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  • Circle Bistro

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Circle Bistro
Circle Bistro
  • Address:
    One Washington Circle
    Washington, DC 20037
    Neighborhood:
    Foggy Bottom
  • Cuisine:
    Contemporary American
    Price: $30 and under

Circle Bistro Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.thecirclehotel.com/eat-drink-lounge
  • Email: fandb@thecirclehotel.com
  • Phone: (202) 293-5390
  • Hours of Operation: Breakfast: Weekends and Holidays: 8am - 10:30am,
    Lunch: Monday - Friday : 11am - 2pm;
    Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 5pm - 10pm,
    Friday - Saturday: 5pm -11pm
    Happy Hour Daily: 5pm-8pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Contemporary American, American
  • Executive Chef: Michael Cassady
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Fireplace, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Catering: Catering is available for all events in house- both within the bistro itself as well as for the private meeting spaces of One Washington Circle Hotel.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: 23rd, New Hampshire & L
  • Public Transit: Foggy Bottom Metro Station
  • Parking: Hotel Parking
  • Parking Details: Complimentary valet parking available at One Washington Circle Hotel.
A word from Circle Bistro
A proud member of the Foggy Bottom neighborhood, Circle Bistro offers classic bistro fare with a focus on locally sourced ingredients. Savor the award-winning cuisine of this intimate neighborhood spot, creating dishes that are at once comfortingly familiar yet wonderfully new.

Discover why Circle Bistro is consistently ranked among the best downtown DC restaurants in The Washingtonian Magazine, and treat yourself to the welcoming warmth and exceptional taste of this renowned culinary address.

Our menus do change frequently to reflect the finest seasonal ingredients. The menus featured on our website are representative of what you should expect at Circle Bistro, but do keep in mind that items on our menu do change from time to time.
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Diner Reviews
  • "I booked the restaurant for an informal business lunch when my first choice in the neighborhood was not available, so I was pleased with the convenience. The ambiance was good--not too formal, a quiet buzz from diners, and I appreciated that my party was put in a corner. The service was friendly, but too overbearing; we had three people who kept coming around, too frequently, and we felt badgered. The food was so-so--nicely presented, but the soup had a weird taste and the salad was unremarkable; my first choice was not available, and as I already felt rushed by the service, I made a quick decision and was not entirely happy."
    Dined on 4/10/2014
  • "Unfortunately in the 5 or more years I've eaten in this restaurant, this is the first time the food was deplorable. It was obvious that the chef was not in the kitchen during this lunch. The butternut squash soup was watery & tasteless and did not even have the garnishes described on the menu in it. The beef tartare was brown and old as if it had been prepared with rotting meat or had been prepared days ahead and refrigerated. The crab cake was smelled extremely fishy when brought up to your mouth which made it impossible to eat. It seemed like it was not prepared with freshly picked crab meat. I love this restaurant and believe it was left in the wrong hands that day. There was no quality control in the kitchen."
    Dined on 4/2/2014
  • "Stopped in after work for the pre-theatre dinner. Inflated wine prices, poor meal (cold soup with chunks to big to eat without cutting), salty entree, flaccid and Kroger quality dessert. Coffee shop ambiance at best. Place was empty except for screaming babies and one very large obnoxious party seated next to us - with another screaming baby. Did I mention place was empty? We complained about the noise but servers are clueless. Mostly standing around chatting cause they have nothing else to do. Took a while to get dessert - probably had to run to Harris Teeters to pick it up. Won't go back."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "Let me emphasize first that service and setting were excellent. The Maitre d'/waiter asked me how my lunch was (French onion soup and duck confit salad), and I said "quite good". He was concerned that I didn't rate it more highly and wanted to know why. At the time I wasn't up to dissecting the meal and interrupting my lunch conversation, so here goes. The French onion soup was well executed (good umami), but the onions were surprisingly low-flavor, and the Gruyere lacked the sharp note I'd expect. I'll chalk those problems up to raw materials. The duck confit salad was good, but watery. I'm not sure if it was the julienned apples or residual water in the greens; the extra water really took the shine and focus off the duck."
    Dined on 4/2/2014
  • "We were here on a very slow night in the restaurant. The time between salad and entree was far too long and when the entree came it was obvious it had been sitting for awhile. The salad was good but the rest was passable. In a city of great restaurants, this one doesn't measure up!"
    Dined on 4/1/2014
  • "In other words, eat here only if you are a hotel guest and don't have any other options."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "We had a lovely birthday dinner after a matinee performance on Sunday. The waiter was personable and went out of his way to check with the chef about ingredients in a few of the dishes (one member of our party is gluten-intolerant). There were only a few tables occupied early on Sunday, so it was quiet, which suited us well. The monkfish and the risotto got rave reviews! Since we had ordered the pre-theatre menu, our meals included dessert. The waiter brought us all glasses of very nice port for a birthday toast -- a very welcome treat! Circle Bistro remains my go-to place for pre- or post-theatre in Foggy Bottom."
    Dined on 3/16/2014
  • "I take guests there when I want a chance to talk and enjoy good food. Nice bar also."
    Dined on 2/27/2014
  • "The staff person who greeted us when we arrived seemed surprised to see us and then to learn we had an 8:30 PM reservation. Got the impression that the Circle Bistro did not cater to late diners. This was reinforced when all the other diners left by 9:30 PM and the waiters started rearranging tables for the next day's business. Our waiter assured us that we were not keeping the place from closing, but we did get that impression. My girlfriend had the cheese board, mussels, and a small salad. I got the salmon rillete and gnocdi. Everything was tasty, although the pasta was a little heavy. We may return, but not for another post-theater dinner."
    Dined on 2/25/2014
  • "Besides wonderful food (especially the Roasted Butternut Squash Soup) there is an added advantage: you can avail yourself of the free valet parking, then take the Kennedy Center Shuttle to the play or concert and return. I gave the attendant $5 -- which saved me $17 if I had parked in the Center Garage."
    Dined on 2/21/2014
  • "Although the menu is limited, food quality is excellent. Friendly and professional staff. Highly recommended for small groups/intimate dinners."
    Dined on 2/18/2014
  • "Food was good, beautiful presentation , nice wait staff!"
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "If you're staying at the hotel this place is in, then it might be a convenient spot -- and it might be good just for drinks, too. But I went with my boyfriend for Valentine's Day because they had a special prix-fixe menu, and we were both underwhelmed. It was $45 a person for three courses, and they were all pretty average. After messing up my boyfriend's appetizer, it took 30-40 minutes after the first course to get the second course. With spotty service and pretty average food, it's not a place I'd go again."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "Circle Bistro offers a great local spot to meet a friend for good conversation and food. The menu has everything from cheeseburgers to seafood. Offers valet parking which makes it easy to run over for a meal from Virginia. Fun Bar during the week."
    Dined on 2/9/2014
  • "We selected this restaurant based on its rating and proximity to our hotel. The atmosphere in the restaurant was inviting and the service was good. However, the food was mixed. I ordered the butternut squash soup since I had read so many positive reviews of it, but they were out of it (at 7:30 on a Sat night). I also had the seared scallops with grit cake and braised red cabbage. All of the elements were tasty (except the grit cake) but the dish didn't hang together well. My daughter ordered the seafood mezzaluna which she didn't like. when I tasted it, the pasta was undercooked, the dish was under sauced, and the seafood filling was dense and unappetizing. However, the apple crisp desert was wonderful."
    Dined on 2/8/2014
  • "We enjoyed our Saturday evening dinner at Circle Bistro. The menu is limited but all of our dishes were well-executed. Kate, our server, was lovely and fun. Our only quibbles: the lighting is a bit too bright, and tablecloths would be nice. But we would definitely return."
    Dined on 2/8/2014
  • "Gnocchi was tough and dry. Service was so-so. Date's food was bland. Wouldn't recommend it."
    Dined on 2/7/2014
  • "We really enjoyed our meal at Circle Bistro, a boutique restaurant located inside the Washington Circle Hotel. The Monkfish was superbly prepared, and the Duck Confit salad was a delicious medley of fresh flavors. The Bistro has an excellent wine list, and were offering a special on 1/2 bottles of wine. Kate and staff took excellent care of us and I highly recommend for a top notch meal at a quiet restaurant with a modern atmosphere. We look forward to returning to sample the desserts."
    Dined on 2/2/2014
  • "My husband and I had been to Circle Bistro before, but it had been a while ago. We had forgotten just how good Circle Bistro is. The food was all very well prepared. The squash soup was fantastic. The mussels were very tasty with a delicious broth. The Waygu steak frites and the salmon were both prepared perfectly. We also enjoyed the apple crisp. It was a delightful meal and I think we will be back more often."
    Dined on 2/1/2014
  • "This is no bells and whistles spot, but the menu is always varied from time to time and the food selection is limited but nicely varied and so no need for mind boggling choices. Wine list is modest but like the food, a nice selection of very good and affordable choices. Often take friends and business associates and have always been satisfied. Servers are always pleasant and professional. Great spot for dinner ahead of a show at the Kennedy Center. For consistency, quality, affordability and reliability this remains one of my favourites."
    Dined on 1/24/2014
  • "We went there when the temps were in the 20s and the wind was pretty strong. We walked in and it was warm and cozy. They had fireplaces lit which was very nice. My husband ordered the butternut squash soup but the portion was too large for us to finish. The chef came out to ask if there was anything wrong with it and we said that it was just more than we wanted. I thought that was pretty cool that they wanted to know if there was an issue. I wanted salmon but was not a fan of their preparation. It was in a salad and I wanted potatoes with mine. They made the change for me and it was a very nice dinner. We had nice wines by the glass and apple crisp for dessert. The waitress and support staff were very nice. I would go back!"
    Dined on 1/25/2014
  • "We are regular visitors to DC and we always try new restaurants--especially the 1000 point slots--which is how we found this place. We were surprised to find upon our arrival at 8 pm, the place was empty except for a couple of people seated in the lounge area. Nevertheless our meal was quite good. We both had homemade pasta dishes--gnocchi and stuffed pasta--and both entrees were excellent. We had salads beforehand, also quite good. My only complaint was the coffee at the end of the meal and the server didn't charge for that item. Would definitely go again if we stay in Foggy Bottom, but would sit near the cozy fireplace near the bar next time."
    Dined on 1/19/2014
  • "I find this to be a very good restaurant for a business lunch or a nice dinner with your significant other."
    Dined on 1/17/2014
  • "We ate at Circle Bistro before a Kennedy Center performance. The food was great as was the service. The restaurant was not crowded (which was surprising to us). They have a pre-theater menu with several of the items from the main menu. They have free parking in the hotel they are in (with validation) and you can park there all evening and take the shuttle to and from the Kennedy Center. Very convenient."
    Dined on 1/18/2014
  • "On a visit to DC this was our night out on the town with a great Bollywood music show on Millenium Stage and a quiet dinner at Circle. Great location, stylish city décor - with courteous friendly service. The food was well prepared- the pumpkin soup sweet and delicious- the grilled salmon tasty served with baby spinach and the house burger came with melt in the mouth mashed potatoes. On this mild January evening we just enjoyed!"
    Dined on 1/13/2014
  • "Very pleasant, good service and the wine was good also. We went here prior to going to a play. It was quiet and therefore we could talk without having to yell. Food was delicious and the right portion for me but someone with a hefty appetite might find the portion small"
    Dined on 11/3/2013
  • "Despite the appearance of a brunch menu on the website, all that was available was a pathetic buffet. By pathetic, I mean that I have seen better spreads at a budget hotel. Really infuriating."
    Dined on 1/4/2014
  • "Prompt servicve, coctkails made right, served right away. No rush to take our order. Food was delicious. We'll do this place again for before-concert dinner."
    Dined on 12/22/2013
  • "very convenient for Kennedy Center performances - nice atmosphere. very small but nice. food was very good as well"
    Dined on 12/21/2013
  • "This restaurant offered us some great food items and some disappointing ones...the service was excellent, ambiance pleasant, location convenient for the Foggy Bottom area, etc. However, the menu is rather limited, the prices steep, and wait for food preparation rather long. All of the staff are friendly and helpful. Of the three of our party, only one of us was completely pleased with all of his choices. The other two were disappointed...a hamburger ordered medium rare arrived overdone and also somewhat dry and small. A seafood pasta dish turned out to be a large plate with a small portion of seafood filled ravioli...the menu simply was not clear about what the dish actually was to be. Our first and last visit to Circle Bistro."
    Dined on 12/21/2013
  • "I'm always looking for quiet restaurants to meet friends at lunch time and it's very hard in Foggy Bottom. We had a table at the back of the restaurant and it was perfect for quiet talk. The Pumpkin Raviiolis were excellent--some of the best I've had And the fresh bread was far too tempting--cut in small sizes, it just kept calling to me."
    Dined on 12/17/2013
  • "I've been to Circle Bistro for their happy hours in years gone by, as it is conveniently located by the Foggy Bottom Metro. So, when we looked for a restaurant with a fireplace on a Friday after work and Circle Bistro had a table for two, it was a go. We were not sorry as the ambiance was good as was the food, but we sat in the lounge area to be near the FP and that meant being next to the bar -- which on this occasion was hopping and LOUD! Oh, well, that's the way it should be, I guess, too bad we had hoped for a more sedate dinner rather than hoopin' and hollerin' two feet away. Though an aberration we could've avoided by sitting in the dining room away from the fray (and the fireplace), all was fine by the end of the meal..."
    Dined on 12/13/2013
  • "We enjoyed a quiet, happy Thanksgiving meal at Circle Bistro. The meal was delicious. Because I am allergic to garlic, I had to forego the turkey, which had been soaked in a brine that had some garlic in it. Initially disappointed to miss the turkey, I ordered the Fall-vegetable risotto. It took just one bite for me to become convinced that risotto should become my new Thanksgiving staple. For whatever reason (perhaps because we dined early), the restaurant was not crowded, while other old favorites were fully booked a month in advance. The quality of the food and quiet sophistication of the room should make Circle Bistro a favorite destination for those wanting a special night out."
    Dined on 11/28/2013
  • "All three of our meals were really tasty and beautifully presented. Service was very good. Cozy space."
    Dined on 11/27/2013
  • "First off, the staff are great especially Lamar and Zac!! Great bar scene and decor that few know about. Wonderful happy hour and fantastic service. Decided to hang at the bar which also allowed us to catch some of MNF too. Have dined in the restaurant on a number of occasions and the food was very good. There has been a menu change, new chef on board, I had the wild boar which was delicious. Looking to hold an event, this is truly a hidden gem!!"
    Dined on 11/25/2013
  • "I had not been to Circle Bistro in quite a while, but am happy to report that the meal and dining experience were very good. The bar (two Thursday night private parties) was very crowded and loud, but we were able to sit far enough away that it didn't bother us. I enjoyed the house salad, and Wagyu steak (tasty but a small portion), and swapped the french fries for potato puree. My date had the Salmon over a large bed of spinach (not baby lettuce as advertised, but the spinach was an improvement!). For dessert she had the pecan tart and I, the chocolate cake (several desserts were not available). Our server Kate truly rates an "Outstanding", being very attentive although quite busy. Will not wait so long for a return trip."
    Dined on 11/21/2013
  • "We come here all the time for happy hour, but this was our first time dining in the restaurant part of Circle Bistro. It was lovely - the quality of the food was outstanding, the wine list has a great selection, and they had us in and out in under an hour (which was good, as it was on my lunch break). I had the seafood ravioli and my boyfriend had the pumpkin ravioli - delicious. And, the portions were just right. I usually don't order pasta because it leaves me feeling heavy and full, but I was pleasantly satisfied after this meal. Will definitely be back for more meals!"
    Dined on 11/22/2013
  • "We have been to Circle Bistro on several occasions over the years, but not for quite sometime. Location is very convenient to Kennedy Center. The menu has evolved, with the addition of items such an sandwiches and other budget friendly options. Fixed price pre-theater specials, on prior visits a great value, were absent, Good news is that the entrée selection still provides some attractive choices, service remains excellent, and our desserts selections were wonderful."
    Dined on 10/31/2013
  • "We were seated at 6:20 and let the hostess know we had tickets to the symphony. Our drinks and appetizers arrived promptly, our dinner however, did not. At 7:20 we asked for a status of our order and were told it was being plated. I would have enjoyed my meal much more if I didn't have to eat so quickly. The waiter was kind and apologetic--it appeared that there was something going on, or not going on, in the kitchen."
    Dined on 11/2/2013
  • "I was in Washington DC visiting my daughter who goes to grad school there. On Sunday we wanted to go out for brunch and chose Circle Bistro based on Open Table. We walked in and the place was dead, no one was there. We were seated and ordered juice and coffee and then went to the buffet which was so limited as to make you hurt. We were done in 15 minutes, paid the bill and could not wait to get out of there. Stay Away."
    Dined on 10/13/2013