As temperatures drop, these sizzling restaurants invite guests to have a VIP experience cozying up near blazing fireplaces.
The John Carroll Room, tucked away in the back of 1789 Restaurant, boasts a roaring fire in a timeless setting.
A Colonial Affair
There are six antique bedecked dining rooms at 1789, a storied Georgetown institution (1226 36th St. NW; 202-965-1789). However, only the John Carroll Room boasts a fireplace. “You can’t beat the ambience; it’s something special,” says general manager Rich Kaufman, who recommends requesting table 14 or 15 directly in front of the f lickering f lames. Celebs and political heavyweights are a common sight. When Julianne Moore stopped in, she was so smitten by the hearth that she asked for a corner seat close by.
Licensed to Thrill
Vintage maps decorate the walls of the private dining room tucked away in the rear of Nopa Kitchen + Bar (800 F St. NW; 202-347-4667). London, Paris, and Florence—three of restaurateur Ashok Bajaj’s favorite cities—are all represented. The snug Gallery Room space sports just six tables, each with a great view of the roaring fireplace. “It adds a lot of romance to the place,” says Bajaj, who noted that the room is a hot spot on Valentine’s Day. The American–accented brasserie attracts A-listers year round: Pierce Brosnan, Bill Maher, and Nancy Pelosi have all supped there.
Sparks Fly Under the Stars
The aroma of a blazing bonfire and wisps of smoke escape Barcelona Wine Bar & Restaurant (1622 14th St. NW; 202-588-5500) into the night air. The source? An oak-fueled fireplace in the first-come, first-served open-air courtyard. “It creates an atmosphere that attracts people, sometimes from blocks away,” says director of design Rocco Di Leo, who had the hearth forged out of concrete and steel to match the surrounding industrial aesthetic. The crackling hot wine bar is FLOTUS-approved—Michelle Obama was seen there last year.
A Night to Remember
The lights are low and the shadows of f lames dance high in the tasting room at Iron Gate (1734 N St. NW; 202-524-5202). Tucked away beyond the carriage house bar—where ’N Sync’s Lance Bass was spotted enjoying a cocktail—and the alfresco garden patio, the backroom is the perfect rendezvous point for lovebirds. “We wanted to create a place that was warm and romantic, but still comfortable,” says chef-partner Tony Chittum. To win some serious points on date night, put in a special request for table eight directly in front of the vintage brick fireplace.