With everything going on in politics today, Washington, D.C. is busier than ever. Tourism, protests, and even inclement weather often put a damper on viewing historical sights. But what can you do?
Answer: grab a drink and a bite at POV.
Perched at the very top of the W Hotel, POV lives up to the name. From the outdoor bar area, you can see the Washington Monument. And in fact, you’re so close to the White House, security prevents you from using any type of zoom lens for photography.
(No, I’m not kidding. And yes, I found out the hard way).
Location: POV is found inside the W Hotel at 515 15th Street NW, D.C. Use the entrance located between 15th and F streets unless you’re arriving late on the weekend. After 9:00 pm on Friday and Saturday, you’ll want to leverage the entrance on Pennsylvania Avenue instead.
Menu: Let’s get one thing straight: you’re here for the view. That said, the food is good, and the cocktails are fantastic. The restaurant is open for lunch, dinner, late night fun, and weekend brunch. There’s a fun selection of seasonal concoctions and a healthy by-the-glass wine menu to choose from.
While they describe the cuisine as “global,” a majority of the menu draws on influences from Spain and Mexico. Tostadas, ceviche, chicharrones, and snapper al pastor all make an appearance, as does a delightful banana flan. If that’s not your thing, fear not: American classics like Wagyu steak, a burger and fries, or pizza, can also be found.
Thoughts: This is a D.C. power location, where people come to see and be seen by Washington elite. Early evenings often see visits from dignitaries, lobbyists, and other important people who walk up and down the hallowed halls of government. As a result, you’ll want to dress to impress to ensure admission. No flip-flops, t-shirts, athletic wear, or ratty tennis shoes allowed. (NOTE: The restaurant reserves the right to deny entry to people they feel are underdressed).
With that in mind, lunch is more of a casual affair than dinner and evening. There is significantly less competition for a table with a view, especially if you arrive close to opening in the middle of the week. Being among the first, you’ll also have ample opportunity to snap photos of the Washington Monument, and it’s a fun game to try and spot the Secret Service agents posted on the White House roof.
If you don’t mind a press of people, then arrive a bit before sunset. It’s sometimes standing room only, so not the best option for a photo op. But it’s a spectacular sight to the watch the sun dip below the horizon, painting a glorious riot of pastel pinks and blues behind the pristine white obelisk.
Reservations are available, and you’re able to request a table with a view. Just keep in mind you’ll have purchase minimums your party must meet in order to secure the space in advance. And, like all rooftop bars, the view is somewhat subject to weather. While the covered patio remains open during inclement weather, the view may be obstructed by the protective sheeting used to keep the elements firmly at bay.
Price: The restaurant has one of the best views in the city, and they know it. As a result, items are priced accordingly. Plan to pay between $12 (wine) and $17 (cocktail) for a drink. $13 to $28 will land you an appetizer, with the charcuterie plate being the most expensive option. And an additional $18 to $42 secures your main dishes, with options for vegetarians and omnivores alike.
If you’re looking for the perfect backdrop for a special occasion, this is the place. But it’s also just as nice to stop for a quick drink while soaking in the stunning Washington panorama and rubbing elbows with Washington insiders.