The Wrap-Up: The Week in Food

The Inn at Little Washington will celebrate its 30th anniversary with a blowout bash next week.

•Have an extra $575 in your pocket? That’s the lowest ticket price for what is sure to be the hottest, starriest foodie event of the year: The Inn at Little Washington’s 30th-anniversary fete. Held at DC’s Mellon Auditorium on April 9, the over-the-top seven-course dinner and gala will honor the culinary renaissance men and women of the last three decades. They include Martha Stewart, Alice Waters, late DC chef Jean-Louis Palladin, former Washington Post restaurant critic Phyllis Richman, and 26 others. Got $25,000? That gets you entry to a private reception with Inn chef/owner Patrick O'Connell, a table with one of the honorees, and a private sommelier, among other things. Proceeds benefit Five & Alive, a global charity aimed at the health of young children. Click here for tickets and more information.

•Actor Russell Crowe has been making the junk-food rounds while in town shooting political thriller State of Play. First he was photographed exiting half-smoke landmark Ben’s Chili Bowl. This past Monday—the same day he threw a party at downtown-DC Italian spot Spezie—Crowe stopped into Georgetown Cupcake for a dozen little treats (flavors included red velvet and chocolate with vanilla icing), then sent an assistant back for more.

•Alexandria waterfront restaurant Indigo Landing, which shuttered for the winter, has reopened for lunch and dinner (weekend brunch service has been delayed until the weather warms). But it’s not the same Indigo as before, the one that landed on our 2007 100 Best Restaurants list. Star Restaurant Group (which also owns Zola) has pulled out of its partnership with Guest Services, leaving the restaurant solely in the hands of the hospitality company (which mostly manages law-firm, museum, and government cafeterias and corporate dining facilities). So, gone is up-and-coming chef Bryan Moscatello and the place’s distinctive low-country accent. In place is a new menu with a chophouse focus (hickory-roasted prime rib, St. Louis-style ribs) and a round of appetizers that show a grab bag of influences (garlic naan with hummus; sugarcane-skewered shrimp with rum-butter sauce). We’ll miss the Duck Bog stew, bacon crackers, and buttermilk pie.

•Actress Kim Cattrall (a.k.a. Sex and the City’s Samantha Jones) will host the upcoming James Beard Awards in New York City. Does the purring seductress have a pork-belly fetish? Nah, turns out she’s dating a chef. Nonetheless, Rising Star Chef nominee Johnny Monis should watch out.

•It’s official: Roberto Donna will not reopen his restaurant Galileo in its longtime location on 21st Street, Northwest. (He decamped to Crystal City in 2006 to open the more-casual Bebo Trattoria while Galileo’s building was being renovated.) Sad news for fans of the restaurant’s back dining room, which is where the best action was: On weekend nights, it housed the extravagant, theatrical Laboratorio del Galileo, and on weekday afternoons it was where Donna slung fabulous (and fabulously cheap) grilled-pork sandwiches. According to the Washington Post’s Tom Sietsema, Donna is scouting for other locations. 

•The weekly Chef at Market program at the Dupont Circle FreshFarm Market kicks off this Sunday with a cooking demo and tasting by Mio’s Stefano Frigerio. In the mood for an early bite of rabbit casserole or chilled pea soup? Swing by the farmers market (20th St., NW, between Massachusetts Ave. and Q St.) between 11 AM and noon. 

New York magazine’s Electopedia explores the eating habits of the presidential candidates. Hillary Clinton’s diet is deemed “slim and spicy.” Besides her famous obsession with hot sauce, she’s a fan of the South Beach Diet, chocolate, and coconut meringue pie from a Little Rock bakery. Barack Obama, meanwhile, loves fried chicken and cheeseburgers with Dijon mustard, loathes beets, and while growing up in Indonesia sampled grasshopper, dog, and snake. (Guess we know who Tony Bourdain will root for.) As for John McCain, he’s more of a hot-dogs, doughnuts, and Coke kind of guy.

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.