From the same people who bring you The Hamilton, Old Ebbitt Grill, and The Tombs (located in the very basement of this Georgetown townhouse–watch out for carousing Georgetown University students when you depart), and Clyde’s, 1789 is the grownup in the family, not only because it’s the oldest, at 56 years, but because, well, it’s not a watering hole, which the others definitely are.
Sometimes an occasion calls for formality, damn it, and when that moment also calls for romance, locals know to go to 1789.
Something to do with the townhouse setting, the covey of 6 intimate dining rooms, the fireplace, the historical prints on the walls and dressed-up Washingtonians in the seats (jackets, though no longer required, are still much in evidence). Of course, not everyone comes here to celebrate romantic love; many are here enjoying political talk and intellectual conversation, as did President Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel when they dined here together in June 2011.
And let’s not forget: delicious dinners. Always highly rated by restaurant critics, 1789’s American cuisine might change daily, but always delivers the goods. Ponder these recent menu options: rack of Colorado lamb with charred rapini, chorizo-crusted Icelandic cod, chestnut tagliatelle, key lime souffle cake.
Metro: Foggy Bottom on the Blue, Orange, and Silver Lines, with a 25 minute walk, or else ride the DC Circulator.