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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.circlebistro.com
  • Phone: (202) 293-5390
  • Hours of Operation: Breakfast: Daily : 7am - 10:30am
    Lunch: Daily : 11am - 2pm;
    Dinner: Daily : 5pm - 10pm
    Happy Hour Daily: 5pm - 8pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Contemporary American, 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 (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, 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
  • "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."
    Dined on 7/24/2014
  • "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!)"
    Dined on 7/15/2014
  • " 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."
    Dined on 7/11/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 5/30/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 5/23/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 5/13/2014
  • "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. "
    Dined on 5/8/2014
  • "Good food. New ideas. SLOW kitchen and service, even when restaurant is not at all busy"
    Dined on 4/22/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 4/17/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 4/10/2014
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "Food was good, beautiful presentation , nice wait staff!"
    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
  • "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
  • "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 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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "very convenient for Kennedy Center performances - nice atmosphere. very small but nice. food was very good as well"
    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