Valentine’s Day is the time of the year when personal displays of affection are obligatory — a day to celebrate without any inhibitions. For the gay community this can sometimes be a challenge as restaurants are not as universally tolerant of gay couples’ PDAs. We’ve all heard the horror stories where a gay couple has been asked to leave a restaurant when either the owner isn’t happy or other customers feel uncomfortable. Yes, the gay community has its own restaurants, but there are not enough seats to fill every gay person in the city, especially this city.
Here is my guide to some great restaurants in DC where I would be happy to go on V-Day, to recommend to my friends, or to you, the readers of ES.
As deceptive as it is great. Daniel Giusti is one of the youngest Executive Chefs in one of the oldest and grandest of dining rooms in the District, but you’d never guess by his youthful menu — my personal favourite dish is the Oyster Gratin. Actually, my experience at 1789 was somewhat overwhelming. The food really was exceptional but the surroundings and other clientele were not my usual setting. I think of 1789 as an older, more conservative restaurant, so I’m not sure that a gay couple would be comfortable showing some love. But I would recommend 1789 for a first date — first dates are not for touchy-feely situations but more for getting to know your newfound love, and 1789 can provide that conversational atmosphere. 1789 is offering a five-course tasting in addition to its a la carte menu. 1226 36th Street NW, (202) 965-1789
This classic standby is no stranger to gay clientele. Bordering Dupont and 17th Street, it’s a popular choice amongst my friends for weekend brunch and I suspect it will be no different come Valentine’s Day. The hotel is offering a 3-course prix fixe menu which includes Oysters, Seared Guinea Hen and a selection of desserts to choose, albeit on the pricier side at $65 per person. 1739 N Street NW, (202) 331-8528