101 Constitution Ave. NW
HOURS: Mon.-Fri. 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5:30-10 p.m.,
Sat. 5-10:30 p.m.
COST: Most entrées more than $20
Offering power dining at extravagant prices in the shadow of the Capitol Dome, Charlie Palmer is a haven for Washington VIPs and diners living on an expense account. Do senators, representatives, or celebrities eat like this every day?
Dry-aged thick-cut steaks, cooked to perfection, are the draw, and the iced shellfish platter of lobster, shrimp, king crab, and oysters never fails to impress.
The wine list, exclusively American with at least one selection from each state, is handed to customers on an electronic wine book; sommeliers can help diners choose from one of the dozen offered by the glass, from the 3,500 bottles in the restaurant’s snazzy wine cube (a cooler that appears to float above a fountain), or one of the 7,500 additional bottles stored elsewhere on the premises.
If you’re saving a special bottle for an occasion, the restaurant waives the corkage fee as long as the bottle you’ve brought is American.
Washington has no shortage in the steak house genre; Charlie Palmer, with its high ceilings, aqua and steel interior, and modern design bears a chophouse menu without the clubhouse feel.