Where the Obamas Should Celebrate Their Anniversary: 6 First Couple-Worthy DC Restaurants #datenight

Since moving into the White House, the Obamas have done an impressive job of dining out at some of the finest restaurants in Washington, D.C. Almost every month, POTUS and FLOTUS are spotted supping somewhere, doing their part to boost the capitol’s booming dining scene. From Bourbon Steak and Oyamel to Blue Duck Tavern and BLT Steak, they’ve eaten everywhere. Well, almost everywhere. With their 23rd wedding anniversary coming up on Saturday, October 3, we thought we would suggest six First Couple-worthy D.C. restaurants where the Obamas should celebrate their anniversary.

The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm, Lovettsville, Virginia
Nestled in the verdant hills overlooking the sinuous Potomac River, this backcountry gem is worth the hour-long drive from D.C. The RAMMY Award-winning restaurant is inside a restyled greenhouse at the heart of a 40-acre property featuring a working farm and plenty of woodlands. Chef Tarver King roams the region foraging exotic elements, such as wild mushrooms, pawpaw fruit, and dandelion greens, which are all incorporated into his forward-thinking New American cuisine. Diners choose from one of three tasting menus – Raised, Grown, and Found – each of which is guaranteed to delight and amaze with its unexpected flavors and Instagram-worthy presentations. Given the Obamas’ well-documented love of steak, we suggest they opt for the Raised option, which often features locally sourced beef.

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The Riggsby, Washington, D.C.
Chef Michael Schlow has already wowed D.C. diners with the Latin-loving Tico on 14th Street. Now he’s doing it again at this charming throwback located inside the Carlyle Hotel in Dupont Circle. The menu focuses on continental classics with chef-y accents. We recommend the First Couple start off with jalapeno-boosted tater tots and housemade potato chips with cut-above green onion dip. For a main, the Obamas may want to keep it simple and order the roasted chicken with broccoli rabe, roasted potatoes, and mustard (pictured). Or they can step it up on a notch with the béarnaise-shrouded, barrel-cut NY strip filet accompanied by a passel of fries. For a lighter option, the striped bass on a bed of corn, bacon, and pickled onions is the way to go. No matter what, they should definitely save room for a giant wedge of chocolate cake.


The Partisan, Washington, D.C.
If POTUS and FLOTUS are in the mood for meat – and don’t mind the inevitable jokes the press will make if they eat at a restaurant called the Partisan – this Penn Quarter standout is where they should go. Co-chefs Ed Witt and Nate Anda oversee a masterfully inventive menu that takes a tip-to-tail approach and leaves no cut untouched. The celebrating couple should begin with charcuterie, making sure not to miss the pickled half smoke, pastrami terrine, or curried pork pâté. The beef tartare with fried egg yolk, marrow crostini, and grated horseradish (pictured) also offers meaty satisfaction. The bo ssam-style slow-cooked pork shoulder would be an epic entrée. The pair would surely have leftovers to take home, but the tender roast would make a memorable sandwich the next day as a tasty reminder of their date night.

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Osteria Morini, Washington, D.C.
In our book, carb-loading is the perfect way to celebrate a lifelong commitment. Plus, it reminds us of that sweet spaghetti-slurping scene from Lady and the Tramp that makes us tear up every time we watch it. We know we’re saps, but we can’t help ourselves! Anyway, Barack and Michelle would undoubtedly enjoy digging into executive chef Matt Adler’s flawlessly executed pastas at this waterfront eatery in the Yards. Top of the list are the sunny ravioli pocketed with truffled ricotta glistening with brown butter sauce and pappardelle dressed up with lamb-neck sughetto. When agnolotti make an appearance (pictured), they, too, are not to be missed. Further carb-loading can be easily accomplished by sampling a sweet selection from executive pastry chef Alex Levin. Peanut butter and chocolate budino, riso (rice pudding) enlivened with vanilla bean and plums, and the Italian-inflected lemon meringue tart are all worthy closers.

Osreria Morini, Washington, DCContinue Reading

Save $20 on Fall Dining When You Pay with OpenTable This Week

PAY_twitter-falldining-rv2 copyGet into the spirit of pumpkin spice season this week by saving $20 on delicious autumn dining. When you book a table and pay through the OpenTable app* for your next meal on Tuesday, September 29 through Sunday, October 4, you’ll save $20** on your experience — while you get to savor the flavor of fall. Here’s how it works:

* Make a reservation and dine September 29-October 4 at a restaurant that accepts OpenTable mobile payments.

* Add the promo code pumpkin in the top right when you view your check in the app. (You can only use it once!)

* And there you have it —  a $20 credit toward your bill. (Now if only we could explain precisely what pumpkin spice is.)

View participating restaurants in BostonChicagoLos AngelesNew YorkSan Francisco, and Washington, D.C. Find all participating restaurants here. Book a reservation today to save $20 on fall dining when you Pay with OpenTable!Continue Reading

Chef Jason Alley on Growing up with Food Insecurity + Why #NoKidHungry Matters More Than Ever

Jason AlleyAs we continue to celebrate Dine Out for No Kid Hungry Month, Share Our Strength supporter chef Jason Alley, co-owner of Comfort, which just marked its 13th year in business, and Pasture restaurants in Richmond, Virginia, discusses his experiences with childhood hunger, why school breakfast and lunch should be available to all students, and the worst thing you can donate to a food bank.

You faced food insecurity regularly as a child. How did that affect your everyday life?

It creates massive stress. I grew up in southwest Virginia around the Appalachian Mountains, and we were certainly not alone in being poor in that area. There’s a lot of poverty. Food was always scarce. Growing up rural was nice because we had plenty of friends that hunted, and my grandmother had a garden, but that didn’t always make the cut. So food was always first and foremost on our minds all the time, like, how are we gonna make this happen? How are we going to get everybody fed?

Can you remember some of the toughest periods?

There were many times when I moved to Florida with my mom when there were weeks and weeks in which it was literally school lunch and white rice at home. That would just be it for extended periods of time.

As a child, how did you sit through school and succeed when you’re so undernourished?

I didn’t really succeed. I was unmotivated to be at school. Think about if you’re sitting at your desk and you had to skip breakfast, and now it’s lunchtime. You bottom out. You find yourself dozing off at your desk. You get hangry and cranky. Now, imagine that being a habitual thing. To think anyone is going to be successful under those circumstances is just unreasonable.

The free breakfast and lunch programs that a lot of schools have gone to are crucial in setting the stage for success for these kids. Our kids are starting public middle school for the first time this year, and their school has free breakfast and free lunch for every kid in the school.

When it’s available to everyone, I would imagine there is less of a stigma.

When I was a kid I had my little free lunch card. You’re going through puberty, kids are already starting to get bullied, you don’t have the cool clothes, and now, oh yeah, here’s your poor kid card. Have a great day! That’s just an added stressor. I think it is really progressive for a school to alleviate that stress. You know what? It’s free for everybody. Nobody pays, nobody gets singled out.

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Were there other resources to help you and your family?

We benefited from local food banks and a lot of church food closets. There were plenty of days where we would have been even hungrier had that not been available.

I feel like it’s hard for some people to take that step and go to food pantries, as if there were shame in it.

We’re a shaming culture. We’re really good at it. If you’re hungry and you need help, there’s nothing wrong with that. It sucks to feel as though you have to ask for charity, but it’s more important to look at the positives it brings. It makes everybody feel good. I don’t think there’s anybody who’s working at or going to a food pantry or food bank that is going to be looking down their nose at you. It’s a shared experience. If you can accept the help for what it is, which is help and generosity, and you can use that to get yourself moving forward, then everything is working how it’s supposed to work.

Being surrounded by the bounty of food you are able to serve, are you ever conflicted?Continue Reading

OpenTable for iOS 9: The Shortest Path Between You + Dining

At OpenTable, we’re always looking for new ways to shorten the path between you and a great restaurant — and keeping an eye on the latest iOS and iPhone capabilities that can help us achieve this. So, we’re excited to announce a few new shortcuts in our iOS 9 and iPhone 6s updates:

3D Touch Previews for iPhone 6s: Peek at restaurant details by pressing lightly on a restaurant in search results and swipe up to instantly book by selecting a time. Press a little harder to jump to the restaurant’s profile. You can also press our app icon to jump to your Favorites or any Upcoming Reservations using quick actions.


Spotlight Search for Restaurants and Reservations: Quickly look up the restaurants you’ve favorited or recently viewed using Spotlight Search. You can search by name, cuisine, or other attributes. We’ll be expanding the restaurants you can search for using Spotlight over time, so let us know what you’d like to see.Continue Reading