A Night Out: Pink Tie Party

What: Pink Tie Party

Where: The Liaison Capitol Hill.

When: March 11, 6:30 to 9:30.

Cost: $150.

Beneficiary: The National Cherry Blossom Festival, a nonprofit organization that raises money to fund cultural and community-based events over the two-week springtime festival commemorating the 1912 gift of cherry-blossom trees.

Scene: Couples meandered from table to table, looking over the items for auction and sampling the food. Conversation was loud, often drowning out the music. The room was large—a generic conference area with large, hanging light fixtures and bright-pink up-lighting. Food, cocktail, and display tables cluttered most of the space. Tall, sprawling displays of cherry-blossom branches and short vases of Oriental lilies, hydrangeas, and pink roses were the most beautiful things in the room.

Photographs by Chris Leaman. Want to see more photos from Washington events and parties? Click here for Washingtonian.com's photo slideshow page.

Food: Cherries were incorporated into most of the food and, more often than not, overwhelmed the dish. The squash presentation from La Prima, for example, had an excellent cherry drizzle, but the squash remained unremarkable. And Fyve restaurant’s cherry foie gras parfait—layers of foie gras, mousse, cherry marmalade, Meyer-lemon cream, and toasted almonds served in a Champagne glass—was pretty to look at but had too many competing flavors and textures to enjoy. The line for sushi was long and not worth the wait.

There were some home runs. TenPenh served a nice ahi-tuna sahimi over a bed of seaweed salad drizzled with a cherry-ponzu vinaigrette. Charlie Palmer Steak’s pork-cheek croquettes were crispy on the outside, warm on the inside, and worth a second (or third) serving. And Art and Soul’s chicken-liver pâté combined salty and sweet, crunchy and smooth, and had a nice mustard finish.

For dessert, the handmade blossom gelati from Dolci Gelati was the perfect blend of cherry tartness and cream, and Adour’s cherry-flavored macaroons were worth every bit of the indulgence.

Drink: Most cocktail mixologists made blossom-themed cocktails, and as with the food, there was often an overemphasis on cherries. Cherries overwhelmed the Champagne cocktail from the Source, and though Mie N Yu’s cherry-blossom cocktail was refreshing, it was best taken in small sips because it was very sweet. The best concoction came from Art and Soul. The mixologist’s specialty cocktail—served over shaved ice with orange bitters and an orange slice—was both subtle and refreshing. Overall, however, the wine bar was the best bet.

Favorite auction items: A digital painting of cherry trees from TabulaRasa Art Studio in Rockville; a Vineyard Vines and Wine set, which included three pink-themed Vineyard Vines neckties and a bottle of Steele Zifandel; a chartered Capitol Yacht Tour cruise for 55 people aboard the Finished Business, an 85-foot yacht; and a four-pass package to a Washington Nationals home game with on-field access.

Ratings:
Boldface names: 0 out of 5
Swankiness: 2 out of 5
Food and drink: 3 out of 5
Exclusivity: 0 out of 5
Total score: 5 out of 20

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