President Obama has been a regular fixture on the D.C. dining scene since taking office, stopping by restaurants that are strictly fine dining (Komi) and those that have fine fries (Five Guys). Washington City Paper got the scoop from the restaurant owners who have fed the president and his wife, including all the gritty security details.
A visit from Obama might start with a cryptic phone call about a "high-profile VIP" three weeks in advance, or it could mean Secret Service showing up 90 minutes beforehand, as happened to Vermilion on Valentine's Day.
Vermilion general manager Dave Hammond told City Paper that Obama had a reservation under a White House staffer's name. When the advance team arrived, they asked Hammond where he would seat the president. Without thinking, Hammond suggested the front window.
They told him they'd have to shut the street down if they were to put Obama in the front window. The president and first lady ended up at a cozy table upstairs.