Kosher dining options are few and far between in the Washington area. But for three days, the Trump hotel will be converting one of its banquet rooms into a fine-dining, certified-kosher restaurant offering a prix-fixe menu for $150 per person. The pop-up coincides with the annual conference for American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) from March 1 to 3, which brings 20,000 attendees to the convention center.
The makeshift restaurant, located in the hotel’s Franklin Study, will offer a three-course menu from 6 to 10:30 PM. To start: a choice of salad or soup (wild mushroom or potato-leek). Main course options include Moroccan-style Cornish hen with green olives, pan-seared halibut, ribeye steak with bordelaise sauce, or tofu with stuffed acorn squash. For dessert, Belgian chocolate cake or fresh fruit tartlets. A bar will also serve kosher wines plus snacks like crudites with hummus or “Asian crunch mix.”
The food will come from Medina Cuisine, a kosher catering operation based in North Bethesda. The company is already preferred caterer for events at the Trump hotel as well as other high-end hotels around DC. Medina also supplies kosher meals for happenings in the House and Senate. Owner Michael Medina previously ran an upscale kosher restaurant called Distrikt Bistro inside the Edlavitch DCJCC near Dupont Circle.
Usually Medina brings a portable kitchen to the venue. But in this case, the Trump hotel will be koshering one of its auxiliary kitchens with the help of rabbis from the Rabbinical Council of Greater Washington, who come in and blowtorch the surfaces to remove any residue.
“Because it’s a restaurant, we felt it would be nice to have that real restaurant feel and use a proper kitchen on-site,” Medina says. The kosher catering company will also be bringing in its own china, silverware, and even salt and pepper shakers.
Medina says there has been a “small amount of negativity” because the pop-up is happening at the Trump hotel, but he emphasizes that it is “100-percent not a political event.”
“This is something that we’re offering to the community at large who eat kosher and also those coming from out of town specifically for the AIPAC conference,” Medina says.