Washington, D.C - Around Town : The White House and Foggy Bottom (part 2) - Political Scandals, Places to Eat

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A Day Exploring 17th Street NW


Begin your day with a tour of Decatur House , a gorgeous Neo-Classical mansion. After the tour, turn left and walk to the end of the block; turn left onto 17th St, NW, and continue one block to Pennsylvania Ave. The Renwick Gallery is on the corner. Don’t miss the luxurious ballroom on the second floor.

Continuing east on Pennsylvania, you can view the renowned north portico of The White House on your right. Reverse direction, return to 17th St, and turn left to take in the ornate Eisenhower Executive Office Building .

A block south is the Corcoran Gallery of Art with its superb American and European art. Have lunch at the Café des Artistes , in its Beaux Arts atrium.


After leaving the Corcoran, turn right and continue down 17th Street one block, to D Street. Turn right, and almost at the end of the block is the entrance of the Daughters of the American Revolution. In addition to the fascinating period rooms, the gift shop is a treat for anyone with an interest in quilting, samplers, or porcelain.

End your day by hailing a taxi on 17th Street to the Kennedy Center and enjoy dinner at the Roof Terrace Restaurant , with its stunning river views.

Political Scandals

  1. Benedict Arnold

    Arnold, in the early years of the Revolution, was an effective military leader on the colonists’ side. Yet, driven by money, he conspired to turn over to the British the army installation at West Point. His name became synonymous with “traitor.”

    Benedict Arnold
  2. Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings

    The press commented in the early 1800s that Jefferson had an affair and borne children with his slave, Sally Hemings. Jefferson denied the accusations, but now DNA evidence makes the connection probable.

  3. Andrew Jackson and the Petticoat Affair

    Margaret Eaton, wife of President Jackson’s secretary of war, was rumored to have had a scandalous past. Jackson defended her honor and his enemies attacked, threatening his presidency.

  4. ”Boss” Shepherd

    Alexander Shepherd pushed the Board of Public Works to great accomplishments in the 1870s, but he was later run out of town for bankrupting city government.

  5. Whiskey Ring

    In 1875 it was revealed that liquor taxes were being evaded by distillers and the officials they bribed. There were 110 convictions. President Grant secured the acquittal of his private secretary.

  6. Teapot Dome

    The oil fields at Teapot Dome, Wyoming, had been set aside as a reserve for the US Navy. In the 1920s, oil interests bribed government officials to lease the land to them, without competitive bidding.

  7. Watergate

    In 1972, President Nixon’s re-election workers broke into the Democrats’ Watergate offices planning to gather campaign information. Their arrest, and the effort to contain the scandal, forced Nixon to resign in 1974.

    Watergate Senate Committee
  8. Wilbur Mills and Fanne Fox

    Mills, chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, was caught frolicking with his friend, the stripper Fanne Fox. He was forced to resign in 1974.

  9. Iran-Contra Affair

    In the 1980s, Ronald Reagan’s administration carried out plans to secretly sell US weapons to Iran and use the proceeds to support Nicaraguan rebels. The investigation revealed deception and corruption.

  10. Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky

    Clinton’s denial of sexual relations with the White House intern led to charges of perjury, obstruction of justice, and an investigation by the House of Representatives.

Places to Eat

  1. Blue Duck Tavern

    Chef Brian McBride’s specialties are prepared before your eyes in an open kitchen. Must-try dishes include thick fries cooked in duck fat and mini apple pies.

    • 1201 24th St, NW

    • 202 419 6755

  2. Galileo

    Exceptional modern Italian food. The kitchen has a small demonstration cooking area, where chefs prepare a tasting menu.

    • 1110 21st St, NW

    • 202 293 7191

    • Dis. access

  3. Equinox

    A showplace for fresh local ingredients, Equinox is a pioneer in sustainable cooking. The menu is seasonal and has the city’s tastiest crab cakes.

    • 818 Connecticut Ave NW

    • 202 331 8118

    Blue Duck Tavern
  4. Georgia Brown’s

    Southern cooking with very generous portions of both food and attention. Chicken, fish, stews, corn bread, shrimp, and grits highlight the menu.

    • 950 15th St, NW

    • 202 393 4499

    • Dis. access

  5. Marcel’s

    Award-winning French and Flemish cuisine, including crispy skate wing and pepper-crusted bison, wins rave reviews. Live music is played at the wine bar nightly.

    • 2401 Pennsylvania Ave, NW

    • 202 296 1166

  6. Oodles Noodles

    Delicious Asian noodle dishes combined with meat or vegetable concoctions.

    • 1120 19th St, NW

    • 202 293 3138

    • Dis. access

  7. Primi Piatti

    A northern Italian restaurant with fine lamb dishes and other staples.

    • 2013 I St, NW

    • 202 223 3600

  8. Roof Terrace Restaurant

    At the Kennedy Center, this elegant restaurant has unrivaled views. Seasonal specialties change every three months.

    • New Hampshire Ave at Rock Creek Parkway, NW

    • 202 416 8555

    • Dis. access

  9. Prime Rib

    Steaks and chops dominate, also seafood and a vegetable platter.

    • 2020 K St, NW

    • 202 466 8811

    • Closed Sun

    • Dis. access

  10. Café des Artistes

    In the atrium of the Corcoran Gallery. Sunday brunch with live gospel music.

    • 17th St & New York Ave, NW

    • 202 639 1700

    • Closed Mon–Tue

    • Dis. access

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