The Insiders Guide to the District

October 03, 2012 at 11:23 AM

We are counting down the days to BAI Retail Delivery here in the CPG offices, in part because we can’t wait for the opportunity to show everyone in attendance that Washington is more than just a city full of bank regulators, rules, and restrictions.

To that end, we have put together a list of upcoming events and staff favorites that show some of the best that the District has to offer.  Whether you’re visiting DC for the first time or the fiftieth, you should be sure to check out the following:

Places to Eat and Drink

  • Good for a Group: Any of the many restaurants owned by Jose Andres, many of which are known for their innovative small plates, are great for a larger group.  Our favorites are Oyamel and Zaytinya, which offer modern takes on Mexican and mezze, respectively.
  • Best Spots for a Power Lunch (or Breakfast): The Oval RoomEquinox, and Charlie Palmer Steak are all great places to spot your (least) favorite member of Congress.  Off the Record, the bar in the Hay-Adams Hotel, and Quill, the piano bar at the Jefferson Hotel, are also great people-watching spots.
  • Best Wine Selection: All of the restaurants listed above will have a great wine list, but try ProofThe Source, orSonoma if you’re looking for a spot where the wine is almost more important than the food. 


  • Best Beer Selection: Brasserie Beck is known for its unique selections of both Belgian and local brews.  A little bit further afield, the waiters at Birch & Barley will help you pair the perfect beer with your meal.  The majority of District restaurants proudly feature local brews – look for Port City, DC Brau, Flying Dog, and Heavy Seas while you’re out and about.
  • Guaranteed to Please Everyone: Central Michel Richard offers delicious spins on French bistro classics. Acadiana offers low-country fare and delicious Sazeracs.  And Kushi offers some of the best sushi in town.

Things to Do

  • Sights: You really cannot go wrong at any of the Smithsonian museums; however, we should point out that the National Portrait Gallery is just a few blocks away from the Convention Center.  The Portrait Gallery is currently running a special exhibit in memory of Neil Armstrong.  Other museums nearby include the Corcoran (over by the White House) and the Phillips Collection (near Dupont Circle).

Also, if the closest you’ve ever been to the monuments is the view from your flight into DCA, you should try to stop by at least one.  The Washington Monument remains closed for repairs; the rest are open to the public and definitely worth seeing at least once.

  • Sounds: The 9:30 Club hosts Brooklyn duo Matt & Kim on October 10th.  This is one of our favorite DC concert venues not only because of its reputation (you haven’t made it until you play at 9:30 Club) but because its small size and great acoustics mean that all attendees are guaranteed a great experience.  Other musical options include Blues Alley in Georgetown and the Kennedy Center, where the National Opera will be performing Don Giovanni.
  • Sports: Sadly, BAI occurs too early in October for anyone to see our beloved Georgetown Hoyas in action (two of us went to Georgetown; we will take any reader who correctly guesses which two to the Tombs).  Fortunately, this city does have some other sports franchises.  The Washington Nationals begin their race for the pennant next week.  Tickets will be difficult to get, but the games will be on at every bar and restaurant in town.  Also, just FYI, the Wizards will be playing a preseason game against the Knicks at the Verizon Center (a short walk from the Convention Center) on October 11th.

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