The couple and their guests ate at Mintwood Place, a mid-priced, critically well-received establishment.
The guests were David Garcia, an associate music professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill; Ben Oakleaf, a wildfire smokejumper from Idaho, and Latasha Scurry an assistant high school principal in Florida. Each winner was allowed one guest. There were no other customers in the restaurant.
Reporters briefly saw the group at their table.
Mrs. Obama was heard describing dishes served earlier in the day at a children's luncheon, including zucchini fries.
Proceeds from the contest went to the Obama campaign and Democratic Party groups.