Traveling Table: Washington, D.C.

From fancy steaks to fancy-free sushi, dining in our capital has never been better

Bourbon Steak Steakhouses may have evolved elsewhere, but here they remain clubby, wood-paneled destinations for lobbyists and ambitious interns. Enter Bourbon Steak, the latest outpost of chef Michael Mina's empire. The soothing space (pictured) drags the concept from Stone Age to sleek, supplementing top-shelf steaks ($42 to $72) with entrées ($29 to $44) such as butter-poached lobster with Thai curry cream and Worcestershire-braised short ribs. 2800 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.; 202-342-0444 or fourseasons.com (Reserve a table)

Cork Wine Bar At Cork, you can get almost anything you want, from a flight of Italian reds to a juicy roast chicken ($13) and roasted Brussels sprouts with pancetta and brown butter ($8). What you can't always get is a seat: From the moment it opened, the cozy wine bar was an instant neighborhood haunt–and since January, it's been a favorite of newly arrived Obama administration staffers. 1720 14th St., N.W.; 202-265-2675 or corkdc.com

Sei Purists are often (rightly) skeptical of "creative" sushi rolls. But at the flashy new Sei, the inventive rolls–such as the brilliant "fish and chips" ($10), a piece of flounder paired with threads of fried potato–actually outdo the plain old salmon and tuna. Indulge your palate in the gorgeous minimalist setting with the lobster tempura roll ($12), wasabi guacamole ($9) and Asian pork buns ($10). 444 Seventh St., N.W.; 202-783-7007 or seirestaurant.com (Reserve a table)

Taylor Gourmet Philadelphia natives Casey Patten and David Mazza loved D.C. but missed their hometown hoagies, so they brought the two together in the up-and-coming Atlas District. They truck their crusty rolls from Philly's legendary Sarcone's bakery, then stuff them with imported Italian meats and cheeses, roasted turkey or chicken cutlets ($7 to $9). The only thing missing? A classic roast pork and provolone hoagie. But don't worry; they're working on it. 1116 H St., N.E.; 202-684-7001 or taylorgourmet.com