News & Politics

The New Power Tables at Washington Restaurants

Hot newcomers on the restaurant scene have rejiggered the spots—and meals—favored by the see-and-be-seen crowd.

Photograph of the Palm by Andrew Propp.

The Palm
Power Meal: Lunch.
Ego alley: The booths at tables 20 through 22, to the left of the door, guarantee everyone will see you, and vice versa. Billionaire Warren Buffett, CNN’s John King and Wolf Blitzer.

Rose’s Luxury
Power Meal: Dinner.
Top chefs: Out-of-town foodie heroes, like Gramercy Tavern’s Tom Colicchio (table 50) and Husk’s Sean Brock (64), plus local star chef Johnny Monis of Komi (8). Table 32 is well situated between the kitchen and the back bar.

Photograph of Le Diplomate by Scott Suchman.

Le Diplomate
Power Meal: Dinner.
Observation post: Tables 112 and 113, the banquettes to the right of the door, provide prime viewing. White House social secretary Jeremy Bernard, political consultant Hilary Rosen.
Secret Serviceable: Table 205, in l’Orangerie, is easily secured. Vice President Joe Biden.
Discreet: At table 17 in the back, nobody knows you’re there. Jordan’s King Abdullah II.

Seasons at the Four Seasons
Power Meal: Breakfast.
Center stage: Table 52, philanthropist Adrienne Arsht.
Front row: Table 61, DC Council member Jack Evans.
Observations Post: Tables 20 to 25 offer a perfect vantage of the room. Developer Richard Levy, Secretary of State John Kerry, Vernon Jordan.

Photograph of Joe’s by Andrew Propp.

Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab
Power Meal: Dinner.
Hideaway: Table 10 has a curtain that can be drawn for privacy.
Recently spotted: DC police chief Cathy Lanier.
Center stage: Table 51.

Power Meal: Lunch and dinner.
Privacy: The chef’s table in the kitchen.
Power vortex: Table 26, favorite spot of former Senate leader Tom Daschle and Bill and Hillary Clinton. The Obama family dined at table 41.

Photograph of Cafe Milano by Andrew Propp.

Cafe Milano
Power Meal: Dinner.
Observation post: Table 100, in a corner of the main dining room, affords a view of the door.
Bill Clinton, George Clooney, Michael Jordan, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, Prince Turki Al-Faisal of Saudi Arabia, millionaire government contractor Bill Dean, Senate majority leader Harry Reid.

The Lafayette at the Hay-Adams
Power Meal: Lunch.
Law review: Washington’s top legal help like the stretch that includes tables 16 (Bob Barnett),19 (Brendan Sullivan), and 21 (Lanny Davis), where they can keep an eye on the White House.
Picture-perfect: Table 6 has a view of historic St. John’s Church.

Photograph of Fiola Mare by Andrew Propp.

Fiola Mare
Power Meals: Lunch and dinner.
Best views: Table 84, where you might spot Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett, overlooks the water. Michelle Obama, former British prime minister Tony Blair, and Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler have occupied 66 to 69.

This article appears in the June 2014 issue of Washingtonian.