Spotted: The Obamas Dine at Oyamel

The First Couple may have celebrated Valentine’s Day early on Saturday.

The revamped Oyamel boasts romantic decor in the private dining area. Photograph by Andrew Propp.

When it comes to Barack and Michelle Obama’s dining habits, “eat local” doesn’t just apply to produce. The First Couple have been known to favor restaurants within a few blocks of the White House, including Mrs. Obama’s recent birthday celebration at Poste. This past Saturday the stately duo stepped out shortly after 8 for date night at José Andrés’s refined Mexican eatery, Oyamel, about a five-minute trip from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Michelle Obama previously dined at the popular Penn Quarter spot with Let’s Move! director Sam Kass.

While there’s no official word from the White House, the outing could be an early Valentine’s Day date. The Obamas are readying for a busy week with the first state visit from French President François Hollande, while President Obama will address House Democrats at a retreat on February 14 in Cambridge, Maryland. Oyamel received a makeover last year with plenty of romantic touches and a new private dining area. The outing may mark the second year in a row for a V-Day celebration at one of Andrés’s Penn Quarter spots, though a decidedly more casual one; the couple scored a coveted spot at Minibar in 2013.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.