NFT Washington DC Dupont Circle / Adams Morgan

Dupont Circle / Adams Morgan

Essentials
Neither tourist trap nor chain store-stuffed, boutique-filled Dupont is a standard destination for locals. North and east of the circle, toward club-crazed Adams Morgan and the trendy Logan Circle/U Street areas, is where the scene really is: shops, cafes, and great people-watching. Dupont is a little too settled to be considered bohemian or edgy any more, though, and anywhere south of the circle is office territory.

Sundries
This is about as complete a neighborhood as you can find in DC. Just a short walk down the street will put you in reach of a tofu wrap, Advil for the hangover, and a copy of the London Daily Mirror, all on the same block. All Dupont needs is a three-story IKEA and the yuppies would never have to leave.

Entertainment
This is where DC bubbles over with nightlife options. Although Dupont is frequently labeled the hub of DC's gay community, even Evangelicals can find a place to party here. From beer-soaked sports bars to painfully hip clubs to sticky-floored dives and late-night-snack spots, it's no surprise that this neighborhood has a vibrant singles scene. But despite See more.

>Bistrot du Coin, no one will ever mistake Connecticut Avenue for the Champs-Elysées.

Fleece the taxpayers at Smith and Wollensky, The Palm, or Prime Rib. For French decadence, try Marcel's. If Italian is your indulgence, it's Obelisk. Blue Duck Tavern is a DC institution. and Komi makes it onto every food critic and lay foodie's Top 10. Get sushi at Sushi Taro and experience Morocco at Marrakesh Palace.

Proper Topper has unique pieces and Betsy Fisher is geared toward expensive shoes and fashions from labels you've never heard of. Hit up Thomas Pink and Brooks Brothers when the school year is about to begin. U-Street boutique Caramel has great one-of-a-kind merchandise. For home furnishings, try Tabletop or Millennium Decorative Arts.




         


This Neighborhood Featured in...
Veg in the City

By Amber McDonald
What's captivating everyone from politicians to Playboy bunnies, athletes to authors? Veganism! Check out Amber McDonald's guide to DC's new and unusual veg offerings.
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Make-out Spots In DC

By Magda Nakassis
Hankering for some good-old smooching? Ladyface shares her favorite DC places for mouth on mouth action. Open wide...
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Presidential Accessories

By Emily Groves
Are you ready for some change you can dress yourself in? Here in Warshinton, straight-shootin' wearables and variegated hope-filled trappings can be yours for the promulgating. From Swarovski crystal presidential pins to the head of Sarah Palin, wear your political accessories with pride! Or don't call yourself an American.

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In Search of Motion: In Search of John Cavanaugh

By John Petro
He's Irish, he's artistic, he sculpted sculptures out lead. Want to know more? Of course you do.

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Make-out Spots In DC

By Magda Nakassis
Hankering for some good-old smooching? Magda Nakassis (aka Ladyface) shares her favorite DC places for mouth on mouth action. Open wide...
Read More...

On Our Radar:

Posted By:  Kara Deniz
Photo:  Kara Deniz

Cafe Istanbul
Cafe Istanbul is easy to miss, mixed in with office buildings in the city's Foggy Bottom neighborhood. The restaurant serves up lunch and take-out customers with heaping portions of traditional Turkish and Mediterranean specialties. From beef kabobs to falafel and kofte (grilled lamb meatballs), Cafe Istanbul offers a filling and delicious meal, although the doner platter was a tad too dry. The restaurant is casual and ordinary, except for the vintage blown-up photographs of Istanbul and its denizens that adorn the walls. Bon appetit, or as the Turks would say, Afiyet olsun.



Posted By:  Kara Deniz
Photo:  Kara Deniz

One Lounge
Dim lighting, brick pillars, comfortable modern couches, and background beats provide the perfect chill-out atmosphere at One Lounge, a cocktail bar and restaurant located just steps from the Dupont Circle metro. The feel here is more New York cool than Dupont Circle watering hole. Service is quite accommodating; in fact, the chef came out to our table, bringing with him not one, but two free dessert samples--strawberry crepes drizzled with chocolate sauce and whipped cream, followed by fresh strawberries with cream. A glowing review was in order prior to the offering, but this act sealed the deal. When was the last time you went to a bar/restaurant in DC on a busy Friday night and the chef came to your table or the staff welcomed you back for a return visit, by name? Classy, not crowded, hip, yet casual, One Lounge is the place to be.



Posted By:  Kara Deniz
Photo:  Kara Deniz

Bell Wine & Spirits
Bell Wine & Spirits in Dupont Circle is not your average liquor store, hosting a number of weekly tastings and events for everyone from novices to connoisseurs and in between. A monthly grand tasting features a half dozen tables of wine pours from distributors featuring Chardonnay, Malbec, Pinot Gris and dozens more varieties--perfect for any palate. All this for only $5 makes this the premiere weeknight happy hour event in DC. Bottles are, of course, available for purchase and are generally on sale. The store also features mini wine tastings on most Fridays and Saturdays, while events at other venues throughout the city hosted by Bell feature educational presentations on everyone's favorite adult grape beverage. Salut!



Posted By:  Magda Nakassis
Photo:  Magda Nakassis

Dolcezza
With new locations in Bethesda Row and this one in Dupont Circle, plus appearances in area farmers markets, Dolcezza's handmade, artisanal gelato is taking DC by storm--one delicious spoonful at a time. Every morning they make small batches in their original Georgetown location, using only the freshest local ingredients. The result is much more adventurous and refreshing than your average ice cream parlor--flavors like Sumatra cinnamon, Thai coconut milk, lemon ricotta cardamom, and white peach prosecco. And for those without a sweet tooth, their ristretto shots of espresso are a rich, roasted, caffeinated treat as well.



Posted By:  Kara Deniz
Photo:  Kara Deniz

Dupont Italian Kitchen
Located on a lively strip of 17th Street, Dupont Italian Kitchen provides a solid, if unimpressive dining experience. Serving Italian mainstays like chicken parm, veal marsala, and lasagna, the restaurant delivers on reliable and hearty traditional dishes at affordable prices. On a recent visit, a simple penne with sausage, arugula, and tomato was fresh and filling, yet lacked complexity. The sausage was chewy and not as lean as one would hope; there was no sauce to speak of, just a hint of olive oil, leaving much of the penne dry. Dupont Italian Kitchen features an outdoor patio, which is a good spot for summer dining. There is also an upstairs bar. Dupont Italian Kitchen leaves hungry diners feeling indifferent, though the potential for more is certainly there. That's why I plan to go back, give the menu another try, and keep you posted.



Posted By:  Kara Deniz
Photo:  Kara Deniz

Agora
Roasted red pepper, eggplant, pine nuts, and olives are all staples of the Mediterranean diet. These ingredients and more take on a new twist at Agora, a recent mezze-style restaurant addition to Dupont Circle East. The largely Turkish menu--written in Turkish with English translations--also features a variety of traditional Greek and Lebanese dishes, sure to satisfy vegetarians and meat eaters alike. Seafood lovers will understand why the restaurant bills itself  "a taste of the Aegean Sea." Succulent scallops, mussels, and squid transport one to the glassy waters of a coastal Turkish town, while phyllo dough pastries and filling rice dishes are grounded in the country's agrarian roots. The breads are served puffy and light, paired with olive oil bottled on the proprietor's family farm. Agora's interior is trendy, featuring exposed brick walls, dimmed lighting and cozy seating. The sizable outdoor patio, a respite from the chaos of the circle, is still firmly planted in the liveliness of the city and provides a relaxed outdoor setting for a wonderful meal.



Posted By:  Kara Deniz
Photo:  Kara Deniz

Rosemary's Thyme
Delicious dining in Dupont doesn't have to be an expensive affair. Flavorful spices find a home in dishes prepared at their namesake, Rosemary's Thyme, on 18th Street, just off the circle. The establishment is a splendid hybrid of Mediterranean and American fare, with an extensive menu featuring Italian pastas, Turkish kebabs, seafood, pizzas and more. A personal favorite is the Adana Kebab, a traditional Turkish dish whose spiciness is an indication of its authenticity. Most restaurants in the city serve it bland, but Rosemary's Thyme prepares it will full flavor and spice. But leave room for dessert. The cappuccino flan is delightful and the tiramisu is light, without going heavy on the cheese, and with just the right amount of sweetness. For a great dining experience, it's about "thyme" to try Rosemary's.



Posted By:  Magda Nakassis
Photo:  Magda Nakassis

Textile Museum
In addition to the strip of enormous museums on the Mall, DC also offers a number of specialized, private collections. The Textile Museum is one, offering a unique perspective on the (often overlooked) contribution of textiles to the visual arts and cultural heritage. Its collection totals more than 18,000 rugs, kimonos, embroidered panels, sarongs, cushion covers, quilts, wall hangings, flags, and more--Western and non-Western, from 3,000 BCE to the present. Not bad for a small gallery in Kalorama. Its location is also of interest: two historic buildings (one the former home of the founders, designed by John Russell Pope), with lovely gardens surrounding. And yes, a suggestion donated of $5 is requested, but I promise you there will be no screaming children in matching t-shirts, nor will anyone shove you.



Posted By:  Kara Deniz
Photo:  Kara Deniz

Farragut Square
As suits walk by and the rush hour shuffle begins, the sounds of summer blare in the square. From now through July, Farragut Square will play host to Golden Triangle Summer Concerts (formerly known as "Sounds in the Square") each Thursday from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. Lay back with friends, and listen to the sounds of reggae, blues, funk, rock, salsa, and even Dave Matthews covers from popular local acts. Drawings each week will reveal the winners of some great prizes, including $100 gift certificates to local restaurants and bars. But don't forget to bring a towel to sit on--people do like to walk their dogs, after all. So come out on Thursdays, soak up the sun, swat some bugs, and feel free to get up and shake it some. Don't be shy. Between the surrounding office buildings and the several hundred people that show up to this much anticipated summer event, others are bound to be getting in on the fun.



Posted By:  Kara Deniz
Photo:  Kara Deniz

Hilton Washington Embassy Row
Tucked between major world embassies near Dupont Circle, the Hilton Embassy Row Hotel is a temporary home to international and domestic travelers alike. But it also plays host to worldly parties with an unbeatable view. The hotel's rooftop overlooks the sights and sounds of DC, with panoramic views of the city's skyline. The International Club of DC periodically hosts their internationally-minded happy hours on the sizeable space which features a smallish pool. Warm summer air wafts through the patio in the evenings, while an orangey red brush-stroked sunset casts its hues on the Washington Monument and National Cathedral. Off into the distance, the sleek metallic Rosslyn high-rises shimmer. The only thing that could possibly make this better is a glass of local Virginia wine and a patio chair to soak it all in.



Posted By:  Magda Nakassis
Photo:  Magda Nakassis

1500 Market
In my opinion, DC has a shortage of good corner stores. Farmers markets and grocery stores are all well and good, but sometimes you want a jug of milk without waiting in line. I am very envious of the residents of 15th & Mass NW for their easy access to the 1500 Market--located in the apartment building's basement. Although small and cramped, this convenience store manages to stock everything a person might need for urban survival: beer, toilet paper, ramen, Diet Coke, brillo pads, laundry detergent, etc. It's like a cornucopia of dorm essentials, with every crack and crevice filled. You're in and out of there before anyone has a chance to judge you. And yes, the prices are jacked up--but some of us put a premium on quick and easy access to Andy Capp's Hot Fries.



Posted By:  Magda Nakassis
Photo:  Magda Nakassis

National Geographic Museum
Terra Cotta Warriors: Guardians of China's First Emperor The famous terra cotta warriors of ancient China are on the last leg of their US tour, at the National Geographic Museum. Three pieces of advice about this incredibly popular exhibition: (1) Go, (2) Get the audio tour, and (3) Do not expect it to be the same as visiting the actual archaeological site. Wherever these 2,000-year-old archers, generals, charioteers, and soldiers are on display, they draw record crowds. So put your game face on, and try to visit on a weekday if you can. The $5 audio tour is worth it if only so you don't have to compete for space in front of the wall text. It also frees up all your eye energy to focus on the wonders in front of you. And finally, this exhibition includes only 15 life-size figures, roughly 1% of all those that have been excavated, and probably 0.0025% of all that are in existence. You will not be gazing into a pit tomb of endless faces, poised for attack. So take the opportunity to look closely at these men, their facial features, body types, headdresses, and clothing--and the differences between them--as well as the architectural details from the emperor's palace and Qin Dynasty currency and weapons. This exhibition is not about scale, but I did get the opportunity to look these soldiers right in the eye, only a few inches away. Just imagining 6,000 more of him was enough for now.



Posted By:  Magda Nakassis
Photo:  Magda Nakassis

Bread & Brew
Bread & Brew wears many hats. In addition to the obvious, they also self-identify as catering, cafe, cocktails, and coffeehouse. Oh, and it's certifiably "green." All together, this means local, fresh, and organic ingredients. It means homemade food--from meats roasted in-house to muffins, cupcakes, and cookies baked daily to homemade soups. It means biodegradable plates, utensils, and cups. It means organic espresso with a fresh pastry. It means wood-burning brick-oven pizza, and plenty of vegetarian/vegan options. And finally, it means craft cocktails and beers. All without the white tablecloth, in a casual and friendly atmosphere. They open for breakfast, continue through lunch and dinner, and in the after hours you can knock back drinks in the basement bar. And for all you beer nerds out there, the draft list currently includes Arrogant Bastard, Brooklyn Lager, Victory Fest Bier, Allagash White, Bells Double Cream Stout, Brew Free or Die IPA, and Sierra Anniversary. It's almost like you can't have bad taste at Bread & Brew. Excellent choice!



Posted By:  Magda Nakassis
Photo:  Magda Nakassis

Mitchell Park
There are only two official dog parks in DC. So what qualifies as a "dog park" in my part of town is a clearing in Rock Creek Park. And in the neighborhood next to mine, any patch of grass over one square foot is urinated and shat on by every four-legged creature in 2009. So imagine my surprise then, when I stumbled upon a DC public park full of happy pups romping around, off-leash, and on actual grass. Like, the full, soft, green, living kind. Those Kalorama Heights purebreds really have it good. And then I started to examine the rest of this alleged DC public park... It's teeming with hydrangeas and daffodils and half a dozen other varieties of blooming plants, has a play area for children, has tennis courts, offers plenty of unoccupied park benches (some which form a circle and perfect gathering place), has pretty picnicking areas, is shady, smells good, and is clean... What is this place?! No offense, DC Parks & Recreation, but how did Mitchell Park end up so freakin' lovely? For anyone not from Kalorama, I recommend coming here on a Sunday, strolling by some embassies, some multi-million-dollar homes, up/down the Spanish Steps, and pretending you're on vacation.



Posted By:  Rachel Tepper
Photo:  Rachel Tepper

Nooshi
It's true that sushi restaurants in the District are a dime a dozen. What makes Nooshi stand out among the rest are their happy hours--excuse me, I mean their "Crazy Hours." The name is apt--Nooshi offers one of the longest happy hours in the district (3-7 pm, Monday-Saturday) and features a long list of signature drinks. Normally priced between $7 and $8, everything on the menu is half off during Crazy Hour. I personally favor their stylish sake cocktails, including one particular libation combining the traditional Japanese beverage with limoncello, a lemon liqueur native to Southern Italy. For what you pay, these drinks pack quite the punch...and by that, I mean they're strong! I was feeling warm and bubbly after only one drink. The food at Nooshi is also good, but nothing to write home about. Go for the drinks--and if need be, order a sushi roll or two for a snack.



Posted By:  Magda Nakassis
Photo:  Magda Nakassis

Hillyer Art Space
While I can't be 100%, I'm pretty sure PostSecret is the best collaborative art project taking place in Germantown, Maryland. (Is that a backhanded compliment? Perhaps my Gaithersburg hometown pride is taking on an ugly, passive-aggressive form.) For those that don't know, PostSecret is a mail art project started by Frank Warren five years ago, in which people anonymously mail their secrets on postcards to his suburban home. Through the project's blog and print publications, the project has gained international fame--though it comes from inside our commuter belt. Sometimes senders just scribble out words, but most are decorated and creatively illustrated. The secrets range from horrific to hilarious, some repeated so many times by so many different strangers that it's mind-boggling, others that are so brutally honest I've unwillingly realized that I too share their secrets. In celebration of the fifth publication of PostSecret postcards--Confessions on Life, Death, & God--Hillyer Art Space is hosting an exhibition of the same name. What you will find is a collection of 4 x 6" objects so honest, creative, hilarious, dark, and perversely fascinating...and way better than a Facebook update. Hurray for anonymity!



Posted By:  Rachel Tepper
Photo:  Rachel Tepper

Hello Cupcake
I recently sat down with Penny Karas, owner and executive pastry chef of Hello Cupcake. Penny and her team of chefs take cupcakes seriously, and they have to competition is steep. As Penny was quick to tell me, the quality of her cakes is what sets Hello Cupcake apart. A team of pastry chefs is constantly at work perfecting old recipes (their chocolate cake is in the process of being revamped, "too inconsistent," says Penny) and creating new, sometimes offbeat ones (such as a cinnamon-chocolate cake with chili-infused chocolate ganache). Hello Cupcake also features a vegan and gluten free menu. Just because something is gluten free doesn't mean it has to taste bad, she stressed. "At the end of the day, the product has to taste good." Before I left, I grabbed a Peanut Butter Blossom, the shop's most popular flavor. It’s made with chocolate cake topped with a peanut butter frosting and a chocolate kiss. The frosting, while rich (and abundant!) was smooth and mild. It had a hint of peanut flavor that didn't smack you in the face, and the cake itself was deliciously moist. Overall, I'd say Hello Cupcake now ranks as my favorite cupcakery in DC.



Posted By:  Rachel Tepper
Photo:  Rachel Tepper

Freshfarm Market
This Sunday, check out the FRESHFARM Market in Dupont Circle. It's a year-round farmer's market, and they have everything from cheese to produce to flowers. I first visited the market on a gorgeous sunny Sunday in the fall. The produce was beautiful; we all know how hard it is to find farm fresh vegetables in the middle of a grimy city. Also, I'm a personal fan of free samples, and there were an abundance of tasty niblets to tease the palate (and your wallet; it's hard to leave without buying lots of stuff). My favorite vendor was Blue Ridge Dairy, which offered samples of their homemade cheese. Simply to die for.



Posted By:  Rachel Tepper
Photo:  Rachel Tepper

Circle Bistro
Circle Bistro serves modern American fare in a stylish, yet casual environment. Though portions are small (eat a small salad before you leave home!), they're packed with flavor. I enjoyed pumpkin ravioli as my appetizer and seared scallops as my entree. On a previous visit, I went to Circle Bistro for their $5 martini happy hour. The drinks were out of this world, but the service left something to be desired. Though the waitstaff was pleasant during my dining experience, the bartender who took my order was rude and unpleasant. Even worse, when I ordered a second drink, the woman neglected to add any alcohol to my drink. I had asked for a rum and diet coke, and she apparently didn't approve of my choice.



Posted By:  Glory Edim
Photo:  Glory Edim

RCKNDY
At 18, you decorated your freshman dorm room with Brittney Spears posters and Hello Kitty calendars. At 21, you moved into your 1st apartment, littering it with poorly built neon IKEA tabletops, a wooden futon and pink faux bear skin rugs. Finally, at 25, you're ready for the next step up. You can abandon the glitter lampshades and the paisley couch cover. It's time to grow up but you refuse to abandon your unique decorating taste. Introducing RCKNDY (pronounced Rock Candy) a home decor store filled distinctive furnishings and creative collections. You can furnish your entire condo with modern luxuries, like a stunning Balsa Silkscreen or gorgeous bedspread from Lugano, Switzerland. The decorating possibilities are endless. Plus, you'll feel like an adult at the cash register, some of the price points are steep but worthwhile. You'll surpass the tasteless style choices of your youth and you can finally host Karaoke night at your place. Sweet.




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