Trendy restaurants crop up like wildflowers along the streets of Penn Quarter, so the neighborhood’s an ideal place for a wandering dinner date. Start with Cool Cucumber martinis, Kobe tartare, and the house-made charcuterie plate on the casual back terrace of Poste (555 Eighth St., NW).
Next, wander to the low-lit lounge at Rasika (633 D St., NW), where you’ll find cava cocktails sparkling with ginger and small Indian plates such as flash-fried spinach with yogurt and tamarind or scallops with ginger and honey.
Take a break from the crowds and the flash with a course or two at the rustic Bistro D’Oc (518 Tenth St., NW), hidden away on a quiet street. You’ll find lots of pleasure in the escargots dripping with garlic-pastis butter, onglet steak with fries, and rich cassoulet.
Feeling full? Walk a few blocks to the elegant bar at Oceanaire Seafood Room (1201 F St., NW) for a flame-lit baked Alaska for two.