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The Other Side of D.C.: Restaurants & Nightlife

Washington, D.C., as a town, is notoriously traditionalist. In terms of pomp, circumstance, and even, yes, dress (conservative is the only way to describe it), D.C. doesn’t usually stray from the tried and true. But these days, more and more restaurants and night spots are popping up that dare to push the limits, giving visitors, business travelers, and yes, even Hill staffers, a chance to shake off the norm and try something new.


While it’s true that old standbys (1789Old Ebbitt Grill) are still popular, new restaurants that are becoming more popular for their twists on favorites and unique creations include:

Rose’s Luxury: Even with its incredibly long wait (you can hire someone to wait in line for you), Rose’s Luxury is worth it. Small plates, served farmhouse style, make for a delicious dining experience.

Corduroy: This New American focused restaurant is described as a “restaurant for grown-ups”. That’s not to say it’s stuffy! In fact, this American cuisine is served in a perfectly refined manner, giving diners a chance to really enjoy the food and not just the atmosphere.

Fiola: Italian dishes take on a new life under the hand of Chef Fabio Trabocchi at this Penn Quarter restaurant. Not cheap but definitely unforgettable.


It’s true that D.C. is eerily quiet on the weekends. But that’s only during the daytime hours. Check out these hot night spots that’ll make your evenings and weekends decidedly un-boring!

The Anthem: A music venue in southwest D.C. on the rejuvenated District Wharf, the Anthem is hip, cool, and draws a cool variety of talent.

Eighteenth Street Lounge: You can dance all night long and take breaks on a good variety of comfy seating. Include the flattering lighting and you’ll wonder why you’d go anywhere else?

POV at W: If you’re in DC and you truly can’t change out of your suit, well, the POV at W is the place for you. There is a dress code enforced after 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, but, the location, on the rooftop of the W Hotel and with sweeping views of the DC skyline, is worth it, as are the drinks and lively dance floor.

So, if you’re in DC, plan ahead to venture out and enjoy some tasty cuisine and good times – sometimes it’s good to get off the beaten path. And remember, you can always book your ground transportation via GroundLink, so navigating the DC streets won’t even be an issue.

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