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Power Trips

In DC, spotting politicos, pundits and high-profile posh patrons while you sup at the city’s old guard steakhouses is par for the course. But if it’s more about the menu than the star sightings, these power player hot spots have the distinction of providing fantastic food first and foremost—with a side of bold face names. Check out our top five picks for wining and dining next to DC’s elite—and nary a stodgy steakhouse in sight.

Le Diplomate

Senators, congressmen and Supreme Court justices regularly dine here, while staffers, lobbyists and lawyers do business all around them. The extra bonus comes from cozying up to mixologist Jeff Faile’s bar for knockout cocktails. 601 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, 202.628.2888,

Nancy Pelosi, President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, Supreme Court justices, plus R&B soulsters like John Legend... you get the idea. Close to the Hill and sleek, modern and discreet, The Source attracts all the luminaries who can’t get enough of Executive Chef Scott Drewno’s exciting renditions of Chinese food, especially the dumplings. 575 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, 202.637.6100,

The small bar of this Logan Circle brasserie fills up quickly because it’s the perfect place to eye the center of the main room and the front door. Also a prime location, and owner Stephen Starr’s perch of choice, is Table 112, a small booth to the right of the front door. 1601 14th St. NW, 202.332.3333,

In Adams Morgan, chef Cedric Maupillier’s up-to-date, but not overwrought, French cooking packs in the locals, especially the bright lights of the food world, who know a good thing when they taste it. The warm welcome, nurturing staff and lack of guile complete the package. 1813 Columbia Road NW, 202.234.6732,

On weekends, DC’s trendy set converges on this chic market to slurp down Rappahannock River oysters, drink Champagne and shop at Amanda McClements’ Salt & Sundry while local chefs meet at Buffalo & Bergen to trade stories over knishes and cocktails. 1309 Fifth St. NE, 301.652.7400,