RunintheCity saidWhat gay spots are in Dupont Circle? Other than that Fireplace joint? I've been to the bars down on...is it 17th or 15th between P and R?
I'll be in DC in late April and am having a hellacious time finding hotels in the city that are under my workplace's travel limit on lodging. Ugh. I'm going to end up all the way out in Crystal City!
Oh, Crystal City's fine if it comes to that. Basically anywhere close to the Metro will get you into town pretty quick. In Virginia, Arlington or Alexandria are definitely doable. Anything else is too far. Silver Spring Metro is the furthest out I'd want to be from DC if I had to stay in Maryland. And if you don't mind slightly sketchy, someplace around the New York Ave Metro will probably be affordable.
You might also check out guesthouses/B&Bs. There are a few in the city.
As for bars, Logan Circle is really overtaking Dupont as the "gayborhood" -- Dupont is turning more into a place for the older, richer and straighter.
In Logan, Halo on 15th & P is pretty much *the* gay bar now, and by late April Nellie's sports bar on 9th & U should have their awesome roof deck open. I'm not much of a bar guy, but I know there are a couple clubby type places that have opened in the Shaw neighborhood, which is adjacent to Logan. Town is one, and I think the other is BeBar, but I can't vouch for them since I haven't been to either.
Back in Dupont, JR's is the old reliable, and Cobalt is a little more spacious and upscale (though my friends and I all joke it looks like a Pottery Barn catalog). And there's the Fireplace (shady), Apex (haven't been in years, but guessing it's still a reliable dance club), and Omega (are you lonesome tonight?).
I second Caslon's recommendation of Remington's, if you want to trek to the wastelands of Capitol Hill. And there's usually a gay night going on at a straight club. Pick up a free Metro Weekly magazine anywhere you see a lot of gay people, and it should list all that week's goings on.
As for eating, lots of great restaurants here, more than I can name. But if you want an authentic, non-touristy DC experience, be sure to go to an Ethiopian restaurant. Meskerem in Adams Morgan is pretty good, but I think the epicenter of the Ethiopian community is shifting towards U Street/Shaw. I hear Dukem is good, but I haven't been. Etete on 9th & U is the "upscale" Ethiopian and pretty good.
Colorado Kitchen is sublime comfort food made by a lesbian food nazi in the middle of nowhere, but it's worth the trip. And Straits of Malaya is pretty darn good (not "great"), but it's usually filled with gay people and is close to the craziness of Adams Morgan. And next door is a gay bar of sorts, more like a neighborhood gay bar, called Larry's Lounge, where you'll be more likely to have a nice chat with the locals than to find any cute young things to cruise.
Speaking of Adams Morgan, the Duplex Diner at 18th & U is an extremely popular hangout for the gay boys, but most people go for the drinks rather than the food, which, I'm sorry to say, sucks.
(BTW, if anybody tells you to go to Lauriol Plaza, DON'T! It's crappy, mediocre Mexican food, but in an upscale setting that make tourists and suburbanites feel like they're having a night out. Straits of Malaya is right across the street anyway.)
And that's all I can think of off the top of my head. Hope this helps, and hope you like our quaint little federal village!