Thursday, December 17, 2009

What's the food like at The White House? Read on...

Marrying up has it's perks. I was able to ride coattails into the White House Correspondant's Holiday Party this year. This was a shot I took on the way out afterwards. Nice miniature of a diningroom. Must be the west wing because I didn't see anything quite so homey in the rest of the place.

You never know who you'll meet at these kind of events. Derek Brown is an old friends who is a very successful mixologist. He specializes in hand-crafted cocktails, home-made mixers, and classic drinks. Great guy. He is co-owner of The Passenger in Penn Quarter and another place coming soon.

Here's the outside of the gingerbread version. Pretty neat.

Cheryl and me in front of the tree.

So what was the food like?
First of all, it was top-notch. It seemed like most of the folks working the party were well-paid and the chefs they had working the buffets were on the money.
The drinks (as crafted by Derek) were great. The bars all had top shelf liquor and the eggnog was definitely spiked with some Kentucky windage.
They had sushi displays, tenderloins, turkey and fixin's, a nice smoked salmon layout...
These buffets, btw, were all over the place too. It wasn't just in one room. As the line to get your picture taken with POTUS it went past several bars and food stations so no one got thirsty or tired.
All in all, a neat event.
Maybe next year you can just show up and say you were supposed to be on the list too.....

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Ray's the Steaks in Arlington...worth the trip....

Here's a shot of me and my friend Mark Slater, formerly of Citronelle and now with Ray's. Michael Landrum has hit the nail on the head with that hire. Mark has more knowledge of wine than anyone I've ever met. We showed up at 6:30pm on a Saturday night. No big wait, no rudeness. Just politeness in informing me that we wouldn't be seated until our entire party was there. I can understand that.
Mark's suggestion for wine was very nice for the price. He's got a large choice of bottles for less than $50.00, but he's also got some special occasion wines on the list. Nice options to have.

Now, I have to say, this was one of the nicest steaks I've had in a while. Topping it with fois didn't hurt either. It was done as I requested and had a very nice flavor. I'd rank this right up there with BLT, Bourbon Steak, Lewne's, and the rest of the bigger guys.
The entrees came with a couple of family-style sides including spinach and mashed potatoes. No extra charge for that.

Desserts were good. I forgot to take a pic before we dug in, but this was the standard here. I'd go with the dark chocolate mousse.
The check hit the table with the desserts, but it wasn't done in a "get out" kind of way. They want you to enjoy yourself and come back. We will.
Bottom line? Definitely worth a visit. It's the best value you can get in a good steak house around here.
Well done folks.
Ray's the Steaks on Urbanspoon