Gilt City Curator’s 10 Best Washington, DC Restaurants and Bars For Politician Spotting

Leah Bourne
Gilt City Curator’s 10 Best Washington, DC Restaurants and Bars For Politician Spotting
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With the election upon us, Washington, DC is easily one of the most buzzed about cities at the moment. No trip to the Capitol would be complete without rubbing elbows with powerful politicos. To find out where Washington, DC’s power set likes to let loose, we consulted with the ultimate insider, Gilt City DC Senior Curator, Marissa Schneider. From the restaurant where Bill and Hillary celebrate their birthdays to the velvet rope lounge favored by Capitol Hill staffers, Schneider’s picks are not to be missed. Want to know where President Obama picks up sandwiches? Schneider knows where to go for that too.
Be sure to tell us in the comments below, what are you favorite spots in Washington, DC?

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CAFE MILANO: "Bill and Hillary have celebrated their birthdays at this Georgetown Italian spot," Gilt City DC Senior Curator, Marissa Schneider, shares. "In fact, I’ve personally met them there, in addition to celebs and politicos like Brad and Angelina, Catherine Zeta and Michael Douglas, many ambassadors, Andrea Mitchell and Alan Greenspan, Sharon Stone, and more!" 3251 Prospect Street; cafemilano.net. 

OLD EBBITT GRILL: "With a history predating the Civil War, this historic oyster house and DC salon was founded in 1856 in a prime downtown DC location nearby the White House," Schneider says. "Insider tip—meet at one of the small corner tables for a power breakfast and you’ll find yourself surrounded by lobbyists, politicos and journalists. The perfect spot for date night or meeting friends, it’s hard to go wrong with a restaurant that counts Presidents Grant, Cleveland, Harding and Theodore Roosevelt as its most loyal customers." 675 15th Street; ebbitt.com

BOUNDARY ROAD: "Three weeks after opening in March, The Obamas visited this H Street hotspot," says Schneider. 414 H Street; boundaryrd.com

BOURBON STEAK: "I once saw Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger at this Georgetown swanky staple," Schneider says. "[It's] a very popular power lunch spot, the restaurant gives the classic steakhouse a modern twist." 2800 Pennsylvania Avenue; bourbonsteakdc.com

WE THE PIZZA AND GOOD STUFF EATERY: "Both of Chef Spike Mendelsohn’s restaurants, located in the Hill, are go-to spots for the politicos," shares Schneider. "President Obama and his family have been seen at both restaurants on multiple occasions—and Chef Mendelsohn has even named burgers at Good Stuff after the President and First Lady!" 303 and 305 Pennsylvania Avenue; goodstuffeatery.com

P.O.V. AT THE W HOTEL: "W Hotels made its first foray into the District when it renovated the beloved Hotel Washington, across the street from the Treasury—making it an easy location for White House staffers to haunt after work," Schneider says. "P.O.V. is the W’s recreation of Hotel Washington’s popular roof deck, with culinary concepts by Jean-Georges, seasonally rotating craft cocktails, and a signature ice program that pairs drinks with house made ice spheres. No matter the weather or time of year, locals and guests alike cross the velvet ropes to be escorted eleven floors to the roof deck, which offers the city’s best views of downtown and the monuments. The stylish crowd represents the DC cross-section at its best: On any given night, you might rub shoulders with a cabinet secretary, West Wing staffer or visiting celebrity." 515 15th Street; pointofviewdc.com

SHELLY'S BACK ROOM: "Located downtown, Shelly’s is the perfect spot for cigar aficionados, and their friends," Schneider says. "Conveniently located right by the capital—it tends to be a great spot for the politicos to catch up over their favorite indulgence." 1331 F Street; shellysbackroom.com

SONOMA RESTAURANT AND WINE BAR: "Directly up Pennsylvania Ave from the Capital building in Capitol Hill, this lively bistro combines craft cocktails with a delicious menu in a warm, inviting atmosphere," says Schneider. "This is a Gilt City DC favorite." 223 Pennsylvania Avenue; sonomadc.com

TAYLOR GOURMET: "Another President Obama favorite, with four locations in DC, this sandwich place always delivers," Schneider says. "On a recent visit he [Obama] was joined by quite the group of Capitol Hill insiders including the administrator of the Small Business Association. His order? A 12-inch Spruce Street turkey hoagie, prepared with prosciutto, roasted red peppers, and provolone." 485 K Street; taylorgourmet.com

THE CAPITAL GRILLE: "This insider spot needs no explanation, whether a politico needs a place off of Capitol Hill for a power lunch or post-work cocktail, or they’re simply looking to impress, this where you’ll find them," Schneider says. 601 Pennsylvania Avenue; thecapitalgrille.com

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