AT&T’s 2015 Best of Washington Party

The AT&T 2015 Best of Washington Party was held on Wednesday night at the National Building Museum. The annual Washingtonian-hosted event benefits The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, both through a massive silent auction and with a portion of ticket sales, and once again brought together a diverse collection of D.C.’s top restaurants and bars along with several thousand revelers for a celebratory evening.

Each year at the Best of Washington party, certain themes and food trends emerge. At the top of the list this year was simply all things dessert.

There were doughnuts, from Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken, District Doughnuts, and Pizzeria Orso, as well as savory Chinese doughnuts from Toki Underground; gelato from Dolcezza and Dolci Gelati Truck; mini cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcake and Sprinkles, vanilla-bean panna cotta from Ghibellina, Ice Cream Jubilee served mini ice cream cones with an assortment of unique flavors; and macarons from Olivia Macaron.

11 places to get your sweet tooth fix.

Gazpacho and chilled soups were also prominent. DBGB served a cucumber gazpacho with smoked salmon and marcona-almond cream; Graffiato offered a cucumber-melon gazpacho with prosciutto salt; The Liberty Tavern served a lobster and piquillo pepper gazpacho; Iron Gate served chilled pea soup with shrimp, dill and house yogurt; Poste served chilled carrot soup with poached shrimp; Westend Bistro served a pea soup with shrimp; and the Proof-Estadio-Doi Moi team also served a chilled soup.

7 chilled soups.

All things Pan-Asian and Indian were well represented, too, showcasing DC’s ever-growing love affair with foods from those regions. Bangkok Golden served a curry tofu dish, as well as a chicken larb; Elephant Jumps served slow-cooked pork curry; Passage to India offered bean patties and chicken kebabs; Rasika offered seared ahi tuna with a mint and coconut chutney; Ping Pong Dim Sum had Bao sliders; Kogiya served miso pork belly and bulgogi steak; Thai Taste by Kob offered an assortment of skewers and a sweet potato and chicken Lucky Bag wonton; Passionfish and Sushi Rock both had tuna sushi; Spice 6 had mini rice bowls; and Takorean offered a deconstructed taco of sorts, grilled chicken with kimchee slaw.

13 (or more) Asian or Indian choices, including the aforementioned Toki Underground, and Daikaya (below).

More than usual, many establishments served up their own libations, in addition to what could be found at the main bars and vendor bars. There was blackberry sangria from Boqueria and white peach sangria from Matchbox; sake bombs from Toki Underground; a rye sour cocktail from Denson Liquor Bar; a perfectly-made classic daiquiri from Restaurant Eve; two cocktails from Lost & Found; wines from Flight Wine Bar and Vinoteca; and of course, beer from Port City.

9 watering holes beyond the bars — and surely several have been lost to memory, with my apologies.

Point being — if you wanted soup, Asian cuisine, dessert, or booze, you were well-covered.

Beyond that, a few of the evening’s true standout dishes included the smoked albacore tuna sausage from BlackSalt, the lamb albondigas from Boqueria, the fig, burrata and duck proscuitto plate from Lupo Verde; the house-made chorizo from Tico, and the Ramen Bhelpuri, an Indian street snack with a Japanese twist, from Daikaya.

Beyond the Twitter-trending-worthy foods, the overall theme of the affair was a 1920s Academy Awards party. Chocolate cigars and candy cigarettes were handed out, flappers adorned the bar along with vintage rides, and there was even a cigar rolling station. If that was too much of a blast from the past, you could head on over and experience a virtual reality headset video experience from AT&T.

As always with Best of Washington, another successful and indulgent evening, and another big boost to the LLS, which makes you feel just a bit better after all of the stomach-stretching excess.

Check out more details on the event and its official recap and highlights.