Let Work Pick Up the Tab: 10 Expense-Account Restaurants in DC

If you need to make an impression, these chef-driven establishments can help

March 26, 2024 7:08 am
some kind of dessert: yellow bubbly substance, white cream substance, green broken shards, pink and yellow petals, inside black bowl, on top of faux grass
Jennifer Chase

“What’s an expense-account restaurant?” you wonder to yourself as you click this article. While the idea of wooing a client may have been much more prevalent during the days of, say, Mad Men, here in the District, the idea of a balling out for a dinner on the company dime is still very much a reality. In a city as big as ours, there are almost too many wonderful options to consider. That’s a good problem, but a problem nonetheless. Where should you go to close a big deal over a lavish meal when you’re not responsible for the bill? We’ve got you covered with 10 of the best restaurants around town to make the right impression.

seafood, lobster, shrimp, clams, oysters, lemon, garnish, wine glass
Fiola Mare Seafood Tower
Greg Powers

Fiola Mare


Georgetown’s flagship luxury restaurant is an institution unto itself, but if you ever doubt its bonafides as a place for business dinners, just ask San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, who counts Fiola Mare among his favorites and the de facto spot to dine at when rookie sensation Victor Wembanyama and the rest of the team are in town. With an extensive wine list that makes Pop proud, various caviar selections and some of the most decadent seafood around, Fiola Mare should be at the top of any business-dinner list to ensure all parties leave satisfied — whether it’s an NBA team or a work team looking to seal a deal.

3100 K St NW


14th Street

The most expensive tasting menu in D.C. clocks in at $375 a head, but those who sit at Ryan Ratino’s table might as well be booking an international ticket. Jônt pulls from Japanese cuisine, with the ever-shifting menu spotlighting incredible ingredients in new and refreshing ways — the dishes feel like one showstopper after another. Big and bold, this is the place to make an impact and an impression on those who need it most. 

1904 14th St NW

restaurants/bar with brown interior, lamps, liquor on shelves, two bartenders, fruits in a basket, booths, wine glasses on table
The lounge at Bourbon Steak
Four Seasons DC

Bourbon Steak


The Four Seasons’ restaurant is a timeless option for those looking to splurge on a great dining experience. From swanky seafood towers to a handful of dry-aged cuts of beef ready to carve, Bourbon Steak is a veritable choose-your-own-adventure of fine dining. And while delicious meats are always in style, don’t miss a chance to try unique signatures like a Maine Lobster Pot Pie, which features lobster dumplings among its components. 

2800 Pennsylvania Ave NW

Pineapples and Pearls

Eastern Market

The Barracks Row eatery remains one of D.C.’s most beloved restaurants, hottest tickets and a decidedly pricey meal. Every dish at P&P is a party, reflected by the space’s incredible decor and engrossing stories about each of the plates. And, just like a good story, you won’t be able to stop telling your friends about your experience — and how it would be worth every penny, even if you had paid for it.

715 8th St SE

meat and lettuce between two white buns with sesame seeds on a white plate



José Andrés’s beloved, and two-Michelin-starred, restaurant is the perfect place to make a splashy impression on a key client thanks to a radical and thrilling approach to dining. The self-proclaimed “avant-garde” dining experience means the food is just as much entertainment as nourishment, in the best possible sense. A nonstop ride from start to finish, Minibar offer an evening you and your guests will be talking about for weeks to come.

855 E St NW


Foggy Bottom

With options for a la carte service or a chef’s table experience, Marcel’s by Robert Wiedmaier is consistently touted as one of the best restaurants not only in D.C. but the nation, which earns it instant placement on this list. With a classic setting and beloved menu of French dishes, it’s a must-visit for any gourmand — doubly so if you can indulge in all of what Cheif Wiedmaier’s beloved institution has to offer. 

2401 Pennsylvania Ave NW

olive colored chairs, couches with brown blanket, yellow painting, marble fireplace, books on shelves, two wine glasses on a wooden table


Mt. Vernon

Kin to Kinship (they share the same building on 7th Street), Métier specializes in a decadent, seven-course tasting menu. The concept of a progressive meal also extends to the service, as patrons move from one space to another throughout the evening, experiencing one incredible bite after another. The intimate setting means that it’s a little tougher for a larger team to join in, but a smaller space provides more one-on-one time over what’s easily one of D.C.’s best tasting menus.

1015 7th St NW

Ocean Prime


Looking to impress a big out-of-town guest? Look no further than Ocean Prime, which is known for its staggeringly magnificent bar, delicious seafood and prime cuts of steak. But the real closer is the fact it’s just a stone’s throw away from the White House, which means that you can add that cherry on top for those who don’t get a glimpse of it every day.

1341 G St NW

man in suit holding pink cocktail with flower in it, burgundy chairs, white marble bar
Jennifer Chase


West End

Don’t let the name fool you, Imperfecto’s perfect chef’s table is a communal experience. It’s a (Michelin) starry affair with a staggering 10-course tasting menu that takes diners on a global culinary journey. The menu starts at almost $300 per person, and regular reservations are available inside the cheery and delightful space that’s bound to impress even the pickiest of clients. 

1124 23rd St NW



One of the District’s most prestigious restaurants, Xiquet’s exquisite tasting menu is prepared in the embers of an open wood-fire kitchen. The tasting menu and wine/cocktail pairing are in the ballpark of a third to half of most rent payments in the area, but worth every cent, as evidenced by Xiquet’s status as the only AAA Five Diamond restaurant in the city.

2404 Wisconsin Ave NW B


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