Circa du Soso

Circa at Dupont

I’m a relative newcomer to DC, but never have I heard anyone say, “Boy, that Wrap Works was amazing! I’m sure going to miss it.” It was usually along the lines of, “Thank God Wrap Works is finally gone!” And lucky for us, it wasn’t replaced by some chain restaurant or coffee shop. Instead a new restaurant with much promise has: Circa at Dupont.

Located at Connecticut and Q, directly opposite the Dupont Circle Metro station, Circa is one of the best new neighborhood restaurants I’ve been to in quite some time. Some of my favorite restaurants in the area are Bistro du Coin, Hank’s Oyster Bar, and Urbana, but Circa may soon be added to that list. It has every quality that I look for in a restaurant: tasty food, a nice selection of wine (and other drinks), a beautiful decor, and a great location.

I have to admit, my first meal there was not as good as I’d hope it would be. I ordered the Halibut, which was served on top of some risotto and topped with a sweet demiglase sauce. The fish itself was excellent, but the risotto was so rich, and I could have done with half of the sweet sauce. My girlfriend ordered a gorgonzola salad and asked if she could add steak to it. “Sure,” said the waitress, not really knowing what she was talking about. She later came out and told us that it would cost us as much as the strip steak ($24) plus another $2 for the salad. Uh, I don’t think so. I had an excellent glass of Grenache ($6), although I had to send my glass back due to it being disgustingly dirty.

Now I’ll admit, I’m no food critic. As you may know by now, I’m a huge fan of Lauriol Plaza which many people despise. It’s not like the Washington Post is knocking down my door to hire me. But as someone who knows tasty food when it hits my mouth, I’m very excited to have Circa in my neighborhood. Given its small size, I wouldn’t be surprised if they too have hour long waits in the near future.

Not only is Circa a restaurant, but they also sell coffee and pastries, and have a full drinking bar as well. According to our waitress, their plan is to stop serving food at 10 PM, crank up the music a bit, and start serving “lighter fare”.

So if you’re looking to try out a new restaurant, be sure to set Circa at Dupont in your sites. Once they get the kinks worked out I’m sure it will be a great place for all to enjoy.

9 Comments so far

  1. Peter (unregistered) on April 19th, 2007 @ 6:21 am

    Huh. I liked WrapWorks, but I haven’t worked in Dupont Circle in six years, so I guess I won’t really miss it.

  2. Wayan (unregistered) on April 19th, 2007 @ 9:44 am

    Max, I question your resturant choices. I liked Wrap Works because it offered the perfect food for an afternoon in Dupont Circle: burritos and frozen drinks.

    Another no-take-away spot right next to the Circle does not thrill me. Let’s just hope it doesn’t go all Raku crapu on us.

  3. Max (unregistered) on April 19th, 2007 @ 10:10 am

    Wow, 2 people who liked Crap Works! I stand corrected. If only a few more of you had paid them a visit, they’d still be in business.

    I think Circa can also offer perfect food for an afternoon in Dupont (burger and beer maybe?), AND offer food for an evening in Dupont. And breakfast too! It’s got all bases covered.

    As far as I know, almost every restaurant does take away. You call them, order your food, and go pick it up. The Inn at Little Washington probably doesn’t offer this service though.

  4. LROB (unregistered) on April 19th, 2007 @ 1:08 pm

    I’m with Max on this one. I live 2 blocks away and am thrilled to have Circa in my hood. I ate there on what turned out to be opening night and LOVED IT! I’m taking 2 more friends there tonight. Regardless of where you stand on the WrapWorks debate, you should give Circa at try.

  5. BillyO (unregistered) on April 20th, 2007 @ 11:29 am

    Great newcomer to Dupont. I had lived there for 6 years, and Circa offers what others don’t – good food, affordable prices, cool atmosphere, and so many choices. WrapWorks never could compete. I had lunch yesterday – a terrific shrimp salad, and tasty pizza. The rest of table was equally pleased. We were in and out in under an hour which is also a great thing. I’m sure Max will give Circa a break – having only been open 2 or 3 days, it’s normal to have some uncertainty. I bet this weekend the outdoor seating area will be the place to be. I wish I could move back to Dupont and closer to Circa.

  6. FoodGuy (unregistered) on April 21st, 2007 @ 2:20 pm

    Ate at Circa last night. There were six of us, we each had something different, tried a nice array of appetizers. The appetizers were all home runs. Pizza was phenomenal. Agree 100% with Max on the halibut. The fish was wonderful, the rissoto was too pasty and there was too much of it.

    GREAT drinks. Try the infused vodkas. I love the pineapple vodka.

    Desserts also terrific. We each got something different. Lots of gelato. Great taste, very light. This place will be here for a while…

  7. Mario (unregistered) on April 25th, 2007 @ 12:59 pm

    All we need is another mediocre, overpriced restaurant. Not everybody in the neighborhood is wealthy. WW wasn’t great, but it was fresh, servicable and under $10–a dying breed in this city. I don’t mind shelling out serious cash for a good meal (Mendocino in G’town in worth every penny), but this place is a joke. I gave it a shot on 22 April. My steak was an abomination at $25. Not only was it severely over cooked, but the butcher must have taken the day off as there was more gristle and silver skin than a $5 dollar Safeway roast. I suspect Wrap Works left and this place came in becasue of a huge increase in the location’s rent. I’ll let toursits and other suckers help Circa out.

  8. Ben (unregistered) on April 26th, 2007 @ 2:41 pm

    That seems a tad harsh, Mario. Perhaps you shouldn’t have aimed so high and ordered the $25 steak on your first visit? Circa’s prices for the more “casual fare (pizzas, sandwiches, burgers, salads, etc.) are right in line with what you would expect to pay. Personally, I wouldn’t go to Circa looking for a good steak–no more than I’d go to Zorba’s looking for a good pizza, either. At any rate, I wouldn’t call anyone patronizing Circa a “sucker”. I guess it just comes down to expectations.

  9. cd (unregistered) on April 30th, 2007 @ 8:38 am

    couldn’t agree more about Circa but to be honest, i think it’s just a matter of time before people are lined up around the block because in such a small place, and they have done a lot with it, it’s a matter of time.

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