Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Washington Correspondent's Guide

The New York Times ran a pretty cool mini-guide to 10 US cities. Washington was one of the ten they did. I'm half posting this as a reminder to me :) so anyone else can probably safely ignore it. Unless of course you're dieing to know where the best grub in D.C. happens to be.

Washington Correspondent’s Guide

Favorite Restaurant: 1789 at 1226 36th Street NW in Georgetown; 202-965-1789.
Cozy, elegant warren of rooms - one with a cheery fireplace - that just seems to define
Washington. The French-inspired cuisine is homey and adventurous all at the same time.
Big wine list, great old-fashioned bar. Dinner for two, with wine and tip, about $150.
Favorite New Restaurant: Black Salt, 4883 MacArthur Boulevard NW; 202-342-9101.
Superb seafood restaurant, with attached fish market, in a leafy residential neighborhood
near the Potomac River above Georgetown. Every night, there is a whole, roasted fish
special and several varieties of fish stew. Oysters on the half-shell, and local greens.
Dinner is about $100 to $125 for two, with wine and tip.

Favorite Hotel: If cost is no object, the Four Seasons in Georgetown, with its big rooms,
crisp sheets and pampering spa at 2800 Pennsylvania Avenue NW; 202-342-0444, rates
range from $350 to $495. For family visitors, especially children, the Embassy Suites at
Chevy Chase Pavilion, 4300 Military Road NW; 202-362-9300, has big rooms, indoor
pool and adjacent to a fine mall and other nearby stores, for $129 to $309.

Favorite Shop or Shopping Area: Mazza Gallerie and the adjacent stores on upper
Wisconsin Avenue on the border of the district and Chevy Chase, Md. Williams-Sonoma,
Tiffany and Company, Saks, Nieman Marcus, etc., all within a few hundred yards.

Favorite Way to Spend a Rainy Day: Any of the Smithsonian museums on the Mall,
including the Museum of Natural History with its brilliant new mammal exhibit.
Favorite Place to Meet a Friend for a Drink: The Bombay Club, 815 Connecticut
Avenue NW; 202-659-3727. British Colonial-style redoubt with rattan furniture, great
martinis, cocktail piano and a comfy, quiet, dark bar, frequented by lobbyists, journalists
and Indian expatriates.

Favorite Place for People Watching: Reagan National Airport, especially the Delta and
US Airways Shuttle departure lounges, where you're apt to see television journalists,
members of Congress, corporate chieftains and everybody else. That elderly man
struggling with a ticket machine might just be Robert McNamara.

Favorite Place to Hear Live Music: In winter: The Birchmere, in Alexandria, Va., a
nightclub-style venue for folk-rock-bluegrass from Roseanne Cash to Mary Black. In
summer: Wolf Trap Farm Park in Vienna, Va., home of outdoor classical concerts and
touring musicals.

Favorite Place to Go for a Walk: The Capital Crescent Trail, which snakes from the
Georgetown University boathouse on the Potomac to suburban Maryland, along an
abandoned rail line.

Favorite Place to Buy Gifts: The Stephen Decatur House gift shop, 1610 H Street NW;
202-842-0920. Gift shop in historic home a block from the White House features
Washington-themed Christmas ornaments, reproductions of White House china, silver,
jewelry and decorative housewares.

Favorite Day Trip: Charlottesville, Va., and Thomas Jefferson's Monticello. Only a
couple of hours away, and a world apart.

Sight You Shouldn’t Miss: The Lincoln Memorial, preferably at twilight. It never fails
to awe, and it's hard to read those words carved on the walls without feeling better about
your country.

Most Overrated Sight: The Mall. Terrific vistas of the Capitol and the memorials, but
overcrowded, dusty, pocked with souvenir stands and in summer, often uncomfortably
lacking in shade.


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