WASHINGTON—The Obamas are kicking off their vacation a few days early, with date night at a restaurant near the White House.

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama arrived Thursday evening in formal attire at Rasika, an Indian restaurant in Washington's West End neighborhood.

The White House says the dinner is in celebration of the president's birthday. Obama turned 52 on Sunday.

If the Obamas are in the mood to dine out, they won't have to wait long to try out a few other eateries. Obama and the first lady on Saturday head to Martha's Vineyard for their annual August getaway. They'll spend nine days on the picturesque Massachusetts island. The president plans to have no public events during the vacation.