Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Menu: A Nation's Gratitude Dinner

President and First Lady pay tribute to troops with traditional American favorites...
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama welcomed more than 200 guests to the White House on Wednesday evening for the black-tie A Nation's Gratitude Dinner, honoring members of the Armed Forces who served in Iraq. The All-American menu for the veterans, who represented every branch and rank of military service and every state in the union and the territories, starred Dry-Aged Rib Eye as the entree, accompanied by Yukon Gold Potato Croquettes. Beef has an unbroken winning streak as the entree of choice for the President and Mrs. Obama's high-profile dinners. The menu opened with a Salad of Heirloom Tomatoes with Baby Mozzarella, and finished with a Chocolate Crème Brûlée. The American wines served were from California. Above: The President seated with his guests; he and the First Lady sat at different tables. Their guests are listed below. The President's remarks ARE HERE; and here's the full guest list.

Round tables for ten filled the East Room for the 8:20 PM event, which began with a cocktail reception. Tablecloths were a pale blue brocade, with tall vermeil candle sticks containing tall silver/gold tapers. The floral arrangements, low vases with purple and mauve roses, seem to have been recycled from the President and Mrs. Obama's formal 2012 Governors' Dinner last Sunday. The Roosevelt State China Service was used, according to the East Wing. (Above: A longshot of the East Room)

A Nation's Gratitude Dinner

Salad of Heirloom Tomatoes with Baby Mozzarella
Basil and Balsamic Vinaigrette

Wine: Chappellet Chardonnay “Napa” 2009
(Napa Valley, CA)

Dry-Aged Rib Eye
with Bearnaise sauce, atop a bed of spinach
Yukon Gold Potato Croquettes
Baby Mizuna
Asparagus, Green Beans

Wine: Pride Mountain Merlot “Vintner Select” 2008
(Napa Valley, CA)

Chocolate Crème Brûlée
with Brownie and Mini-Chocolate Malted

Wine: Chandon Blanc de Noirs
(Northern California)

The President and Mrs. Obama were seated at separate tables. Joining the President: CW4 Nelson A. Visaya, from Hawaii; Gunnery Sergeant Deverson Lochard from Silver Spring, MD; Petty Officer Third Class (HM3), Max R. Rohn from Longmont, CO; Master Sergeant Jeremy D. Coombs, Master Sergeant Jessica R. Coombs and 1st LT Paul S. Gonzalez.

Mrs. Obama was joined by Gold Star family Kim Felts and her children, Rebekah, 19, and Thomas, Jr., 15. Their fathe and Mrs. Felts' husband, Army Colonel Thomas Felts, Sr. was killed in Iraq on November 14, 2006. An interview with Mrs. Felts IS HERE. She is visible in the photo above, at left.

CLICK HERE for links to all posts about the thank-you dinner for America's Iraq veterans and military families.

The President's remarks:

*Top photo by Pete Souza/White House; second AP/Pool