|By Carol Joynt
The Washington Performing Arts Society Fall Celebration. Yes, Supreme Court justices do sometimes go out at night and the success of a Washington party can often be measured by how many show up.
For their annual “Fall Celebration,” the Washington Performing Arts Society on last Monday night scored three of the “Supremes,” and they of course pulled rank over two ambassadors, one United States Senator and one full-fledged movie star.
Due to the federal holiday – which means a very quiet day in the capital – the evening started early at 5:30.
Champagne and wine were served to a relaxed crowd of men in business suits and women in cocktail dresses, including Mexican Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan, Afghanistan Ambassador Said T. Jawad, Sen. John Sununu (R-NH), American Red Cross chairman Bonnie McElveen-Hunter and Academy Award-winning actor Robert Duvall and wife Luciana Pedraza. Toyota underwrote the evening, and Hermes provided a swag bag that gets a solid B, because it included the ingredients for a perfect encore: bubble bath and music, Yo-Yo Ma’s “Paris, La Belle Epoque.”
Music lovers abound in Washington, probably because a good sonata is one way to soothe the savage beast that is government and its associated interests.
|Those who showed up for the performance, as well as dinner of Afghani Spiced Lamb Loin, Sauteed Spinach and Butternut Squash, were former CIA director William Webster and wife Lynda, lawyer Robert Bennett, Corcoran Gallery of Art director Paul Greenhalgh, auto executive Daniel Korengold, Sam and Ellen Schreiber, Sydney “Nini” Ferguson, political fundraising consultant Rachel Tinsley Pearson (also one of the evening’s co-chairs), Bitsey Folger and Sidney Werkman, Carl Colby and Dorothy Browning, Burton and Anne Fishman, Paula Goldman, Leonard and Frances Burka, Susan and William Soza, and Izette Folger.|
|It won’t last long, but Washington’s autumn is at its peak. Like spring, autumn is a season we do well, thanks to the many trees and gardens and lots of greenspace. As the last days of the November roll toward Thanksgiving, the city sidewalks and parks turn to gold. The calendar that has the most impact here, though, is the one that’s followed by Congress. A two-week recess begins Monday. Don’t believe for an instant any malarkey about the time off being for family and turkey. These are precious days on the campaign trail for all House members and the more than 30 senators whose seats are up, not to mention the pack of presidential candidates. When Congress is out the city’s pace slows. So many people here are not from here and they all seem to head home.|
|Autumn in Georgetown, where the sidewalks are paved in brick and gold.|
|We have a new arrival of note. The king of high end franchising, Wolfgang Puck, has come to town with The Source, a highly contemporary but still serene restaurant with a downstairs bar and upstairs dining room. It adjoins the past-due but almost finished Newseum on Pennsylvania Avenue. I predict it’s location in the shadow of the Capitol dome and across from the National Gallery of Art, along with its celebrity, good food and polished service, will make it the new top dog in town, with a menu that highlights everything Wolfgang – a little bit of Spago, mixed with a little bit of Chinois, and wrapped in a flourish of Califrancais. The only impediment to skyrocket success might be the Vegas prices. We’ll need New Yorkers – who, I don’t think, have a Puck eatery - to come south to take us to The Source.|
|Clockwise from top left: The $58 roasted lobster is a delicious budget buster; Beautiful plating is a signature at Wolfgang Puck's, "The Source." This is the lacquered duck; Dining at The Source; The dessert menu with a cookie plate and multiple ice creams and sorbets.|
|Photographs by Carol Joynt|