Ceiba (701 14th St., NW; 202-393-3983). In this swanky Latin restaurant's Blue Room, seating 30 to 35, blue walls make for a cool backdrop for a bold mural by Aurelio Grisanty.
Equinox (818 Connecticut Ave., NW; 202-331-8118). The intimate dining room, seating 14, feels like a wine cellar, with a wine rack covering one wall, low lighting, and an antique wrought-iron chandelier.
Le Paradou (678 Indiana Ave., NW; 202-347-6780). The 420-piece handblown chandelier makes a dazzling statement in this art-filled room seating up to 50.
Ritz-Carlton Georgetown (3100 South St., NW; 202-912-4110). For a conversation piece of a space, the Chimney Stack Room takes the prize. It's circular (seating 12; more for just cocktails) with brick walls and slate floors at the base of a 130-foot "chimney" formerly known as the Georgetown incinerator. By night, the glass-roofed stack is lit all the way to the top.
Evening Star Café (2000 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria; 703-549-5051). The second-floor dining room, seating 50, has a lounge feel with comfy sofas, chic black cocktail tables, a bar, and velvet curtains.
2941 Restaurant (2941 Fairview Park Dr., Falls Church; 703-270-1500). Like this stunning restaurant's dining room, the private spaces channel high drama. The smaller Koi Room, seating 30, looks onto a koi pond; the Waterfall Room, seating 66, sports a glass wall framing–what else?–a waterfall.
Irish Inn at Glen Echo (6119 Tulane Ave., Glen Echo; 301-229-6600). A countrified setting and rooms decorated in old photographs and muted shades of rose, sage, and oxblood make you feel you're in the home of a friend–who happens to live in Ireland.
Tavira (8401 Connecticut Ave., Chevy Chase; 301-652-8684). Two small private rooms, seating 30 and 16, are rustic and intimate, with traditional Portuguese decor such as hand-painted tile, ceramics, and vintage ladies' fans.
Washingtonian staff contributing to this section were Chuck Conconi, Sherri Dalphonse, Susan Davidson, Mary Clare Fleury, Cynthia Hacinli, Thomas Head, Stephanie Jones, Ann Limpert, Drew Lindsay, Chad Lorenz, Leslie Milk, William O'Sullivan, Cindy Rich, and Jeremy Stahl. Also contributing were writers Cathy Alter, Ann Cochran, and Jenny Sullivan.