So I’ve been at a Department of Labor conference in DC for the past few days. The conference was interesting, but I always love coming here. January weather is iffy; bitterly cold when I got here (23 F/ -5C) and has warmed up slightly (37F/2C). One day was brilliant blue skies; today was gray and rainy. That didn’t stop me from walking the Mall and spending the afternoon in the National Museum of Natural History (love the triceratops skeleton) and then the National Gallery of Art. I managed to get through the 18th and 19th century English and American gallery; the Impressionists; and the Dutch and Flemish school. I’m coming back for another conference in February; I’ll finish the Italian Renaissance galleries then. The Dutch and Flemish galleries just blow me away – the still lifes are amazing! It’s humbling when you’re looking at a masterpiece that’s close to six hundred years old, like Rogier van der Weyden’s ‘Portrait of a Lady.’
This evening, walking back to my hotel from the restaurant, the cold chill rain reminded me of those movies set in the cold war where they do a meet-up at the Jefferson Memorial in dreary weather. I expected to see Jack Ryan when I turned around the corner.
Speaking of dinner, this evening I ate at Graffiato, a neat Italian bistro. I started with the smoked beet salad and had the Hobbit pizza. The salad was beets which had been smoked, mixed with pickled grapefruit, and then laid on a bed of some sort of citrus ricotta. It was great. The pizza, though, was phenomenal – a super-thin crust with castelrosso cheese, wild mushrooms, lardo, and crispy rosemary. I was embarrassed that I didn’t need to ask for a box for the non-existent leftovers. I started with a Delas Freres Côtes du Rhône, that really wasn’t much to write home about; it had a rather off taste with the citrus in the beet salad. Then I switched to the Recchia ‘Le Muraie’ Valpolicella Ripasso Classico Superiore. Much more depth – a great pairing with that fantasy pizza.
Here’s the documentary evidence. Hope everybody has a great 2014!