February 16, 2006

DC CULINARY SOPHISTICATES. Just because DC is growing in culinary sophistication (and condo prices are higher than they were in the 1990's) does not mean it's becoming like Manhattan. In our view, its become well more like, well, Washington or like the Manhattan of the 1950's and 1960's when actual middle-class families lived in NYC.

Two examples of the percolating urban environment that shows how DC is becoming sophisticated in its own way:

1. Friday before last, we went to 2 Amy's. We were served: Negronis, Magarhetta Pizze and Crayons. Simple, direct food. Stylish setting. Family-friendly. Children everywhere. Maybe this could have been Manhattan long before one-bedrooms averaged $1 million, but hardly anywhere today.

I loved 2 Amy's before our daughter was born and love it even more now because we ate good food and did not have to worry about the screaming kid(s) disturbing anyone. Child friendly does not mean TGIF's in Rockthesda, not does it mean getting a babysitter so parents can have "adult" food. It means a night out in Cleveland Park with the whole clan.

2. On Valentine's Day, we went to Charlie Palmer Steak and absolutely loved it. Gourmet power lunch. The capitol view and lunching senators waiting for three-bells demand "serious" food, i.e. steak. And CP came here from NY because he knows that DC has evolved.

Aside from the meat, we loved the blue-grey suited wait staff who were not overly friendly but let us know they had personality too. We loved the fact that our hangar-steak, not a porterhouse, was served on broccoli rabe and that we had an appetizer of skate with very-light gnocchi. We also loved the french fries, which let us know good food, not portentous food, is served here. We loved the warm modern setting. The Palm is very Washington, but Charlie Palmer is too and its sophisticated as well. Watch out for another NYC export: BLT.

Just because DC is becoming more sophisticated and complex does not mean its becoming like Manhattan. So long sleepy Southern town, we are becoming sophisticated in our own way. (Damn, even why we try to stay clear of the DC vs. Manhattan cliche we end up making one of our own.)

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh DC has NEVER been a small NYC! It's always represented that top part of the pyramid ... the nicer part ... the creme de la creme ... while NYC was stuck with the sha-bang .. The "lot's of bad" with a little good. I grew up closer to NYC, but CHOSE to live here ... the better of the two cities.

Anonymous said...

editing for my last post: should have read "the WHOLE shabang ..."

Anonymous said...

Just keep the kids away from U Street, Adams Morgan, Columbia Heights, Mt Pleasant, and Dupont!!

Anonymous said...

ok, Columbia Heights and Mt. Pleasant I can understand ... But why the others? For example I can't think of a nicer and more cosmopolitan place in all of Washington than Dupont ... Certainly better than say Bethesda or Rockville ... both for the parents AND the kids!

Anonymous said...

"Just keep the kids away from U Street, Adams Morgan, Columbia Heights, Mt Pleasant, and Dupont"

Gotta love DC's idea of diversity. Young, educated , upper-middle class, socially mobile white collar office workers only. Not even shy about telling others to stay away because diversity is a bad thing to all the newly relocated suburban yuppie hipsters. Get a clue DC is becoming less of a real city and more of an elitest bubble every day.

Anonymous said...

I think the poster was saying to keep the kids away so not to bother childless singles/couples.
I kinda agree.

Anonymous said...

I realize that's what the poster meant. And hence my reply that most of those new to DC are intolerant when it comes to diversity and kids is just one example. I mean come on, do you really think someone is going to bring their screaming kid to a $30/plate restaurant in dupont? Yet some hipsters feel the need to warn parents off? Man I wish I could be so cool. Sorry for the sarcaism, it's just that living here has changed my view of city life and the type of people who lead it(of which I am one).

Anonymous said...

I'm the poster asking why not Dupont ... though I could understand CH and MP. I agree that they SHOULD be bringing their kids to a place with like Dupont with all its diversity. It's a good thing. But I also understand why they wouldn't want to bring their kids to a place like Columbia Heights with all its crime. Diversity is a good thing ... but it doesn't need to include criminality. I too am a long term DC resident and I am very glad to see a lot of the criminality moving out. It makes the diversity that is left much more easy to enjoy when you're not having to look over your shoulder.

dcbubble said...

Last we checked....Mt Pleasant, Dupont and Adams Morgan are filled with stroller, particularly if you compare with even five years ago.

Doubtful? Go to the Diner on 18th at 8:30 am on a Saturday or Sunday morning. Lots and lots of toddlers and babies.

Anonymous said...

Got to second what bubble said - lots more kids in strollers in all of those hoods. By the way MP has been family friendly for a long time - there is simply no restaurant infrastructure there unless you want Central American fast food

dcbubble said...

The Peruvian-style chicken on Moount Pleasant street is pretty good. Feed the whole family for 20 bucks. Fried Yucca -- ummmmmmm.

FYI