We’ve all been there. You have an important client dinner to plan and you need to find the perfect venue. But what restaurants are close to the conference, have tasty food, and the right atmosphere for your specific audience?
I handle Business Development for Provana, coordinate 7-10 conferences every year in different cities, and typically am also in charge of finding the best restaurants to fit our client needs. And this NCBA, I thought, well if I’m going to do the research, I may as well share some recommendations!
The other part of the story is that I have a culinary degree and worked as a cook and chef in restaurants in both Washington, DC and Chicago. In fact, some of my first cooking jobs were around the corner from the Marriott Marquis (albeit several years ago!). Although I don’t work in the restaurant industry any longer, I still like to be sure that my meals are delicious!
So whether it be a quiet dinner to discuss goals with a long-time client or schmoozing a rowdy bunch at a trendy hotspot, here are some recommendations for your perfect NCBA Washington, DC dinner.
(Note: Use these suggestions at your own risk. I will only take the credit if everything works out.)
Keeping it classic
For the steakhouse fans or clients with unknown palettes, there are many options close to the Marriott. Many are higher-end chains, which I typically try to avoid. But some of them are darn good anyway!
For the beer snobs, winos, or cocktail nerds
- Brasserie Beck – Belgian beer, mussels & frites
- Espita Mezcaleria – Upscale Mexican and mezcal
- Morris – Fun cocktails
- The Dabney Cellar – Wine bar vibes downstairs from The Dabney
For the trendsetters
- China Chilcano - Peruvian in a hip setting
- Poca Madre – South American steakhouse
- The Dabney – Wood-fired Mid-Atlantic fare
For the hardcode foodies
- Modena – Inventive Italian
- Little Serow – Tasting menu in the budget, no reservations
- Kinship – Michelin-starred creative American
Whether you’re closing a deal, pitching a new client, or catching up with old friends, I hope this list helps you find the perfect atmosphere with tasty food and fun libations in our nation’s capital.
See you at the show!