Circle Bistro
Circle Bistro

Circle Bistro

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.circlebistro.com/
  • Phone: 2022935390x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Breakfast: Daily : 7am - 10:30am
    Lunch: Daily : 11:30 am - 2:30 pm;
    Dinner: Daily : 5pm - 10pm
    Happy Hour Daily: 5pm - 8pm
  • 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: 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.
  • Entertainment: Visit our page at www.circlebistro.com to stay up to date with events and specials.
  • Special Events: Visit our page at www.circlebistro.com to stay up to date with events and specials.
    For Catering or Private Event inquiries, 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: Hotel Parking
  • 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
34 reviews since June 2, 2014
Overall Rating3.7
  • Food3.7
    Service4
  • Ambiance3.6
    Noise LevelQuiet
94% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (14)fit for foodies (11)special occasion (8)great for lunch (7)romantic (6)good for groups (3)notable wine list (3)great for brunch (2)great for outdoor dining (2)late-night find (2)vibrant bar scene (1)Show More
  • Good place on a cold night
    magooVIP
    Dined on 1/25/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • My personal favourite!
    HedgehogVIP
    Dined on 1/24/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, vibrant bar scene, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice experience
    LoveDC
    Dined on 1/19/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • We ate at Circle Bistro before
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 1/18/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent food, quiet atmosphere
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 1/17/2014
    I find this to be a very good restaurant for a business lunch or a nice dinner with your significant other.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • On a visit to DC this was
    sen2007VIP
    Dined on 1/13/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Don't Go for Brunch
    Ruth
    Dined on 1/4/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Prompt servicve, coctkails
    DaveD
    Dined on 12/22/2013
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Mixed review...
    Mike
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Get for pre-theatre dining
    diner99
    Dined on 12/21/2013
    very convenient for Kennedy Center performances - nice atmosphere. very small but nice. food was very good as well
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Relatively quiet in a busy area
    cfullerVIP
    Dined on 12/17/2013
    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.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Hoppy Hour
    Natwit
    Dined on 12/13/2013
    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...
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • A fine Thanksgiving feast
    wellserved
    Dined on 11/28/2013
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice experience
    AmeriguyVIP
    Dined on 11/27/2013
    All three of our meals were really tasty and beautifully presented. Service was very good. Cozy space.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Hidden gem in Washington Circle
    AK91reviewsVIP
    Dined on 11/25/2013
    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!!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, late-night find, neighborhood gem, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food, great service.
    DCFineDiner
    Dined on 11/22/2013
    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!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very Pleased
    RCfromDCVIP
    Dined on 11/21/2013
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very pleasant, good service
    jzzerbabe
    Dined on 11/3/2013
    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
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Kitchen Problems
    alan9054
    Dined on 11/2/2013
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Lovely dinner
    CamefromMD
    Dined on 10/31/2013
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Stay Away
    StayAwayVIP
    Dined on 10/13/2013
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The staff was very attentive
    ReviewerVIP
    Dined on 10/6/2013
    The staff was very attentive and accomodating. It was a nice experience.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Fabulous pre-theatre
    IrnieVIP
    Dined on 10/6/2013
    This is one of several pre-theatre dinners we have had at Circle Bistro. Each time the welcome by the hotel staff when they parked our car (free valet) to the welcome from the hotel staff when we entered has been super nice. The staff at the restaurant has been most accommodating.and pleasant. The food and wine choices have been generous and delicious.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food and great service.
    Frank
    Dined on 10/5/2013
    Great food and great service. Complimentary valet parking and very close to Foggy Bottom Metro, GW and close to shuttle to Kennedy Center. Very good for pre-theater or other events at K. Center.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Experience was good. Mussels
    OpentableuserVIP
    Dined on 10/3/2013
    Experience was good. Mussels were full of flavor. Overall a good dinning experience.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent meal
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 7/31/2013
    This was perfect before attending the Kennedy Center. We had a quiet table, great service and a wonderful meal. Can highly recommend the trout dinner and mixed greens salad. We allowed plenty of time to walk back to the Kennedy Center shuttle (another plus for dining at this restaurant). We will definitely return!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • I like Circle Bistro because
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 7/31/2013
    I like Circle Bistro because it is quiet and you can have a lunch meeting or a chat without shouting.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Needed to have a confidential,
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 7/29/2013
    Needed to have a confidential, serious conversation with a colleague in a quiet, noise-free environment. Got exactly that. Food and service great.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, vibrant bar scene, neighborhood gem, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent service and food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008VIP
    Dined on 7/24/2013
    This is my go-to place when I have business lunch or want to catch up with friends.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food, very convenient
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 7/21/2013
    Went for dinner before a show at the Kennedy Center and it was a great location. Free valet parking where you can leave your car until after the show and a short walk to the Kennedy Center (also a lot of cabs if you don't want to walk). The decor is pretty dated, but the food was awesome. The service was very friendly but incredibly slow and we had to flag down the waiter for everything. We arrived at 5:30 pm and left just after 7:00 pm but didn't have time for an appetizer because no one would take our order. Overall, it would definitely be a recommendation for pre-theater dining.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Pre-show dining opportunity
    richard58
    Dined on 7/7/2013
    We had early reservation for dinner due to show at Kennedy Center. We were first and only diners most of time we were there. Had good appetizers that allowed connection with KC metro bus a block away. Our dinner reservations included valet parking at Circle 1 including the show. It really made for a convenient evening that combined good food and good show.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A Great find in Foggy Bottom!
    LocalFoodieVIP
    Dined on 6/26/2013
    Reviews on Open Table lead us to this little gem where we had extremely attentive service and delicious seasonal food . Our request to close the doors on the noisy private dining room was honored immediately and we were then able to enjoy the rest of the meal. We loved the fresh spring pea soup and all the pasta courses we tried including the lobster mezzaluna, the spinach paperdwlle and the stuffed ravioli. The scallops were perfectly prepared with a delicious glaze. Glad we saved room for the home made sorbets!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good for business lunches
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009VIP
    Dined on 6/21/2013
    Good for business lunches and happy hour. The quinoa salmon salad is my go-to there.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Inventive food AND free valet park
    MLSreality
    Dined on 6/10/2013
    A small menu, but packed with inventive offerings carried off well. My duck breast salad and pork confit were delectable. Service was good, not great (we may have had a new-by). AND you simply pull up to the hotel and the valet parks your car for free if using the restaurant. I'll be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • good for what you get
    flevyVIP
    Dined on 6/3/2013
    Not fancy; tables a bit too close together, but overall fine for the price.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Nice lunch or dinner spot
    Rockville123
    Dined on 5/30/2013
    We enjoyed our dinner at Circle Bistro. The salads were excellent, as was the service. The lobster mezzaluna was tasty, though quite buttery. Circle Bistro is less crowded than other local spots like Founding Farmers and District Commons, though the the food is just as good (only with a smaller menu).
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fantastic Restaurant
    CMAN
    Dined on 5/18/2013
    Really enjoyed excellent food and great service. The only issue we had was that the tables were so close together that we had a hard time hearing each other over the chatter of our neighbors. Otherwise, a fantastic place that we definitely plan to visit again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Disappointing!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 5/17/2013
    While our food was generally good the service was middling, at best, in that the staff were seemingly undertrained. Seriously, how can one not know the difference between herbal and traditional tea. We also ordered dessert but the ice cream flavor that is paired with it was substituted for another that clearly did not mesh and our waitress made no mention of it when she brought it to our table. We pointed this out to her and she appeared annoyed that we would question her. We thought she might have a stroke when we requested she take it back but she eventually relented. One of the few disappointments we've had during our 3 visits a year in DC.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Circle Bistro was up to its
    operagourmet
    Dined on 5/16/2013
    Circle Bistro was up to its usual standard. Excellent. The Asparagus soup with mussels and andouille was "out of this world". The miso salmon was excellent, too. The food didn't miss a beat, and the service was friendly, attentive, and competent.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Consistently terrific food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 5/16/2013
    Circle Bistro is a neighborhood gem that serves consistently terrific food with a modern, creative twist. It also happens to have the best French fries and burgers in town. The fries have exactly the crispness and flavor they should have, and the brioche bun adds a special note to the dish. So give this restaurant a try if you haven't yet. You won't be disappointed.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate