Iron Gate is known for fancy dinners, but you can use it for a casual night if you know how to hack it - and that's how we like to use this place. Ditch the $90 prix-fixe menu in the separate dining room and take advantage of the romantic vibes at the fire-pitted outdoor patio or bar area. Both are good settings for a second date, especially if you’re still doing the whole “just drinks and appetizers” thing because you’re not ready to shell out all of your hard-earned super PAC dollars on internet strangers.
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Attached to the Carlyle Hotel in DuPont, The Riggsby does everything “classic” extremely well.
Little Serow’s Northern Thai tasting menu is not only one of the best deals in DC - it’s one of the best meals in DC. Just prepare for some heat.
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Declaration is right near Nats Park and has a wide-ranging menu and a daily Happy Hour so it’s perfect for a group dinner or brunch before a game.
Despite being in the middle of Adams Morgan craziness, Roofers Union is a great restaurant/bar/rooftop for a casual drink or dinner.
A casual spot by day, and a proper restaurant by night, hit The Partisan in Penn Quarter if you really enjoy meat.
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Sushi Taro in DC can be as casual or as fancy as you need it to be. Have a low-key dinner at the bar, or do the omakase for a special occasion.
Duke’s Grocery is a low-key gastropub in a Dupont row house. The burger is rightly famous, but you won't be disappointed with anything on the menu.
Tabard Inn in Dupont has a reliable brunch, but the patio is a nice spot for dinner (and live jazz), too.
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