First Foodies explore Washington, D.C.

Michael Richard (on right)
Michael Richard (on right)
Jim Foss
Jim Foss

WASHINGTON, D.C. (KHNL) - America's first couple often leave the White House for special date nights.

And the Obamas like to try different restaurants as they explore Washington D.C.

Here's an inside look at a few restaurants the Obamas have dined at, along with exclusive recipes you can try at home.

The first couple spent date night earlier this month at one of D.C.'s top restaurants, Citronelle.

Chef Michel Richard reveals the secret to being a lure for the Obamas.

"When a customer comes to my restaurant I want to create some emotion, when they eat, 'ooo it's delicious,'" said Richard.

"That's the French in you," said reporter Sandra Endo.

In a semi-private room, the first lady had a lobster burger, the president dined on short ribs.

But if you can't get to Citronelle, Chef Richard has a special recipe you can try at home - porcupine scallops with a pineapple tomato salsa.

"It's a great surprise, when you give it to your friends," he said. "It's crunchy, it's a very elegant crunch."

The secret?

Use shredded phyllo dough to coat the scallops, fry them up, then bake them through. For the salsa, chop pineapples, dice tomatoes, basil, and garlic with some olive oil and salt and pepper.

But dessert is the closer.

Chocolate-covered seedless grapes.

"We give one to Mr. Obama the other day," said Richard.

"Did he like it?" asked Endo.

"He didn't say anything," replied Richard.

For a more casual dining experience, the president gets a little southern flavor at Georgia Brown's. Chef Jim Foss shares this fried green tomato salad recipe and says for the Obamas, location is key.

"Their house is one block away. Number two, the quality of ingredients, we all know the Obamas try to be healthy eaters," Foss said."

Foss recommends buying fresh greens from your farmers market.

And the Obamas also advocate buying fresh and buying local, a good way to go green and also to support the local economy.

First Foodies Recipes


Scallop Porcupine with Pineapple-Tomato Sauce

Serves 4


4 cups 2 inch pieces of kataifi (shredded Phyllo dough)

1/3 cup Flour

1 Egg, at room temperature

1 tablespoon Water

4 Large Scallops

4 cups Oil, for deep frying

Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

Pineapple-Tomato Sauce:

1 cup tomato, peeled, seeded, cut, diced

1/3 cup pineapple, diced

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tesapoon red wine vinegar

6 leaves basil, chopped

Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

For Pineapple-Tomato Sauce:

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl.

For Scallops:

To prep, line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Pull the kataifi out of the bag and cut into 2 inch pieces over a bowl. Separate the threads with your fingers. Refrigerate or freeze the remaining kataifi for another dish.

Place the kataifi on a large plate, and the flour on another. Whisk the egg with water in a bowl until blended. Season the egg with salt & pepper. One at a time, dip the scallops into flour until well coated, patting off the excess. Hold the scallop with tongs and dip into the egg, coating completely, and then into the kataifi. Place the kataifi-dipped scallop in the palm of your hand and compress it into a large neat package, about 2 1/2 in diameter. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining scallop. (This can be prepared ahead and set aside, covered, at room temperature for 1hour or refrigerated until one hour before frying.)

To cook, line a large baking sheet with paper towels. Heat 2" of oil in a wok or a medium saucepan to 350f degrees, or until bubbles form around a chopstick or a wooden spoon handle immersed in the oil. Using tongs, gradually dip 1 scallop into the oil, waiting until the bottom layer of the kataifi sets before immersing the scallop completely. Add additional scallop in the same manner, in batches without crowding. Cook the scallop until golden brown on both sides, for about 3 minutes total. Transfer to paper towels with tongs or a slotted spoon. (This can be cooked several hours ahead. Reheat on towel-lined tray in a preheated 450f degrees oven for 2 to 3 minutes.)

To serve, spoon the Pineapple-Tomato Sauce into the center of 4 plates. Arrange 1 scallop in the center of each. Serve immediately.

Chocolate Grapes

(Happy in the Kitchen)

Makes 3 cups

1 pound cold firm seedless grapes, stems removed

4 ounces 60% semisweet chocolate, melted, at body temperature

1 to 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

Dry the grapes well and place them in a bowl large enough to toss them easily. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper.

Add the chocolate to the grapes about 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring well with a spatula, carefully scraping the sides of the bowl and folding through the center of the grapes to coat all of them evenly.

When the chocolate begins to set, using a small strainer, sprinkle the cocoa powder little by little over the surface. Gently toss or stir the grapes as you sift, continuing to add the cocoa until all of the grapes are well coated and separated. Spread on the prepared sheet.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the chocolate is set, or for up to one day.

Georgia Brown's

Farmers Market Salad with Fried Green Tomato "Croutons", Lemon Vanilla Vinaigrette

(This Salad is truly reflective of seasonal availability and what is extremely fresh in your local markets, I change many of the vegetable components to reflect seasonal availability and urge you to do the same.)


1 1/2; cup Virgin Olive oil

1 Cup Fresh Lemon juice

2 Tbl Shallot, minced

1 Tbl Dijon Mustard

1 tsp Honey

1 tsp Lemon Zest, minced

1/8 ea Vanilla bean, scraped

To taste Salt & Pepper

Place all ingredients into a blender except the oil. With the blender on low speed slowly add the oil to emulsify. Remove and reserve for salad.

Green Tomatoes:

2 ea Green Tomatoes, washed

As needed Filling ( Please see recipe below )

1/2 cup all purpose Flour

1 tsp Salt

1/2 tsp Black Pepper

4 ea Eggs, scrambled

1 cup Panko Bread Crumbs

Remove core from tomatoes and slice 1/4 inch thick, mix flour with salt and pepper. Place 1 Tbl of the filling onto a slice of tomato and spread to cover, place another tomato slice on top, repeat until all tomatoes have been stuffed. Cut Tomatoes into quarters.

Set up a breading station with the seasoned flour, eggs and bread crumbs. Dredge tomatoes into flour and shake off the excess then dip into egg and finally dredge in bread crumbs. Do this until all tomatoes are breaded reserve in refrigerator until needed for service.


1/2 cup Cream Cheese

1/4 cup Goat Cheese

1/4 cup Scallions, sliced

1/4 cup Fresh Basil ( chopped )

1/4 cup Fresh Flat leaf Parsley

1 tsp Salt and Pepper

Place all ingredients into a food processor and process until smooth and well combined.

Fried Green Tomatoes:

3 cups Vegetable Oil

Prepped Tomatoes

As needed Salt & Pepper

In a heavy gauge pan (I like cast iron) heat oil to 325f degrees. Carefully place tomatoes in pan and fry approx. 2 minutes per side or until golden brown and crispy. Remove and place on a wire rack or clean towel, sprinkle with salt and pepper, keep warm.

The Salad:

6 cups Fresh Seasonal FieldGreens (dandelion, frissee, bibb, leafy herbs, etc)

1 cup Teardrop Tomatoes, cut in half ( lengthwise )

1/2 cup Fresh Corn Kernels

1/4 cup Roasted Peanuts

1/4 cup Julienne red onion

1/4 cup Fresh Stone Fruit, peeled & diced

4 oz Goat Cheese


In a large mixing bowl add Salad Mix except the cheese, add enough vinaigrette to coat and toss well. Portion Salad onto plates and crumble the goat cheese on top. Place fried green tomatoes equally onto salads and finish with fresh ground pepper and enjoy!