'Dine Like a President' in Georgetown for Inauguration Week

The Business Improvement District highlights presidential-style dining and a complimentary guided Georgetown inauguration tour.

Georgetown is no stranger to presidents. Now, through the inauguration, the neighborhood is highlighting its connections to presidents from Barack Obama to George Washington through its eateries and a complimentary Georgetown Inauguration Tour.

The Georgetown Business Improvement District (BID) has organized "Dine Like a President" week and the free tour at 10 a.m. Saturday. 

Among the participating businesses is Martin's Tavern on Wisconsin Avenue. This favorite neighborhood watering hole has served every president from Harry Truman through George W. Bush.

President Barack Obama has not stopped by yet.

"Very happy that we have another term with President Obama and hopefully he can find his way to our tavern," Mayu Lasch, the general manager at Martin’s Tavern, told Patch.

Do presidents need a reservation?

"We’ll make an exception for President Obama," Lasch said.

"We are very busy though, we might have to ask him to enjoy a beer or cocktail at the bar," she joked.

It's not just presidents that recognize Martin's for its laid back atmosphere and classic Americana appeal: on any give day you will find politicians, top influencers and journalists having a pint and grabbing a bite at the bar.

When they are at Martin's, they are "just another person from the neighborhood," Lasch explained

"Its like Cheers for Washington folks."

Another Georgetown restaurant, 1789, was lucky enough to host President Obama when he dined with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in June 2011.

Though he was not there at the time, 1789 Executive Chef Anthony Lombardo said such visits by high-profile guests are something D.C. area chefs have to get used to.

"It's kind of something that we always are prepared to deal with," Lombardo explained.

Lombardo said, admitting the cliche, that chefs have to treat everyone like they are VIP.

There are different ways to give that VIP treatment.

When President Bill Clinton was in the restaurant and requested a vegan dish, Lombardo "whipped up" a special dish for him. And while the average guest may have gotten the same treatment, Clinton's meal became a menu fixture at the Tombs, known as "The 42nd President."

If you want to learn a little something and maybe earn a few of those calories you'll consume while eating presidentially, the BID had coordinate a walking tour through Washington Walks. The free tour starts at 10 a.m. Saturday.

According to the press release:

"The two-hour tour will take attendees through some of Georgetown's most historic sites including several of JFK's old residences, Senator John Kerry's home, Federal to Victorian architecture and Francis Scott Key Park, named after the man who wrote the lyrics to "The Star-Spangled Banner." Space is limited and attendees must sign up in advance at www.WashingtonWalks.com."

Check out the Georgetown BID's "Dine Like a President" guide, which runs below:

Martin's Tavern  

Open since 1933, Martin's Tavern has hosted several presidents over the years including Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon, and is home to the "proposal booth" where JFK proposed to Jackie Kennedy

TIP: Snag Booth #3 for the JFK Proposal table or Booth #2 where Nixon used to often sit and enjoy Martin's meatloaf.

1264 Wisconsin Ave., NW (202)333-7370 

Bourbon Steak

Located inside the Four Seasons, this hip DC steakhouse is a popular dining spot for both power players and foodies, and recently hosted the Obamas' 20th anniversary dinner. Renowned for Chef Michael Mina's award-winning butter-poached meats, its trendy bar is consistently voted one of the best in DC.

FUN FACT: The Obamas' 20th anniversary was actually on Oct. 3,  but they delayed the celebration to Oct. 6, as the President was busy debating Mitt Romney during the first 2012 Presidential debate.

2800 Pennsylvania Ave., NW (202)944-2026


This beloved Georgetown staple has been around for 28 years and has hosted countless dignitaries such as George H. W. Bush, Vice President Joe Biden, Bill and Hillary Clinton and more. The charming spot is loved for its delicious, homemade Italian food and historical decor featuring family heirlooms from the owner's mother.

TIP: Dine like Bill Clinton and order his favorite dish, the Linguini Cardinale, with fresh lobster meat in creamy Cardinale lobster sauce over handmade linguini.

1063 Wisconsin Ave., NW (202)337-2782

Café Milano

Since 1992, the famed Café Milano has been a Georgetown landmark known for its delectable Italian fare and powerful clientele, including politicians and celebrities. Bill and Hilary Clinton have frequented the Georgetown hot spot, and Café Milano even prepared Pope Benedict's birthday meal at the Vatican Embassy when he visited in 2008.

TIP: Snag a seat on the heated patio to see and be seen.

3251 Prospect St., NW (202)333-6183


A favorite of DC power players, DAS was previously known as Zed's Ethiopian, which catered to Presidential clientele like George H. W. and Barbara Bush, Hillary Clinton and other politicos like Senator Harry Reid and NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani. An exotic Ethiopian dining spot, DAS serves high quality, authentic Ethiopian dishes in a welcoming atmosphere.

FUN FACT: Not only was the restaurant a favorite for politicians, but celebrities as well including Clint Eastwood, John Malkovich, Chris Tucker and Dan Aykroyd.


1201 28th St., NW (202)333-4710


The quintessential Washington, DC dining experience, 1789 serves fine American cuisine in a renovated Federal house and was chosen by Gourmet magazine readers as one of "America's Top Tables". Not uncommon to spot senators, politicos and celebrities in its dining room, the historic 1789 takes its name from a significant year in Washington's history: in that year, its original site was purchased by Archbishop John Carroll, the founding father of Georgetown University; the Constitution of the United States was adopted; and Mayor Robert Peter incorporated the village of Georgetown.

TIP: Ask to be seated in the Wickets Room, where President Obama dined with the German Chancellor Angela Merkel in June 2011.

1226 36th St., NW (202)965-1789

Peacock Café

A beloved Georgetown tradition since 1991, Peacock Café is a favorite of "who's who" in Washington for its charming setting and famous brunch. Hillary Clinton even celebrated her 63rd birthday there in 2010.
TIP: Try and grab a seat in the back, where the Clintons sat, for a gorgeous view of the courtyard.
www.peacockcafe.com 3251 Prospect Street, NW (202)625-2740

Georgetown Cupcake

Voted Washington, DC's "Best Cupcake", this baked sweets shop is known for its around-the-block lines and setting for TLC's reality show "DC Cupcakes." Its popularity has not deterred visits from celebrities and politicos, and the shop even hosted President Obama's daughter Sasha's 10th birthday.

TIP: Eat a bit of history: Georgetown Cupcake will have special commemorative Inauguration sweets like a red velvet cupcake topped with a gold embossed eagle.

3301 M St., NW (202)333-8448 


The breakfast power spot inside the luxurious Four Seasons Hotel has hosted political toques including the Clintons and Wolf Blitzer as well as countless celebrity guests like Jay-Z and Beyonce.

TIP: Stick around the Four Seasons hotel afterwards and you may see some visiting dignitaries and celebs in the lobby.

2800 Pennsylvania Ave., NW

Thomas Sweet Ice Cream

A longtime favorite of presidents and politicians, this classic ice cream shop has been a Georgetown staple for 30 years and is known best for their fresh churned ice creams and handmade fudge. The shop hosted some special visitors on Father's Day 2011 when President Obama brought his daughters in for a sweet treat.

TIP: Treat yourself like the First Daughters and order the vanilla and cookie dough ice cream flavors.

3214 P St., NW, (202)337-0616


The original flagship location of the now growing restaurant group, this M Street dining spot has been a popular neighborhood institution since 1963 with politicians and other media, entertainment and sports celebrities.

FUN FACT: Clyde's was opened as a result of President JFK signing a bill in 1962 making it legal for the first time since 1917 for hard liquor to be served to patrons standing at bars in DC (before the law, hard liquor could only be consumed at tables).

3236 M St., NW (202)333-9180

Want to get out of Georgetown for a day? Alexandria is also featuring its presidential dining connections.


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