President Obama escorted First Lady Michele Obama to Wolfgang Puck's Asian fusion fine dining restaurant The Source on Monday night for an intimate celebration of her 47th birthday in Washington, DC.. The special Date Night Dinner, the first of 2011, came hours after the First Family painted food art on the walls of a cafeteria at a local middle school, to mark the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service in honor of the legendary civil rights leader. (Above: The President and Mrs. Obama outside the restaurant)
As the President and Mrs. Obama departed the White House at 7:23 PM, snow began to fall. But the restaurant, located in the same building as the Newseum in Northeast DC, is a short motorcade ride from the White House. They arrived at 7:30 for a dinner that lasted close to two hours. The fine-dining menu, overseen by Executive Chef Scott Drewno, features creative renditions of Asian favorites, and has a focus on local and organic sourcing.
Five-course tasting menu...
The birthday celebration was held in an upstairs private dining room with the blinds closed, and the President and Mrs. Obama enjoyed a five-course tasting menu prepared by Drewno. It included spicy tuna cones, tandoori arctic char, a house made dim sum platter, garlic style lobster and American style kobe beef, and vegetables. For the show-stopping ending, Drewno sent out The Source’s signature 15-layer carrot cake with “Happy Birthday” written in chocolate on top. The Obamas ate most of it, according to the chef.
For her birthday fete, Mrs. Obama was dressed in a black dress and black coat, with over-the-knee suede boots. The President was casual, wearing a jacket but no tie under his winter overcoat. The President waved to a person who called "hello" to him from a balcony a few floors up in the Newseum Residences, as he and Mrs. Obama entered the modern, three-story glass box that is the eatery. Last year, President Obama treated the First lady to a surprise early birthday dinner party at DC's Restaurant Nora, which included family and friends. (Above: Mrs. Obama on her way in to the restaurant)
By 9:37 PM, the First Couple was back in the motorcade, heading home to the White House, where they arrived at 9:45 PM. They have a busy week ahead, with the State Visit from China's President Hu Jintao beginning on Tuesday.
A birthday dinner in 2009...
Mrs. Obama has dined at The Source before. In June of 2009, she chose the restaurant for a 50th birthday party for then-Social Secretary Desiree Rogers.
Info: The Source is at 575 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC, Phone 202-637-6100 2001.
*Photos by AP/pool.