With wood-paneled walls and tabletops covered in rich leather, the plush dining room at Michael Mina’s Bourbon Steak whisks patrons back to a time when lobbyists could wine and dine lawmakers with impunity. Ethics rules have changed, but D.C.’s power brokers still need to eat—and Bourbon Steak is a favorite for most.
As one might expect at a tony steakhouse, the 900-label wine list is strong in Napa cabernet and classified growth Bordeaux. But wine director Winn Roberton has made a point of packing his list with bottles for budget-conscious wine lovers. Values abound in a section dubbed “Secrets of the Sommelier.” Roberton has also made an effort to showcase local wines, offering selections from the best properties in Virginia, Maryland and New York.