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The Going Out Gurus
Thursday, January 20, 2011; 1:00 PM

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

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Alex Baldinger: Hey folks, welcome aboard. We've got theater tickets to hand out today, and since we know a lot of you are busy restaurant surfing this Restaurant Week, we figured we'd pair them up for a little giveaway contest.So -- a pair of tickets to "Perseus Bayou" at Imagination Stage and a pair for the Fringe Festival remount "Genesis" are yours if you give us your Restaurant Week reviews...in standard 5-7-5 haiku format. The top two win.Something like:What a foodie dealFor a mere thirty dollarsMy taste buds explodeOr:Oh Restaurant WeekShort menus, overcrowdedWhat's with all the hype?Vamanos!

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Eden: Thinking about checking out Eden either Fri or Sat. What is the crowd like? Is this a club or bar atmosphere? Should I get dressed like I'm going clubbing or jeans & cute top for bar hopping?

Fritz Hahn: The new first floor of Eden -- which I wrote about in the Style section/Nightlife Agenda earlier this week -- is gorgeous with its pebble-studded walls, bamboo and indoor waterfall, and the interactive video screens on the walls and atop the bar are fun to play with.It's definitely a lounge with pumping house music, though -- no athletic wear, no sneakers, no ballcaps -- so I'd go a little above barhopping-in-Adams-Morgan, but not quite table-at-Josephine, if that makes any sense.

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Black dress okay at wedding?: I'm extremely fashion challenged, and I have to go to an evening wedding this weekend. Is it okay to wear a black dress to a wedding? That's all I have, but I seem to remember hearing when I was a kid that a woman should not wear black or white to a wedding (unless she was the bride). If black is out, I'm pretty much screwed....

Holly Thomas: You can definitely get by with your black dress, especially since it's an evening wedding. Just make sure to keep the rest of your outfit as non-funereal as possible -- choose a metallic shoe, some bold, fun jewelry and maybe a scarf or wrap in a deep jewel-tone or an earthy neutral.

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Activity for visiting young artist: My 19 year old niece will be visiting at the end of the month. She's a budding artist and is particularly into Anime type art and computer graphics. Any exhibits or galleries around town she might be interested in?

Lavanya Ramanathan: You're in luck: There are at two excellent options for you: "Party Crashers" at Artisphere in Arlington is a show with a lot of great pop artists whose work in the show is inspired by comic books. And a year-round purveyor of low-brow, anime-inspired, skateboard-culture inspired work is Art Whino, a gallery loaded with work that should inspire your neice.

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Charlottesville weekend: Hello gurus. We are planning a weekend getaway to Charlottesville next month and will be staying at a nearby B&B. Could you recommend a few casual, but foodie-worthy places for lunch and dinner (not Mexican or sushi)? And some fun things to do besides visiting wineries and Monticello? Thank you!

Stephanie Merry: Last time I was in C-Ville, I checked out Zocalo on the downtown mall, which was totally delicious, and you could pair eating there with exploring the cute little surrounding pedestrian-only strip. I always love a good meal at L'Etoile, too, which is closer to UVa where you can take a free historical tour of the Rotunda and the lawn.

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Restaurant Week in 17 Syllables: The sinister ployTo up sales with slim menusRuse of modest eats

Amy Orndorff: And we're off...

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Restaurant Week Haiku: What a deal it seemsBut limited menus ladeService underwhelms

Stephanie Merry: All right, the poems are trickling in...

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SotU watching locations: It's that time of year that all wonknerds love! Where to gather to watch State of the Union speech where you can actually HEAR it? (I'm sure you have a rundown, but I'm doing a reunion happy hour for some Bush era folks and we want to meet downtown and have drinks and nosh a bit before the speech and our typical venues (W, Le Bar) don't have TVs.)

Fritz Hahn: Ventnor in Adams Morgan is doing its usual "pick a word and whenever Obama says it, you get a $1 shot" game, which can be dangerous.All of the usual Hill bars have the speech on. For food as well as drinks, you'll want Lounge 201 or Tortilla Coast.

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Vegetarian's Lament: The season is nighFor few veggie offeringsPathetic, try. Why?

Stephanie Merry: I'm confused. But it's 5-7-5, at least.

Lavanya Ramanathan: I think I understandIt's all comfort foodThat's our enemy, friend

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Temptation: Why am I temptedBy promises of cuisineThat never live up?

Stephanie Merry: Good one.

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Explanation of the haiku: Restaurant week menus usually offer very very few vegetarian options on their menus! makes it hard to go and have a good time....

Stephanie Merry: I got the gist (and I agree!); I think the syntax just confused me, but I'm operating on very little sleep, so it could just be me!

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Out-of-town visitor just getting to know each other...: There's a person flying in to see me this weekend and we really don't know each other that well, so honestly I'm not sure what kind of scene he's into. He lives in Chicago if that gives you any ideas. I like museums, live music and bars...and free things...the last event in DC I think I really loved was H Street festival, for example...are there any fascinating exhibits or non-touristy DC things we can do together?

Amy Orndorff: Take him to Eastern Market. There are so many different vendors that you will be able to start conversations about anything. Plus there are some fun shops and places to eat nearby.

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i don't know where else to ask this: Maybe fritz can help since he's a shoe guy. I wear a men's 9.5 shoe. I own close to 50 pairs of shoes. I am desperately looking for an over the door shoe pocket holder that accomodates mens size shoes. Any suggestions?

Holly Thomas: I use something like this in my own closet, but if you own lots of dress boots or other odd-height shoes, you might want to try one of the hanging shelf options. If you simply must have an over-the-door version, try two of these.

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RW Haiku: At B.D. Tavern,I learned bone marrow mostlyTastes like meat butter.

Stephanie Merry: Very descriptive....thanks for that.

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PLEASE TAKE MY QUESTION!: I live in the 'burbs and work in DC. That means no running home between work and night time activities. So what can I do to entertain myself from 6pm to say, 8pm, when dinner reservation is? I work downtown if that matters.Thanks gurus!

Alex Baldinger: Whenever I have time to kill between work and dinner, I like to grab a drink somewhere. "A drink," not "many drinks," since I don't want to show up to dinner half-way pickled. Such cases call for a nice, long-sipping cocktail that you can savor while awakening your tastebuds. I think hotel bars like Off the Record or Round Robin, would be the perfect mix of drink mixing proficiency and ambience to make the time fly by. There's also the Tabard Inn and Passenger for this situation, depending on where you're located. open until 7 p.m. From there, you can head across the street to Poste for some great warmers.

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Drinks downtown before dinner?: Heading to Tosca tonight to take advantage of restaurant week. We have an 8:30 reservation, so we were planning on grabbing a few drinks beforehand somewhere else. Since we'll be splurging on dinner, any suggestions for walkable drinks close by? I can only think of Gordon Biersch, and I don't think heavy beers before a nice Italian dinner is the way to go. Thoughts? Thanks!

Fritz Hahn: Most of the places that I would recommend for cocktails in the Penn Quarter area are doing Restaurant Week, which means their bars will be way more crowded than usual. One exception: Proof, which has one of the city's top drink menus. Always inventive stuff on there. (Don't miss the new hot drinks, which are served in thermoses for two.)Oh, and the mojitos at Cuba Libre are much, much better than you'd think, given the Epcot-esque decor.

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Ski Equipment Rentals: Where can I go in NoVa & DC to rent ski equipment? I rarely ski so I don't want to purchase anything & I don't want to stand in long lines at the location. Thanks!

Justin Rude: Ski Chalet in Arlington is a good option.

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Winter Vineyard Recommendations?: Gurus! I am getting cabin fever and am itching to get out of the house and into the country. I know area wineries are open during the winter, and would love to take my boyfriend for some wine tasting and live music, but don't know where to start. What do you recommend? Thanks!

Lavanya Ramanathan: If you can stand to wait a few weeks, you can take your boo to Breaux's chocolate and cabernet event (yes, right around Valentine's Day...). In Maryland, Black Ankle ( small winery with a great green ethos and highly competitive wines) is doing chocolate and wine events, too, but they also host live music by the fireplace (!) every Friday. It's a pretty great place to get a cheese board and hang out.

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Playoffs: Fritz, thank you for recommending the Arlington Rooftop bar for watching the playoffs this past weekend. We enjoyed it a lot. Food and drinks were more than adequate. Another question: heading out to Charleston, SC this Friday. Have never been. Any cool bars anyone could recommend? Not into college scene but also doesn't have to be an upscale wine bar. Something like Liberty Tavern for exemple.

Fritz Hahn: Glad to hear I'm not the only one who likes Arlington Rooftop for football viewing -- a much better option than Velocity Five or Whitlow's in my opinion, though I do have a soft spot for Hard Times' chilil mac and dozens of screens.As for Charleston ... never been. Chatters?

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Haiku: Celebrate one yearWith surprise meal for foodie -Morton's Steak, Really?

Fritz Hahn: Wow. Somebody done messed up.

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A model dilemma: Cruel Restaurant Week,I gorge until I vomit.Should I eat some more?

Alex Baldinger: YES.

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Hair Stylists: Hi Gurus! So where should a girl go in this town (or anywhere in the greater DC area if needed) to have her hair cut and styled to accentuate her face and features? I have been watching What Not To Wear a lot recently and am impressed by the work of Ted Gibson but don't know where to head around here for a similar experience...any thoughts or advice is much appreciated!

Holly Thomas: Well, there's an actual Ted Gibson salon in Chevy Chase, if you're willing to spend a bit of cash on your new look (cuts start at $95). I'm a devotee of PR at Partners Metro Center, but you might also want to check out Bang, Parlour and Immortal Beloved for high-style services. And PS -- check out the new Deal Hunter column in Style next weekend, which will tell you how to save money on hair care.

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RW Week Bill Frustration - Haiku Form: Do I need all this?Drinks blew my budget againShould have gone next week....

Alex Baldinger: The omnipresent Restaurant Week Drinks Not Included Trap.

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Classes: I thought I would take a class in something fun (painting, cooking, welding, I really don't care!), because this can be such a boring time of year. Is there a website that has extra-curricular type classes for adults in the area? If not, can you recommend a few places to start looking? I would love to start tonight!

Stephanie Merry: Arlington County offers a bunch of different classes that might fit the bill. Otherwise, you can choose from an array of arts classes at Glen Echo and cooking classes at CulinAerie. Fritz, Lavanya and Julia also wrote a story last year that might interest you -- they covered all kinds of food- and drink-related classes, including cocktail seminars and cupcake tutorials.

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The Gibson: I'm interested in The Gibson. Why isn't their menu posted on their website? What are the food and prices like?

Fritz Hahn: The fact that the Gibson even has a Web site is a remarkable achievement. After all, the place doesn't even have a sign.I'm guessing there's a reason that has to do with the changing of the menu or something, but I've honestly always put it down to the pseudo-speakeasy vibe. You want to know what's good? You come in!I have, uh, "obtained" copies of the menu in the past. Cocktails are roughly $10 to $16 each, with the more exotic and interesting ones on the high end of that scale.

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€™s on sale.

Alex Baldinger: I haven't been to Assaggi, but I really enjoy the environment at Grapeseed, especially if wine is among your top priorities. And I share Tom's enthusiasm for the chicken livers as well.

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haiku for you: food fit for weddingsand to get rushed in and outA rookie mistake

Amy Orndorff: I like it!

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Haiku: Restaurant deals yoI tried lunch, Sushi TaroJust one word, Bravo

Stephanie Merry: This one offers a valuable lesson in haiku: When you need a syllable, just throw in "yo."

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so many restaurants, so little time...and need veggie options: some friends and I are planning to hit DC Friday night for dinner. I know Friday will be peak restaurant week time and will be hard to find a reservation, but none the less we are going to try :) We have been to many restaurants in DC. Most of the popular ones have already been checked off our list, so I need some recommendations on any hidden gem restaurants you guys can recommend. That also has some veggie options. Thanks!

Justin Rude: How about Bar Pillar? I think its an underrated gem that has some nice vegetarian options. I would also heartily recommend the recently opened Atlas Room on H Street. Neither are part of the Restaurant Week promotion, so that improves your chances of missing that crowd.

Lavanya Ramanathan: As the staff's resident veggie, I second Atlas Room. They have a nice little vegetables section of the menu, and I asked -- the main entree is even vegan, should anyone be wondering.

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Am Ice Co vs. Dirty Martini: Not really - a 2 part question: 1) Why no website for Am Ice Co? It would be nice to at least see a menu. 2) Going to a friend's bday at Dirty Martini - any word on the crowd vibe, etc?thanks!

Fritz Hahn: 1. The menu at American Ice Company: House-smoked barbecue that changes daily, and is either chicken, beef or pork with sides. Six beers on draft served in Mason jars. Around 10 cans, ranging from 21st Amendment Back in Black IPA to PBR tallboys. And lots of whiskey, but no set cocktail menu.2. Dirty Martini reminds me of a nicer-looking, less-clubby MCCXXIII/1223. The interior has all changed -- it's wood now instead of white fabric -- but for some reason it still has a very Euro vibe to me. Crowd is older than at Midtown or Public Bar, maybe closer to Current. Still need to eat there. Drink menu involves lots of flavored vodkas, fresh fruit and sugar, but I did like that there's a "Classics" section with a Blood and Sand and a Vesper.

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Beer question: Happy Thursday Gurus- I was just in Chicago and had a great Harpoon Leviathan Imperial IPA- do you know if there's anywhere in DC that sells/serves this fine beverage? Thanks!

Fritz Hahn: I've seen it at ChurchKey for sure, maybe RFD?

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Canned soup, again: S.O.S., foodiesWork is holding me hostageBland lunch at my desk :(

Fritz Hahn: We just got a new cafeteria in the Post building.

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Cute Little Towns: We recently discovered the quaint little town of Clifton a few weeks back, and I was wondering what other quaint little towns I've been missing - something surprisingly near by, but with a removed Mayberryness. Takoma occurs to me (but still has a fairly urban feel) and Old Town far exceeds the Mayberry threshold. Your thoughts - gurus?As for Clifton, very cute; apparently the restaurants are color coded (Red, Green and White). We had a fantastic soup in the White Restaurant (Trummers?). And they are near what is reported to be the best white wine in Virginia this year, Paradise Springs. PS-careful GPSing to Paradise Springs, we ended up on an interesting dirt road along Bull Run

Amy Orndorff: Try Ellicott City's main street. It has a old-timey charm with plenty of nice people, shops and restaurants.

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DC Jewelry Stores: Hey GOGs,I am looking for a wedding ring and definitely want something non-traditional, colorful, and preferably vintage/"used" (don't want to fund blood diamonds, etc.). I've looked into places like Tiny Jewel Box and I Gorman but they are out of my price range. Where can I go to look for old, cool, affordable (under $1k) rings? I have a car so can travel outside the metro. Thanks!

Holly Thomas: Finding a diamond ring for under $1K is going to be tough, but here are some ideas for where to start: Mia Gemma on F Street NW has some reasonably-priced and interesting pieces within your price range (not necessarily diamonds, though); same goes for Etsy if you want something non-traditional; the estate jewelry selection at Anthropologie Accessories in Chevy Chase is worth a look; and definitely hit up some of the antique malls in the area, since you have a car -- Kensington, Fredericksburg, Leesburg and Harrisonburg are all good spots to try. Otherwise, check 1stDibs.com and hope for a good deal. If you're really willing to do some legwork, check out estate sales in your area -- find them on Craigslist, the Post's classified sales and my personal fave, EstateSales.net.

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Great VA bar for the recently single?: My good friend just became single after a several year relationship. We are looking for a good place in Alexandria or Arlington that we can grab several, cheap drinks and mingle with other singles. Do you have any recommendations for a place close to the metro or in Old Town that would be a great place for a group of ten 20-somethings can go? All of my bar knowledge is DC-focused.

Fritz Hahn: Alexandria's Bayou Room would be a good place to start. - Lively, fun crowd. Continental in Rosslyn's another one I'd suggest. Oh, and the Ballston Mall hop from Union Jack's and Rock Bottom Brewery can be a little cheesy -- YOU'RE PARTYING IN A MALL! -- but it has crowds of 20-somethings for sure.

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Engagement Party: GOGs,I am from out of town but lived in DC for several years and followed your blog religiously. I am planning on proposing to my girlfriend shortly, and since with met in DC, I have decided to take her on a surprise trip to DC to ask the big question. We still have plenty of friends in the area, so I want to hold a party Saturday evening to celebrate.I was hoping to find a private party room so that we can catch up with old friends and actually hear each other before heading out to the louder/rowdier bars. The problem is it seems impossible to find a private space on Saturday evenings. Do you know of any bars or other venues that might work out for a group of 25-30? Dupont area would be preferred but I am open to other suggestions. I was thinking earlier (say 8:30) so hopefully before most bars peak time.Thanks for the help!

Jess Righthand: I know this isn't Dupont, but I love SOVA on H St NE. They host private events and have catering options, etc. The bar is small and intimate, so you'll definitely be able to hear each other and catch up with your friends. And there are plenty of rowdy bars on H to head out to after!

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American Ice Co.: They've got turkey too (and it's delicious)

Fritz Hahn: They had Turkey the first time I was in, but not last week. Hopefully it will be a regular thing.

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Looking Forward Haiku: Girls brunch, what a dealExcited for Bisto BisLove french food and friends

Amy Orndorff: An extra point for alliteration!

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RW Haiku: J & G SteakhouseNo steak on special menuWon't go back again

Fritz Hahn: Wow, what a ripoffYou would expect a steakhouse...Really, where's the beef?

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RW Haiku (ps7's): Oh PS7'sUnique cocktail libationsFor just so so meal

Fritz Hahn: I prefer the bar menu at PS 7's -- primanti bros sandwiches, pork belly, damn good burgers ...

Justin Rude: It pains me to say that this could have easily been written about the meal I had at PS7's during summer restaurant week.

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Ideas on how to spend an afternoon in DC: My boyfriend and I are attending his companies annual party in DC Saturday night. I'm looking for fun ideas of what to do Sunday after we wake up. We paid for a hotel downtown so I'd like to make the most of our time in the city. Thoughts?

Lavanya Ramanathan: Then before it gets too late in the afternoon, I'd end the day with ice-skating and hot cocoa at the National Gallery Sculpture Garden. All-in-all, a full day.

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Arena Stage: I am going to a show Friday night with my girlfriends at Arena Stage and we are pretty sure Penn Quarter is the best place/quickest place to get a good meal--do you agree? We're actually headed to Merzi to check it out.

Alex Baldinger: Definitely agree on the Penn Quarter call, assuming you're taking the Metro.

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In need of some pool time: Oh wise gurus...do you know of any local hotels that have day passes for their indoor pools? I am in need of a vacation-vibe but can't afford the time (or the money) for a real getaway. DC or NoVa preferred. Thank you kindly.

Amy Orndorff: Are you a DC resident? All DC pools are free for those who call the city home.

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Beerku: Miller Lite Vortex?Seppuku is only way.Beer dishonors floor.

Justin Rude: Wait... which restaurant week menu featured Miller Lite Vortex? Was it an option for the first course or third?

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RW Haiku dedicated to RIS: Oy vey, too yummyLunch at RIS was so divineFrom start to finishBegan with smooth soupSecond course, citrus salmonChocolate cake-tight pants!

Alex Baldinger: **Double Haiku Bonus Score**

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hopslam: Where can I find some this weekend, both on tap and a six pack to enjoy at home?

Fritz Hahn: RFD and Rustico have both tapped kegs this week, and Big Hunt is going to tap one soon -- and they have Sierra's Hoptimum on tonight.

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Charlottesville, Va.: We liked Zocalo too, but it's Mexican, which I think the poster didn't want. Mas Tapas is very good (although it leans Spanish). Can't help with activities, because we did, um, wineries and Monticello. Also Ash Lawn Highland, which was actually better than Monticello because it was less crowded by a lot and therefore less rushed.

Stephanie Merry: I wouldn't call Zocalo Mexican. There's definitely a Latin infusion, though, I'll give you that. Ash Lawn is a good call. If the weather turns out to be unseasonably warm, there good hiking in the area, too.

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Coffeeshop to do work: Unfortunately, it looks like I'm going to have to do some work this weekend. I wouldn't mind finding a coffeeshop nearby or someplace else that wouldn't mind me plopping down with my laptop for a few hours. Starbucks is obviously an option but I am hoping for someplace more interesting. Do you have any suggestions of places within about a mile radius of Tenleytown/Cleveland Park? Free wireless would be a bonus. Thanks!

Jess Righthand: I'm not in that area a whole lot, but I remember stopping with my computer at Firehook Bakery once, right on Connecticut Ave in Cleveland Park. Don't remember if they have wifi or not, but the coffee is good and pastries are definitely a step up from Starbucks.

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Arlington: I'm getting married this year and was thinking of surprising my fiance with a dance class so we can brush up for the big day. Do you guys have any suggestions for a place in the Rosslyn/Courthouse/Clarendon section of Arlington?

Fritz Hahn: What kind of dancing? Swing? General two-step ballroom shuffle?

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thanks for the grapeseed recommendation (my haiku was embedded): The old lobster sways,from atop the lobster pile.He knows he's on sale.

Stephanie Merry: High marks for emotional impact.

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Another wedding/black dress question: I'm a guest at what the bride is calling a "black-and-white wedding." Bridesmaids are wearing black. I assume that means I should *not* wear a black dress? (My husband is in the wedding party, so I really do not want anyone thinking that I'm showing any displeasure about not being in the wedding...)

Holly Thomas: I'd steer clear of black and take the opportunity to indulge in something striking, like an icy neutral or a brilliant jewel-tone.

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Jewelry followup: Hi Holly,Thanks for your response; I actually DON'T necessarily want diamonds, hence my "blood diamond" comment, I just phrased it weird. It seems at all the traditional jewelry stores there are diamonds on everything, even the colored gemstones have little diamonds, which is why I'd prefer used. If that makes sense. Will check out your suggestions!

Holly Thomas: Hope they're helpful -- it sounds like you're on the right track for finding something really special. Good luck!

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Re: Ski Rental: The Ski Center on Mass Ave is also a good option.

Justin Rude: FYI

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Antique Jewelry: To the person seeking a place to find vintage rings - I got my engagement ring and wedding band at Silverman Galleries in Old Town Alexandria. Their prices are good, the couple that owns the store is very knowledgeable, and the pieces are lovely.

Holly Thomas: Great suggestion, thank you!

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Quaint little towns: You could also give Occoquan a visit, or if you go out toward Deep Creek Lake there are lots of little towns out that way and around the Frederick area like New Market. You could also head west for an hour or two and hit Harper's Ferry, Sperryville, Berryville, Luray, etc. etc.

Amy Orndorff: I second Occoquan and Deep Creek Lake (Cumberland is on the way and it is very cool). Harper's Ferry is also a great option. Thanks!

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Spring time yet?: I know they've announced the Cherry Blossom festival, but if we're interested in doing a mini photo shoot for wedding or prenup around the basin, what do you suggest is the best time to go? Definitely not during festival season, right? Any suggestions on where and when to go? Thanks so much!!

Lavanya Ramanathan: pretty Inlet Bridge, and never a lot of people. of trees, and you still get the views of the water. Here are some other off-the-Mall options for finding cherry blossoms. Good luck!

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Ski liberty for non-skiers?: We are looking for something to amuse ourselves and our two small kids this weekend. We thought that a day trip to ski liberty might be really fun. But here's my question- we do not ski so we would be going there primarily to take in the scene and sit in the lodge and drink hot chocolate. Would this be fun? I've never been there so I'm not sure how large the lodge area is, though from the website it looks like there are numerous restaurants.

Stephanie Merry: I haven't been there in ages, but my recollection is that the lodge can get pretty crowded. If you start to get claustrophobic, they have tubing. Any chatters care to weigh in?

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Skeptical : Thirty five dollars?Please, they get you on upgrades.Try twice that at least.

Fritz Hahn: ... and that's without the wine.

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vineyard searcher: darn, you just missed the Route9 barrel tasting last weekend, but that being said:For the firt time we went the few extra miles to hillsborough vineyard, and the view , with the snow in the valley, was great, they have a nice fireplace, but we thougth the walls need a new color of paint. Loudoun Valley Vineyards has a new owner, she has had music everytime we have been there, and she brings her California skills to her making, with nice results.Sunset Hills Vineyard has an enourmous barn and was easily the busiest, and always seems to have music. I used to always recommend Linden, there are some nice places out 66, but, as you can see, we seem to be doing our tasting up the Greenway lately.

Amy Orndorff: The barrel tasting event crossed my mind too. It is a pity they missed it. I am also a fan of Pearmund Cellars in Broad Run, on Sundays in January and February you can get homemade soup, a glass of wine and bread for $10.

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WashPo Building cafeteria: Hey GoGs - I work on 15th about a block from the Post building. Can I get into the new cafeteria??

Alex Baldinger: Only if you're on The List. Have you SEEN the line to get in here?

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For the Aunt with an anime-loving niece: Too bad the niece isn't coming in a few weeks later. There's a huge anime convention over at national Harbor on President's Day weekend. For now, if it's still showing at the West End Cinema, there's a new anime film out called "Summer Wars" that's a lot of fun. The 10 o'clock show each night is in Japanese, the rest are English dubbed.

Amy Orndorff: Thanks!

Lavanya Ramanathan: And there's also always the Freer and Sackler Anime Festival, part of the Cherry Blossom Festival in April. Maybe she can come back? But in the meantime those galleries should answer her question about Anime-style and computer-generated art.

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Just moved to Arlington: This will be my first weekend in Arlington after living in the district for 5 years. Instead of being sour on leaving DC, my husband and I wanted to start off on the right foot and enjoy all that Arlington has to offer. Any suggestions of things to do/places to go this weekend? Especially any good low key bars....

Fritz Hahn: Well, bar-wise ... Jay's Saloon is an Arlington treasure -- it looks and feels like you're in a 1980s time-warp. Amazing little dive. And tiny little Galaxy Hut is the place to go for amazing beers, great tunes and grilled cheese sandwiches with tater tots.

Justin Rude: Westover Market on Washington Blvd. has a great beer garden. The new Rustico has a seasonal menu that is as thoughtful as the restaurants beer list (get the ricotta donuts). And finally there is everyone's favorite Peruvian chicken joint, El Pollo Rico, which is famous for a reason.

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Valentine's Day Date?: I'm looking for something fun/romantic for my boyfriend and I, without being super expensive (so probably not a prix fixe). Right now I'm thinking about starting with drinks at the Passenger, but at a loss for somewhere close enough for me to walk to in heels for dinner. Definitely not set on the location, and Arlington also works well for us. We're both early 20s and appreciate good food and drinks. For Holly - any suggestions on dresses? I'm petite and tend to lean towards classic styles - love sheaths and such.

Justin Rude: Drinks at the Passenger is a winning way to start any evening, romantic holiday or not. Corduroy is right around the corner, and is a great date spot, but its not exactly wallet friendly. Assuming you have had your pre-dinner drinks fix, you could head to Cuba Libre. But beware, bar tabs there can get out of control quickly.

Holly Thomas: For dresses, the H&M at Metro Center is packed with tons of cute Mod dresses and coats right now ... you should be able to find a great sheath for cheap. Get in line with spring trends and opt for one in either a bright hue or a muted, pretty nude or beige-y pink shade.

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Georgetown: I don't usually go to Georgetown, but I have plans to go there tomorrow night with some friends. What are some good bars/clubs to go to, and what can we skip? No cover is preferable, but we'll pay if it's worth it. We're young-mid 20s.

Fritz Hahn: Modern's the cool lounge with lots of dancing, Rugby's the fun no-pressure bar, Rhino Bar's the sports bar, Third Edition is packed with college students.Another option -- and one I'd prefer -- would be to go up to Glover Park for dancing at Gin and Tonic, drinks at Kitchen or pool and beers at Breadsoda.

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Neutral Territory for GB v. Chi this Sunday?: Hi Gurus! I have a question of utmost importance, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. I am a Packers fan (woooo!!). I have several friends who are Bears fans. While normally we get along swimmingly, this weekend could change things.We were thinking of heading to watch the game at Blackfinn near Farragut - is this neutral enough territory for the lot of us to get together, cheer on our respective teams, and leave with our friendships intact? I realize the last part is up to us, but the bar atmosphere will go a long way in helping us. If it's not neutral territory, any other bars nearby that you could recommend? We'll stay for the second game, but only so that I can size up GB's future opponent. Thank you!!

Alex Baldinger: I really wouldn't worry about being overwhelmed by boorish Chicagoans or Wisconsinites at Blackfinn, or anywhere else in these parts, for that matter.

Fritz Hahn: Just stear clear of Union Pub, which is a total Bears hangout. (The picture of Ditka might be a clue there.)

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RW-Still pricey: Small menus they areWith prices that go too farLet's go to a bar

Alex Baldinger: Succinct and rhythmic. Well done.

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Thanks, Holly: I'm so grateful that you always suggest affordable options, instead of relying on high-end brands all the time. Thank you!

Holly Thomas: Glad to be of service!

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Tom's Chat?: Hoping Justin can answer a question about Tom's chat. Did he have it yesterday? The link goes to a blank page with no Q&As: http://live.washingtonpost.com/ask-tom-sietsema-0119.html

Justin Rude: Indeed I can. Tom had to cancel this week's chat due to travel preparations. The link will be used for next week's chat. If you submitted a question, don't worry, I made sure all submitted questions will be at the top of the queue next Wednesday. If you had something time sensitive to ask, send it on through and maybe we can help.

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In need of some pool time again: Unfortunately, I am not a DC resident. I'm looking for a pool with lounge chairs, where I can just hang out and relax for a few hours.

Holly Thomas: Not sure how accurate this is, but here's a random list I came across on line -- it's worth calling to see if any of these spots offer day passes. Another suggestion? See if any local gyms/sports clubs with pools offer temporary or trial memberships.

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Fun w/boyfriend: I have been out of town for a couple of weeks. I'm looking forward to seeing my bf on Sat night, but haven't decided on what to do or where to go. We're not really into theatre (unless it's comedic or political). We are into bars, live music, dancing & eating. I came back broke so not looking to spend too much. Anywhere in NoVA/DC

Fritz Hahn: Two of my must-dos for Saturday are in the Nightlife Agenda: D.C. buzz band U.S. Royalty finally, finally releases its new album at the Rock and Roll Hotel, and I'm looking forward to hearing some great Southern rock-influenced boogie indie.And then there's Fatback, the amazing monthly funk/soul/R&B dance party that's celebrating its birthday at Liv. No cover, no dress code, just dancing until you work up a sweat. (Get a hint of the great tunes over at fatbackdc.com, where you can download mixtapes and watch videos.)

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Great Sage: Has anyone been? I'm taking a vegan friend there next week.

Lavanya Ramanathan: Can you report back? We're always looking for ideas. If you're looking for similar food in Washington proper, Cafe Green fits the bill; Science Club is all vegetarian with vegan options, and the staff at Masala Art is so knowledgeable about what's vegan on their menu (there is a LOT).

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J&G RW: Well, to be fair, they did have Braised Short Ribs on the RW menu (which my friend tried, and noted it was prety good), but it wasn't steak. They could have at least offered a small sirloin or a smaller version of their Hanger Steak Frites as an RW option. All in all, pretty lame.

Fritz Hahn: Still pretty bad form to not have any sort of steak at a steakhouse.

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Classes: For the person interested in classes, check out Take a Class (www.takeaclass.org) in Dupont. they have TONS of great one time classes in all sorts of random topics. Their motto is "Learn it on Tuesday, Use it By Wednesday!" :)

Stephanie Merry: Another option for the class-seeker.

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Alex Baldinger: Winners Winners Winners! Email me: baldingera@washpost.com.Top prize goes to the unhappy Morton's diner:Celebrate one yearWith surprise meal for foodieMorton's Steak, Really?Because even though you had an unsatisfactory one-year meal, you deserve something nice.Our runner-up claimed the spot because their discovery of bone marrow's similarity to meat butter highlights the try-something-new aesthetic of the week:At B.D. Tavern,I learned bone marrow mostlyTastes like meat butter.

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