The life of the original cork dork, Thomas Jefferson, is celebrated at The Jefferson, a 99-room property just blocks from the White House. Don’t miss dinner at the historic hotel’s restaurant, Plume, home to a vintage wine collection of more than 1,300 bottles, including a 1947 Cheval Blanc.
The tony St. Regis offers a butler service, Alain Ducasse’s Adour restaurant and a nightly Champagne sabering ritual in the lobby. Washington’s cherry blossoms are saluted at the modern Park Hyatt Washington. The hotel’s famed restaurant, Blue Duck Tavern (said to be one of the Obamas’ favorites), is known for its stunning open kitchen, plus its apple pie and Masters of Wine Program.
Wine & Food
If (and when) you rise a tad foggy, steal this trick from the famously hard-drinking Congressional staffers: Make a beeline for the hangovereasing dim sum brunch at Wolfgang Puck’s The Source. Be sure to try the pork belly dumplings and turnip cakes with Szechuan sweet soy.
For dinner, local and sustainable is the name of the game at Ripple, a cozy neighborhood restaurant in Cleveland Park. In addition to a well-crafted wine list, which includes more than 350 bottles and 50 by-the-glass options, Ripple’s three sommeliers created the Fall of Rhône menu, which showcases wines from the Rhône Valley, alongside dishes like rabbit boudin with crispy pork belly and green peanut cassoulet.
Across town in Penn Quarter, small plates like beef pho terrine and toro of Block Island swordfish
reign supreme at Proof, which offers an extensive wine list and innovative cocktails. Rasika, and its younger sister, Rasika West End, are favorites among budget-minded gastronomes for their signature dishes Palak Chaat (crispy baby spinach with sweet yogurt, tamarind and date chutney) and Cauliflower Bezule.
Led by former Hollywood location scout Cindi Hobgood, the Memorials by Moonlight Expedition is one of the best ways to take in the history of Washington crowd-free.
After you get your fill of history, fill your head with some hops at Birch & Barley, which boasts an eye-popping menu of more than 500 artisanal beers. Pair your selections with its farmstead cheese and charcuterie plates.