Washington, D.C.: Home of Power Steak-Outs
By Kim Clark

(FORTUNE Magazine) – Sure, you could spend your few spare hours in Washington soaking up history at the Jefferson Memorial. But it's a lot more fun to soak up history in the making--along with some sustenance--at the restaurants frequented by the Free World's most powerful lunchers.

To rub shoulders with Congressmen, try the Capital Grille (601 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W.), a cigar-friendly steak house with stuffed buffalo heads behind the bar and folks like Jesse Helms or Trent Lott stuffing themselves at the tables. One reason the Grille is a hit with the Hill: Unlike taxpayers, customers here get their money's worth. A baked potato costs $3.75, but it's the size of a football.

For a shot at seeing the principals in the scandal du jour, try another big-money, big-servings ($58 for the 2 1/4-pound New York strip) steak house, the Palm (1225 19th Street N.W.). Among recent customers: Vernon Jordan and an intern named Monica. (No, not together! Relax.)

You might glimpse the First Diner at the Bombay Club (815 Connecticut Avenue N.W.), an Indian restaurant two blocks from the White House. If the President isn't there, someone from his staff is. After a hard day of trying to quash subpoenas, nothing sweats out the anxieties like a plate of fiery vindaloo.

--Kim Clark