The Presidential Inauguration is set for January 21, 2013. It’s an exciting time to be in Washington. Everyone will try to get a glimpse of President Obama and the first family, history buffs will catch up on their history lessons by taking in the history sites, and everyone will eat presidential food. Just what is a commander-in-chief food fete?
While the presidential inaugural luncheon menu will focus on seafood from New England and bison from South Dakota and beets (the President and First Lady's least-liked vegetable, will they eat them?), Washington DC restaurants declared their own take on 2013 presidential inaugural food choices. Some restaurants will go glam with fancy cocktails, some will look back at historical menus and others will take inspiration from President Barack Obama's early roots.
The Madison, one of Washington DC's most historic and newly renovated landmark hotels, is toasting to the inauguration with two cocktails, Old Establishment and Death & Taxes, served at the Federalist. If you arrive in the city over the pre-inaugural weekend, make reservations for The Federalist new Farmer's Market Sunday brunch. At $20 per person, for buffet appetizers, Dutch pancakes, bennies, steak and eggs, plus dessert, it's budget friendly and in one of the city's most elegant and historic settings.
The Lincoln Restaurant will serve a Presidential Tasting Menu, including JFK fish chowder, Lincoln oyster salad, Obama olive oil poached salmon, Clinton cornflake friend chicken, Roosevelt rabbit shepherd’s pie, finished off with a Ronald Reagan monkey bread pudding. The menu is available Jan. 18 – Jan. 21 for $45.
The Lincoln Restaurant also hosted a presidential cocktail competition. Ingrid Specht was the winner with the Latino Vote, a colorful, tangy drink featuring tequila, blood orange soda, lime and cayenne pepper. This original cocktail creation will join Chief Mixologist Rob Yealu’s Massachusetts Mule (Raspberry- Chocolate Mint Infused Vodka, Lemon, Lime and Ginger-Ale) and The Great Debate (Small Batch Bourbon, Blended Vermouth, Green Chartreuse, Orange Peel).
Other restaurants are going back to the president’s more humble, island roots. “Picking the Presidential meal is a fun and challenging task that we look forward to,” explains Ryan Fichter, Executive Chef of Thunder Burger, located in the heart of Georgetown. “In our pick, we wanted to incorporate a little of the President’s Hawaiian roots. We think this is a meal that the First Family would enjoy, as well as those looking for an authentic inauguration meal.”
On inauguration day, Chef Ryan’s Presidential meal will be served at Thunder Burger. Here is Ryan’s 1023 inaugural menu:
- An appetizer of Hawaiian-style Ahi poke (pronounced poh-keh), a raw tuna dish, which is a long-time favorite on the islands.
- The burger for the President is the local moco, which is two scoops of rice with a burger patty on top, then topped with two fried eggs over easy, and topped with brown gravy.
- The burger pick for the first lady is the salmon burger with watercress, topped with heirloom tomato and herbed cucumber yogurt sauce.
- For dessert, macadamia nut pie, served alongside Kona-coffee ice cream.
History of the Presidential Inaugural Luncheon: The luncheon program includes speeches, gift presentations and toasts to the new administration. While this tradition dates as far back as 1897, when the Senate Committee on Arrangements first gave a luncheon for President McKinley and several other guests at the U.S. Capitol, it did not begin in its current form until 1953. For menus and recipes from past presidential inaugural luncheons, link here: www.inaugural.senate.gov/luncheon/menus
The Madison Hotel
1177 15th St. NW
Washington DC 20005
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Washington, DC 20005
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