Trey Radel’s Favorite Eats and Drinks, in D.C. and Naples

Posted October 25, 2013 at 3:26pm

In an effort to spice up a routine flight home from D.C., Rep Trey Radel invited the Twitterati to chat about just about anything — “anything BUT politics or policy,” he pleaded — sparking a lively exchange in which the Florida Republican laid bare where he treats his mouth to food and drink.

His tastes, at least here in D.C., run the gamut from gourmet burgers to bookish retreats.

Radel tapped Capital Grille — which HOH was surprised to learn is apparently too rich for Arizona Republican John McCain’s blood — for power lunching purposes, favors the array of flavored aiolis Good Stuff Eatery makes available for slathering burgers with, enjoys the lighter side of Sonoma, and has been known to bend the elbow at Bullfeathers.

He also revealed that Afterwords Cafe, the beloved eatery attached to Kramerbooks, is his favorite brunch spot. (Zagat users seem to concur.)

“I love the vibe of the Dupont and Logan Circle area, and I especially like any place that has great outside seating,” Radel explained via email, adding that spotting their well-curated beer list didn’t hurt either.

“My go to brunch item is the chili cheese stuffed Obamlet which is a heart attack on a plate and I love it,” Radel shared.

He also showed several hometown restaurants in Naples, Fla., some love, praising Campiello, Bice and Pazzo! as pasta havens par excellence.

At our request, Radel ranked all three and divulged their most enticing dishes.

He listed the gorgonzola risotto at Bice (a Naples Daily News critic once gushed about their veal-stuffed agnolotti), the braised short ribs at Campiello (Zagat users dig the pies and people-watching) and shrimp tagliolini prepared by Pazzo! (a Gulfshore Life magazine critic extolled the unassuming cuisine) as his epicurean trifecta.

All of which made us wonder: Where does he go for Italian in D.C.?

Survey says: nowhere.

“Because we have such great Italian in Southwest Florida, while in D.C. I am in search of trying new and global food which could be anything from food trucks to Korean to Middle Eastern (I am part Lebanese),” the seasoned gastronaut said.

He’s had no such problems when it comes to finding a welcoming watering hole.

A vodka man, Radel has found the District to be very accommodating in terms of wetting his whistle.

“I have yet to have a bad martini in DC,” he commented. “My favorite is Kettle One, up with blue cheese stuffed olives shaken by Mary at The Palm.”