Cool and casual Commencement dinning

Legal Seafoods
2020 K St., N.W.
(202) 496-1111
Attire: casual
Price: $25-30 for appetizer and entree

Split open a fresh-from-the-oven roll, slurp up a cup of chowder and slice the tender piece of fish ordered from the impressive menu at Legal Seafoods. The freshest fish and creative preparations make this place different from the ordinary spots that specialize in seafood. Whether it is hot or cold outside, Legal’s creamy New England clam chowder is a must. Their award-winning soup has been served at every presidential inauguration since 1981. If you decide to go all out and order the steamed lobsters, be sure to visit their website at LegalSeafoods.com and check out the animated video on “How to Eat a Lobster” to avoid embarrassment.

Georgia Brown’s
950 15th St. NW
(202) 393-4499
Attire: business casual
Price: $21 and up for entree

Celebrity sightings are frequent and always exciting, especially for basketball fans, as NBA veterans and rookies alike are patrons of this sweet spot. Appetizers such as the fried calamari, fried green tomatoes and catfish fingers alone are delicious enough to justify the trip to this southern belle. Though all of the food follows a southern theme, it isn’t heavy or greasy. The sugar and spice pork chop is as especially delicious, prepared with bourbon and maple syrup and served with yams and string beans. Georgia Brown’s is a definite pick if you’re looking for a homey southern atmosphere and some good home-cooking.

Maggiano’s Little Italy
5333 Wisconsin Avenue
(202) 966-5500
Attire: casual but neat
Prices: entrees $10-25

There is nothing small about Maggiano’s Little Italy. This family-style Italian restaurant serves up some of the biggest and best authentic Italian meals in D.C. The large dining room is crowded and noisy, making it a perfect place for large parties and special occasions. The Italian aura gives diners a feel that gangsters are sitting in the corners of the restaurant while the generous portions make you feel like you are eating Sunday dinner prepared by your Italian grandma. Maggiano’s offers dining both a la carte and family style, including the option of ordering half-size portions. All of the family style plates come from the a la carte menu and have enough food to feed a small army, with free seconds. The family style is a flat rate of $21.95 a person and the table chooses two appetizers, two salads, two pastas, two entrees and two desserts, with free refills upon request.

Malaysia Kopitiam
1827 M St.
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 833-6232
Attire: Casual
Price: entrees $10-25

When eating at Malaysia Kopitiam, you’re never really sure what type of food you’ll get. An appetizer may make you wonder if you stumbled into an unknown Indian restaurant. Your main course may make you question whether you’re in Chinatown. What you are likely to be sure of at Malaysia Kopitiam is strong service and a wide variety of food. Ordering an entree is no problem. Alongside a menu, you are presented with a binder filled with pictures of everything you could order Service at Malaysia Kopitiam is excellent, and food is prepared quickly and efficiently. Malaysia Kopitiam is a pleasant and inexpensive way to sample a variety of Asian cuisine.

Raku
1900 Q St. NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 265-7258
Attire: Casual
Price: Entrees $10-20

The idea of fusion food, which is made by combining two different styles of cuisine, seems to be in decline these days. Raku challenges this trend, offering great fusion food and an all around exciting evening.
Although some of Raku’s larger dishes are intriguing, the tapas are definitely recommended for the adventurous. Diners can choose from a menu of about 30 small dishes, allowing even two people to sample a wide range of cuisine. Everything at Raku seems to pack a little extra punch except the bill, which came in nicely at $36 for two people, including drinks, four dishes, tax and tip.

-compiled from Hatchet food reviews 2001-2002.

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