ES Local: What’s Eating DC

Our weekly local roundup of the best eating and drinking events going down in Washington, DC…

Event of the Week: This Sunday Duplex Diner hosts its annual SMYAL for Champagne event, raising money and awareness for DC’s GLBT youth.
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If you represent a restaurant or bar and wish to have your event listed on the ES Local: What’s Eating DC map, please write to me at britannia(at)endlesssimmer(dot)com.

ES Local: The DC Gay Valentine’s Day Guide


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.

The First Date: 1789

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

Impressing a Second Date: Tabard Inn

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

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The Best Super Bowl Ad CBS May or May Not Air

As you may have guessed, the above ad is not selling potato chips.

But given the food-centric nature of Super Bowl advertising, and that fact that this particular ad has CBS execs waffling back and worth, we’ve deemed it worthy of coverage on ES. The ad, for gay dating site ManCrunch, has been submitted for one of the Super Bowl’s $2.8 million, 30-second time slots, but CBS has not yet officially approved or rejected it. According to So Good, ManCrunch believes CBS is purposely putting off a decision until the last minute, unsure whether they’d rather piss off gay rights groups or my-family-is-more-valuable-than-yours types.

Stirring the controversy further, Fox News reports that CBS is trying to dodge the issue altogether by telling ManCrunch that all Super Bowl ads are already sold out. But wait — at the same time, CBS has reportedly told Pop Tarts (the breakfast pastry, not another gay dating site) that Super Bowl slots are still available! And all this after CBS has already approved an anti-abortion ad, preemptively negating their own “we just don’t want to get too political” defense. It’s all a little surprising given the Super Bowl’s long, successful history of selling food and beer products via (fake) lesbian action.

Care to place any bets? Will CBS air it?