Presidential State Dinner

Joined Jan 3, 2005
Out of curiosity, I read the menu for tonight's state dinner in honor of Angela Merkel.  It was titled "Spring Harvest Dinner" and sounded delicious.  But dessert was apple strudel...for a spring menu?? Am I missing something?

I recently had to order a case of apples at work and they are quite awful this time of year.  Early varieties of cherries are starting to show up in our farmer's markets, why not cherry strudel?

I know a lot of places are guilty of using out-of-season produce, it just surprises me with all of Chef Kass' discussion of seasonal and regional ingredients that something 6-months off peak would be featured in a course.
Joined May 5, 2010
Apples that are sold this time of year were harvested last fall and kept in humidity and temperature controlled warehouses.
Joined Apr 3, 2010
If mrs. Obama plans the dinner God knows? I hope it;s not the way she dresses.
Joined Feb 1, 2007
What amazed me were the comments: few had anything cogent to say about the menu. Rather, the vast majority used it as a platform for presidential bashing---with their biases (and, often, room temperature IQs) showing.

I agree with you, Jellly, a desert that was more seasonal might have been a better choice. I also thought parts of it were kind of trite----I mean, how much more tuna tartare are we going to be subjected to.


Staff member
Joined Jun 11, 2001
Kinda understated menu if you ask me.  Nothing special but probably by design.  The meal is not the focus of the visit.
Joined Jun 14, 2002
I think the accompaniments to the tuna tartar where more interesting then the tartar itself. Carrots and mustard oil is something I really like in Indian style pickles. Never thought of shaved ham and gingersnaps before. Sounds interesting.
Apple Strudel
Golden Raisins and Tophen
What's Tophen?

Here's what the Chinese got in jan:
D'Anjou Pear with Farmstead Goat Cheese Fennel, Black Walnuts, and White Balsamic
Poached Maine Lobster
Orange Glaze Carrots and Black Trumpet Mushrooms

Wine: DuMol Chardonnay "Russian River" 2008 (California)

Lemon Sorbet

Dry Aged Rib Eye with Buttermilk Crisp Onions
Double Stuffed Potatoes and Creamed Spinach

Wine: Quilceda Creek Cabernet "Columbia Valley" 2005 (Washington State)

Old Fashioned Apple Pie
with Vanilla Ice Cream

Wine: Poet's Leap Riesling "Botrytis" 2008 (Washington State)
The Indians in Nov
Potato and Eggplant Salad
White House Arugula w/ Onion Seed Vinaigrette
2008 Savingnon Blanc, Modus Operandi, Napa Valley

Red Lentil Soup w Fresh Cheese
2006 Riesling, Brooks "Ara", Wilamette Valley
Roast Potato Dumplings w Tomato Chutney
Chick Peas and Okra or Green Curry Prawns w caramelized Salsify w smoke Collard Greens and coconut aged basmati
2007 Granache Beckman Vineyards, Santa Ynez, CA

Pumpkin pie tart
Pear tatin
Whipped Cream and Caramel sauce
Sparkling Chardonnay, Thibaut Janisson Brut, Monticello, VA

Petits fours and Coffee
Cashew Brittle
Pecan Pralines
Passion fruit and vanilla gelees
Chocolate dipped fruit
The Mexicans May
Jicama with Oranges, Grapefruit, and Pineapple
Citrus Vinaigrette
Ulises Valdez Chardonnay 2007 "Russian River"

Herb Green Ceviche of Hawaiian Opah
Sesame-Cilantro Cracker

Oregon Wagyu Beef in Oaxacan Black Mole
Black Bean Tamalon and Grilled Green Beans
Herrera Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 "Selección Rebecca"

Chocolate-Cajeta Tart
Toasted Homemade Marshmallows
Graham Cracker Crumble and Goat Cheese Ice Cream
Mumm Napa "Carlos Santana Brut" N/V
Joined Jan 3, 2005
Ooh, that dinner for the Mexican visit sounds delicious (well, at least the savory courses.  Personally, I am not in love with cajeta).
Joined Jun 14, 2002
I dig the cateja, but usually the cow versions.

I'd be in the mood for the chinese menu, but with the mexican dessert.

IIRC, Bayless did the Mexican state dinner, and Marcus Samualson did the Indian state dinner.
Joined Feb 1, 2007
What's Tophen?

It's sort of like a sweet cottage cheese. A curd cheese, at any rate, often used in German and Austrian desserts.
Joined Jun 14, 2002
What's Tophen?

It's sort of like a sweet cottage cheese. A curd cheese, at any rate, often used in German and Austrian desserts.
Ah, thanks! They used an unusual spelling for it, so the almighty google was useless.

Basically it's quark. Cool
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