Mari Vanna looks like it could have been decorated in a joint effort by a member of the Romanoff family and someone's grandmother. There are live tableside folksy accordion performances, as well as infused vodka shots in flavors ranging from blackberry to horseradish. The menu is authentic (try the pelmeni, olivier salad, and beef stroganoff — skip the “herring under a fur coat” salad unless you’re actually dining with your babushka), and it's a great venue to have a good time with someone you’re already pretty comfortable with. After dinner, there's karaoke on the second floor.
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Surfside Taco Stand
Surfside Taco is a 24-hour, hole-in-the-wall with tacos, burritos, and quesadillas in Dupont. You'll probably find yourself here at 2pm and 2am.
Agora is often overlooked for trendier spots in Dupont, but the Mediterranean food here is pretty good. Use it for a last-minute meal.
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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.
Iron Gate in Dupont is known for its prix-fixe dinner, but we like it best for drinks and a light bite.
Estadio’s tapas will be familiar if you’re used to eating Spanish food, but it will be better. Use Estadio to woo sources, dates, or anyone else.
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