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.