Named one of the Hottest Restaurants in the World by Food & Wine Magazine, CityZen adds a sophisticated and inventive culinary flair to D.C.’s dining scene. Chef Eric Ziebold crafts a crowd pleasing menu of modern American food that includes dishes like Bone Marrow Bread Pudding, Phyllo-wrapped Veal Sweetbreads, and Duck Sausage Stew. Check into the bar and lounge to sample an artisanal martini served in a hand-blown glass or imbibe one of CityZen's 700 wine offerings. Expert service, elegant décor, and great food make this a supreme spot for a special night out. Reservations are recommended. CityZen's dress code is business casual, but no jeans are allowed in the restaurant.
Just a hop-skip from the White House, the historic Old Ebbitt Grill is the go-to spot for politicos and other capital city denizens. This is old-school D.C. at its best, with mahogany and velvet booths, gas-lit brass lamps, beveled glass, and a long bar suitable for mingling and sharing political secrets. The huge space has different dining sections to accommodate almost any mood, from elegant, to romantic, to casual. The menu is wide ranging, too, with everything from sandwiches to full-on entrees. The Old Ebbitt Grill aims to use local, sustainably raised meats and produce. Some diners think their burgers are the best on the eastern seaboard. Old Ebbitt is open every day for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and brunch.
Gadsby's Tavern has been in business since 1770, so they must be doing something right. With attentive service and an authentic old-school atmosphere, you can depend on Gadsby's to serve you hearty food without too much fuss. Be sure to make a reservation, as the space only holds a maximum of nine tables. Start out with some fried oysters or the hot Smithfield Ham biscuits with Mascarpone cheese and a lush raspberry puree spread. Customers swear by the perfectly prepared prime rib with whipped potatoes. The whiskey chicken with red beans is a testament to poultry perfection.
138 N. Royal Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
This is an unusual chain restaurant—it has three branches, one in Los Angeles, one in Oxon Hill, and one in . . . Riyadh, Saudi Arabia—there really couldn't be three more different places. The mission of Ketchup is to serve up classic American foods with a gourmet 21st-century twist. This kind of modern comfort food has become a major trend in the American restaurant scene, and judging from the crowds that pack into Ketchup every night they’re doing it right. If you’ve ever wanted a martini mixed with Kool-Aid or Yoo-Hoo, this is the place for you. Check out the Barking Dogs—a pair of luxe Kobe beef hot dogs, slathered in chili and melted cheese. Of course, the place makes its own ketchup in-house, in a variety of flavors. Some diners complain that the place is a little overpriced for what you’re getting, but that’s to be expected at a a trendy, hot spot.
152 Waterfront Street
Oxon Hill, MD 20745