dress up dinners
DH and I are now both govies, thus we no longer have any swank company parties to attend. So he suggested that we go have dinner somewhere where we and other patrons get dressed up in something more than business suits ie break out the little black dress. We are open to DC and B'more and all price points. Welcome all suggestions.
There are just three restaurants in the DC that REQUIRE tie and jacket for gentlemen: Prime Rib, 1789, and Citronelle. However, the customers at several high-end restaurants dress "more" than required.
I am not sure what you mean by "more than business suits." No one requires black tie [thank God!].
With the three exceptions noted, most restaurants now state "business casual" as appropriate attire. Despite that, most gentlemen at, for example, La Paradou and Cityzen wear at least a jacket and often a tie. There will be some in shirt sleeves.
If I were to choose one "dress up" place I would choose La Paradou, even if their waiters now wear suits instead of tuxedos. It is formal and very good. Some call it stuffy but I have found that the front of the house responds to the clients. They default to formal interaction but are as friendly as you wish them to be; the client sets the tone, not the server.
I would certainly try Le Paradou. The service is terrific and the dining room nicely styled. The food can be exquisite and is always good.
Nonetheless, this is Washington, and any restaurant that wants to stay in business will accept clientele in business attire. Almost everyone works very long hours and squeezes meals into their schedule (for business or pleasure).
That doesn't mean a good number of patrons won't be more formally attired. It just means there really aren't many places where apparel trumps willingness to pay for fine food.
You want the dining room at the Willard Hotel. It is the most beautiful dining room in the city, with the finest accoutrements, and the most professional service you can find.
Not quite as formal, but more "little black dress," would be The Prime Rib.
Don't waste your money at Le Paradou. If food is as important as setting, I'd recommend Cityzen.