CityCenter is full of boutiques frequented by moms from Chevy Chase who need to find a dress to wear to the fundraiser for the fourth lacrosse field at their kids’ prep school. And while Centrolina is right in between two very expensive designer dress stores, don’t let that scare you off. It’s more upscale (and pricier) than your neighborhood Italian restaurant, but it isn’t stuffy. The space is bright, and it’s shared with a market, which gives it a casual vibe and makes it easy to forget the bowl of pasta you’re eating is $30. Come for a grown-up date night, dinner with your parents, or to celebrate a friend’s promotion.
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Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar
Yes, Cuba Libre is cheesy. But it’s also fun. Take a date or a group to the Metro Center spot for something different than your basic Italian go-to's.
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All-Purpose is a neighborhood spot in Shaw with excellent Italian antipasti and some good pizza.
Birch & Barley
When you want a good beer but don't want to sacrifice good food, head to Bitch & Barley in Logan Circle. It's the best of both worlds.
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