Lifestyle Fast Tracks the Jan/Feb 2020 issue

Stay, Eat, Do: Washington, D.C.

Three Michelin-starred restaurants have helped put D.C. on the foodie map.
By Carrie Williamson Posted on January 16, 2020


Stay: Conrad Washington, D.C.

  • The city’s newest luxury hotel is adjacent to the upscale shops and restaurants at CityCenterDC and a short stroll to the monuments.
  • The streamlined décor—platform beds, neutral color palette, contemporary furniture—and floor-to-ceiling windows give the 360 rooms and suites a residential feel. All boast 55-inch HDTVs, espresso machines, Bluetooth speakers and walk-in showers.
  • Book an executive room on the 10th floor for access to the private Sakura Club, where a chef prepares a selection of meals available 24 hours, rotating international cuisines. Libations feature the club’s private stock of reserve Japanese whiskey.
  • The rooftop bar and lounge has expansive city views and Estuary, a Chesapeake seafood restaurant, for your dining and cocktailing pleasure.
The lounge at the Sakura Club, Conrad Washington, D.C.


Eat: Métier

  • This intimate eatery is set inside a historic brick building in the Mount Vernon Square neighborhood below Kinship, owner-chef Eric Ziebold’s superlative sister restaurant.
  • Take the elevator down to the fire-lit salon, where you can begin the evening with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres before proceeding into the dining room, which showcases art from Ziebold’s collection and a view of the kitchen.
  • The seven courses on the $200 tasting menu change with the seasons, but a constant is the chef’s mastery of the fresh ingredients he sources from regional farms, watermen and purveyors.
  • Recent dishes >> Maine lobster spiced with citrus zest and juniper accompanied by poached sweet potatoes; white truffles from Alba shaved onto a carnaroli risotto; Shenandoah Valley beef short ribs with a caramelized Brussels sprout salad.
  • Reserve well in advance. Jackets are required for gentlemen.


Eat: Pineapple and Pearls

  • A stainless and tiled open kitchen anchors the dining room at Aaron Silverman’s experiential—but fun!—restaurant on Capitol Hill.
  • Each of the nine or so courses is a taste sensation and theatrical performance. Dishes are presented on an array of china and paired with a drink, i.e. blood-sausage-topped toasted-rice custard accompanied by a smoky Märzen beer spritzed with sherry from a perfume bottle.
  • Sampling of recent courses >> Blackened monkfish étouffée; 150-layer lasagna with a seafood-rich fra diavolo; grilled lamb and spicy merguez on a tiny grill, with pots of housemade harissa and chimichurri.
  • Reserve and pay in advance—$325 (drinks, tax, tip included) for the dining room or $150 at the bar (drinks not included).
Carrot cake with parsley gelato and crispy rainbow carrots at Pineapple and Pearls.


Eat: Minibar by José Andrés

  • There’s a new 12-seat cherry wood chef’s counter at chef José Andrés’ avant-garde food lab in Penn Quarter, as well as a new head chef, Jorge Hernandez.
  • Art meets science in the progression of 20-plus small dishes such as uni spherified in a jamón orb.
  • Sampling of showstoppers >> A Danish stuffed with truffles and lemon; baby corn risotto gilded with caviar and gold leaf; basil foam and balsamic vinegar “caviar” with edible Parmesan spoons.
  • Dessert, a “tree of confections” is enjoyed in the adjoining Barmini.
  • Reserve in advance. The tasting menu is $295, while the beverage pairings range from $195 for classic wines to $500 for a bespoke lineup.


Do: Experience The REACH

A new pedestrian bridge connects The Kennedy Center with Rock Creek Trail along the Potomac, so you can now walk here from the monuments. Master classes, events, performances and activities take place daily from 10 a.m. to midnight.

Do: Visit the new International Spy Museum

The museum opened in its new location at L’Enfant Plaza last May. Designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners whose senior partner is known for his work on the Pompidou Centre in Paris, the building has doubled in size. New exhibits showcase the varied ways technology is transforming the craft of intelligence and spying.

Do: Explore D.C. by e-bike

Helbiz,awarded a one-year permit to operate its fleet of dockless e-bikes in the city, began rolling out 2,000 bikes in January. Download the Helbiz app to geolocate, then rent and unlock e-bikes directly from your smart phone.

International Spy Museum

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