Three Washington insiders open their little black books.
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs
My go-to lunch spot where I work in Foggy Bottom is District Commons ($$$), and nothing beats the Red Hook Lobster Pound ($$) food truck when it’s nearby; try the shrimp roll. For dessert, the cupcakes at Baked & Wired ($$) are an absolute must. If I manage to leave my office early, I head to the Kennedy Center, where there’s a free performance every night at 6 p.m.
Event planner and designer
The area around the Golden Triangle, just off K Street and 16th Street, has great restaurants and lounges. At the end of a long day, I like to fill up on Southern comfort food and yummy cocktails at neighborhood favorite Georgia Brown’s ($$). For an upscale dinner with clients, chef Todd Gray’s seasonal menu at Equinox ($$$) is perfect. And Plume, the bar at the Jefferson hotel, serves excellent wines—some dating back to the 1800’s.
James Beard Award–winning chef
The Penn Quarter has become one of the most exciting parts of the city. I love Cowgirl Creamery for amazing cheeses and wines, and on Thursday afternoons, you can find me at Fresh Farm Market, which carries the best local products. I often duck into the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum for a little escape; walking through those vast halls always inspires me.