in 2007.E-mail me, baldingera@washpost.com.

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Holiday Fancy Drinks: Hey, awesome gurus. My girlfriends and I are looking to go out for some swanky drinks one evening during the holiday season, ideally at a place that's decorated for the holidays, so possibly a nice hotel bar? Any suggestions?

Stephanie Merry: I'd head to Round Robin. It's a great place to go this time of year, both for its selection of holiday cocktails and its festive decor.

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Romantic Dinner: My boyfriend and I will be celebrating out 5 year anniversary this Monday. Is there a restaurant reasonably near Falls Church you would recommend for a romantic but not crazy expensive dinner (we are recent college grads)? To make is slightly more complicated, I can't eat wheat, so it can't be a carb centric place.

Justin Rude: really friendly service.

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question #2 + National Harbor: Is it Cathal Armstrong?Question: going to National Harbor Fri evening on date. Any restaurants there with (a) fairly big portions of (b) reasonably tasty food at (c) a decent price? Also - I see there's a Thai place there. Any good? Thanks!

Justin Rude: Haven't been to the Thai place yet, but my go-to for National Harbor continues to be Bond 45. Hearty Italian-American style steakhouse fare.

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Alex Baldinger: Alright, last one before Sunday. A test of your knowledge of hip-hop lyricism. C'mon now, no Googling on this one!Question: Which then-Howard University students boasted on a hit single that they "be to rap what key be to lock"?

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Fasion fix question: Any recommendations on where to go to get a cute holiday/NYE dress? I feel like I've recycled my options many times before and need a dress that I can hopefully wear again (so it doesn't scream holiday outfit!). Where would you suggest? I barely have time for xmas shopping (thank you amazon) so any place that is metro accessible or in a mall would be best so I don't have to run all over the city. Thank you from a frazzled fashion victim.

Holly Thomas: Not knowing your body type, it's hard to make a specific recommendation, but I can attest to the cuteness of the cocktail dresses available at H&M right now ... I'm currently lusting after a black strapless one with fab ruffles, and already bought a red ruched body-con number (which I expect to see dozens of at tomorrow's BYT holiday party, considering it was $9.95). If you strike out at the F Street H&M, head next door to Zara or up the block to Forever 21.

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Phillips after 5: Does this usually sell out? Not thrilled about paying extra to get a reserved ticket.

Stephanie Merry: As far as I know, it's $12 whether you reserve online or buy in person. Are you seeing something different?

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question 3: who is digable planets?

Alex Baldinger: Correct, and bonus points for answering in the form of a question. Lots of you said E-40, but that would be incorrect. He merely sampled the Planets' "Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)," which originally dropped around 1992.Email me: baldingera@washpost.com.

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Blue Banana Sport Bar : Any updates on the new sports/rock bar that is supposed to open in Petworth later this month? Dying to check it out!

Fritz Hahn: Blue Banana, opening next door to Looking Glass Lounge in a couple of weeks, is going to be a neighborhood sports bar: Bunch of TVs, bunch of beers on draft. Given the good reaction Meridian Pint has gotten on Sundays in Columbia Heights, I think the idea definitely fills a need in the neighborhood.Martin Corboy -- the guy behind Bobby Lew's and the Blaguard in Adams Morgan -- is also promising rock bands and DJs in the evening. I have fewer details about that, but I have to admit I'm curious.

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Gluten free restaurant options Christmas Day?: Happy Hanukkah GOG! My family is Jewish and they are visiting me for Christmas. I have this idea in my head that it will look something like SNL's "Christmas time for the Jews" digital short. Anyway...we're looking for restaurants open Christmas Day. We're thinking that Asian food would be great and follow our standard tradition, but are really open to anything delicious. The tricky part of our restaurant search is that my sister has Celiac- so the restaurant needs to either be able to accommodate the wheat and dairy allergy (most people with Celiac should also avoid dairy), or have a gluten free menu. Do you have any suggestions? Maybe other chatters have suggestions? Thanks!!

Justin Rude: The one that immediately springs to mind is Sei, which is open on Christmas day and offering its regular menu. For something non-Asian I would look to Agora in Dupont, which is also offering its regular menu that day.

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fashion question for Holly!: HELP! I've been invited to a couple embassy holiday parties. Winter party wear isn't exactly something I know. I'm trying to work with what I already own: lots of different bright tights, knee-length skirts in a variety of colors, different tops, etc. I just don't know how to pull this all together. For tonight, which is a little more low key, I was thinking brown skirt, red tights, ivory cashmere top, and red wrap. Do-able?

Holly Thomas: If your parties call for cocktail attire, I'd opt for a dress, as opposed to a skirt and top. If that's not an option, choose a skirt and top in the same color palette (ie a gray cashmere sweater and a charcoal tweed skirt), add some beautiful statement jewelry, and match your tights to your shoes. Your outfit for tonight sounds right for a low-key event, but I'd consider swapping the red tights for brown tights and brown pumps/boots. If you really want to wear the red tights, try them with tall brown boots and skip the red shawl ... too much coordination will make you look like you've been gift-wrapped.

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sunday trivia: So is all the trivia going to be DC focused, or was that just for the enjoyment of the chatters?

Fritz Hahn: Most of it will be D.C.-focused, and by D.C.-focused, we mean things you read/hear about on the Going Out Guide -- local bands, cool restaurants, the arts. (Hey, it's a Going Out Guide trivia night.)I think I'll save the more esoteric stuff -- like questions about Gladys the Fighting Squirrel or the Mexican War -- for another trivia night at Bedrock.

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New Years Eve: Friends from out of town will be visiting for New Years and I'm at a loss for what to do on the big night. I don't want to take them to one of those big parties at a hotel with a cheesy theme, icky food and a packed bar. Are there any concerts or low-key bars/lounges where we can get dressed up and get a little tipsy in style?

Alex Baldinger: Let's see: dressed up and tipsy-in-style sounds like the perfect recipe for a trip to the Kennedy Center. There's an 8 p.m. performance of "South Pacific" with tickets starting at $39. Included in your ticket price is an after-show party with drinks, dancing and a midnight balloon drop.The Omni Shoreham is hosting "A Hot Jazz New Year's Eve" which includes a dinner buffet and open bar, but tickets will run you $250 per.Have you thought about picking a nice dinner spot and anchoring down for the evening? Several friends of mine swear by the Tabard Inn, where you can eat, drink and dance to the sounds of a live jazz ensemble from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.

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Zipper Repair: I have a great dress I'd like to wear for holiday parties, but the zipper is broken. I think I would just need the movable part that binds the two sides together replaced. Do you know anyplace that can do this?

Holly Thomas: Most tailors should be able to do this for you, but ask your dry cleaner first, in case it's a very simple job -- if a dry cleaner can't handle it, he/she should be able to recommend a tailor who can.

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birthday dinner: Where would go for a small family group to celebrate a mid life (44) birthday. Ages of group members span 13-74. DC or MoCo and we eat anything.

Justin Rude: I think I would be inclined to try someplace with an attractive dining room and a menu that could please all palates. The newly revamped Equinox in DC comes to mind, as does Redwood in Bethesda.

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Science Club: Has Science Club closed? I went there on Monday and it was pitch black. On their website, it says that its open on Mondays. I've also tried calling them and haven't had any luck with reaching a live person. Any insight? Thanks Almighty GOGs!!.

Alex Baldinger: Not sure what happened on that particular Monday, but I just rang them up and they assured me they have not closed. Which is good.

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The Argo opened in....: Aug 05. Oh my has my nabe improved n 5+ years!

Alex Baldinger: You've come a long way, H Street Northeast.

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Falls Church Restaurant: Look into Present. I read about it here in the WaPo and checked it out and we were pleasantly surprised. We have gone several times. It's a nice, cute, inexpensive place with great food! We haven't tried anything we haven't like.

Justin Rude: I'm really glad to hear this actually. After a less than exemplary meal there I was worried that it had fallen off. Its nice to be told otherwise.

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Fashion victim again: Sorry, I'm 32, 5'3", slim but busty so shirts that fit around the chest are good but baggy at the waist and if they fit at the waist they pull at the chest. Any other rec's besides H&M and Forever 21. I usually get too overloaded, especially b/c there doesn't seem to be any organization. Banana Republic and Ann Taylor are places that usually have dresses that fit but I also don't want to wear something everyone else has. Does this help? Thanks for taking my question!

Holly Thomas: LOFT (the store formerly known as Ann Taylor Loft) should have some good options for you, and also try Talbots. If your budget allows for a dress in the $200 range, try Urban Chic, Wink, Cusp and Intermix in Georgetown. The key to not looking like everyone else lies in accessorizing -- look for a simple shift and amp up the interest with dazzling earrings, a couple cocktail rings and some great pumps. And FWIW, the H&M cocktail dresses I mentioned are grouped together at the entrance to the store, so you can't miss them -- and you won't have to do tons of digging.

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Middle Aged Dancing: Where in DC could a bunch of 40 something suburban moms (and dads) could go dancing, before 1:00am possibly, to the likes of Lady Gaga or similar?

Fritz Hahn: Most of the Top 40-ish dance nights in D.C. tend to skew young -- like college-ish to low 30s. Rumors is one of the few exceptions, and I think you might see a slightly older crowd at Sign of the Whale. UltraBar is open to an 18-and-over crowd on Fridays for a bigger club experience.KStreet and Midtown get a mix of ages, and they're a little fancier than Rumors.

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Non-christmasy saturday date: Looking for a non-holiday related event to go to for a date on Saturday that is also inexpensive. DC area, preferably red-line accessible.

Stephanie Merry: I think heading to National Geographic for the Music on Photography series could be a fun date. Saturday's installment has Andy Summers from the Police. Aside from that, the other non-holiday events that leap to mind are a free screening of the Japanese movie "Linda Linda Linda" at the Freer and the Caps game (though that would be pricier).

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Phillips: Oops - bad info. Just reserved my spot. Thanks!

Stephanie Merry: Oh good. Have fun!

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warm holiday drinks: I'm hoping you can direct me to somewhere in the city serving warm holiday (adult) drinks. I believe Poste may have done this in the past? Do you know if they are again this year? I'm thinking it might make a nice post-work happy hour.

Fritz Hahn: I'm actually in the process of putting together a Best Bets list of warming holiday cocktails. The inconsistent weather has meant that some bars delays putting them on their menus.Poste added its eggnogs, toddies and ciders last weekend, and I'm really curious about a toddy spiked with house-infused Brazilian cachaca. Room 11's Glogg has been a hit with my friends -- I've taken a couple there for drinks on weekends. Also loving the hot toddies at Rasika...

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Bedrock Billiards: Bedrock also hosts a weekly trivia night. And unlike Fado the hosts write their own questions and it draws a neighborhood crowd.

Fritz Hahn: Bedrock's Sunday trivia is a blast. I've hosted a few times. As you noted, the hosts change every week and they all write their own questions, so it's a completely new challenge every time.

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Guns: You forgot the Prince George's County Skeet range.The NRA range makes you take a short test on safety issues before you can shoot. They used to have guns for rent. Ammo is available at the range.Izaak Walton range use is membership based, you have to have someone in your party who is a member in order to use the range as their guests and they are responsible for making sure you use proper safety measures.A rule of thumb I've found useful when I moved from one place to another and tried to locate ranges is that the indoor ranges usually allow people to rent a lane by the hour without a membership and they're often attached to gun stores which will rent you a gun. The outdoor ranges which are better for high powered long guns often require membership to use the facilities. Indoor ranges keep you out of the weather but are often geared toward pistol shooting. Outdoor ranges may or may not have some sort of shelter in bad weather, and usually have both pistol and rifle ranges. Skeet and Trap ranges are outdoors and geared toward shotguns.If you want to fire blackpowder guns you must use an outdoor range, indoor air cleaning units can't handle the amount of smoke produced by a blackpowder gun and there's some danger of the slower bullet ricocheting back at the shooter if they miss and hit a bracket holding their target up.I moved to PG county in the last two years and still haven't found a range I really enjoy. I shoot competatively in several sports and need to find a range to call home myself. The choices are really skimpy around PG county. A lot of the ones listed on various web sites or in the phone book are only available to law enforcement.

Justin Rude: Wow. That is a lot of information to process. But as helpful as it is thorough. Thank you!

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Another fashion question: Just bought a cute black sequin mini skirt. I am at a loss what to wear it with for out on a Saturday night (concert/bar hopping - nothing fancy). I'm petite if that's helpful. Any suggestions for tops would be much appreciated!

Holly Thomas: I'd go for the softest, coziest black sweater you can find -- nothing too tight or too slouchy -- which will add some softness and texture to balance the "Hey, look at me!" aspect of a sequined mini skirt. Something like this would look great.

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Suggestions for drinks/light dinner near Gallery Place: Hey Gurus! Meeting a couple friends for a movie at Gallery Place on Friday evening. We'd like to grab a drink/bite to eat beforehand. I feel like I always get stuck in a rut in this area and default to the same places- Fado, Austin Grill, RFD. What are some other good options where you can get in-and-out within 1-1.5 hrs? I like Ella's but it's always so crowded on weekends. Thanks!

Fritz Hahn: I like Nando -- great food, really spicy, with a choice of Portuguese beers and wines and some South African wines, too. Also very easy on the pocketbook.If you want up to the Passenger, you can get a great kimchi dog or above-average bar snack with great cocktails. Only question is timing -- it can be hard to get a table after 7:30.The onion rings and house-brewed beer at District Chophouse rarely disappoint, especially in the little Brewer's Lounge upstairs.And I have to say that, with a group, it's hard to beat Bar Louie. Right near the theaters, plenty of seats, solid bar food.

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Re: zipper: You can't really just replace the moveable part. They'll have to replace the whole zipper, which is simple but often not super cheap, especially for a dress which requires a long zipper

Holly Thomas: Thanks for weighing in -- not sure if the whole moveable part is the problem, or just the pull tab. Either way, ask your tailor/dry cleaner. If the dress is in good shape and looks great on, it's worth the extra money to replace the zipper.

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Repeal Day Ball: Gurus: Are any of you heading to the Repeal Day Ball on Saturday? As a first-timer, I'm wondering what to expect for the crowd, the dress, etc. Couldn't be more excited about the cocktails!

Alex Baldinger: It's a black-tie event, so you'll want the tux for this one. Assuming you already have tickets already?

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Holiday w/5 Year Old: My office is closed between Xmas and New Years, and so is my son's kindergarten. Do you have any recommendations for a father to entertain his 5 year old on multiple days?

Justin Rude: Even if you aren't a hockey fan, Caps practices, which are free, are held in between game days at the complex in Arlington, and they are really interesting. My kid loves them. You could also take a trip farther out in VA to the Udvar-Hazy center, the giant annex the Air and Space museum fills with planes. Similarly the College Park Aviation museum is a delight for kids.

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Old foiks night: With as many questions as you get about "where can 30's/40's people go to dance", I'm surprised there aren't any clubs that have stepped up to have sort of a "grown ups" version of "Ladies Night", where people over a certain age get in for cheap or have reduced price drinks. Seems that would fill a need around here...

Fritz Hahn: I agree 100 percent. The '80s night at Chief Ike's gets packed with folks over 30, for example, but I don't see that kind of demographic really being catered to on weekends. And you'd think those folks would be willing to spend more money than college kids, too.

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Warm Cocktails: Where's the best place in DC to find some tasty, warm cocktails?

Alex Baldinger: Fritz wrote about the glogg at Room 11 a few weeks back, and since I still haven't been up that way to try it, I'm going to say that, at the moment, the 11th Street restaurant is the best place for warm drinks. You'll want to bundle up though.

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Shoes for Navy pants: Dark burgundy or wine-colored pumps always look classy with navy and aren't as, um, boring (sorry!) as black. I've got a gorgeous pair of patent burgundy pumps from Bandolino (i.e. not super expensive) that I always get compliments on at work.

Holly Thomas: Wine and navy do look lovely together -- and if you have the option to buy both a black and a wine pair, go for it. But if you can only afford one new pair for your work wardrobe (which means you're going to be wearing them a lot), black is more practical. If you have the budget to splurge on a few additional pairs to spice things up, go for a deep wine/burgundy, dark mustard yellow and true crimson.

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Christmas with a Toddler: How do I decide which fun Santa/train/Christmas events to take my toddler to? Between the Trolley Museum and the Botanic Gardens and .... I'm at a loss. Can anyone recommend one more than the others?

Justin Rude: I wish I could tell you. My little man is turning two right before Christmas, so I am also exploring these options for the first time. I wonder if any of our chatters can help us out?

Justin Rude: Update: My editor tells me that the Botanic Gardens get really crowded on the weekend, but that the train at the National Christmas tree is really cool. Plus there is an indoor Santa's workshop there, so its a nice two birds with one stone situation.

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Scotties at the Scottish?: Do you know when the dogs parade on King Street? Thanks.

Stephanie Merry: I do. The Scottish Christmas Walk is on Saturday.

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Dating Question: May be more for Carolyn than you all...I'm a play it by ear kind of guy, the new girl I'm dating likes plans. How can I be better organized to make plans? I do read BYT occassionally, dcist, regularly tune in here, city paper etc...with so many things to pick from, and crowds sometimes ruining the best laid plans..how do I show I'm making an effort? Do Gibson or Passenger take reservations? Bar Pilar, Cork, Policy? Help!

Stephanie Merry: If she likes plans, why isn't she the one making them?

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Re: Alex: didn't know they were from howard, but Digable Planets

Alex Baldinger: So we haven't heard from our first Digable Planets winner, so if this was you and you're still out there, email me. baldingera@washpost.com

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black sequin mini skirt again: I forgot to mention I am 30 - so age-appropriate suggestions would be appreciated!

Holly Thomas: I think a long-sleeved knit top covers the age-appropriate factor ... a little extra coverage on top allows you be a little more daring on the bottom half. If you're presented with a fancy occasion (ie a NYE date), wear the sweater and skirt, skip the tights and go for some fun pumps.

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HH location?: Oh guru's I hope you can help me....I'm putting together a celebration happy hour/dinner for about 12 people next Friday nite. Thinking of either Reston or Tysons, but want to make sure there is enough room for us. Any thoughts on where there will be enough room for HH with 12p (at the bar area) and then reservations for 8 for dinner afterwards?Thanks!!

Fritz Hahn: A dozen people together at a bar on a Friday night is hard to guess. If you could do Herndon, I'd say Carpool.As much as I like the bar(s) at Jackson's in Reston, I feel that the bars are packed with people waiting for dining room tables on weekends (thanks to the no-reservations policy), so it's a crapshoot whether or not your group will all be able to sit together. Also in Reston, American Tap Room is a fine happy hour option, but the food is kinda eh for dinner.

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Shoe Repair: I need to get some boots re-heeled. Any recommendations on where to go in DC?

Holly Thomas: I've always gone to Corrective Shoe Repair in Dupont, but I tried MacDee's at 17th and L recently and was pretty pleased with the results.

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Warner Theater dining: Is business casual ok for Tosca or is it more of a dressed up kind of place? Going to the Warner and after reading pretty mediocre reviews of Chef Geoffs, we're considering Ceiba or Tosca instead.

Justin Rude: Ceiba is a good choice. As is Tosca, where you do see a lot of suits and dresses, so if you wear business casual there you might want to make sure its on the sharper side.

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Outfit for a themed party: I'm female and going to a "Hooray for Hollywood" themed party in February (not a costume party). Dress is fancy to semi-formal. Any recommendations for an outfit that will fit in with the theme? This one has me stumped!

Holly Thomas: You can pair long gloves and red lipstick with just about anything and be fit for a Hollywood-themed party ... I'd choose a simple black cocktail or maxi dress, glam up with some costume jewels and add a chic cocktail hat/headband. The thought of someone walking into a party wearing this absolutely delights me.

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Dancing?: Hi GOGs... three ladies, age 28, going out next Friday night (10th). One is single from out of town, one is married, one is recently divorced. (Going out as a way to get the divorcee out of a funk.) We just want to have a good time, maybe dance, but we're honestly not really dancers. (We're sort of nerds to be honest.) We were thinking drag show at Town, dancing after? Or maybe Kelly's Irish Times for something more low key, with the potential of dancing? Any thoughts? None of us have ever gone out in DC before, and none have gone dancing/clubbing since college... so a primer on where to go might be good. Thanks!!!

Fritz Hahn: Those are two wildly, wildly different options, especially if you're "not really dancers." Town's drag show is great, and the music can be a lot of fun. (Too bad you're not going this Friday for the Britney Spears birthday celebration.) Irish Times ... that, to me, is a college bar on the weekends, so it might not be the best choice. What about having cocktails and something to eat at Masa 14 on 14th Street, or the small plates next door at Bar Pilar, then moving up the block to Cafe Saint-Ex or Marvin? Both are packed, so plenty of people-watching and fun, and both have dancing, but not so much that you feel like you *have* to. If you need to escape, there's Dickson Wine Bar down the street, or Solly's for a truly low-key Friday night dive bar scene.

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Pregnant night out!: My girlfriends are coming into town this weekend and one of them is bringing a little something extra to the mix! Shes pregnant!! We're a pretty young group (mid-20s). We love to dance and looking to go out on Saturday night. Any recommendations for a night out in the city where we could have fun, but have her still feel comfortable?

Fritz Hahn: It really depends on a couple of factors... When you want her to "feel comfortable," do you mean she needs a place to sit down, or is that just something where you're concerned that she won't have a good time because everyone else will be drinking?As someone who just took a hiatus from drinking, I know that it's not always the most fun to go out to bars as the sober one, but the best I can recommend is going to places where there's something to do besides sit in the corner clutching a club soda.We recommended Town earlier, I know, but the BuddhaKwanzaRamFestivusXmaHanaSolstice variety show sounds like a blast (if guaranteed to be hilarious and risque), and it's followed by DJs from the awesomely fun Mixtape dance party (eveything from GaGa to '80s).

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Alex Baldinger: That's all for this week folks. Thanks for playing.Remember, the Going Out Guide trivia contest is at Bedrock Billiards on Sunday. We'll see you there at 8 p.m.And in the meantime, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook or sign up for our newsletters.


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