DBGB’s Washington, D.C., Opening Party:

Daniel Boulud’s DBGB Kitchen and Bar held its grand opening party on Friday night, September 12th, welcoming a massive throng of guests, including other chef luminaries such as Carla Hall to José Andrés. The opening of the Washington, D.C., DBGB has been highly anticipated, and the event more than lived up to the hype. You can bet the restaurant, a French-American bistro and brasserie, will do the same, too.

Located within the new City Center, DBGB DC is spectacularly designed, with floor to ceiling windows ensconcing its massive corner space, filled with famous and revelatory cooking and food quotes. The mirrors behind the bar continue with the trend, but here showcase quotes and odes to drinking instead, with sources ranging from Frank Sinatra to Homer Simpson.

Another signature aspect of DBGB’s design are the walls filled with individually decorated plates, sent over from famous chefs and friends far and wide. Each plate offers a glimpse into the mind of that chef. Are they self-promotional? Serious or funny? Simply all about good food? Dedicated to a particular ingredient? It’s addictive to browse the walls, find another recognized name and see what they came up with.

The food at the opening was fantastic, diverse and seemingly endless. In the private event space in the second floor, accessible via elevator, there was a champagne bar and a massive raw bar, decked out with huge morsels of fresh lobster, shrimp, oysters and a glitzy Washington Monument ice sculpture which towered over the room.

Downstairs, there was a carving station with a whole leg of lamb, serving up juicy, thinly sliced pieces, as well as charcuterie and cheese stations, showcasing an assortment of house specialties, ranging from pates, terrines and head cheese, to a Boudin blood sausage, and a Boudin blanc, made without the blood.

The house-made sausages are one of the key components of DBGB’s menu, and other varieties were passed around in bite-size sandwich form, including the delicious Thai, a pork sausage served up with lemongrass and red curry. Several of the specialty burgers were also available in slider form, including The Frenchie, a burger topped with pork belly, along with another burger topped with a crab cake. If there was a single highlight amidst all of this wonderful food, it was the delectable, craveable tomato Arancini, which stands apart as the best I’ve ever had — and trust me, I’ve had more than my share.

That only scratches the surface of the food being served, and assuredly, everyone left having had their fill. Meanwhile, the busy bartenders served up several house cocktails, such as the Ginger Scotsman, made with Hendrick’s gin, ginger liqueur and lime, and the Lumiere, with Tito’s vodka, rosemary and lemon. The Dalmore whisky being served was kicked before the party was even half through.

The night was capped with a speech from Boulud, and the presentation of a massive Baked Alaska which is a celebratory tradition for his staff and restaurants.

Truly, it was an event and evening to be remembered, and DBGB DC, kicked off in style, will surely be here to stay.