There's no shortage of great restaurants in our nation's capital -- after all, politicians have daily needs to power dine. For groups heading to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, the neighborhood nearby has seen quite a bit of growth in food choices, as the following establishment make abundantly clear.
• 801 O St. NW, (202) 525-2870
• Estimated walk from the convention center: 8 minutes
Chef/owner Cedric Maupillier has created a friendly spot with a menu that fuses French and American influences. Among the recent delicious dishes were roasted Parisian gnocchi in a mushroom sauce on spinach, and "Petits Pois à la Française" (braised English peas, carrots and lettuce in a celery root sauce accompanied by crispy sunchoke and sunflower seeds). The comfortable West Dining Room seats up to 40 for a meal and holds 50 for a reception; the restaurant welcomes full buyouts for 100 people for dinner and 150 for a reception. See the full menu.
• 1122 9th St. NW, (202) 589-0699
• Estimated walk from the convention center: 2 minutes
Seasonal ingredients gathered as often as possible from local farms are the hallmarks of chef Tom Power's cozy and quiet restaurant set in an old townhouse. Start with appetizers like red snapper soup or chilled pea soup and move on to entrées like peppered rare big-eye tuna with coconut rice and hijiki seaweed, or roast and confit Pennsylvania chicken with maitake mushrooms. Corduroy has two rooms for private dining, one seating 16 and the other, 24.
• 465 K St. NW, (202) 629-4662
• Estimated walk from the convention center: 7 minutes
This is one of four Alta Strada outposts from noted Boston chef Michael Schlow and his wife, Adrienne, where the menu is filled with delicious homemade pastas and pizzas complimented by a list of Italian wines. Pick a starter from the Mozzarella bar, the list of Crostini e Bruschette or one of seven antipasti, then dive into such options as a simply beautiful spaghetti; traditional linguine and clams with a twist, in a white wine, lemon and Calabrian chile sauce; grilled bistecca (Chianti marinated flank steak with summer squash in salsa verde), as well as fish and vegetable entrées.
• 922 N St. (Rear) NW, Blagden Alley, (202) 733-1152
• Estimated walk from the convention center: 6 minutes
This contemporary Hong Kong kitchen from executive chef Nathan Beauchamp and chef de cuisine Jong Son serves modern takes on classic Hong Kong street food, traditional dim sum and classic Chinese fare. Some options are cheung fun with shrimp and flowering chives, and the "Humble Plate of Chili Wontons," filled with chicken, shrimp and ginger. A small group will enjoy the eight-seat chef's counter, while the restaurant welcomes buyouts for groups of up to 85 people.
• 1015 7th St. NW, (202) 737-7700
• Estimated walk from the convention center: 1 minute
Going for elegant and refined? Métier, the brainchild of chef Eric Ziebold and his partner Célia Laurent, serves a tasting menu in an intimate atmosphere. The restaurant's experience starts with a private elevator ride to the upstairs salon in the historic 1907 brick building for hors d'oeuvres. A recent seven-course menu included chilled carrot consommé, lobster-braised la ratte potatoes, Spanish turbot in two styles and sautéed squab breast. The restaurant seats just 36; buyouts are possible; there's also a private dining room for 12.