Monday, March 8, 2010

The Best Of DC Right Now

As our visit to Washington draws to a close we have delighted once again in familiar haunts and new discoveries. Here are some of the highlights:
--Dinner (or lunch) at Clyde's in Georgetown where you can enjoy everything from burgers and knackwurst to New York strip steak, pasta and select seafood. The salads are great too, as are the desserts.
--The National Gallery of Art on the Mall where we not only revelled in the spectacular Chester Dale Collection showcasing the very best from expressionism to modernism but also enjoyed the Meyerhoff Collection of modern art and the current photography installation (In The Darkroom) which presents select photographs from the beginnings of photography in the 1830s up until the advent of digital photography. You could easily spend a day at the National Gallery where you are well advised to soak up the sun in the lovely outdoor sculpture garden. And might we add that the National Gallery's connecting concourse between the East and West buildings is the best place to eat on the Mall.
--The National Portrait Gallery where we enjoyed a small but delightful collection of paintings, memorabilia and other installations built around the iconic image of Elvis Presley. You don't have to be a huge fan of Elvis to recognize the enduring power of The King.
--Old Ebbitt Grill just a half block from the White House where you will enjoy the best crabcakes and martinis anywhere. Old Ebbitt has remained true to its promise for more than 100 years: great American fare, superb libations, a rich, welcoming environment, flawless service, memorable desserts and popular prices. No wonder the crowds continue to flock to this legendary Washington eatery. Reservations are suggested.
--Washington's hottest new hotel: The W, just down the block from Old Ebbitt has the whole town abuzz. It's the latest reincarnation of the old Hotel Washington and it's not only ideally located but it's also hip, sensual, beautifully lit and invitingly tactile. This is a great place for people watching.
--A great new discovery, Cafe Asorti in Arlington -- perfect for dining or just for snacks or coffee and decadent pastry. Café Assorti offers a variety of lunch/dinner entries for $7 to $12. Various forms of dumplings, savory pastries, and crepes are specialties. Don't miss the Napolean cake.
BTW: During our stay in the DC area we took advantage of the great special overnight rates at the Virginian Suites (see photo) just over the Key Bridge in Arlington. The guest quarters in this very residential all-suite hotel have all been completely updated and every suite is bright, sleek, quiet, modern and attractive. The beds are wonderfully comfy and you'll get a walk in closet, a large desk, and full kitchen, sitting area and big, LG flat screen TVs as well. We booked on Travel Zoo and got a great deal.

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