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Mario Batali on Cooking the Obamas’ Last White House State Dinner, Plus More Intel

Mini news bites for the morning

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White House executive pastry chef Susan Morrison, chef Mario Batali, White House executive chef Cris Comerford
Daniela Galarza/
Missy Frederick is the Cities Director for Eater.

Obama Endorsed

Mario Batali is in town because he is cooking the final State Dinner at the White House tonight, honoring Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi and his wife, Agnese Landini. He’ll be preparing courses ranging from sweet potato agnolotti with butter and sage to a green apple crostata with thyme caramel and buttermilk gelato. The preparations have been about two months in the making, though the chef says he’s been emotionally preparing for the event his whole life. American ingredients are at the forefront for the event, and a dozen Navy SEALs are helping out with preparations. And yes, he plans to wear his orange crocs unless told otherwise (the chef was also spotted wearing them at Off the Record last night, where he was hanging out with friends from Babbo at a big table in the back of the bar).

Scallops on pause

The return of the Chesapeake scallop has been delayed a bit. Rappahannock Oyster Company was trying to bring back the depleted mollusk by fall, but the process is taking longer than expected; they’re now predicting a fall 2017 arrival. [Washingtonian]

Arbitrary listicles

Playboy’s list of best bars in America is out; Columbia Room makes the short list, while Left Door makes the long list. [PB]

Shit people steal

Jerks, stay away from The Queen Vic’s flag. A Marine Corps Flag, given to the bar by a retired Marine vet, was taken from the Atlas District bar around 3:30 a.m. Saturday morning. “If you don't return it I know that you will be haunted this Halloween season by platoon of Fallen Marines,” the restaurant said on Facebook. [FB]