You may or may not know this: DC is a mecca of
good great food. Basically, no one is “from” DC. Sounds silly, but it’s not. I swear no one originated from DC (that’s a lie), but because of this, it’s the true definition of a melting pot. Best of all? I know a few people there to give me the hook up on where to go. I know our government is a bit on the undesirable trail, currently, but the city that embraces these power-house partners truly has a higher calling: to make some of the best food in the world.
Let me share my faves from our trip there this summer during the LPA National Conference!
1. Ripple… Located in Cleveland Park, just a few minutes walk from the hotel (Wardman Park Marriot), Ripple is a farm-to-table restaurant, focused on locally raised and grown food with a clean, simple atmosphere, that is somehow comfortable yet chic without being overbearing or pretentious. Oh. Em. Gee. Not only was this place on point for atmosphere, but the staff was more than tolerant of children- the venue was actually accommodating to us! With a toddler and kindergartener, I was almost positive they would attempt to hide us in the back… or under the floorboards. Instead, we were in the front. Like in the window:
The wine list was causing me to salivate as I stared, and our waiter was more than helpful with my questions about pairing. He was also knowledgeable about the beers, leading Dave to have more than one delicious beverage. We were seated and given our menus via clipboard. If I said I was unsure about what to order, that would be an understatement. I wanted one of everything… two of some. Just check out this sampling:
Feel free to continue imagining what I ordered… it was amazing. Scallops, pasta, cheese, wine. I practically had to be rolled down the street back to our hotel. Everyone at the table ordered different things for dinner, as well as dessert, and we were left agreeing that we’d all had a better meal than the next. Ripple is certainly a crowd-pleaser for all, even taking in a food allergy of one of our younger guests without hesitation or falter. Amazing service, food and location all leave me wanting to revisit DC for just one more dinner at Ripple!
2. Rajaji… On the less formal side, was Rajaji. We decided to have a quick lunch in between workshops, and when given the opportunity, I knew Dave would head right for their Indian Buffet. With our plates loaded, we dug in for our lunch, which doubled as dinner! It was delicious, inexpensive and offered Addie the opportunity to do what she loves best: eat off everyone else’s plate!
Though the buffet choices were limited, they were cooked really well and refreshed consistently so that everything was hot and fresh. We had great service, and ordered coffee after our meal which could have been fresher, but was the perfect end to lunch. The food paired with the outdoor seating (which was gated), was perfect for the family lunch. Really… have you ever seen a happier diner?
3. Beuchert’s Saloon… Only the last on the list because this place is flawless. Everything, down to the detail of the bathroom, makes Beuchert’s the place to visit when you’re in DC. Farm-to-table doesn’t begin to describe the Eastern Market neighborhood-restaurant’s dedication to fresh foods made in-house… many items are not just farm-to-table, but from their farm, hand chosen by head chef Andrew Markert. Deciding which ingredients he will cook with, Markert tells a story with each dish he creates, and is sure to please each guest that walks in the door.
We were greeted at the door by a fresh-faced hostess who assured us that she hadn’t given up our table (thanks to DC traffic, we were a bit late). As we walked through the narrow establishment, we were seated in the back with a booth large enough to accommodate our party of 4 (including the seat for Addie that had to attach to a table- NO high chairs here). The staff was super friendly, and gave Addie lots of smiles and waves- regardless of her slightly boisterous laugh (not having high chairs doesn’t mean they don’t like kids!). As I looked around, I saw every walk of life, from business associates to couples and a birthday celebration at 3 tables that had been adjoined near us.
The menu offered selections that sounded just as mouth-watering as they truly were. From “snacks” to “whole meals”, every appetite is sure to be pleased, as well as those of us who enjoy a drink or more. The beverage menu is packed with options for all tastes and styles of drinking. And for those not looking to get too knee-deep in foodie-ism? Brunch. Need I say more? If I leave you with nothing else, remember this:
We had the best time, not just eating, but enjoying the evening with friends and Addie, our own in-house food critic:
THANK YOU to the LPA for having our first conference in such a culturally rich location… not to mention the food
I was not compensated for any of these reviews!