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Marcus Samuelsson's restaurant at MGM National Harbor
Marcus Samuelsson's restaurant at MGM National Harbor
R. Lopez

Explore D.C.'s Hidden Dining Treasures

Digging into restaurants within restaurants and bars inside bars

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Marcus Samuelsson's restaurant at MGM National Harbor
| R. Lopez

Marcus Samuelsson's restaurant at MGM National Harbor debuted this winter, bringing the New York-based chef's signature cuisine to the splashy Las Vegas-style resort on the Potomac. Tucked in the back is a music-fueled bar called Sammy's — named after Rat Pack icon Sammy Davis Jr.  — featuring jazz, DJs and gospel brunches.

Sammy's is one of the many surprises awaiting adventurous local diners and drinkers who favor establishments featuring specialty bars within bars or exclusive restaurants within restaurants.

Amaro lovers can currently take refuge in the six-seat bar dedicated to the Italian liqueur at RPM Italian, while seafood lovers are welcome to feast at Conosci, the 30-seat counter folded within Alta Strada. And there's more on the the way: The Dabney is developing a basement wine bar, while the Sugar Shack coming to Shaw is expected to house a speakeasy, similar to Captain Gregory's in Alexandria, Va.

Here's a look at the Russian nesting dolls of the hospitality world operating in the immediate area.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Captain Gregory's

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804 North Henry Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
The 24-seat restaurant and speakeasy serves cocktails and bar bites in the most unlikely spot — inside sweets shop Sugar Shack Donuts. Naturally, doughnuts are on the dessert menu.

2. The Columbia Room

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124 Blagden Alley NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 316-9396
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The former 10-seat cocktail bar inside The Passenger gave way last year to its own, separate spot with three distinct spaces: the namesake bar, Punch Garden rooftop deck, and Spirits Library and Bar, a stylish retreat replete with books and leather chairs.

3. Conosci

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465 K St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 629-4662
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Diners looking for Michael Schlow’s crudo bar must cross through anchor restaurant Alta Strada and slip between velvet curtains to find Conosci. It’s no wonder the name of the restaurant -within-a-restaurant means “do you know” in Italian.

4. Dram and Grain

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2007 18th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009
(202) 607-1572
Located in the basement of Jack Rose Dining Saloon, the reservations-only cocktail bar has become a local favorite for its unpretentious vibe and extensive drink list. It’s open Wednesday through Saturday.

5. Elixir Bar at Barrel

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613 Pennsylvania Ave SE
Washington, D.C. 20003
(202) 543-3622
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The basement bar at Barrel has made a splash not just with its cheeky cocktail list but with pop-up projects that have poked fun at our newly installed commander-in-chief. The most recent incarnation featured a Russian theme.

6. Kobo at Sushiko

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5455 Wisconsin Ave
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
(301) 961-1644
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The new restaurant inside Sushiko features a 12-to-15-course Japanese tasting menu with vegan and non-vegan options. It debuted last month following an extensive renovation.

7. Omakase counter at Sushi Taro

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1503 17th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20036
(202) 462-8999
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The Omakase counter at Sushi Taro features four to six small dishes, followed by sashimi and sushi.

8. RPM Italian

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650 K Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 204-4480
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Bill and Giuliana Rancic’s RPM Italian offers a six-seat amaro bar that features more than 13 types of the bitter Italian herbal liqueur.

9. Sammy's at Marcus Restaurant

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101 Harbor View Avenue
Oxon Hill, MD 20745
301-971-6010
Staples at Marcus Samuelsson’s restaurant include fried chicken and blackened catfish. Head to the back bar, Sammy’s, for music, eight signature cocktails (including the Sammy’s Old Fashioned) and snacks such as cauliflower frites.

1. Captain Gregory's

804 North Henry Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
The 24-seat restaurant and speakeasy serves cocktails and bar bites in the most unlikely spot — inside sweets shop Sugar Shack Donuts. Naturally, doughnuts are on the dessert menu.
804 North Henry Street
Alexandria, VA 22314

2. The Columbia Room

124 Blagden Alley NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
The former 10-seat cocktail bar inside The Passenger gave way last year to its own, separate spot with three distinct spaces: the namesake bar, Punch Garden rooftop deck, and Spirits Library and Bar, a stylish retreat replete with books and leather chairs.
124 Blagden Alley NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

3. Conosci

465 K St NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
Diners looking for Michael Schlow’s crudo bar must cross through anchor restaurant Alta Strada and slip between velvet curtains to find Conosci. It’s no wonder the name of the restaurant -within-a-restaurant means “do you know” in Italian.
465 K St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

4. Dram and Grain

2007 18th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20009
Located in the basement of Jack Rose Dining Saloon, the reservations-only cocktail bar has become a local favorite for its unpretentious vibe and extensive drink list. It’s open Wednesday through Saturday.
2007 18th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009

5. Elixir Bar at Barrel

613 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Washington, D.C. 20003
The basement bar at Barrel has made a splash not just with its cheeky cocktail list but with pop-up projects that have poked fun at our newly installed commander-in-chief. The most recent incarnation featured a Russian theme.
613 Pennsylvania Ave SE
Washington, D.C. 20003

6. Kobo at Sushiko

5455 Wisconsin Ave, Chevy Chase, MD 20815
The new restaurant inside Sushiko features a 12-to-15-course Japanese tasting menu with vegan and non-vegan options. It debuted last month following an extensive renovation.
5455 Wisconsin Ave
Chevy Chase, MD 20815

7. Omakase counter at Sushi Taro

1503 17th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20036
The Omakase counter at Sushi Taro features four to six small dishes, followed by sashimi and sushi.
1503 17th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20036

8. RPM Italian

650 K Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
Bill and Giuliana Rancic’s RPM Italian offers a six-seat amaro bar that features more than 13 types of the bitter Italian herbal liqueur.
650 K Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

9. Sammy's at Marcus Restaurant

101 Harbor View Avenue, Oxon Hill, MD 20745
Staples at Marcus Samuelsson’s restaurant include fried chicken and blackened catfish. Head to the back bar, Sammy’s, for music, eight signature cocktails (including the Sammy’s Old Fashioned) and snacks such as cauliflower frites.
101 Harbor View Avenue
Oxon Hill, MD 20745

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