Circle Bistro
Circle Bistro

Circle Bistro

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.circlebistro.com/
  • Phone: (202) 293-5390
  • Hours of Operation:
    Breakfast: Daily : 7am - 10:30am
    Lunch: Daily : 11:30 am - 2:30 pm;
    Dinner: Daily : 5pm - 10pm
    Happy Hour Mon - Fri: 5pm - 8pm
    Happy Hour Sat - Sun: 5pm - 11pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Diners Club,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: American, Contemporary American
  • Executive Chef: Michael Cassady
  • Dress Code: Smart 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, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Catering: We are the number one venue for your holiday party this year! Customize your event with one of several options tailored for your event. We’ve got all ends covered from the moment you arrive, to the moment you ride the elevator home. Book one of our packages today and enjoy up to 20% off our Best Available Rate at One Washington Circle Hotel, including complimentary valet parking, until January 31st.

    Contact Rosy Chamoun, Catering Sales Manager, at 202-730-1241 for more information and to get your custom proposal.
  • Entertainment: SPEAKEASY NIGHTS @ CIRCLE BISTRO'S LOUNGE DAILY, 4- 7 PM, DECEMBER THROUGH JANUARY. COCKTAILS, BAR BITES, AND ALL THAT JAZZ!

    Visit our page at www.circlebistro.com to stay up to date with events and specials.
  • Special Events: SPEAKEASY NIGHTS @ Circle Bistro Lounge!
    Come repeal the Prohibition with us from 4 - 7 pm daily throughout the months of December and January.

    For Private Event inquiries and to book your Holiday Party, please contact Rosy Chamoun, Catering Sales Manager, at 202-730-1241 or rchamoun@modushotelsdc.com

Getting there

  • Cross Street: 23rd, New Hampshire & L
  • Public Transit: Foggy Bottom Metro Station
  • Parking: Valet
  • Parking Details: Complimentary valet parking for diners 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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Circle Bistro reviews from OpenTable diners
51 reviews since July 24, 2014
Overall Rating3.8
  • Food3.8
    Service3.9
  • Ambiance3.6
    Noise LevelQuiet
89% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (21)fit for foodies (19)special occasion (11)great for lunch (8)romantic (6)good for groups (6)notable wine list (3)late-night find (3)great for brunch (2)great for outdoor dining (2)vibrant bar scene (1)Show More
  • Slow
    lw51
    Dined on 11/14/2014
    The food was mostly excellent, but it took 35 minutes after we finished appetizers for the entrees to arrive. The gnocchi was mushy, like it had been sitting around for a long time.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ace1
    Dined on 11/12/2014
    Duck dinner portion was plentiful and well prepared. Scallops were delicious, however, serving only 3 on the plate was very disappointing. The sweet potato puree was a shock. What I could get with my spoon tasted very good, but it was not a helping so much as a very thin garnish that looked pretty for plating. I ordered assuming it would be a reasonable side dish. The wine was excellent and the server and staff wonderfully attentive. It's a nice dining experience before taking in a show at the Kennedy Center. I will go back.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Pretty show dinner
    ate2much
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    They have a pre-show deal for $35 that includes a salad, entree and dessert. Ten minute walk to Kennedy Center. 2 out of 3 of our meals were excellent. The third (pork tenderloin with prosciutto) was burned, tough, and sour tasting. Service was not great, but we're pretty sure our waiter was on his first day. Our table was comfortable, noise level was low. We would definitely go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice place for conversation
    Ken28dec
    Dined on 11/4/2014
    I met a group of old friends for dinner at Circle Bistro. The restaurant is in the lower level of the Washington Circle Hotel. There's not much of a view, but the interior is comfortable. We found a reasonable Cabernet Sauvingnon and was able to have great conversation with out need to raise our voices; the ambient noise was low. Food was good; I had the salmon with finger potatoes -- excellent flavor in the seasoning on the food, but not overpowering.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • operagourmet
    Dined on 11/4/2014
    Excellent dinner for before the opera or Theater. The duck ravioli was delicious, as was the carpaccio appetizer.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good and Not So Good
    AndyVIP
    Dined on 11/2/2014
    Our appetizer was very good (tuna tartare). Our salads were very good. Our entrees were *not* very good (seafood cassoulet and seared scallops). The dessert was nice (cheese board). The service was a little informal but attentive. The room could not be more generic. I would not object to eating here again but it would not be my first choice, not by a long shot.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Pre-theater dining
    Anne
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    Great place for pre-theater dining. Service was very at tentative to time issues but we were not rushed.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • disappointing food preparation
    BethesdaDiner2
    Dined on 10/31/2014
    while the proscuitto wrapped pork tenderloin and gnocchi with wild boar ragu were excellent, the scallops and beef bourguignon were very disappointing.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Fall menu incredible
    TonyTowler
    Dined on 10/30/2014
    Pre theater dinner of venison carpaccio and pumpkin gnocchi! YUMMERS!! That was several nights ago and I can still taste the dinner. It was just outstanding. Have had dinner here many times and it never disappoints.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Good Food but where is everyone?
    Eisen
    Dined on 9/30/2014
    We were from out of town and our hotel recommended this location, walking distance. On this Tuesday night, the restaurant was almost empty so we were seated immediately. The server let us know the several items that they had run out of. This aside, what we ordered was nicely served and presented and fresh and flavorful. We had cocktails, salads, entrees and desserts with seasonal ingredients. I'd do back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice restau
    Yan14
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    Deco and music could be improved. But the location is good, the server was really nice and food was good.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Eh
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 9/24/2014
    I want to like Circle Bistro. It has a great location, but the food and service just don't cut it.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Hidden gem!
    Lee41VIP
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    Fine variety in menu offerings [esp since hotel guests must be served...,] v.g. preparation, attentive service -- and moderately priced. At least as good as district Commons, just around the circle and NOT noisy! We'll go again when we're south of the West End for theatre/concerts.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Meh
    Mmsjjk
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    Coffee on a Sunday was warm bordering on cool, service was in attentive though it was not busy. We had to ask for water, the soup came out only a couple minutes before the entree and no refills on coffee were offered. The food was good though.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Nothing Special
    GiataVIP
    Dined on 9/2/2014
    Don't waste your time. Plenty of other outstanding restaurants in DC to try.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Smooth sailing among rough seas
    taste2tell
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    When we arrived at Circle Bistro the host did not seem to be expecting us. the tables for 3-4 were all taken and they had to put 2 small tables together. We sat and waited more than a few minutes to place a drink order and noticed other patrons complaining, leaving without food and a large party with children yelling at a wait staff. We thought maybe we should leave and cut our losses. Our order was taken promptly. After a few minutes my daughter actually changed her mind and order, and in no time at all our meals were in front us us just as ordered. The food was delicious and well presented. We expected to wait a long time after what we witnessed, but not so. Clearly not a menu for young children. We enjoyed it and will return.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Delightful experience
    bajaVIP
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    We dined ahead of a Saturday night show at the Kennedy Center. There was only one other party in the restaurant, which is a shame because the food and service were wonderful. The staff was attentive without being overpowering, and the pacing got us out of there without feeling rushed.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great Pre-theatre Experience!
    TheLetterB
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    An early evening reservation meant we were some of the first customers to arrive. Parking was very easy thanks to the valet service, which was complementary with dinner. The staff was very welcoming. The appetizers we ordered (a grilled peach salad and tuna tartare with superb potato chips) were excellent. A glass of Pinot noir paired well with the black angus burger, which was perfectly cooked. The gnocchi was a little short on flavor compared to other dishes we enjoyed, but was also perfectly cooked. A delicious peach cobbler to end the evening was a sweet finish. Overall a fantastic experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • first rate pre-theater menu
    RegularDiner
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    Interesting choices and affordable prices. Gets you in and out in a reasonable time, and there is a shuttle to the Kennedy Center just across the circle. Good selection of wine by the glass. Service was pleasant but uneven.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not that impressed
    DCWorker
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    This restaurant got some pretty good reviews, which is why we tried it. The service was excellent, but the food was not impressive. It was cooked well, but it felt more diner than anything.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Worried
    Rena
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    This wonderful restaurant was empty when we came on Friday evening at 7:15. The room was warm because the air hadn't been turned on. Part of the dining area was closed off. What's happening? The service and food were the usual high quality. We very much hope that Circle Bistro will get the support and clientele it needs to continue. It's always been a favorite of ours when we go to the Kennedy Center.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Our New Go-To!
    DrDina
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    My husband, Mom and I had the pleasure of dining here last Saturday before our Lion King date at Kennedy Center. What a great meal! Max, the manager, was amazing and helpful, and our waiter, Jeremy, was so sweet. Everything we ate was delish and presented so nicely! We shared arugula salad with grilled peaches and goat cheese...to die for! Then, beef carpaccio, tuna tar tar, and chilled melon soup apps. All were mouthwatering! Dinner was tuna seared with panko over an eggplant and raisin concoction of some sort. DELISH! Tuna was perfectly seared. Mom/hubby both had the homemade spinach papardelle with veal and mushrooms. They both raved! Coffee was outstanding, and my chocolate cake with cappuccino gelato was the perfect ending.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 29 ratings-only reviews submitted since July 24, 2014
    • Overall Rating3.9
    • Food3.8
    • Ambiance3.7
    • Service4
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 754 reviews are from the Circle Bistro reviews archive.
  • A gem in Foggy Bottom
    FrequentDiner
    Dined on 7/24/2014
    Meeting friends for dinner at Circle Bistro was an inspired choice. The calm and relaxed atmosphere allowed for quiet conversation. The waiters were attentive without hovering. The highlight of the evening was the food. The melon soup was perfectly chilled and delicious; the peach salad showcased a melange of flavors that were truly greater than the sum of their parts. The gnocchi was excellent, the crab cakes were well done, and the salmon, with the confit jam and cornbread was thoroughly satisfying. We ended our meal with a shared sorbet, which was a delightful palate cleanser and topped off our evening. Now that we've found this hidden gem in Foggy Bottom, we will definitely return.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Undiscovered Gem
    Gevans4503VIP
    Dined on 7/15/2014
    Circle Bistro is near work, and the menu and pricing appealed to me. We found a lovely little restaurant with a friendly staff and creative food selections, yet it was virtually empty! Just 1 table was occupied when we arrived, a few filled in later. The waitress's suggestions let me to an app and salad vs entree: delicious corn chowder and amazing tomato and watermelon salad (yellow watermelon - who knew? Same taste, less 'watery'). My guest's burger was prepared to her liking, and we had desserts, too YUM!. I recommend Circle Bistro to Washington Circle/Foggy Bottom diners who seek a quieter yet classy option to the hyper-busy and noisier restaurants south of the Circle. Enjoy (we did!)
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Horrible lunch food and service
    NSLD
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    Place empty when I arrived. Ordered ceaser salad no croutons (allergy). Salad full of croutons mixed in so I had to pick them out. My host ordered linguini with d mussels. There were 5 small mussels. One had a shell not opened. I can't belueve they served it. Another shell was empty. 5 hand placed on the salad so there is no excuse. Server took order. Three min later came back and asked if we were ready to order . confused us with the only other party in the room. Midway a different server started serving us. No explanation. Completely amateurish and possibly spoiled food.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Perfect pre-theatre.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 6/13/2014
    Had a wonderful pre theatre meal - absolutely delicious and very thoughtful service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Pleasant but not outstanding
    NickyB
    Dined on 5/30/2014
    We had the prix fixe menu. The salmon was excellent, the chicken was pretty routine. The cocktails were very good; didn't skimp on the alcohol. The service was attentive and friendly. Asparagus soup was starchy but had a great presentation. Overall, we enjoyed it and would return.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Greenie
    GreenieVIP
    Dined on 5/23/2014
    We all had sandwiches...they were tasty but nothing special. Felt the service was less than great...had to ask for things more than once.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • operagourmet
    Dined on 5/13/2014
    I have eaten here many times, and continue to return. On this last visit, the management had changed since our previous visit, or so I heard. The food was excellent as always, and creatively presented. The old practice of offering a 3-course pre-theater prix-fixe menu had been reinstated, to my pleasure, after a few years without it. The servers were coutreous and conscientious, although they lacked the self-confidence that I had come to expect. The only mishap was that the after-dinner coffee was delivered lukewarm. This was corrected cheerfully.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Quick Bite
    midweekdiner
    Dined on 5/8/2014
    Dropped by the restaurant for an appetizer or two prior to seeing a show at the Kennedy Center. The food was quite good as was the service. Hit the spot.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • New menu
    MorrVIP
    Dined on 4/22/2014
    Good food. New ideas. SLOW kitchen and service, even when restaurant is not at all busy
    Special Features:
    Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Food and service
    MorrVIP
    Dined on 4/17/2014
    Excekkent food. menu has become a bit more expensive. Waitress seemed confused. She blamed it on the new menu, but she may have been a bit preoccupied. There were only 3 tables filled that afternoon. The restaurant deserves more guests.
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch, Fit For Foodies, Great for Lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • I booked the restaurant for
    NickP
    Dined on 4/10/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Overpriced in Foggy Bottom
    GWprofVIP
    Dined on 4/4/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Quite good, but some flaws
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004
    Dined on 4/2/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Unfortunately in the 5 or
    DDinerVIP
    Dined on 4/2/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Poor experience
    SaurkrautVIP
    Dined on 4/1/2014
    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!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • For Hotel Guests Only
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 3/22/2014
    In other words, eat here only if you are a hotel guest and don't have any other options.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Birthday dinner
    Steppermom
    Dined on 3/16/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • I take guests there when I
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 2/27/2014
    I take guests there when I want a chance to talk and enjoy good food. Nice bar also.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.