There’s nothing quite like the allure of a luxurious dining experience. Whether it’s for the stately decor, tasting menu delicacies, or exceptional service, the splurge is often worth it. Read on below for our favorite picks for restaurants where you’ll wine and dine like a true VIP.
Hidden away in a Dupont Circle row house near the St. Gregory, this sophisticated, Italian fine-dining gem produces a brand-new, handwritten menu every day based on seasonal ingredients. Diners are served five prix-fixe courses, with veritable feasts for the senses like roast suckling pig and red snapper with Roman artichoke. A local favorite is the rotating list of antipasti, which features delicacies like olive-oil soaked burrata and fried squash blossoms. For a classic Old World experience, make sure to complement your meal with a glass of Chianti.
Founded in 1856, this quintessentially DC joint is the District’s oldest bar and restaurant and the number one spot to rub elbows with politicians and local bigwigs. The Old Ebbitt comes to life with Civil War photographs, ceiling murals, and elegant leather booths. For a splurge you’ll treasure, grab a seat at the Oyster Bar and order the two-tiered Orca Platter, a tower of seafood that features a one-pound lobster, 24 oysters, 12 shrimp, 6 clams, and 6 Jonah crab claws. Other crowd favorites include the duck carbonara fettuccine and the Old Bay-seasoned crab cakes.
This unassuming Mediterranean spot in Dupont Circle is one of the city’s hottest tables. With floor-to-ceiling windows, shiny wooden floors, and white tablecloths, this intimate DC restaurant is the epitome of fine dining. Ranked number one in the Washingtonian’s 2015 list of Very Best Restaurants, Komi is a foodie paradise. Spring for the $150 tasting menu, a three-hour feast that includes dishes like oven-roasted Medjool dates, perfectly tender roast baby goat, and a sea urchin-and-carrot appetizer. Don’t forget to add on the wine pairing for a truly decadent experience that’ll transport you straight to the Greek isles for that vacation you’ve been meaning to book.
Forget dinner and a movie—a meal at celebrity chef Jose Andres’ intimate, twelve-seat dining experience is a performance in itself. If you’ve managed to score a notoriously difficult-to-obtain reservation, you’ll get to witness one of DC’s top culinary artists up close. The innovative institution is known for its expertise in molecular gastronomy and for the multi-hour, several-course meals.
Helmed by the Trabbochis, one of DC’s favorite food duos, this opulent Italian seafood restaurant is a certified hit with the district’s discerning restaurant buffs, including the Obamas. Sit at a table overlooking the Washington Harbor and order the ahi tuna crudo, which comes paired with delicate edible flowers, the sumptuous frutti di mare platter, or the exquisitely rich Maine lobster ravioli. Want to take a look at your food before you order? Fiola Mare also offers a market option, allowing diners to select their choice of fish from a counter in the restaurant.