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Where Real Estate Dines Out

Washington DC Other

Many of you are cooped up in the home office on this snowy morning, so to kick in that cabin fever just a little more, how 'bout a little food envy? We polled a group of DC real estate pros for their favorite restaurants.

Monument Realty chief Michael Darby (yellow tie, whom we snapped at the firm's annual holiday party in December) is partial to Sushi Rock in Courthouse, partly because of the quail eggs but also due to "the generous owner, Steve, who has created a cool friendly neighborhood sushi hangout." He also digs Kafe Leopold in Cady's Alley (a popular real estate hangout, judging from others we polled), since "you can eat outside and talk to everyone and because they put fried eggs on my schnitzel, that makes me so happy." Finally, Michael is currently in to Crème (formerly at 13th and U but moving to 14th Street soon) because "my finance, who is a chicken and waffles connoisseur, says Crème’s are the best in town."

CohnReznick's David Kessler likes the steak and hash browns at one of DC real estate's old standbys, The Palm. But he's got favorites all over town, such as Rio Grande (which offers what he calls the "best darn dry rub ribs in town,") Raku ("love to go with a group and order a tray of sushi,") and Chinatown's Proof ("best wine selection by the glass.")

Boston Properties' Peter Johnston's got favorites in both the District and Virginia. He tells us he's a fan of PassionFish in his firm's Reston Town Center (another popular real estate gathering place), as well as Rasika in the West End.

When Jim Abdo's not showing his latest condo, he loves the culinary stylings of two DC restaurateurs: Frederik de Pue (Table in Shaw and the brand new Menu in Chinatown) and Daniel O'Brien (Seasonal Pantry, also in Shaw). He loves the minimalist interior of Seasonal Pantry, and says it's "a who's who of Washington to try to get in the door" at the 9th Street spot. He also likes Menu's versatility, with the ability to have a quick dinner downstairs or head upstairs for a fine meal. Jim also tells us Abdo Development is gearing up to break ground on its 14th and Rhode Island residential project, and says he's in discussions to bring a "top of the line" retail/restaurant tenant to the building's ground floor.

Gensler's Jordan Goldstein (right, with colleague Jeff Barber) can often be found at District Commons in the West End—not just because his firm designed it; he "loves the vibe and always runs into real estate people" at the 22nd and Penn hotspot. Like Peter, Jordan also digs PassionFish, and is also a longtime fan of Todd Gray's Equinox. "Todd was doing farm fresh to table long before it became trendy," he says. Jordan says Gensler is starting work on the 400 6th St office project, putting the finishing touches on Tysons Tower, as well as working on a master plan for the New Carrollton Metro site.

CBRE's Manny Fitzgerald and Miller Walker's Bill Miller also have multiple favorites. Manny loves the Blue Duck Tavern, Fiola, and Marcel's when dining out for fun, and BLT Steak, Tosca, and Bourbon Steak for business lunches. Bill and partner Alex Walker tell us for "power dining" they love Joe's Seafood on 14th and H as well as Alba Osteria at 4th and Eye for terrific Italian.

When she's not shoveling snow (like here on a recent visit to Ossining, NY), our own editor-in-chief, Sibley Fleming, loves Politics & Prose. She says it's a perfect spot for the snow, since you can work or read (she's currently digging in to a book about Chinese Empress Dowager Cixi, "the original power woman") and get hot coffee and a $5 bowl of soup all the while. So what's your favorite? Email Chris Baird with your go-to spots around town—we'd love to keep this series going.