Since reading all its rave reviews, I’ve been dying to try out Policy Restaurant for a while. So, I got my friend “Buck” to take me there for my very first date field trip. I loved Policy because everything about it – the food, the drinks, the setting – is sexy.
Provocatively named “The Love Dining Room,” the bar and restaurant of Policy is definitely one of the most unique spots to go to in DC. With glowing red vinyl booths against sharp black walls and stamped tin ceiling, it’s styled after a diner–but much swankier. It looks and feels like a film set from Oceans Eleven. I felt sexier simply by walking into the restaurant!
What to Wear
Almost any style of dress works at Policy. The cozy, intimate booths would make you feel comfortable in nice jeans but, since I went to the date straight from work, I was dressed up and so Buck wore a suit for me. We felt like we fit right in with the stylish ambience (and like we might be able to take part in some kind of sexy heist after). If your date hasn’t been to Policy before, when you mention the location, give her a heads up on how you plan to dress. Girls take their outfits very seriously.
What to Order
The food is delicious and elegantly designed. Policy serves it tapas style, so the plates are small and made to share. Our friendly waiter, Vinny, recommended ordering six plates (2-3 per person), but I suggest starting with four and waiting until later to order more (or saving room for one of their fabulous desserts or after dinner drinks). We were especially impressed by the Salt Roasted Local Beets (with pistachio pesto and gorgonzola mousse) and the Blackened Diver Scallops! If you are like Buck, and choosing six dishes in an unknown restaurant, in front of a new date, makes your nervous (or seems potentially costly), be sure to read Secret Tip #1 for the great insider tips that the General Manager, Jordan, provided!
What to Drink
If you and your date are interested in smooth and carefully crafted cocktails, suggest that she try a Hibiscus Cocktail. It’s sweet and lovely and actually has a hibiscus flower in the bottom that you can eat. Men, if you want to feel like Dean Martin, then be sure to get a Black Manhattan, Policy’s version of the classic man’s cocktail with top shelf scotch.
Where to Sit
When you make your reservation, request one of the following tables. The booth all the way in the back (Table 32) is very moodily lit and intimate–you’ll feel like a couple of spies. The small booth (Table 15) all the way in the front, near the bar, is more charming and allows for better people-watching (and honestly has more flattering light). On warm nights, you can really impress your date by reserving the front window table. You’ll feel like VIPs!
Where to Go After
Right upstairs! Policy is designed as an all-night destination. Their Liberty Lounge is a roomy little club decorated by graffiti artist, Andrew Funk. It has DJs on the weekends and Karaoke on Wednesday nights if you’re feeling Rat Packy. The room has several partially enclosed booth areas that make you feel like you’ve got a private cabana right in the club.
Where is It?
1904 14th Street, NW,Washington,DC 20009
www.policyDC.com – the website is very informative
Hours: Daily, 5:30 pm – 2:30 am (food served until 12:30 am)
How to Get There
Policy is metro accessible, located at the U Street/Cordozo Stop on the Yellow and Green Lines. Personally, I suggest driving your date as it provides a more intimate pre-date connection and can set the mood for a romantic evening. Take advantage of Policy’s Valet Parking ($15), as street parking is limited.
Secret Tip #1: Call ahead and tell Policy you’re bringing a date that evening. Tell them how much you’d like to spend and ask them to design a meal for the two of you to fit your budget. (Be sure to have asked your date about any dietary restrictions.) She will be impressed by your decisiveness and planning and the two of you can sit back and get to know each other while being pleasantly surprised as the courses come to your table one by one. (Be sure to tell Policy you heard about them from Rita’s Date Guide for Guys, but not in front of your date!)
In fact, calling ahead and letting a restaurant know who you are, and that you hoping to impress a date at their place, is always a good way to find out about unique opportunities and you often get a warm welcome at the door and other special treatment!
Secret Tip #2: Make your date at Policy for a Wednesday night and get a bottle of wine for half price. Your date doesn’t have to know! Our waiter recommended the Willamette Valley 2010 Pinot Noir, Oregon, and I was very impressed!
Pocket Guide to a Date at Policy
Style: Swanky Casual
Expect to spend: $40 – $120
Best tables: 15, 32 or window
Best evening: Wednesday (1/2 price wine bottles and karaoke)
Order: Roasted Local Beets and Blackened Diver Scallops – or let Policy choose for you.
Drinks: Hibiscus Cocktail (for her) and Black Manhattan (for him)
After dinner: Liberty Lounge located upstairs
Where to make your move: Sit beside her in a partially enclosed booth in the Lounge. If she doesn’t slide away, you know you’ve got a shot!
My night at Policy was extremely fun and I don’t think you can go wrong with this date, boys! I’d love to hear all about yours, so drop me a line and tell me your stories!
Win a $50 Gift Certificate to Policy Restaurant!
We’d love to hear what you have to say! Post a comment to this blog no later than Sunday, February 19, 2012 and you’ll be entered to win a $50.00 gift certificate to Policy! The winner will be randomly selected and announced in the next “Rita’s Date Guide for Guys” post on February 21st!
(Not sure what to comment? Here’s a topic up for debate! Should a guy take the bold move of ordering for a woman? Men, do you feel comfortable doing the ordering? Women, do you think it’s sexy when a guy takes charge and orders for you?)
**Pursuant to “what’s right” as well as what the FTC thinks is right *wink*, I’d like to disclose the following: Policy Restaurant graciously donated the date for Buck and me, as well as the $50 gift certificate that was raffled, in order for us to be able to truly bring to you the best way to navigate a date at this location!