Inaugural Menu at Palette: Feeding Political Palates

Palette, Madison Hotel, Washington, DC
Palette, Madison Hotel, Washington, DC

A press release from Palette, a restaurant at  Loew’s Madison Hotel in Washington DC, captures the growing excitement about the 2009 presidential inauguration and its aftermath. From January 10-25, 2009, the chef, Arnel Esposo, and his dedicated staff announce that they plan to serve foods loved by many of our former presidents:

For appetizers, guests will choose from: cream of tomato soup with crushed popcorn, President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 1961; shrimp cocktail, Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1957 and Richard Milhous Nixon, 1973; scalloped crab and lobster, President George Walker Bush, 2005; or California garden salad, President Ronald W. Reagan, 1981.

Entres range from chicken to beef to fish. Included on the menu will be Maine lobster Newburg, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1957; Texas heart of filet mignon with bercy sauce, President Lyndon Baines Johnson, 1965 and Richard Milhous Nixon, 1969; rosemary chicken with pecan rice, ginger carrots and broccoli, President William Jefferson Clinton, 1993; and grilled salmon with sorrel sauce, President William Jefferson Clinton, 1997.

Guests will want to leave room for dessert because the offerings are as varied as the President’s views: cold praline souffl with raspberry sauce, President Ronald W. Reagan, 1985; apple-cranberry brown Betty, President William Jefferson Clinton, 1993; brandied pear crisp and vanilla ice cream, President George Herbert Walker Bush, 1989; or toffee pudding with caramel sauce, President George Walker Bush, 2001.

After the newly elected President has taken the oath of office on January 20, 2009, he will be escorted to Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol for the traditional Inauguration luncheon hosted by the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies.

The luncheon features cuisine reflecting the home states of the new President and Vice President, as well as the theme of the Inauguration, and program that includes speeches, gifts presentations and toasts to the new administration. While the lunch tradition dates to 1897, when the Senate Committee on Arrangements gave a luncheon for President McKinley, it did not take its current form until 1953 for President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Palette, under the command of Chef and Sgt. Arnel Esposo (of the Maryland National Guard 58th Combat Brigade) combines comfortable American cuisine and contemporary artwork to create a restaurant-as-gallery setting,. Sleekly modern, Palette draws upon the country’s regional traditions, presenting a singular culinary vision. The unique marriage of cuisine and artwork will please the most refined taste.

Sounds like something a true history lover would, well, love.

Michael Foley)
Washington DC Celebrates! (Photo credit: Michael Foley)

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