If you've got to go, I'd make careful sorties to specific events. I'd expect to have to be really patient. I would dress very warmly. Personally, I'm going to stay in and watch things unfold on the TV. For those of you flocking to this city here are some diversions that might make your visit even that much more special.
If there are any vacancies at the every award under the sun winning Inn at Little Washington, perhaps a night or two there would make all the racing around D.C. proper a bit more palatable. If you can't get a reservation for a room you can still try for a reservation at the restaurant. There you can meet Patrick O'Connell, the man Robert Mondavi dubbed " The Pope of American Cuisine", and sample some of his wares.
(Photo courtesy of AlbertHerring )
Some First Course Selections
A Tin of Sin: American Ossetra Caviar with a Crab and Cucumber Rillette
Poached Pullet Egg in Oxtail Consomme with Porcini Mushrooms and Shaved Burgundy Truffle
A Marriage of Hot and Cold Foie Gras with Ice Wine Jelly and Grilled Black Mission Figs
Some Second Course Selections
Macaroni and Cheese with Virginia Country Ham, Aged Gouda and Shaved Black Burgundy Truffle
Minced Squab with Virginia Peanuts and Shiitake Mushrooms in Hoisin Sauce with Spears of Belgian Endive
A Fricasse of Maine Lobster with Potato Gnocchi and Curried Walnuts
Some Main Course Selections
Pepper Crusted Tuna Pretending to be a Filet Mignon, Capped with Seared Duck Foie Gras on Charred Onions with a Burgundy Butter Sauce
Medallions of Rabbit Loin Wrapped in House Cured Pancetta Surrounding a Lilliputian Rabbit Rib Roast Resting on a Pillow of Rutabaga Purée
Veal Sweetbreads Braised in Ruby Port on Pappardelle Pasta with Huckleberries and Country Ham
Some Dessert Selections
Our Warm Custard Bread Pudding Accented with Solera Vinegar and Pickled Cranberries
Ferdinand Point's Classic "Marjolaine" Cake:Layers of Chocolate and Hazelnut Meringue with Raspberries
A Chocolate Mint Fantasy: Our Mint Ice Cream Festooned with Chocolate Streamers
For a Selection of Today’s Cheeses Just Ask for Faira the Cow
Visiting this spectacular Inn has always been a pleasure. The setting, food, service, and wine list are a cut above. What an appropriate place to celebrate this historic Inauguration.
In a more modern vein and in contrast to the Inn, you could always pray for a seat at Jose Andres' rather surrealistic Mini Bar. Where you can pick between these offerings:
PASSION FRUIT “TEQUILA SUNRISE” / TUMBLEWEED OF BEET / APPLE CRISPS / “MOJITO” / OLIVE OIL BON BON / “CORNBREAD” / COTTON CANDY FOIE GRAS / “BAGELS & LOX” / CURRIED CHICKEN WING / CONCH FRITTER
Flavors & Textures
SALMON-PINEAPPLE “RAVIOLI” WITH CRISPY QUINOA / DECONSTRUCTED GLASS OF WHITE WINE / ZUCCHINI IN TEXTURES / “SUN DRIED” TOMATO SALAD / CAESAR SALAD / EGG 63° WITH CAVIAR / CORN ON THE COB / “GUACAMOLE” / SMOKED OYSTER AND APPLES / NEW ENGLAND CLAM CHOWDER / BREADED CIGALA WITH SEA ASPARAGUS / “PHILLY CHEESESTEAK”
JAPANESE BABY PEACHES WITH YOGURT / PISTACHIO-BEETS AND MIXED BERRIES / THAI DESSERT
SWEET ENDING :
MATCHABALL / SAFFRON GUMDROP IN EDIBLE WRAPPER / MARACUYA MARSHMALLOW / PIÑA COLADA.
Getting a reservation at this tiny establishment may be impossible, but it is worth a try. Other favorites of mine include Ellen & Todd Gray's Equinox, where the Obama's dined last night, and Marcel's. You may also want to get out of downtown and head over to Frank Ruta's ("personal lunch and dinner chef to the Reagan and Bush families and executive Sous Chef" at the White House.) Palena in Cleveland Park or to Black's in Bethesda. Both are conveniently located on the Red Line. Both are always very good.
As my dear readers are no doubt aware, D.C. is filled with great cultural institutions. The National Symphony Orchestra being one. Emmanual Krivine leads the NSO with pianist Yundi Li in Ravel's Piano Concerto in G major January 22 - 24 at The Kennedy Center. What a nice distraction from all the Inaugural mayhem that searching Adagio assai will provide. With all the talk of Jay Z and basketball courts, wouldn't it be nice if the entire Obama Family showed up for this concert in the President's Box. I believe tickets are still available.
There also happen to be any number of wonderful museums and galleries that may serve as a pleasant distraction for you. My favorites include I. M. Pei's National Gallery of Art East Wing with its Calder mobile filled atrium, and the Phillips Collection where " Edward Burtynsky's awe-inspiring vistas create unsettling beauty out of scarred, industrial landscapes."
The current exhibit at the Touchstone Gallery titled My Space on 7th, features 88 local artists and is quite nice. Stop in there to see Aline Pilar's interesting sculpture. Take time to visit with Elyse Harrison at Gallery Neptune in Bethesda where things are always hopping. Like many tall trees in the winter landscape, Gallery Neptune's elevated gallery walls reveal nests in January. "A Logic of Their Own Making", a striking new exhibit features artist Carol Barsha, whose capable hand first and foremost celebrates the power of drawing. Working with oil, charcoal and ink, the gallery is filled with large powerful images of bird nests on paper. Gallery Neptune is located in the heart of downtown Bethesda, Maryland, a short walk from the Bethesda metro on the red line. Get a sneak preview of “A Logic of Their Own Making” at http://www.galleryneptune.com/en/196/
Or, take a hike... up to Baltimore's Gallery Imperato where you'll enjoy their Guns and Chandeliers Exhibit made up of Oil paintings by Shannon Cannings and Resin paintings by Jessica Dunegan.
With todays Washington Post headline " Mall Area Is Flush With Portable Facilities" , nothing is going to get me downtown. Not even the Inaugural Jello Wrestling Brawl at the Rock & Roll Hotel on Wednesday.
Me... I'm gonna stay in. Maybe I'll take advantage of the collaboration between Google and Madrid's Prado Museum and zoom in on some of their famous masterpieces. Regardless dear readers, I hope I've provided you with some interesting ideas as to how you might survive and enjoy the Inaugural Week.