The Highs and Lows of Sugar & Champagne

By: Rina Rapuano

Droves of people and pooches turned up at the downtown DC Ritz-Carlton for Sugar & Champagne, the event hosted each year by Todd and Ellen Gray of Equinox to raise money and awareness for the Washington Humane Society. Here are the highs and lows of an evening that was a fun—and delicious—night out for man and beast.

Most creative dessert: Josh Short of Buzz in Alexandria decorated his chocolate, vanilla, and red-velvet cupcakes to look like different breeds of dogs.

Least creative dessert:
Hook pastry chef Heather Chittum’s walnut wedding cookies. They were good but similar to what you can get at most bakeries these days.

Most refined dessert:
The Meyer-lemon petite gâteau from 2941, with its translucent dried lemon slice, hazelnut crunchies, coffee emulsion, and light-as-air lemon mousse.

Best grownups-only dessert:
Taberna del Alabardero’s strawberries, set upright on trays of sugar and filled with Champagne and tiny chocolate chunks.

Biggest hazard of attending a pets-welcome event:
Getting your leg humped by someone else’s dog while you’re waiting to pay for the valet parking.

Biggest hazard for the dogs who attended:
Having mama put a boa around your neck.

Most harrowing moment:
When the emcees announced that poor little Burt the dog had been separated from his owners.

Biggest reason to be thankful:
That someone didn’t decide to bring a cat or ferret.

Biggest disappointment:
Many of the desserts and drinks were tapped out by 9, even though the event was supposed to last until 10.

Most useful tip for organizers:
Considering the lines at Indique’s table—the only one serving savory food—and the way the cheese plates were ravished, a few more dinnerlike options would be a great idea for next year.

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