Style + Ask The Edit

Gilt City Comes to D.C.


When I heard that Gilt City was (finally) opening a D.C. branch, I was thrilled.  Unlike Groupon or other discount sites that only seem to offer deals in far-flung suburbs at spas, restaurants and bars that you’ve never even heard of, Gilt City offers the very best of D.C. at prices even a Hill Staffer can afford.  In fact their first set of deals was so smoking hot, they sold out in less than a day.

Oh, and did I mention that my BFF and sometime CHS contributor Miss M is working for them?  A match made in style heaven, no doubt.

To publicize their launch, the lovely ladies at Gilt asked me to blog about some of my favorite D.C. hotspots.  And since dining out is my favorite vice, I thought I would share some of my favortie D.C. restaurants with you.

So here, in order of adoration, is Belle’s Best of D.C.:

RasikaWithout a doubt, this is my favorite restaurant in the District.  I love the ambience, the knowledgeable servers and the fact that it’s close to my home.  But I lust for the food with an intensity that I’m not sure is healthy. 

Everyone raves about the Palak Chaat, and while this crispy spinach side dish is amazing, you should really branch out.  The Kathi Roll and the Tawa Baigan are also incredible. 

As for entrees, Miss M ALWAYS gets the Chicken Biryani.  It’s all she ever tries because she loves it that much.  As for myself, I am in love with Chicken Makhani and the Black Cod.  Both are so incredible that I would lick the plate if that wasn’t frowned upon in pleasant company, so make sure to get plenty of Naan to wipe up the sauce with.

And if you’re in need of a libation, I know it’s not Indian, but the Pisco Sour is pretty damn good.

Mon Ami Gabi.  Two words, baked cheese.  Imagine a bowl of spicy tomato puree with a slab of warm goat cheese in the middle of it, which you devour with hot, buttered French bread.  Do I have your attention, now?

This appetizer is so good that I will travel to Bethesda just to eat it.  And we all know how I feel about the Red Line.

Capital Grille.  Need a place off the Hill for a power lunch or a post-work cocktail?  Looking to impress some out of town relatives who are meat and potatoes people?  Cap Grille is where you need to be. 

In my opinion, these are the very best bartenders in town.  Within five minutes, they will know your name, who your work for and start making cocktail recommendations that will be so spot on, you’ll think that they’re telepathic.  So pull up a stool in their perfectly D.C. bar area and order a Stoli Doli.

Le Bon Cafe.  Need a quick lunch on Capitol Hill?  Not in the mood for your standard deli fare?  Le Bon is behind the Library of Congress near the corner of 2nd and Penn SE. 

Featuring tasty soups, fresh salads and delicious sandwiches and paninis, Le Bon is a break from the often greasy, carb-loaded Hill cuisine.  I usually have the Turkey Curried Salad Sandwich or the traditional Croque Monsieur.  Throw in a cookie from their selection of luscious baked goods and you can turn a blah day into a good day right quick.

Mandu.  If you like good, inexpensive Korean food, then Mandu is for you.  And if you’ve never tried Korean, Mandu will ease you into the cuisine in the most delicious way possible. I highly recommend the Bibim Bap in the hot stone bowl.  

Sauca.  Food trucks are taking D.C. and the nation by storm.  Whatever cuisine you are looking for, you can find a truck that sells it.  My personal favorite mobile purveyor of fine food is Sauca.

Like flat bread?  Like ethnic-inspired cuisine?  Like ethnic-inspired cuisine wrapped in flat bread?  I thought so.

The Pork Banh Mi is delicious with flavors of chili, ginger and coconut.  The Medi Veggie is so good that it made this carnivore think twice about her meat eating ways.  And the Mulligatawny soup is perfect for a cool, rainy day. 

There are four Sauca trucks that travel to just about every lunchtime locale in the city, and a brick and mortar location in Arlington, so there’s no reason not to give this truck a try.

So what are your favorite D.C. restaurants?  Leave your thoughts in the comments.  Oh, and if you’re on Twitter, retweet this post using the hashtag #cityscoop and @GiltCityDC.  The blog with the most retweets wins a reader giveaway of $100 to Gilt City.


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  1. H. says:

    Love Komi, minibar, and Kushi, although they're all splurges. Two Amys for pizza. Zaytinya for a non-traditional brunch (they do this poached egg and Greek yogurt dish that is SO GOOD).

    Second the Rasika love!

    July 26, 2011/Reply
  2. JW says:

    the pork bahn mi sauca is life-changing. sigh.

    July 26, 2011/Reply
  3. LS says:

    Thank you for sharing your faves. I've been in the area for six years and have never heard of these except for Capital Grille. I must live under a rock, hehe.

    My top choices are Bistro Lepic, Jaleo, Rays the Steaks, and Bistro Cacao. I also enjoyed my Italian meal at Aqua Al 2 which is a rarity for me in DC. For pizza in Arlington, I love Pupatella. I used to go to Aditi in Georgetown, but they closed recently. I will definitely check out Rasika, but I'm still looking for a casual Indian place closer to VA. Suggestions are welcome!

    July 26, 2011/Reply
  4. KC says:

    Cuba Libre. Their mojitos are incredible and they have tapas you can split in a group.

    July 27, 2011/Reply
  5. Melissa says:

    Hi Belle, I just found out about another great, discount online store. Apparently Century21 has weekly sales as well, might be of interest to some users!

    August 20, 2011/Reply