My Favorite Spot: Georgetown

John Thompson III, the sisters behind Georgetown Cupcake, and four more local experts dish on the neighborhood’s best bets.

By: Sophie Gilbert

Sisters Katherine Kallinis and Sophie LaMontagne of Georgetown Cupcake at their favorite salon with owner Erwin Gomez and hairstylist Rudy Rodriguez. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

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Sisters Sophie LaMontagne and Katherine Kallinis own Georgetown Cupcake (1209 Potomac St., NW), a bakery that draws long lines and sells 3,000 to 5,000 cupcakes a day.

We’re here all day every day, so we pretty much live in sweats. Luckily, Lululemon Athletica (3265 M St., NW; 202-333-1738) is just around the corner. They have free yoga classes every Sunday in a gorgeous space on the second floor.

We go to the Erwin Gomez Salon & Spa (1519 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 202-333-7290) when we need to get our hair done. It’s fantastic—Oprah goes there when she’s in town.

For dinner, we love Bourbon Steak (2800 Pennsylvania Ave., NW; 202-944-2026). We don’t get out much, so when we do, we like to make the most of it. The bar has a great lounge area that is perfect for drinks. We like the martinis and kir royales.

On an ideal day, we’d have brunch at Peacock Cafe (3251 Prospect St., NW; 202-625-2740). The salads are really good, and they have great brunch selections.

Clive Crook is a senior editor of the Atlantic and a contributor to National Journal and the Financial Times. A Brit, he’s lived in Georgetown for four years.

The nice thing about Georgetown is that everything is close by and it has a real neighborhood charm. Georgetown Wine and Spirits (2701 P St., NW; 202-338-5500) is a friendly wine shop. They have regular tastings and events, and they pay attention to what you buy so they can make recommendations.

Morgan Care Pharmacy (3001 P St., NW; 202-337-4100) is an old-fashioned chemist’s shop. It looks like a little old store, but it has a very efficient pharmacy. You get to know the people working there, so there’s a really personal level of service.

If I’m passing by at lunchtime, I’ll often stop at Patisserie Poupon (1645 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 202-342-3248). They have a takeout section at the front and a cafe at the back. They do very nice sandwiches, and they sell a cake called a gâteau breton that is the house specialty and absolutely delicious.

We have a German shepherd, Keisha, and she needs to be walked a lot. Rose Park, right near our house, is ideal. There’s also Rock Creek Park and the C&O Canal nearby.

John Thompson III has been the coach of Georgetown University’s basketball team since 2004. The son of legendary former Georgetown coach John Thompson Jr., “JTIII” led the Hoyas to the NCAA’s Final Four in 2007.

I like the Tombs (1226 36th St., NW; 202-337-6668) for lunch and brunch—the students usually take it over at night. It’s down in the basement. The atmosphere’s good, and the food is terrific; the Buffalo wings are outstanding.

In the evenings, one place I like to have dinner is Papa Razzi (1064 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 202-298-8000). Mike Palermo, one of the managers, does a great job of taking care of us.

An evening walk along the C&O Canal is always fun. You can take the kids and ride your bikes along the water. It’s a little more off the beaten path than the rest of Georgetown.

Tracey Neale, a former Emmy Award–winning news anchor for WUSA Channel 9 and Fox 5, founded the Veronica’s Story Foundation, a pediatric-AIDS and orphans charity, after making a documentary about AIDS in Africa. In 2007, she adopted twins, Emebet and Eyasu, from Ethiopia.

My life has changed so much with the kids. I used to love Mie N Yu (3125 M St., NW; 202-333-6122) and Citronelle (3000 M St., NW; 202-625-2150). Now I’m a regular at Tugooh Toys (1319 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 202-338-9476). They have great natural wooden toys, activities in the afternoon, puppet shows, and arts and crafts.

Creativity (3222 M St., NW; 202-338-0044) in Georgetown Park is another great destination. It’s a drop-in spot, really friendly: You buy an item, and then your child can sit down and paint. My kids are always really proud when they create things.

Before I had kids, I bought a kayak. It’s the one thing I’ve tried to keep hold of from my old life, and luckily they love it. We keep it at Jack’s Boat House (3500 K St., NW; 202-337-9642). When it’s warm, we get something from Pizzeria Paradiso (3282 M St., NW; 202-337-1245) and take lunch out on the boat.

I love my dry cleaner, Uptown Valet (1212 31st St., NW; 202-337-4700). It’s the kind of place where they know your name, ask about your life—and they’re really good at what they do. As an added perk, they run a little matchmaking service on the store wall. I’ve seen a few intriguing faces up there!

Peter Mirijanian runs Peter Mirijanian Public Relations in downtown DC, representing clients such as FedEx, Verizon, and Boeing. He has lived in Georgetown since 2001. He and his wife, Irina, have a seven-month-old son, Tigran.

I love Cafe Milano (3251 Prospect St., NW; 202-333-6183). Everyone seems to know the owner; we’re good friends with him. I love the pounded veal chop, and my wife is a big fan of the pasta. We’ll go there on the weekend, especially when we can sit outside. I’m a cigar smoker, so it’s ideal.

Another place we like to go is Neyla (3206 N St., NW; 202-333-6353) for Middle Eastern food. They have a wood-burning oven in the back where they cook all their own breads, and they have great meats and chicken. We’re both Armenian, so that kind of food is a part of our heritage.

We have a lot of furniture from Random Harvest (1313 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 202-333-5569). It’s an eclectic place—they have restored antiques, but they’re practical. We always like to walk past and see what they’ve got in.

Jan Pottker is the author of eight books, including Janet & Jackie: The Story of a Mother and Her Daughter, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. She runs walking tours of “celebrity” Georgetown, and is an expert on the neighborhood’s history.

Semra at Ury & Associates (3109 M St., NW; 202-342-0944) is the best waxer in Georgetown, particularly for eyebrows. She’s been in the business for at least a decade.

Thomas Sweet (3214 P St., NW; 202-337-0616) has the best ice cream. It’s charming, and in good weather you can sit outside. They’ve provided ice cream for the White House.

Doyle New York (3256 Prospect St., NW; 202-342-6100), the art-and-antiques auction place, holds appraisal days where you can bring in your jewelry, furniture, paintings, et cetera and get free evaluations—a bit like Antiques Roadshow.

This article first appeared in the June 2009 issue of The Washingtonian. For more articles from that issue, click here.