Member Rating 4 out of 5 by barbara on July 20, 2004

We left the White House and crossed the street to the Occidental. My husband's grandparents were tired, so I was relieved to see a hostess open the outside patio area here. I thought, "How convenient!" Although the restaurant was chosen quite by random, I was soon to discover we were in for a real treat. We had stumbled into one of the most famous restaurants in the District! Apparently a meeting that helped avert the Cuban Missile Crisis took place here!

Completely oblivious to all of this, I settled Grandmother in a chair under a wide green umbrella. There was a cool cross breeze that made outside dining extremely comfortable. Papa and I then took a look at the interior of the restaurant.

Think dark woods, brass railings, and--literally--hundreds of black and white photos lining the walls. It's a virtual who's who gallery of American politicians. I also picked out a picture or two of some famous American allies from other countries. Many, many, many of these pictures are signed. The Occidental has been opened since 1906, so its location has made it a favorite with world leaders for almost a century! In the front entrance you'll find the only color pictures I saw: oil portraits of all the more recent presidents from Jimmy Carter though George W. Bush....

A power restaurant for powerful people, the menu at the Occidental won't disappoint. You'll find all the entrees (like lobster) that you'd expect from American fine dining. Since we were there for lunch, the prices were a bit more affordable. The three of us ordered Angus hamburgers, which were slightly blackened on the outside, cooked to perfection. The service was attentive, and we were astounded at how quickly the patio tables filled. While I wouldn't say this would be a good choice for children inside the restaurant at night, lunch on the patio is a fine option for families.

This was a very pleasant meal.

Occidental Grill & Seafood
1475 Pennsylvania Avenue North West
Washington, D.C., 20004
(202) 783-1475


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