By ROBERT ELIAS DEATON
There are those who would argue that Washington, DC has some of the best international restaurants in the world. And given the number of international power brokers who call “The District” home, we have to agree.
The Dupont Circle gayborhood boasts two of our favorites—both can’t-miss experiences for completely different reasons. Komi (1509 17th St. NW between P & Q Streets NW) offers up a prix fixe food tasting at $135 per. The owner-chef here is cute-as-a-button Johnny Monis who offers up a constantly varied palate of orgasmically delicious mezzethakia—small plates that run through Monis’ Greek roots in an assortment that would be equally at home in an Aegean trattoria. Reservations are a must (202-332-9200), and have to be made at least a month in advance, regardless of how important you think you are.
A popular gay hangout for decades, Annie’s Paramount Steakhouse (1609 17th St. NW between R & Q Streets NW) has been in business since God called for resting on the seventh day. Annie’s is a venerable institution where the good food takes a back seat to the wash of famous customers, most of whom have gay underpinnings. Easily our favorite item on the menu is Annie’s Famous “Bull in the Pan” ($15.95). It’s tenderloin tips of beef, marinated in herbs and spices and served sizzling hot. A double order is called a “Double Bull” and runs $24.95. Yes, they’re that good.
One of the most famous bars in the city is right down the street. JR’s Bar & Grill (1519 17th St. NW between P & Q Streets) where the crowd starts buzzing around 6 p.m. and doesn’t quit until well after 1 a.m. Word of caution: the cutest guys in the place typically end up being Republicans, so prepare to deal with all that entails or just keep moving.
Two blocks away from Nationals’ Stadium (home of the Major League East Champions) look for Ziegfeld’s/Secrets (1824 Half St. SW). This is DC’s headquarters for drag shows—the Ziegfeld part; and for nude male strippers—the Secrets section. There’s a $5 cover charge before 10:30 p.m., and a $10 cover charge afterward. This two-level entertainment emporium has been called “the Smithsonian of penises,” or at least the Secrets floor has.
For the leather/bear crowd, the DC Eagle (639 New York Ave. NW between 6th and 7th Streets NW) gives a pretty good impression of its old self when sex was to be had in the distant corners of the dimly-lit upper floors. Like many leather bars, the Eagle is located in a dicey neighborhood a stone’s throw from the Convention Center. The bar is celebrating its 41st anniversary November 16, beginning at 12 a.m. and continuing through the weekend.
The District’s largest club is Town Danceboutique (2009 8th St. NW at U St. NW), which packs dancers body to body on Friday and Saturday nights. Doors open at 10 p.m. to the public, though on Friday nights beginning at 6 p.m., the DC Bear Crue hosts Bear Happy Hour until 11 p.m. There’s no cover until 9:30. After 11 p.m. on Fridays, expect to pay $10. Add an extra $2 on Saturday. With multiple levels, drag shows, a cabaret lounge, and high energy, it’s worth every penny. Smokers are asked to step outside before infiltrating their lungs, allowing everyone else to breathe easily. It’s the way things are done in our nation’s capital.