Sunday, April 10, 2011

Michelle Obama's Saturday Night Pizza Party

First Lady and daughters dine with friends at a favorite DC eatery, We, The Pizza...
First Lady Michelle Obama had a swell time with daughters Malia, 12, and Sasha, 9, at popular Capitol Hill eatery We, The Pizza on Saturday evening, according to a hip ObFo tipster who was there for dinner at 8:00 PM, enjoying one of chef Spike Mendelsohn's gourmet pies. Mrs. Obama was also accompanied by a big party of about 15-20 pals and staff, and the group dined upstairs, at a single large table. Multiple pizzas were spotted on the table, and there was much laughter, according to the source. (Above: Mrs. Obama with Malia at the White House)

Business as usual--sort of--continued at the restaurant; other diners were being wanded by Secret Service agents before entering. It was a busy night: Much of DC on Saturday seemed to be celebrating a new local holiday, No Government Shutdown, and it's also the weekend of the annual Cherry Blossom Festival. Mrs. Obama's party perhaps made up for the fact that the First Family had to cancel a planned weekend trip to nearby Colonial Williamsburg, thanks to the eleventh-hour budget wrangling.

Malia and Sasha were chatting away with the adults, according to the ObFo eyewitness, who also remarked on how well-behaved--and lovely--both girls were, and noted that Malia is now very tall--taller than her mother. The dinner marked the First Lady's fourth visit to We, The Pizza, and her second in two months; her last dinner was also on a Saturday night, but without her daughters. President Obama was not with the party; on Saturday afternoon, he'd also celebrated No Government Shutdown, visiting with tourists at the Lincoln Memorial.

"We love pizza, we love burgers and fries...I mean, we eat like most American families," Mrs. Obama said of First Family eating habits, when defending the White House Super Bowl menu, which contained both.

First Lady's fave DC chef?
Chef Mendelsohn, who rose to fame as a popular competitor on Bravo TV's Top Chef, also offers both; his other family-run restaurant, the Good Stuff Eatery burger joint, is located next door to his pizza operation, and Mrs. Obama has dined there, too, both with the girls, and without. Mendelsohn is perhaps the First Lady's favorite local chef; she's now dined at his eateries a total of six times, and he has also been a guest chef at the White House. He told ObFo in a 2009 interview that President Obama liked to order secret take-out burgers from Good Stuff, which were sent back to the White House with a side of steamed broccoli. (Above: The First Lady's Senior Policy Advisor for Healthy Food Initiatives, Sam Kass, r, and Mendelsohn, take a break from cooking during the 2009 Easter Egg Roll)

We, The Pizza offers heady creations. In addition to traditional fare, diners can choose from pies such as Roasted Potato and Pancetta with fresh rosemary and caramelized onions; the Buffalo Chicken, with creamy blue cheese and Miguel's hot sauce; Spinach and Artichoke with Béchamel, sautéed spinach, aged provolone and roasted chokes; and the Forest Shroomin with wild forest mushrooms, truffles, mozz, and fresh thyme, each for $18 for a large. Read the full menu here.

The First Lady and the girls also visited We, The Pizza in October of 2010, for a Columbus Day holiday treat, and Mrs. Obama dined there with the girls and Kass in the summer of 2010, when the eatery had just opened.

Unlike other chefs who are honored with visits from members of the First Family, Mendelsohn has never tweeted about his experiences. But he has created "The Michelle Melt," a healthy turkey burger, and the "President Obama Burger" for his Good Stuff menu; the presidential burger has been a favorite since Campaign 2008, when it out-sold the competing McCain Burger.

The First Lady's other most recent dinner outing in DC was to BLT Steak, on April 1. Hockey star Alex Ovechkin memorialized the visit by tweeting a photo of himself with Mrs. Obama. They weren't actually dining together, but merely exchanging pleasantries.

Info: We, The Pizza is at 305 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Washington, DC 20003. Phone: (202) 544-4008. Good Stuff Eatery is next door.

*Top photo by AP; second by Eddie Gehman Kohan/ObamaFoodorama.com.