The Grin Gala, now in its fourth year, is a benefit for Operation Smile. It is described as “an evening of cocktails, dancing and silent auction.” Lauren Graham, pictured above, is this year’s honorary host. Tickets come in two varieties: general admission ($120, of which $95 is tax deductible), and VIP ($240, of which $215 is tax deductible).
VIP access includes an early reception on the Chamber of Commerce rooftop with top DC chefs and mixologists including Chef Todd Gray and Mixologist Simo Ahmadi from Equinox; Chef Peter Smith from PS 7; Chef Victor Albisu and Mixologist Troy Bock from BLT Steakhouse; and Mixologist Stephen Warner from Columbia Firehouse.
The Social Chair and I will be there as invited guests. Look for us there Saturday night, and a wrap-up of the cocktails and food here next week!
Now that the weather is starting to turn for the better (don’t mind that pesky rain), all I can think about is eating and drinking outside. And in Washington, where the appropriate outdoor dining season is about two weeks long, it pays to be organized. That is why we’ve put together our favorite spots to sip a beer or have a bite on a patio, deck or sidewalk. Enjoy them, but if you take the last table at one of our favorites, we’re going to be seriously mad.
The Neighborhood Restaurant Group (who brought you Rustico, Evening Star, Eat Bar, etc.) has announced the opening of a new concept, the Columbia Firehouse in Old Town. With two different restaurant experiences, and two bars, the Firehouse will be quite the addition to the Alexandria dining scene.
The 80-seat upstairs dining room will serve as a classic chophouse with most of the restaurant’s meats and all of its charcuterie selected, butchered and prepared by Red Apron. The 120-seat dining room downstairs will offer a casual menu with a focus on modern American comfort food, small plates and sandwiches, such as dry-rubbed & smoked chicken wings with buttermilk blue & firehouse bbq sauces, Maryland crab cake with jicama slaw and Dijon aioli, and the firehouse burger.
Columbia Firehouse will also be home to two bars. The main bar, located on the ground floor of the restaurant, will specialize in pure, authentic versions of classic cocktails including Rickey’s, Fizzes, Sazeracs and more. he second floor bar and adjoining lounge will be open for special events, and will allow cocktail enthusiasts to sample a rotating menu of creative concoctions, as well as aperitifs and after-dinner drinks. I’m sure I’ll have much more information for you when it opens.