Well, thanks to my in-laws, we ate like friggin’ KINGS during our trip. Seriously, I have no idea how we all didn’t walk away 10lbs heavier! The dining options in Washington DC are seriously endless, and Ben’s parents knew exactly where to take us. I’ll take YOU through two of my favorites!
First up – drinks & dinner at Old Ebbitt Grill on Capitol Hill in the heart of DC.
Located right down the street from POV Rooftop Lounge, and even closer to the White House, Old Ebbitt Grill was recommended over and over (and over and over!) by people who have visited/live in DC. I squealed when my FIL told me we had reservations there for the evening after we arrived!
OEG was established in 1856 and has been a favorite for famous names such as U.S. Grant, Grover Cleveland, William McKinley & Teddy Roosevelt over the years. These days it’s a popular Capitol Hill watering hole and restaurant for journalists, political big-wigs and…people like us!
Decorated in rich mahogany, velvet, marble and iron, Old Ebbitt Grill feels sophisticated, but cozy.
The menu is shaped around classic American recipes and features tons of fresh seafood (at pretty reasonable prices, I might add) homemade pasta, and steak, steak, steak! More on that in a minute.
We arrived for our dinner reservation a bit early so we settled into the adjoining bar & lounge for a pre-dinner drink while we waited.
Paneled from floor to ceiling in richly colored wood, and decked out in hunting memorabilia and turn-of-the-century-style lamps, this was just as relaxing as the dining room.
Kind of felt like I was in a rich Uncle’s study, or something.
From beers to martinis, we bellied up to the bar to sip and survey the scene.
A cold beer was calling my name,
while an Irish Coffee was just what my MIL needed (which was as big as her head, I might add!)
Before long we sat down to dinner and, while the menu was bursting with fresh seafood options, there was one thing I just had to have. STEAK!
I had seen a commercial featuring a juicy, fire-grilled steak right before we left for DC, and it was all I had been thinking about since. This Argentinian Steak Salad featured a rare, succulent sirloin steak, thinly sliced and set atop cold greens dressed with a savory dressing and salted plantain chips.
TO die! Melt in your mouth, expertly seasoned and just what I was craving. For the record, several family members ordered the crab cakes and they looked A++.
Old Ebbitt Grill: 2 enthusiastic thumbs up. Great menu, good prices and the ambiance (and location) can’t be beat!
My other favorite dinner out took place at seafood paradise, otherwise known as PassionFish!
“The cuisine of PassionFish represents the bounty of the world’s oceans, lakes, seas, and waterways reflecting the flavors and natural resources of the Mediterranean, Europe, Asia, and the Americas. The dishes feature a vast array of seasonal fresh seafood, distinctive flavors, and simply elegant presentations.”
From the paintings on the wall,
to the tips of the silverware, PassionFish was decorated to the nines.
Isn’t this flatware amazing?!
PassionFish is the kind of place where all the waiters seem to be aspiring chefs. Ours knew the menu by heart, and had no trouble selling us on the chef’s special sushi rolls for a light and flavorful appetizer to share.
Jumbo lump crab meat in the California Roll blew our minds, spicy tuna and tempura crunch had us praying the Geisha Roll would never run out, and the Spicy Tuna Roll stuffed with fresh tuna and asparagus then tempura-battered and fried had us fighting over who’d get the last piece!
I thought I had my entree all picked out – 4 jumbo scallops (my favorite,) pan-fried and flavored by local bacon – but the server came back to take our order and spun such a wicked tale of the day’s special – including this salmon dish – that my mind changed instantly. The scallops didn’t stand a chance!
Buttery salmon was seasoned with salt & pepper then pan fried and served over fresh vegetables.
Fragrant Jasmine fried rice was piled high on the side, and the whole thing was drizzled with a buttery, soy sauce reduction. O.M.G.! Sorry I keep saying this – but it legit melted in my mouth. PF owns seafood!
Ben also had the meal of a lifetime. An entire Flounder. No, seriously – an entire Flounder! He went CRAZY over it – clearly…
PassionFish: 12 thumbs up (the thumbs of everyone present at dinner.) Everyone adored their meals and the menu had dozens of fabulous options. (Including mini beignets with coffee Bavarian cream that we all split for dessert – ummmm yeahhh…) Can’t wait to go back!
Dining out nearly every night was a serious treat, but perhaps my favorite meal of the trip took place right at home and featured…Mom’s Lasagna.
Seriously – how do Mom’s make such life-altering lasagna? How?!
Ben’s Mom had her famous, spicy lasagna all ready to pop into the oven to get hot and bubbly for dinner when we arrived into town, along with a fresh salad with tons of veggie toppings and warm bread and butter. I asked Ben if he wanted me to make it this week for dinner so he could reminisce. He said no.
I think it’s because it won’t be as good as Mom’s… I agree!
There’s one recap left – then it’s back to regular programming. Stay tuned!
Other DC recaps: