Last year five of my girlfriends and I went on a trip together to San Diego and had a really great time. We said we’d try to make it an annual thing. And we did! This year’s destination: Washington D.C.
The fall weather was beautiful. We rented a townhouse on Capitol Hill just south of Lincoln Park – about a mile and a half walk to the Capitol buidling. What an amazing place to live.
We walked about a hundred miles (!), mastered the Metro, and took in some amazing sights. We visited the Library of Congress & National Gallery of Art, and their outdoor Sculpture Garden. We took a 3-hour Segway DC Monuments & Memorials tour with CitySegway (I highy recommend them, and our wonderful guide, Ray). We caught a showing of the Broadway musical Evita at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. We drank a couple barrels of wine. And danced the night away in the townhouse. We we sure crammed alot of fun into a 4 day weekend.
– The night we arrived we ate at the highly touted Spanish tapas restaurant Jaleo (2 blocks from the Archives metro station). This madrileña gives them a bleh and a thumbs down. Service was ho hum, their traditional tapas like gambas al ajillo were not traditional at all… (made with red, spicy pepper sauce with no garlic!). When we complained, the waiter said they’ve changed the way they prepare them now and we should have ordered them traditional if that’s the way we wanted them, even though that’s how they were described on the menu. We shared a pan of lobster paella which tasted like new orleans dirty rice made with a burnt roux. Sorry José Andrés, you let us down.
– for breakfast the next day, Friday, we ate at the Madison Cafe atop of the Library of Congress’ James Madison Memorial Building. What a great, unassuming breakfast stop, with reasonable prices. Spectacular view of the Potomac, but apparantly you’re not supposed to go out on the patio unless accompanied by the Capitol Police (oopsie).
– for lunch on Friday’s sightseeing marathon (seriously, Laura’s pedometer said we walked about 23 miles that day!), we happened upon a really wonderful farmer’s market/outdoor food court in the Federal Triangle – Capital Harvest on the Plaza. In contrast to last night’s meal, the paella I got here on a paper plate was perfect and the real deal. They are open Friday’s through the end October.
– for dinner on Friday night we ate at the fabulous italian restaurant Graffiato (a short walk from the Gallery Place/Chinatown metro stop). Now this was a great meal! The service was fantastic. We tried nearly everything (watercress salad, caesar, mussels a la vodka, potato gnocchi, homemade pasta, white house pizza, and even more that I don’t recall) and came away wanting more. Delicious!
– Saturday morning we walked to the nearby Eastern Market – a historic indoor/outdoor food and arts market and a hub of the neighborhood on Capitol Hill. We bought ingredients for our planned dinner-at-the-townhouse later that night. The menu: spinach soup, grilled salmon steaks, asparagus risotto, green beans with lemon vinagrette and goat cheese. We outdid ourselves!
– for brunch on our last day, we headed to Le Greniere, a fantastic french bistro on H street, about a mile walk from Union Station. Their weekend brunch menu has a great variety of delicious choices. My croque-monsieur could have fed 2 or 3. 🙂 excellent service and brunch menu. We were all thankful for the walk afterwards.
And then, *poof* it was over. Til next year!
Some of the sights: