Power to the people. Capitol Hill is one of the top power spots in the world. We’ve learned over the years at epiphany productions that it’s also home to a number of powerfully good restaurants and meeting places. Whether your goal is to host an event, people watch, enjoy fine dining, or just hang out, a few venues stand out.
Art & Soul Restaurant
There’s no better way to win over the hearts and souls of DC power elites than through good food at interesting locales. Art & Soul achieves both. Located at 415 New Jersey Avenue, NW, Art & Soul is perfect for breakfast, lunch and dinner, offering tasty down home, Southern cooking. Even better than grandma’s, the fried chicken is a must try. With its colorful décor—including vibrant portraits lining the walls, the place inspires lively conversations. The owner is none other than Art Smith, Oprah Winfrey’s former personal chef! As a meeting place, it is convenient to Capitol Hill and houses a bright private room that can be divided in two. The front portion of the room opens onto the “urban patio” with fire pit. The room’s only downside is the muffled noises coming from other parts of the restaurant.
Johnny’s Half Shell
Johnny’s is the epitome of cool, with the aromas of great food and the sounds of jazz and blues filling the air. A stone’s throw from the Capitol, Johnny’s also has a cool location, sharing the same complex as the Hall of States at 400 North Capitol Street, NW. Perfect for entertaining groups, Johnny’s has four private rooms to choose from – all various sizes and a covered patio. The staff is very accommodating, making it easy to book private events. But a word to the wise: book early because rooms go fast at this popular spot. Oh, and I did I mention the food? It’s great for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Prepared by award winning chef Ann Cashion, Johnny’s is known for their seafood. And don’t forget to try the grillades and grits—they’re awesome. [Disclaimer: epiphany productions president Julie Wadler is a part owner of Johnny’s, but this list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning this excellent venue.]
Located at 523 8th Street, SE, this reasonably priced restaurant is ideal for an event that coincides with DC style entertainment (think State of the Union) or a big game night since they have three flat screen TVs. The space is very comfortable, making it ideal for holding private lunches and dinners. Jordan’s has a private area upstairs that can seat up to 35 people. With an outside balcony, it’s a room that helps get guests mingling. The restaurant also features a nice lounge area with sofas where guests can relax before the big event. Jordan’s specializes in grilled foods and sushi. I highly recommend the sushi!
Sonoma Restaurant and Wine Bar
Looking for a great place for private lunches and dinners? Sonoma is situated on the south east part of power alley at 233 Pennsylvania Avenue. The dining experience is tops, with outstanding food and great customer service. Sonoma offers a selection of locally raised and grown foods that enhance their modern Italian-inspired cuisine. My personal favorites are the pastas—any of them. They also focus on helping customers pair the meals with great wine. With a New York loft inspired theme, Sonoma has a sophisticated feel, including in the spacious private dining room that has surrounding lounge sofas. The room’s sky lights complete its stylish look, making the space feel open and airy (but not empty like most event halls).
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