Pizza, Prosecco and People at Al DenteFebruary 5, 2015
By Claudette Veronica Ferron, Vice Chargée de Presse, Bailliage of Greater Washington, D.C.
Pizza, Prosecco, and people defined the fresh, cosmopolitan-style introduction to La Chaine des Rotisseurs and the Greater Washington, D.C. Bailliage, during their informal, epicurean winter interlude.
The setting: Celebrity Chef and James Beard winner, Roberto Donna’s sophisticated, modern trattoria – Al Dente, a little urban chic, a little Roma, but all Washington. The idea: introduce young foodies to La Chaine des Rotisseurs and the ranks of Ecuyers, and showcase the vibrant Bailliage to other gourmet-minded guests. The goal: attract dynamic new members to the already exciting and energetic Bailliage. The result: a wonderful success! Epicures, young and youthful, new and seasoned, turned up for an evening of fun gourmet food, bubbly and camaraderie. A delightful and delicious gastronomic respite from Washington D.C.’s deep midwinter.
Having been sideswiped by the great blizzards of 2015, members and guests of the Bailliage were more than ready to mingle and munch on arguably the best pizza in town, and sip on playfully refreshing Prosecco. Chef Donna did not disappoint! Chasing away the winter blues for the evening, the chef teased and tantalized diners’ palates with three crispy, thin-crust pizzas, baked to perfection in his dramatic centerpiece, fiery wood-burning oven. First, the “Prosciutto Rucola” with its mouthwatering tomatoes, mozzarella Flor di Latte, savory Prosciutto Crudo and fresh arugula, enlivened somber winter moods. Then, the “Vegetariana” with its rustic grilled vegetables, roasted garlic, pungent Parmigiano Reggiano and herbaceous smoked mozzarella, revitalized sun-starved appetites. Finally, the “Salsiccia e Rapini,” with its succulent pork sausage, tomatoes, smoked mozzarella, bright broccoli rabe, and roasted garlic, conjured up memories of warm Roman holidays. But the light and mirthful meal would have been incomplete, without the Prosecco, Clara C, a clean and floral, Italian “bubbly” with hints of tropical fruit and pineapple.
However, food and wine were not the only focus of the evening. Equally as appealing and engaging as the pizza and Prosecco, was the evening’s lively repartee, highlighting one of La Chaine’s lesser touted fortes – the art of dinner conversation. The wit and wisdom exchanged among the congenial company, while the meal was savored flourished throughout the evening. Whether it was stories of travel, romance, adventure, entertainment, or art, the conversations amongst members and guests were stimulating, eliciting smiles, laughter, quizzical expressions and timely retorts. As old friends reminisced and new friends were made, every conversation ultimately returned to the joy of fine food, fine wine, and fine friends, the hallmarks of La Chaine des Rotisseurs. Throughout the evening the restaurant was alive with camaraderie, and it was clear that newcomers were enchanted by the extraordinary charm, friendly sophistication and vibrant epicurean experience members of the Greater Washington, D.C. Bailliage regularly enjoy at their wonderful dinners.
While the brief winter interlude at Al Dente was a resounding success, the whimsical gastronomic tryst provided only a hint of the extraordinary experience awaiting Bailliage members and guests at their romantic post-Valentine’s Day rendezvous at acclaimed Chef Robert Weidmaier’s Marcel’s. Whether courting a heart or pleasuring a palate, Marcel’s is one of Washington’s premier restaurant de l’amour, where the love of food is exquisitely transformed into the food of love. Il sera l’amour à la première bouchée – it will be love at first bite!