The Obamas Dine Out on Martinis and 40-Layer Lasagna at L’Ardente

The former President and First Lady made their second visit to the glam Italian restaurant.

L'Ardente's luxe dining room. Photograph by Greg Powers.

Let’s be real: tracking Joe Biden’s dinner plans outside the White House has been a bit of a snooze. His limited outings have included visits to predictable VIP favorites like Le Diplomate and Fiola Mare. So it’s no wonder Washington foodies still seem to get psyched when the Obamas hit a trendy hotspot. The latest: Saturday date night at glam Italian restaurant L’Ardente, known for its 40-layer lasagna, gold-plated pizza oven, and neon “Please don’t do coke in the bathroom” sign.

The former President was photographed in peak chill mode, reclining against the velvety blue banquette with a martini on hand, while Michelle smiled at him with a glass of red in front of her.

A tipster tells us the couple actually both started with olive martinis. He went for a round two, while she switched to wine. They reportedly sampled chef David Deshaies’s menu widely: a hot salami and sausage pizza, grilled prawns, the insalata verde, carrots with yogurt and pesto, and linguine alla vongole. Yes, they also got the $36 lasagna decadently layered with short rib sugo and truffle mornay. And yes, they wrapped up the meal with the restaurant’s epic tiramisu flambé—a spectacle of a dessert involving fire and a melty chocolate sphere.

This is the Obamas second visit to L’Ardente, which opened a year ago in the Capitol Crossing development. They previously did date night there in April.

The Obamas ordered L’Ardente’s 40-layer lasagna. Photograph by Mike Fuentes.

Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.