While many outside the Beltway bubble loathe D.C. bureaucracy, several local restaurants are capitalizing on this town’s love affair with all things political.
Here’s our take on a half-dozen spots, ranked in descending order, that are making the most of their proximity to power.
When Clyde’s Restaurant Group launched The Hamilton, a tribute to Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, it planned to keep the sprawling eatertainment complex going full-tilt 24/7.
The round-the-clock service has since been shelved, but the pared-back hours have apparently done little to dissuade the omnipresent throng of dedicated revelers — we’ve supped alongside extended families, punchy administration aides and visiting dignitaries (business card shuffle is not uncommon) — who pour into every available square inch of the multi-tiered structure.
If you do manage to score a piece of prime real estate (i.e., enough room to accommodate more than a water glass and bread plate), don’t be afraid to surround yourself with shareable snacks worth digging into.
We enjoyed nibbling on the XO roll, marrying crunchy eel with wiggly sea scallop, tempura shrimp doused in fiery Sriracha and escorted by zesty carrot-ginger slaw, and meaty chicken wings zapped with tangy-sweet mumbo sauce.
Memorable closers include spongy challah bread pudding joined by candied nuts and golden raisins in a sea of white chocolate sauce and a grown-up milkshake spiked with root beer liqueur.
The Hamilton: 600 14th St. NW; 202-787-1000; thehamiltondc.com Open for lunch Monday through Friday, dinner daily, brunch Saturday and Sunday.
He may have just wrapped a historic re-election bid. But even “44” can’t escape “16’s” enduring shadow.
Pennies line the floor (and crawl up several walls) of the fashionable establishment, spreading Honest Abe’s iconic profile as far as the eye can see. Pop art commemorating the Illinois pol rounds out a design scheme also punctuated by a massive ivory easy chair, bronzed farm tools and dangling lights encased in reclaimed water bottles and mason jars.
As opposed to the towering historical figure, the kitchen prefers to think small, peppering its voluminous dinner carte with compact servings of seasonally inspired cuisine. (A handful of full-sized entrees are featured at lunch.)
Deviled eggs are rendered divine by signature fillings ranging from traditional mousse to lusty truffled mushroom and primal steak tartare.
Spiced duck sausage arrives wrapped in buttery pastry dough (tender against the meat, flaky around the edges) and flanked by robust mustard.
Slow-roasted marrow, coaxed directly from the bone and brightened by sweet shallot jam, melts into savory black pepper biscuits.
Lincoln: 1110 Vermont Ave. NW; 202-386-9200; lincolnrestaurant-dc.com Open for lunch Monday through Saturday, dinner daily, brunch Sunday.
Believe it or not, there was a time before political parties called all the shots. Then the Federalists cropped up and, well, you know where we are today.