Those of us not heading to a lake or beach destination this weekend might be getting jealous, but we have one silver lining: Some of the city’s most sought after tables are likely to be a tad easier to procure, given the mass exodus of city residents for the three-day holiday weekend. Here are some to try for:
Rose’s Luxury: This darling of the D.C. restaurant scene on Barracks Row (at 717 8th St. SE) regularly boasts multi-hour waits for its 54 seats, although those don’t include the patio, bar seats and a new rooftop dining experience. The restaurant from Chef Aaron Silverman doesn’t take reservations — except for the pricey all-you-can-eat rooftop dining space — so it’s not uncommon to see people lining up for tables before the restaurant opens at 5 p.m. If you want to get your mitts (and your mouth) on some of the restaurant’s uni scrambled eggs or fall-apart-tender smoked brisket platter, you should still expect a wait, but maybe one that’s shorter than usual.
Barcelona Wine Bar: This Spanish restaurant and bar with its loungy outdoor patio at 1622 14th Street NW has become one of *the* places to see and be seen along the 14th Street corridor. Unfortunately, most of the time, many can be seen longingly looking at that patio from inside, given that it fills up quickly and people tend to linger. For this weekend, try going early and lingering into dinner, or hitting up Barcelona after some of the dinner crowd has cleared out. The restaurant doesn’t take reservations, so settle in with a sangria while you seek out that patio seat.
Little Serow: Though it’s been open for more than two years, the 28-seat Thai restaurant from the team behind neighboring Komi still proves to be one of the city’s most difficult tables to procure. Heralded for its prix-fixe multi-course menu of authentic, spicy Southern Thai food, the restaurant at 1511 17th St. NW turns tables two to three times per night, starting at 5:30 p.m. The best bet is to get there around opening and secure a seating, and head to one of Dupont’s many watering holes to wait it out. With any luck, the line won’t be forming too long before 5 p.m. this weekend.
Le Diplomate: This uber-popular French bistro at 1601 14th St. NW from Philadelphia restaurateur Stephen Starr does take reservations, and it looks from OpenTable.com that they are pretty booked up for the weekend — there are tables of four available at 7:45 p.m. on Sunday, but I couldn’t find anything for Saturday night until after 10 or for Sunday brunch. It’s been my experience however, that holiday weekends are a great time to get into Le Diplomate without a reservation: You may end up waiting at the bar, but not for hours.
Bluejacket: Two factors combine this weekend that may make craft beer haven Bluejacket and its restaurant, The Arsenal, at 300 Tingey St. SE in Capitol Riverfront easier to get into: the holiday weekend and the fact that the Washington Nationals aren’t in town. The restaurant’s bar and breezy outdoor patio fill up on game days, both for pre-game brews and afterwards for celebrations or, perhaps, consolations. If it’s dinner you’re after, there are still a few reservations available for the dining room as well: 5:45, 6:15 and 9:30 on Friday and 9:30 and 9:45 on Saturday.