Top Power Dining Spots in D.C.
Photo By: FrozenShutter
Photo By: Greg Powers ©Greg Powers Photography
©Photo by Scott Suchman
Top Power Dining Spots in D.C.
Washington, D.C., is a city that’s all about resumes and who’s who. Want to know where the power players break bread (when they’re not lunching at the White House or the Senate dining room, that is)? Check out our guide to the top power dining spots in D.C.
By Monica Bhide
Images courtesy of the restaurants (Fiola Mare, Bombay Club, BLT Steak, Bourbon Steak, Mintwood Place, Komi), Anthony Jackson (Osteria Morini), Greg Powers (Del Campo), Pablo De Loy (Oyamel)
3050 K St. NW
D.C. has had a serious love affair with Chef Fabio Trabocchi’s authentic Italian cuisine for many years. Following his success with Fiola and Casa Luca, Chef Trabocchi recently opened a Mediterranean seafood restaurant, Fiola Mare. Located on the banks of the Potomac in Georgetown, this is the place to be seen these days. The menu is filled with enticing seafood options, and the lobster ravioli wows diners on a regular basis. Fiola Mare is in a class of its own: a beautiful setting with the who’s who of D.C. dining next to you.
Must-Try: oysters and caviar topped with Prosecco zabaglione
Sightings: Michelle Obama, Valerie Jarrett, Susan Rice, Steven Tyler
2800 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Everything about Michael Mina's elegant D.C. steakhouse spells chic: It is located at the Four Seasons Hotel in stylish Georgetown, and serves up a contemporary menu featuring not just luxurious steaks but artistic salads and remarkable seafood options. And, of course, it is always filled with movers and shakers.
Must-Try Items: Try Bourbon Steak's clarified butter-poached bone-in rib eye, and the complimentary rolls alone are worth going for, say regulars.
Sightings: Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Owen Wilson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Cher
The Bombay Club
815 Connecticut Ave. NW
A stone’s throw away from the White House, this gorgeous Indian restaurant offers classic regional Indian cuisine and live music nightly. The large, airy dining room, adorned with potted palms, circling fans and a bright-blue ceiling, opens onto a patio overlooking Lafayette Park. If you cannot decide what to order, because every dish on the menu sounds delectable, order the thali, a traditional platter that serves small portions of a variety of dishes from the menu.
Must-Try Items: crispy kale chat (salad) topped with a date and tamarind chutney; mildly spiced khubani duck with apricots and cashews; and, of course, the thali
Sightings: Bill Clinton, Paul Simon
301 Water St. SE
Located in the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood, close to baseball’s Nationals Park, this branch of the popular New York restaurant instantly won the hearts of Washingtonians with its in-house pastas, a fabulous wine list and unmatched waterfront views.
Must-Try Items: almost any of the pastas; polpettine (small mortadella and prosciutto meatballs); wood-grilled veal chop with pancetta cream
Sightings: Janet Yellen, Maxine Waters, Nancy Pelosi, John Boehner
777 I St. NW
The stars of the South American menu here are the meats, and the chef loves to grill and smoke them in many different ways. Wait, wait, vegetarians! While Chef Victor Albisu may be a magician with meat, he also works his charms with vegetables, making them even more vibrant with “burnt” flavors: Haricot verts with burnt butter or the charred beet salad with goat cheese are just delightful.
Must-Try Items: The grilled octopus causa is the most-popular dish on the menu. Or try the civito — a popular Argentinean sandwich piled high with seared rib eye, mortadella, ham, olives, provolone, heart of palm and a fried egg.
Sightings: Michelle Obama, Ben Feldman, Kathleen Turner, Chelsea Handler
1813 Columbia Rd. NW
Located in the Adams Morgan neighborhood, Mintwood Place dishes out culinary delights accented with French flavors. This charming and bustling restaurant has the spirit of a neighborhood restaurant, but the level of the food is nothing short of what you would experience in one of D.C.’s finest eateries. The chef, Cedric Maupillier, has an impressive resume, having worked with some of D.C.’s best culinary talent, including Chefs Michel Richard and Fabio Trabocchi.
Must-Try Items: escargot hush puppies; Burrata and kale salad with hazelnut and tamarind for starters
Sightings: President and Mrs. Obama, Elena Kagan
1625 I Street NW
As the name suggests, meats are the focus of the menu, but truly, the seafood dishes will steal your heart! There is even a raw bar with great selections. Chef Jeremy Shelton is kicking up the menu a notch with innovative dishes featuring oysters and scallops. And, yes, the steaks are very good indeed. Keep an eye on their blackboard menu, as it changes about twice a week with specials.
Must-Try: Gruyère cheese popovers
Sightings: John Boehner, Bill Daley, Vanessa Williams, Blair Underwood and Cicely Tyson. President Obama took first lady Michelle here for 48th birthday.
1509 17th St NW
The description — or lack thereof — on the website of this D.C. gem is deceiving. It tells you that there are no printed menus, they do not accommodate groups larger than four and no photos are allowed inside. What they don’t tell you is that this is the place to come if you want to be pampered and want to see what has held the heart of D.C. food lovers captive for many years now. One taste and you will know why James Beard Award-winning chef Johnny Monis is one of D.C.’s most-loved culinary figures.
Must-Try: In all seriousness, you must try whatever Chef Monis is cooking up for the season. You won’t regret it at all.
Sightings: President and Mrs. Obama
401 7th St. NW
Truly, you cannot go wrong dining at any José Andrés establishment in D.C. — Zaytinya, Jaleo, Minibar or Oyamel. They all seem to be based on same principle: Great ingredients in the hands of creative chefs produce memorable meals. Bright and pulsating, Oyamel is the place to meet your friends for drinks, kick off your shoes, and prepare to dine in delight on classic and contemporary Mexican fare.
Must-Try Items: definitely memorable, unusual grasshopper tacos; tableside-prepared guacamole; potato fries in a mole poblano sauce
Sightings: President and Mrs. Obama, Sonia Sotomayor