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Dupont Circle Restaurants

Find hearty American favorites like steak and seafood near Embassy Row, with a little international flair here and there.

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1

This is where surprisingly laid-back fine dining and affordable, exquisite ingredients meet on a plate.

No need for a suit here: this fine dining locale in the Fairfax Hotel is surprisingly laidback, with “comfort food” (read: delicious and heartwarming), and “wine of the times” (read: affordable winners). A good night's meal may include a celebratory glass of Vueve Clicquot and hormone-free pork chops, lamb or angus from farms in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia or Ohio. Reservations are recommended for this restaurant run by Chris Ferrier, a Culinary Institute of America graduate.

2

Come clean and leave dirty at this bar known for strong cocktails.

Come clean, leave dirty. That's the motto of this trendy, yet approachable Dupont eatery. Enjoy an array of yummy sammies for lunch, or unique apps (ever try citrus lavender oysters?) And don't leave without trying a cocktail, which is almost always made with small batch spirits and freshly made bitters, tinctures and syrups. Michael's Mule (FAIR quinoa vodka, fresh grapefruit and lime juice, homemade ginger syrup), and the Black Marlin (Pisco Porton, homemade hibiscus and sage gum, with fresh lime and pineapple juice) are refreshing strays from the restaurant's namesake cocktail, and you'll be glad you came clean with your companions about why you really chose this place.

3

Find authentic Turkish food and a rare Middle Eastern wine list.

Welcome to Turkey. Well, sort of. It's still Dupont, but this restaurant is authentic enough to make ya forget where you are. There's savory zucchini pancakes with yogurt sauces, a cigar-shaped pastries stuffed with feta cheese, parsley and dill, and kebabs, of course, among other exotic small plates. The wine list is also diverse and affordable: the red selection alone includes five Turkish varietals ($4 to $9 by the glass), one Lebanese wine and two Georgian wines. So make like an Ottoman and indulge.

4

Expect seafood like oyster shooters, lobster rolls and smoked rainbow trout paired with craft beer.

Ah, now this is urban beach food. Having received rave reviews from Bon Appetit, Washingtonian, Gourmet and Fox Morning News, this neighborhood fave offers an apres-party brunch that hits the spot, with items like oyster shooters, smoked rainbow trout has, fried oysters, eggs du jour, and shrimp & grits with bacon. Wash it all down with one of 10 craft beers on tap (many of which are local), or get in the seaside spirit with a small batch rum punch.

5

Reserve a table for surf-and-turf in the presence of Beltway insiders.

One of the best places to have a power lunch, as voted by Washingtonian magazine, the Palm sticks to the classics. Three pound lobster, 16 oz. Strip, and veal parmigiana are the kinds of things they do best, with a splash of quality, Northern California vino to top them off. Don't be surprised if you catch a few diplomats making deals over drinks here, a short distance from their embassies. Though this is a suit-and-tie kind of place, the atmosphere is lightened by the Palm's signature cartoons and caricatures covering the walls.