Date Night for the Obamas!

The President and First Lady didn’t only surprise M Street crowds when they made an appearance at Citronelle on Saturday night. Michel Richard, chef/owner of the Georgetown foodie destination, was pretty shocked too. It was looking like a normal night, even with White House social secretary Desirée Rogers on the reservation books. But about an hour before Rogers’s reservation time, the staff got word that it was actually the President and First Lady who would take the table. Scramble!

When the couple arrived, they were ushered into the restaurant by the relentlessly jolly Richard, then taken to a table in a “semiprivate” dining room (well, as private as you can be with 40 Secret Service agents in and outside the restaurant). They started with a Richard classic, the artfully layered tuna niçoise. Michelle, who recently revealed she'd taken her staff to Five Guys, continued her burger streak with the buttery, potato-chip-topped lobster burger (there’s a miniature one on the tasting menu, but the kitchen made her a full-size version). Barack dug into the super-rich 72-hour braised short ribs, then they shared a napoleon and a few other desserts.

As they left the restaurant, the dining room erupted into applause. The love fest continued when, on the way out, Michelle gave Michel a kiss on the cheek, telling him—in French—how much she liked the food.


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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 Petworth.