In D.C. Dream Day, we ask our favorite people in the area to tell us how they would spend a perfect day in the District. See previous dream days from NPR’s Ari Shapiro, the Hirshhorn’s Melissa Chiu, indie rocker Hamilton Leithauser and more.
Rose Previte is around people a lot — and usually that’s how she likes it. “According to my Myers-Briggs, I’m an extreme extrovert,” the restaurateur says. It’s a good thing she ended up with two public-facing jobs: owner of Compass Rose, the cozy, international street food-inspired restaurant and bar off 14th Street, and host of “Check, Please! DC,” a public TV show where locals take her to their favorite restaurants in the city (9 p.m. Mondays on WETA). This week Previte, 38, added another item on her to-do list with the opening of Maydan, her new Middle Eastern restaurant just four blocks north of Compass. Despite her affection for her many colleagues and friends, a perfect day for her would be mostly spent solo. “Being in the restaurant business, you’re around people all the time, like hundreds of people,” she says. “I get a lot of energy from people. But every so often, I need a little recharge.”
One of my favorite peaceful spots in D.C. that’s walkable from my home [across the street from Compass Rose] is the National Portrait Gallery courtyard, where I might have a coffee and read a newspaper. I would have a New York Times and a Washington Post.
From there I’d walk to the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, bringing myself a little lunch that I’d picked up from Union Market — this is a long walk. I am a TaKorean, Arepa Zone and DC Dosa fan. I’m getting all three. Those are all really heavy, but I’m not afraid. I’d go to the FDR Memorial and read all the [engravings and] things I’ve already read a hundred times. I love the layout — it inspires me. It makes me feel like, “He got through that terrible time, we can get through this terrible time.”
I love hotel bars. With most of the bars and restaurants I go into in town, I see friends, which is great, but I’m recharging. So I’m going to a hotel bar where I don’t know many people. I would definitely do The Willard’s Round Robin Bar to have a martini. Just a little bit dirty — and it’s always gin. I really appreciate their bar nuts selection. Hotel bars can be counted on for this. My first adult experiences drinking were when I studied in Spain, and that’s part of the tapas culture: Every drink you have with food. So now I always eat when I’m drinking.
So many friends support Compass Rose, so I would love to thank everybody with dinner. I rarely cook anymore, so I would have everybody over for a proper dinner party at my house. I learned to cook with my mom; it was all Middle Eastern and Lebanese, which you’ll be having at Maydan — but Italian is easier and faster. I’d want to have tons of wine, and we’ll sit around the table for hours. I probably won’t do the dishes. I’m one of those people who throws them in the sink and says, “I’ll get to you tomorrow.”
One of my favorite spots for late drinks is Copycat Co. It’s out of the neighborhood, so it gets me off 14th Street. That’s a place where I can get — again — a snack if I want because they serve dumplings super late. I love the energy there: It’s a beautiful space that’s very comfortable, and they have super creative cocktails. And anywhere that will give me food late at night makes me really happy.