- The Washington Times - Monday, June 8, 2009

The winners are…

Green and Glover were honored to present the Chef of the Year award to Robert Wiedmaier, owner of Washington’s Brasserie Beck and Marcel’s, during Sunday night’s 27th annual Rammy awards gala, hosted by the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington at the Omni Shoreham Hotel.

Old Town Alexandria must be doing something right, because two of its best restaurants received awards. Restaurant Eve was tapped as the year’s fine-dining honoree, and Anthony Chittum, executive chef at Vermilion, was named Rising Culinary Star.

Chef Michel Richard (owner of Central Michel Richard in Penn’s Quarter and his flagship restaurant, Citronelle in Georgetown) took the award for Power Spot for Central.

Nearly 1,000 guests attended the black-tie event.

A portion of proceeds from the gala will benefit the RAMW Education Foundation. The funds will help area high school students develop viable careers in the restaurant industry through scholarships for post-secondary education in restaurant- and hospitality-related fields.

A night at Opera ball

The stage was set for a drama befitting a Wagnerian opera at the Washington National Opera’s annual ball Friday evening at the German Embassy, where two of the most-talked-about names in politics these days collided in the same room.

Enter stage left: Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, the Vermont Democrat and irascible chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will decide the fate of Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor.

Enter stage right: Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., the man who would become Judge Sotomayor’s new boss. (His middle name, incidentally, is Glover. How cool is that?)

Rarely seen out and about - especially at a glitzy party - the jurist seemed slightly nonplussed by his rock-star treatment as ball patrons stood agog at the young and handsome legal eagle sans his ubiquitous black robe.

“I don’t mind at all,” he said with genuine grace as he gamely shook hands, posed for photos and waited in line at the bar like every other mortal.

Although we didn’t see Mr. Leahy and Chief Justice Roberts engaged in intense conversation about Judge Sotomayor, they both shared their personal connections to opera.

Justice Roberts said his wife, Jane Sullivan Roberts, got him interested in opera “20 years ago.”

“She’s very Irish, and she takes him back to Ireland all the time,” volunteered the part-Irish Mr. Leahy while offering his admiration for Mrs. Roberts - who pulled her husband away from us just as we were getting into their love of music.

As for Mr. Leahy, the senator explained that his love of opera is in his blood, as his mother, Alba Zambon Leahy, was an Italian- American.

The senator’s other love - besides his wife, Marcelle, who attended the ball with him - is photography.

Friday was “the one time I forgot it,” he told G2, referring to his camera.

Too bad. A photo of Mr. Leahy with Chief Justice Roberts would have made one heck of a picture for his photo album.

Dog night of summer

What comes between ABC’s “This Week” anchor George Stephanopoulos and his wife, actress-comic-author Alexandra “Ali” Wentworth?

Their dogs, apparently.

As G2 reported last week, Steph would be a no-show at Saturday’s Washington Humane Society’s annual Bark Ball.

However, the couple sent a video message for the guests that said that they like to sleep with the two mixed-breed pooches they adopted from a WHS pound.

By the way, the pups are males, rounding out the Stephanopoulos family, which has two daughters.

To contact Stephanie Green and Elizabeth Glover, e-mail undercover@washington times.com.

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