Presidential Inauguration

A new term, new Restaurants to try - Mr.President


Heartiest Congratulations Mr. President on your re-election! Thank you for your invitation to the Presidential Inauguration.




 Above : with Mrs. Nisha Vinod at the Inaugural Ball.

I had the privelege and honor to visit the White House during your first term. It was Easter day and I missed  you Mr. President. I look forward to meeting you and serving you some delicious Indian food during your second term.


Above : With Celebrated Chefs Sanjeev Kapoor and Bill Yosses at the White House. 

 The dining landscape in Washington DC has changed tremendously in the last few years! You think of any cuisine of the world and we have them in Washington DC. By now you must have already received various recommendations for your dining in the second term. My humble suggestion is for you to start with the Cleveland Park neightborhood of Washington DC

The historic Cleveland Park in North West Washington DC awaits your arrival Mr. President.  Just to familiarize you with this Washington neighborhood, - Cleveland Park, named after the former President Grover Cleveland, is a historic neighborhood with an old theater – UPTOWN, and in my opinion has some of the best restaurants in town.


 'President Cleveland and Mrs. Cleveland' at the Cleveland Park day in front of Indique. (The President of the Cleveland Park Association dressed as President Cleveland)

When the economy was going south a few years back, this thriving neighborhood took a severe beating; the whole area began to deteriorate. A 100 year old grocery store – Magruders and smal businesses/restaurants like Yenching Palace and Yannis shut their doors; there were ‘To rent signs ‘ all over the place and  businesses began to notice a large drop in their sales.Corporate entertaining was reduced, office/holiday parties disappeared or were downsized and clearly the recession had set in.To confirm that further the ‘groupons’ and ‘living socials had come in a big way and everybody was looking for deals, deals and only deals.

Now hopefully with the worst behind us,and with the economy slowly improving, the empty stores are filling up and some new and exciting changes have come up. Palena restaurant, run by a former White House chef Frank Ruta, has taken over the Magruders, a new steak place - Medium Rare,has opened up. Veteran restaurateur Ashok Bajaj combined his two restaurants( Ardeo + Bardeo) making it larger. In anticipation of uptick in business, Restaurants like Dino and indique added a lot of new dishes to their menus.

Cleveland Park today offers almost every cuisine that you can think of Italian, Indian,Thai, Vietnamese, Modern American, Asian, Tapas, Steaks, French, Pizzas, you name it.

In my opinion, Palena, run by a former White House Chef Frank Ruta is one of the best restaurants in the area. It serves modern American. Palena has both a fine dining restaurant and a café. Here you can try Frank’s amazing three or four course menu or a burger next door.

  If you are in a mood for Indian – then there is no doubt that you have to try Indique, Mr. President. 

  (Full disclosure – Indique is co-owned by my business partner Surfy Rahman and me)

I am not recommending Indique, just because I co-own it Mr. President. I am recommending this because I feel it is one of the most beautiful restaurants in Cleveland Park in terms of its ambiance, quality and variety of food it has to offer.Indique showcases modern Indian cuisine.The name Indique is derived from India and Unique.


Below : The main dining hall located in the second level has two sections with beautiful marble railings from India.



Your family can explore modern Indian Cuisine. We offer small plates;It will be a chance for Sasha and Malia to be exposed to a variety of foods. First lady Michelle Obama would probably appreciate – simple, nutritious options as well as some healthy desserts.

Your choice of Indique has already been endorsed by your cabinet. Ms. Hillary Clinton, Ms. Janet Napolitano, Mr. Lawrence Summers, Mr. David Plouffe, and other dignitaries like the former President of India, the Ambassador of India have all eaten here. 

Let us take a few examples of the dishes mentioned. Our Salmon Slider is a very popular. It is both tasty and healthy. The salmon cake is sandwiched between "oothapam" - a savory lentil and rice pancake,"yogurt tartare" and grilled onions. 


 Above : Salmon slider


Above : Crab Papad Cones

CRAB PAPAD CONES -  are served in a cone made of baked lentils. Mr. President, you get the crunch from the papad, the heat from the spices, and little sweetness from the coconut. 

 Last but not the least we also have a healthy dessert Mr. President - Shreekandh brûlée

You find Creme brûlée at every other restaurant. Here is our version with yogurt..

Shreekandh - torching


Mr. Presdient again I invite you and your family to visit Cleveland Park and try unique Indian cuisine at Indique. Given your very busy schedule, I will be happy to bring the cuisine of Indique to you.


Indique invited to serve Indian food at the Presidential Inaugural route

We are honored and humbled to be part of this historic 56th presidential Inauguration of President Barack Obama. Indique / Indique Heights restaurants has been invited by the GSI in conjunction with the presidential inaugural committee to participate in the festivities along the parade route. Folks come and say hello and check us out at two locations.  We will be at the intersection of 15th street/ New York Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue and at 14th/ G street (west side) … On a cold day don’t miss the Masala Chai Tea, Bhelpuri and much much more.

If you need to see a more detailed map,locations, parade route,  road closings etc check out this site.

Secret Service


 To celebrate the inauguration of the 44th president of the United States – Barack Obama,
Indique restaurant,  will remain open throughout the day on 18th, 19th and 20th of January 2009.
The restaurant and Bar will be open till 4 A.M with a late night Menu and Specialty Inauguration cocktails.
We will also be having a happy hour from 4 to 6 pm on these three days.

At Indique Heights in Chevy Chase - South Asians for Obama is hosting a Brunch on Monday the 19th of January at 10.30 AM..