Tonight my cousin Dave (who is showing me around DC), suggested we go to Zaytinya. It’s an “in” place right now, owned by José Andrés who is a famous chef according to Dave. They server eastern Mediterranean food tapas style, and Dave claimed the people watching would be good. Little did we know.
We walked up, and there were two security guys outside wanding people who went in. They told us there was a special event there. We thought we were about to be turned away because Angelina Jolie (or some A-lister) was having a private party. But they just wanded us and sent us in. We got on the list for a table and chatted in the bar. Normal conversation, but Dave and I kept turning back to who might be there. There was another security guy at the base of the stairs to the balcony section. We decided it wasn’t the President because we thought the security would be much tighter, and in my (completely wrong) opinion, the security guys looked too friendly to be Secret Service. I figured some minor foreign royalty, Kofi Annan, Gary Payton type of person. Dave did ask what I thought I would do if it was the President since I’m of the disappointed in the President liberal persuasion. But we continued to dismiss that it was the President.
We got seated, ordered, and started eating. We ordered lamb in filo, asparagus, shrimp, mushroom, and veal sweetmeats tapas. I’d never had sweetmeats from a cow before. I don’t think I will order it again. It’s definitely sweet, and something between the consistency (they were supposed to be fried crispy, but weren’t) and kind of a weird taste that was released after the first bite, I didn’t like it too much. I don’t think it was Zaytinya’s cooking.
Then I heard a bit of clapping from the other side of the Zaytinya. I looked over and the entourage had already descended the stairs and were making their way toward us. We were seated the closest to the hostess station and the entrance. I didn’t recognize the woman walking toward us. Then I saw past her and the second woman was Michelle Obama!
I am not a celebrity gawker, but I’ll squee for Michelle Obama. Prior to being First Lady, she was no slouch in her advocacy and political work. She impresses the hell out of me.
The two women and the Secret Service detail made their way right by us, and only after they walked out the door did I think to pull out my phone to snap a picture. Too late by then. Ms. Obama seemed a little awkward with the scattered applause as she passed. Not put off or embarrassed exactly, but not ignoring it either. My best guess is that she was just out for dinner with a friend, but Dave suggested it might have been her mother. Possibly could be now that I’ve checked photos of her mother online, but I couldn’t be sure.
Dave was right. The food was excellent, and the people watching was superb!