I attended the AT&T Best of Washington Party with my girlfriend and publicist Lauren on 6-1-2017. We had an absolute blast at Washingtonian Magazine’s beach-themed fiesta at the National Building Museum in support of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Over 75 restaurants set up booths serving delicious food and drinks. I’m not gonna lie, for someone who loves meeting chefs it was kind of like Disney World–complete with my Michelin Guide autograph book! So prepare yourself for 10000 selfies…
We had early admission tickets, which meant we could enter at 6pm rather than at 7pm like general admission tickets. It was definitely worth it given that some restaurants packed up early or their star chefs left.
The event had lots of fun elements, from dancers on stilts, multiple bars, henna, and a silent auction. And of course, alllll the food.
Georgetown Cupcake, mini cupcakes. This set up was so OCD amazing I couldn’t bear to watch someone take the first one.
China Chilcano by José Andrés, Chef Carlos Delgado, Causa Limeña (potato puree, aji amarillo, botija olive, lim, aji chimichurri, chicken salad). I love them and I loved this, not least of all because aji amarillo is my new fav thing.
Cuba Libre Restaurant and Rum Bar, ceviche de pescado (Panamanian Cobia, grape tomato salad, leche de tigre, Thai basil vinaigrette). Love me some leche de tigre.
Estadio, Pastry Chef Rene Abarca and owner Max Kuller, Manchego cheesecake (quince jam, pistachio shortbread cookies). I’m basically a Fat Baby groupie at this point because they’re just such a fun restaurant group. Here they are teaching me to drink from a porron–I failed but that’s okay!
Westend Bistro, smoked watermelon juice (foie gras mousse, cracker). This obviously wins for best presentation!
Restaurant Eve, Chef Paolo Dungca, spring garlic panna cotta (rice crisps, dashi). This was fun and light, almost like a mousse.
Plume, Ralf Schlegel, The Chicken or The Egg (hen egg with Guinea fowl in a tarragon and lemon sauce topped with Guinea fowl mousse on a toasted tapioca crisp). This also had a great presentation and I look forward to finally going to the restaurant!
Ardeo & Bardeo, hamachi crudo (pickled jalapeño, blood orange, ginger ponzu, shiso). Not only did this taste great, it looked absolutely beautiful.
Bombay Club, Chef Nilesh Singhvi, mushroom dal wadi (kale, shitake mushroom, lentil). I love Bombay Club and this did not disappoint.
Blue Duck Tavern, Pastry Chef Erin Reed, Pam’s Rice Pudding (matcha streusel, kalmansi gel, strawberries). I’m sad they couldn’t bring 500 apple pies but this was pretty delicious.
Osteria Morini, housemade stracciatella (strawberry and cherry tomato panzanella). Who doesn’t love stracciatella?
Timber Pizza, cheese pizza (mozzarella, provolone). I was actually really excited to try this since I keep seeing them at farmer’s markets and on social media. It was good!
Conosci, Calamari “Chicharrones” (squid ink aioli, trout roe). These were so fun and crisp to bite into; I wanted to eat about 10 of them.
Central Michel Richard, Executive Chef David Deshaies, Grilled cheese and shrimp sandwich with yellow tomato gazpacho. Obviously grilled cheese is always slammin’ but the best part was the enthusiasm!
Iron Gate, Chef Anthony Chittum and Pastry Chef Zam Manning, Chocolate mascarpone cheesecake (seed granola, cherry variation, chocolate shortbread). This was so rich and delicious. I had her baklava when I ate at the restaurant but now I want to try more of her desserts!
1789 Restaurant, Asian steamed buns (pork belly, kimchi). These may have been my fav dish of the night: simple, flavorful, and just really well done.
Hazel, Executive Chef Rob Rubba, marinated mussels (chilled yellow curry, herbs). These were great and I was really excited to meet Chef Rubba!
Lupo Verde, Executive Chef Matteo Venini, ora king salmon crudo (pickled ramps, toasted almonds, black garlic aioli). Delicioso!
Arroz by Mike Isa Bella, Executive Chef Michael Rafidi and Chef/Owner/Restauranteur Mike Isabella, pintxos (chorizo, mahon cheese, guindilla chile). Let’s be real, I was obviously more than a little excited to meet Mike Isabella and I look forward to dining at Arroz.
Bantam King, Chef and Owner Katsuya Fukushima, tomago egg sandos (omelette, fried egg mayo). So the only other restaurant group I love as much as Fat Baby are all the restaurants by Chef Fukushima (Daikaya, Haikan). I mean look this get up! Besides absolutely delicious food, he and his team are just light-hearted and fun.
Daikaya, Chef de Cuisine Nick Cezar, smoked tofu ganache (roasted cherry coulis, sakura blossoms). This was sweet, salty, rich, and delicious. I also made Nick sign my Michelin Guide since I forgot to when I was at Daikaya a few weeks ago.
Compass Rose, Chef Gerald Addison and Owner Rose Previte, pork meatballs (fish sauce caramel, peanuts, pickled daikon and carrots, mint, cilantro). She was so nice and I definitely need to eat in the restaurant’s Bedouin tent.
Del Campo, Chef de Cuisine Faiz Ally, Peruvian chicken empanadas (avocado, leche de tigre, aji amarillo). Leche de tigre and aji amarillo–my two favs!
Ice Cream Jubilee, Gin & Tonic sorbet (Beefeater gin, lime zest, tonic). This was a little zingy!
Maketto, Chef Mario Almeida, kaffir lime cured fish (cucumber, dill, red pepper). This was definitely tasty and I can’t wait to visit the restaurant.
Le Diplomate, Pastry Chef Fabrice Bendano, foie gras macaron. So I may have had seconds (or thirds) …
Convivial, French strawberry shortcake. This was like a strawberry mousse and I definitely could have eaten more than one.
Kinship and Métier, Chef and Owner Eric Ziebold, yellowfin tuna tataki (marinated cucumber and dashi gelee). This was light and lovely. I was also so excited to meet Chef Ziebold since I didn’t have a chance to when I dined at Kinship. He even signed my Michelin Guide!
Bistro Bis, Chef Jeffrey Buben, assorted miniature French pastries. I ate so many I literally gave myself a stomach ache like a 5 yr old. They were worth it though!
Ser Restaurant, Serrano ham. Obviously this was delicious and such a great idea.
The Source by Wolfgang Puck, Chef Russell Smith, jackfruit curry. This was such cool use of jackfruit–sweet and spicy. Plus I always love Chef Russell!
I think it goes without saying I had an absolute blast running around meeting chefs and tasting all the things. What a fun night! I can’t wait for next year!