My, what a large horse sculpture. Barracks Row. Oct 1-22 2016

An Iliad performs Wednesdays – Saturdays, Oct 1-22. Top ticket price $17.

Spend an evening like classical elite in a hopping entertainment zone many visitors miss. Barracks Row, south of D St SE mostly along 8th St SE, is full of everyday shopping, sturdy neighborhood eateries, and some high tone restaurants serving multi-course meals intended to provide your whole evening’s entertainment. You’ll probably see Marines in gleaming dress uniforms mixing with other locals. (Metro: Eastern Market)

We’re starting you with Mediterranean classics with local twists thrown in (like a lamb half smoke that won a competition for best lamb dish) at Cava Mezze, a sleek, contemporary space. You could make a fine meal out of two or three of their dips and a plate of grilled octopus with plentiful fresh pita to soak everything up. The bar has good wine and beer and a wide spectrum of liquors if you’re in a cocktail mood. This isn’t quite as fancy or pricey as our usual dinner picks; but it’s so tasty and pleasant we couldn’t resist the thematic relationship to the show tonight. (527 8th St SE, Washington, DC (202) 543-9090 cavamezze.com/capitol-hill)

To go even easier on the budget, hit local Mexican chain District Taco. In addition to the namesake street food available with many fillings and in either flour or corn tortilla, they offer burritos, salads, nachos, and all day breakfast. You can dress whatever you order at their salsa bar which features a variety of flavors and heats. The only adult beverages are bottled beer, but there are plenty of nearby bars if you want something more elaborate to drink before the show. A bunch of our actor friends let us know they treasure this spot when they’re working in the area. (656 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Washington, DC 20003 districttaco.myshopify.com)

Taffety Punk’s An Iliad brings poetry to life with the classical story of an angry general who sits out a battle because he’s dissatisfied with his pay package, and then gets really pissed by what happens next. Actress Esther Williamson will bring you this story, with live musical accompaniment, as though you were hearing it at a party in Plato’s Athens. She’ll put the whole Trojan War in your lap in an intimate theater within an arts center – check out whatever art they have hanging in the gallery which serves as a lobby before the show. This punk rock inspired company has a special genius for bringing classic stories to today’s audience with riveting effect. (Taffety Punk at the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop 545 7th St SE no box office phone taffetypunk.com/shows/catalog/TPUNK048/An-Iliad.html)

You may have eyeballed a bar you liked over on 8th St SE while headed to dinner – if so, feel free to drink there. This neighborhood is well supplied with good places. We’ll make our official recommendation Tunnicliff’s Tavern. It makes the list because it is a frequent post-show destination for Taffety Punk artists and audiences. We’ve toasted many fine performances there over the years, and want to welcome you into that club. However, if you pick off Esther or somebody from the band in the CHAW lobby on the way out, feel free to ask where they’re going and whether you can hear how they’re feeling about the show. The ability to chat with the artists whose work you just saw is one of the things that can make live theatre more fun than a movie. (222 7th St SE, Washington, DC)