Gramercy Park Block Association - Neighborhood News #531
President Obama comes to Gramercy Park
 Photo by Mark Tenniswood
The Secret Service men and Presidential motorcade outside the side entrance to Maialino Restaurant, where the Obamas had dinner Friday evening.

Obama Foodarama
Friday April 11, 2014

President Obama and First Lady Have Dinner at Gramercy Park's Maialino, Joined by Friends
The First Couple first had dinner at Maialino, a Roman trattoria in the Gramercy Park Hotel. 
New York City, NY - Obama, party of seven, your table is ready: President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama dined for more than two hours on Friday evening with five friends at Maialino, an upscale and critically lauded "Roman trattoria" in the chic Gramercy Park Hotel.  

After, their Big Apple date continued on Broadway, where they took in the revival of the play A Raisin in the Sun at the Barrymore Theatre.

At the early dinner, their first-ever at the hot-spot that features roasted pig as a specialty and an "all-Italian" wine list, Mr. and Mrs. Obama were "joined by friends Elizabeth Alexander, Kelly and Andrew Dibble, Valerie Jarrett and Ahmad Rashad," the White House said. 

The presidential party arrived at the hotel on the warm evening shortly after 5:10 PM amidst an intense scrum of local police and Secret Service, with street closures that brought the city to a halt during rush hour.
[Maialino photo: Krieger; Obama photo: The White House

Maialino means "little pig," the hotel's helpful concierge informed the press pool, when describing the roasted pig that is the house specialty.  The press was held far from the Obama eating action, with patrons in the restaurant getting a better view of the First Couple and their party, and Tweeting and Instagramming from the bar and from out front.  

The eatery is a "Roman style trattoria from Danny Meyer's Union Square Hospitality Group," notes the company website, "with a menu that is reflective of the rich culture of both Rome and New York."  The Executive Chef is Nick Anderer, and Maialino offers private dining rooms.  It is pricey:  Entrees range from $28-$72.  

Per usual policy, the White House gave no details about the Obamas' dinner selections.

With Jarrett and Rashad, the President and Mrs. Obama departed Maialino after their dinner, heading for the Barrymore Theatre with the motorcade rolling at 8:03 PM through Gramercy Park.  It was "completely shutdown with an amazing sea of police lights illuminating the path," pool reported.  Thousands of people lined the way, "especially when the motorcade snaked through the bright bulbs of Time Square," pool reported.

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