When Rachael Ray’s Washington episode of $40 a Day aired a couple of years ago, many local gourmands turned up their noses. Dessert at the Hotel Washington? Lunch at Clyde's? She could do better than that! (Note to Rachael: next time you come to DC, check out the 100 awesome Cheap Eats in our June issue.)
Last weekend, the Food Network’s teeny-tiny Italian bombshell Giada De Laurentiis was in town filming for her new show, Giada’s Weekend Getaways. The premise? Giada visits “cities and towns that are ideal for a three-day, food-filled weekend,” according to FoodNetwork.com. With no budget limitations, Giada went all out and spent much of Saturday filming at Georgetown’s tony Citronelle with chef Michel Richard. The restaurant's PR rep Mel Davis says the foodie starlet and two friends dined on Richard's "Mosaic surf & turf", eggplant gazpacho, cod with artichokes and bok choy, duck with beets, chocolate three ways, and raspberry vacherin. Even the most discriminating foodie can’t really argue with that.
Before Citronelle, she brunched at Cafe Atlantico in Penn Quarter, where Chef Katsuya Fukushima cooked up some of his Latin dim sum dishes. While in the neighborhood, she checked out the International Spy Museum before gearing up for more eating.
That evening, Giada and her crew relaxed over dinner at Michel Richard's newish bistro, Central—cameras off. “She was a pig!” says general manager Brian Zipin. “No, just kidding. She was great…really cool.” Her group sipped Central’s signature mai tais and mojitos and noshed on salads, short ribs, and burgers.
Sunday, there were several Giada sightings at the Dupont Circle farmers market. She strolled around and sampled from vendors, and spectators say she seemed to especially enjoy the cheeses from FireFly farms.
Giada’s Weekend Getaways airs Friday nights at 9:30. Food Network reps told the restaurants that the Washington episode should air the second or third week of the new season, which kicks off in late summer.