Along the heavily trod stretch of 17th Street between P and R streets in the city's lively Dupont Circle neighborhood, this retro-fab establishment has been a gay fave for cocktails, old-school steak dinners, mimosa brunches, and steak-and-eggs breakfasts for decades. But as D. Green Lantern is tough to find, but certainly worth the hunt. But most of the gay clubs and bars are in the Dupont Circle and Logan Circle neighborhoods, which are near downtown, but I don't know if they fall within your definition of "downtown area limit. The owners of Number Nine are also responsible for this stylish spot, sporting tall wood-backed booths, offbeat paintings and rooster-print wallpaper.
Which Area should I stay in when visiting DC? A favorite of young professionals, twinks, college students, and other see-and-be-seen types a pretty good mix of men and women in the District, Cobalt and 30 Degrees is a full-on gay entertainment complex, and a fixture along Dupont Circle's busy 17th Street strip. Print mattered, not only as a means of relaying information on gay happenings but also as one of drawing queer folk together.
If you're coming for the food, note that the menu goes well beyond steak-house fare, with eggs dishes at breakfast and burgers, sandwiches, and seafood.