Tag Archives: DC Restaurants with Kids

Joselito Casa de Comidas: A Dining Experience to Savor with (or without) the Kids

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The Capitol Hill restaurant scene has come a long way in the many, many years that I’ve lived here. Back in the day, the dining options left a lot to be desired. Now, the neighborhood boasts a pretty great selection of places to eat out, including one that has even received a “best in the country” designation.

It’s one of the newest on the scene, though, that has become my favorite of them all: Joselito Casa de Comidas. If it sounds familiar, that may be because I just recommended it among the Mother’s Day activities. But it’s a superb pick for a meal out anytime — with the family or KidFree. I was there the first week it opened and have been back several times since. I guess you could say it’s become my go-to for a great meal out.

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Joselito specializes in Spanish cuisine and serves up more than just scrumptious food. The whole vibe of the restaurant is inviting and warm; you feel like you’re having a special meal without being fancy and formal. The decor is beautiful, but still comfortable with a lot of white Spanish tile, black seating, and old black and white photographs of owner Javier Candon’s family in Spain adorning the walls — all of it together creates a lively yet cozy ambiance.

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It’s a perfect space to feast on the food that includes traditional Spanish dishes and some with modern, creative updates. There’s the simple and delicious Iberico ham and Manchego cheese on the menu alongside gazpacho with smoked, salt cured cod. A tuna carpaccio comes with avocado mousse, and deep fried anchovies are seasoned with cumin and served with yuzu aioli. Meat dishes include Iberian pork tenderloin and Wagyu beef with chimmichurri. There’s a white chocolate soup (!) for dessert. And these are just some of many great choices on the main menu.

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I also had the opportunity to join a tasting of their new brunch menu recently, which featured several yummy egg dishes, including an out-of-this-world crab benedict, and more fare perfect for a leisurely late morning/early afternoon meal. Oh, and I have to mention the cocktails and wine…all top notch. The white sangria is chilled with a white sangria ice cube, a simple but lovely detail. And the original cocktails and selection of wine are perfect complements to the food. (Non-alcoholic beverages available, too, of course.)

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Something really great about Joselito is that almost everything on the menu is available in three sizes — tapa (appetizer size), media ración (entree) and ración (family-style) — so you can order according to the size of your party, or choose whether or not to share. (If you ask me, this is food best enjoyed communally, plus you get to try more dishes that way!) No matter what you opt for, you’re in for a fantastic meal.

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And before you think this all sounds sophisticated for kids, let me assure you there are plenty of options that will appeal to patrons of all ages. (And a heads-up: A kids’ menu is about to be introduced!) Javier and his wife Christiana have two children themselves and don’t just welcome, but encourage families to enjoy their restaurant. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and dining with them, and they are as gracious as they are genuine when it comes to Joselito. They truly want to bring people together to savor good food and good company.

And I think they’ve nailed it.

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Joselito Casa de Comidas is located at 660 Pennsylvania Avenue SE on Capitol Hill, across from the Eastern Market Metro. Hours are Sunday – Thursday 11:30am – 10pm, and Fridays & Saturday 11:30am – 12am.

 

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Filed under All ages, Date Night, DC, Eats, Ongoing, Weekdays, Weekend

Lebanese Taverna: A Local Favorite for Family Dining

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Like many families, we have our go-to restaurants for a meal out together. And by go-to I mean places with menus that appeal to all of us, are welcoming to the kids, and generally make us feel that our dining experience was worth it.

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Lebanese Taverna is a go-to for us. Everyone in our family loves eating there — which is pretty amazing given Sasha’s very picky eating habits. The delicious Mediterranean flavors and nice variety of dishes practically guarantee a good meal every time we go. I usually try something different every visit, and have never been disappointed. A Kids Menu offers smaller portions of several Lebanese classics, plus there are many small plates (Mezza) and sandwiches on the main menu that work for children, too.

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Owen and Sasha went that route at a recent dinner there; she ordered the Camel Wings (chicken wings with a flavorful spice) while Owen opted for the shawarma (he likes it so much, he gets the regular size). And we usually start with hummus for the table because it’s so good — this, on top of the bread and seasoned oil they bring to each table.

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That same visit I tried their boullabaisse for the first time, Levi the salmon, and we both really enjoyed our entrees. I’ve also had the chicken shawarma, falafel, fatteh, lamb sandwich, and a few of the salads on other occasions. (I did mention it’s a go-to, right?) And not only is it a great place to go to with the family, it’s also a nice spot with just grown-ups. We’ve even been to a friend’s birthday celebration party at the Woodley Park location, which was lovely with a great selection of food in a private room.

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The ambiance at Lebanese Taverna needs to be noted, too. The restaurants are nice and spacious, with hand-painted tiles decorating many tabletops and big, patterned pillows lining benches. That, and friendly, inviting service make the atmosphere relaxing and comfortable.

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And while Lebanese Taverna is one to keep in mind for any time, a perfect occasion to go with the whole family is this Sunday when you can enjoy the Mother’s Day Unlimited Mezza Special. It’s a great opportunity to sample many great dishes and, of course, celebrate the special day. Cost is $37/adult, $15/ages 6-12.

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Hungry? Go reserve your table now!

Lebanese Taverna is a family owned and operated chain of restaurants in the Northern Virginia, DC, and Maryland area. The first restaurant was opened in 1979. Today, there are 6 restaurants, 4 cafes, and a market that focus of providing authentic Lebanese cuisine and bringing a bit of the culture too. They have been voted Best Mediterranean Reader’s Choice by Bethesda Magazine and consecutively listed in the 50 Best Restaurants by Northern Virginia Magazine.


Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Lebanese Taverna, but all opinions expressed here are entirely my own, and I only promote places, products, and services that I truly believe in and/or think would appeal to KFDC readers.


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Filed under All ages, DC, Eats, Maryland, Sponsored Post, Virginia