Since election day, and among the politically astute before that, restauranteurs in the general neighborhood of the White House have been thinking up ways to lure the new Reagan administration lunch crowd.
Most think there will be more business with this bunch.
Tony Greco, owner of the Maison Blanche on F Street, suggested, "It might be the return of the straight-up three-martini lunch."
Greco is not contemplating any menu changes at the moment and seems to be riding high -- before the election, Reagan himself had lunch there.
At Exchange LTD on Pennsylvania Avenue, manager John Pelger said, "We will eliminate peanut quiche as a special and introduce elephant filet mignon once a month.
"The main item will be a special drink called 'Cash Flow' which will be a very secret recipe."
On 17th Steet, Bob Milhause, assistant manager of the Black Steer, said, "We already have stocked a California wine called Firestone. I understand the vineyard borders on the Reagan ranch in Santa Barbara."
Around the corner on H Street, the barmaid at the Greenery, pointing out the surroundings, observed, "We already have the California look -- a light wooden bar, plenty of plants and good California wines."
A few doors away at the Class Reunion, where quite a few Republicans from the Ford years still gather, part owner Joan Grbach said, "We do plan on new photos and to change a few around."
Peter Weslow, part owner of Marigold's on 18th Street, said "In honor of the new Republican arrival in the neighborhood we will feature a Western cowboy night on Jan. 23, our own inaugural celebration. We have also added new, fine California wines."
At the newly named bar and restaurant called "The Bottom Line" on Eye Street, a message on the blackboard outside the other day said, "Nancy Reagan wears starched underwear."
"We don't plan on aiming at the new administration people," manager Julie Fleuchaus said, although she promised a concoction of a drink for Inauguration Day. "I don't know what they will be -- sort of make them up and call them 'Hollywood' or 'Bonzo's.'"
There was a salad on the menu touted as "Very Californiaish"; the ingredients were avocado, bean sprouts, spinach, mushrooms, Bermuda onion, tomato and cheese.
At Dominique's on Pennsylvania Avenue, Dominique D'Ermo was taking the new administration in stride.
He was again at war with environmental groups by featuring "fresh black bear" while pushing a new cook book with such recipes as black bear chops, wild rabbit with sauce piquante, squirrel poivrade, rattlesnake matelote and marinated moose steak.
Told that his good friend, comedian Mark Russell, said of him that "Dominique would strangle Bambi right next to your table," D'Ermo laughed and said, "Anything for the customer, the customer is always right."
His feeling was that the new government people would go out for lunch more than the Carter people did.
Always a purveyor of French wines, D'Ermo said, "I began stocking up on California wines six months ago."
"There will be a big shortage of lame duck very soon," said Dianne, his assistant.
Ed Marrocco, who owns Marrocco's Ristorante D'Italia on Pennsylvania Avenue, mused, "Maybe Nancy Reagan will hear about my veal piccata; I hear it's her favorite dish."
Up Connecticut Avenue, the owner of Gary's, Gary Barone, the Brooklyn butcher whose mother is a full-blooded Mohawk Indian and whose father is Italian, declared, "Barone's the name and beef's the game."
But he did add, "I have put in what I understand to be Reagan's favorite wine. It's a full-bodied red wine called Chateau Montelena from the Napa Valley. I have 10 cases and will order more."
Another Brooklyn boy doing a good business along Connecticut Avenue is Mel Krupin, who owns his own place and is only half as big as Barone.
"I never remember so much talk about transition," he said. "What the hell, you want me to buy an avocado tree?"
The day manager of the Old Ebbitt Grill, where the Ford boys liked to go for a hamburger and beer late at night, said, "The menu has been here since Grant's time -- with no changes."
But then remembering the wine that some salesman undoubtedly is having a grand time pushing, the man at the Old Ebbitt said, "We did order some red and white dry wine from the Firestone Vineyards in California. I understand it borders Reagan's ranch in Santa Barbara."