Monday, January 14, 2013

DC's Equinox Restaurant Celebrates Inauguration With Special Obama-MLK Sunday Brunch Menu

Chef Todd Gray's restaurant is an Obama favorite...
Equinox restaurant's Executive Chef/owner Todd Gray has created a stunning Sunday brunch menu to celebrate President Obama's second inaugural, designed to honor both the Eater in Chief and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  The three-course menu is inspired by the two leaders, and also uses some of their own recipes.

Equinox holds a special place in the GastrObamica: In 2009, the President-elect treated the First-Lady-to-be to a 46th birthday dinner at the restaurant: It was their very first DC Date Night.  Mrs. Obama visited again in March of 2011, escorting Mrs. Margarita Zavala, then First Lady of Mexico, to a special luncheon.

Seats are still available for this Sunday, Jan. 20, when President Obama will take his oath of office at the White House, Equinox co-owner Ellen Kassoff told Obama Foodorama.  The brunch is from 11:00 AM--2:00 PM, and is a bargain at $35.00 per person.  Main courses include a very artisan version of the Obama Family Chili recipe, as well as "Barack’s Angus Beef Burger with Applewood Bacon, Carr Valley Blue Cheese and Sesame Bun, with Skipjack Frites" and "MLK’s Fried Chicken Paillard with Salt Cured Pickles, New Potatoes and Slow Cooked Greens."

The theme of the Inaugural is "Faith in America's Future," and Gray has dubbed his menu "Faith in America's Food;" he uses primarily organic and local ingredients.  A husband-wife team, Gray and Kassoff  are both involved in Mrs. Obama's Let's Move! campaign as healthy lunch advocates.  In 2010, Gray spoke at the White House kickoff event for the Chefs Move to Schools initiative, and has been a guest chef at the mansion, too.  (Above, Mrs. Obama listens as Gray speaks at the White House)

Gray is often asked which historic personalities he'd like to dine with, said Kassoff:  "His answer is always the same:  Barack Obama and Martin Luther King, Jr."  President Obama's second swearing-in on Monday, Jan. 21, MLK Day, will be done on King's "traveling" Bible and the Lincoln Bible.

Equinox is located at 818 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20006.  Phone: 202-331-8118.   The website.

Inaugural Brunch Menu
The Favorite Foods of Barack Obama and MLK

First Course
Obama Family Chili with Smoked Tillamook, Prime Va Beef and Crispy Onions


Sautéed Rappahannock Oysters with Hawaiian Pineapple
and Brown Caper Butter


Mixed Blue Ridge Field Greens with Shaved Duck Ham, Tart Quince and Toasted Cornbread


Arugula and Frisee Salad with Wild Mushroom Crespelle, Hazelnut Crumble and White Balsamic

Citrus Cured Arctic Char with Rombo Radish, Mizzuna Leaves and Lobster Vinaigrette


Maple-Red Wine Pork Sausage on Cheddar Grits with Creole Mustard Jus and Kale Chips

Second Course
MLK’s Fried Chicken Paillard with Salt Cured Pickles, New Potatoes and Slow Cooked Greens


Barack’s Angus Beef Burger with Applewood Bacon, Carr Valley Blue Cheese and Sesame Bun, Skipjack Frites


Tortelloni of Braised Collard Greens in Smoked Onion Broth with Black Eyed Peas and Shaved 5 Year Gouda


Crispy Skin West Coast Salmon with Midnight Lentils, Heirloom Carrots and Blue Crab-Tarragon Butter


Presidential Eggs Benedict with Maui Style Pork Shoulder, Barely Creamed Spinach and Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Dessert Course
Georgian Pecan Pie with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream and Makers Mark Caramel
Pineapple Hopia with Coconut Sorbet, Black Pepper Tuille
and Passion Fruit Coulis


Cinnamon Profiterolles with Ice Cream Trio and
 Warm Gianduja Chocolate Sauce
Peanut Butter Chocolate Bar with Salted Shortbread
and Pomegranate Sorbet


Assortment of House Marshmallows, Almond Rocheres
and Pistachio Financier Cakes


*The menu and recipes for the President's Inaugural Luncheon ARE HERE.

*Photo of Gray courtesy of Equinox; photo compilation courtesy of Al Gore inventing the internets.