Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Yes, We Can (Eat)

In today's Washington Post, food writer-critic Tom Sietsema discusses the eating and dining inclinations of the new First Family. He writes:

Now that the president-elect has assembled his Cabinet and the future first lady has settled their two daughters in a new school, Barack and Michelle Obama can focus on another weighty issue: where to eat in Washington.

Yes, they'll have a kitchen staff at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. at their disposal 24-7. But the record shows, and the Obamas' staff confirms, that the next first couple like to dine out, and they appreciate a variety of flavors.

If their time in Chicago, a top-rated restaurant town, is any gauge, the Obamas gravitate to Italian restaurants . . .

"They've loved living in Chicago," says a spokesman for the Obamas, who are also partial to potluck meals shared with friends. "But they're very excited about their new home. They won't be homebodies, for sure."

That's music to the ears of local restaurateurs, few of whom can recall George W. Bush eating out other than shortly after 9/11, when he and then-mayor Anthony Williams made an appearance at Morton's on Connecticut Avenue with their

It isn't just an honor when a sitting president drops by for a meal. Ashok Bajaj, whose six Washington restaurants include the recently renovated Bombay Club . . . near the White House, says Bill Clinton's first visit there in 1993 "put Indian cuisine on the map."
To refer to Bombay Club as being "near the White House" is an understatement. It would take Obama no more than five minutes to walk there from the Oval Office.

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