Dusty Lockhart & Executive Chef Stefano Frigerio
I asked my husband if he wanted to take off early from work and attend this little gathering and he seemed up for the road trip to Washington DC. It really isn’t far, it is just traffic can be a bear between Baltimore and DC. It seemed no one was on the road and we made the 50 miles into downtown DC quickly putting us ahead of schedule and the first to arrive.
Normally I don’t like to be the first one at a gathering but this allowed me quality time to talk with Dusty, well with child at the moment, Stefano, and the managing partner, Manuel Iguina (no slouch in the restaurant business). I got a private tour of the kitchen: the pastry section that doubles for upper level party room’s kitchen, a peek into walk-in where I spied some beef hooked and aging, and finally through to the open kitchen area where Nicholas Stefanelli, the sous chef who worked with Stefano at Maestro, was getting our hors d’oeuvres ready.
Guests started to arrive. I played catch up with Acqua Birchenall, exuberant over her art exhibit in New York city running through March. Her husband Michael and regional publicist for Loew’s Hotels, Ellen Gale arrived shortly thereafter. Michael is the editor of FoodService Monthy. Also at the party was the DC restaurant publicist and gossip columnist, Linda Roth, Alexandra Greeley with Gayot, Slow Food DC, and Eating Asia, Amber Pfau of PFAU Communications, Leigh Lambert of the Washington Post Food Section, and Clarice Lelle, former pastry chef at Maestro.
The real stars of the room were the food, the chef and the proprietor. We sampled Beef Carpaccio with Quail Egg, the Foie-Gras Ballotine with Honey-Huckleberry Sauce on Corn Bread, the Serrano Ham on the Parmesan Crisp with a Balsamic Reduction, Crawfish Bisque, Stuffed Fried Olives, and much more.
The husband, mine of course, did very well mingling and socializing – he gave me room to roam and network. Usually I get a thumb sideways from him suggesting we leave but not this evening. The thumb for the evening is up, a thumbs up for MIO from this foodie and I look forward to going back for dinner. Check out the menu and put it on your restaurant list. It’s has a stylish atmosphere, great food, easy to find, and $7 valet parking after 5:30 p.m.
So in keeping with MIO’s tag line: Mine, Yours, Ours, Salud – let me add Enjoy.