In Tysons Corner, a Sparkling Alternative Awaits Sen. Hatch

By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Mormons don't drink, do they? Newcomers to Morton's steakhouse in Tysons Corner might do a double take when they see a wine locker reserved for Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch. After all, most practicing Mormons consume no alcohol, tobacco, coffee or tea.

When the restaurant opened 16 years ago, board Chairman Allen Bernstein gave Hatch one of the free storage spaces -- a perk for VIP customers to keep their personal wine collections. Those bottles in the senator's locker that look like champagne? Martinelli's nonalcoholic sparkling cider, says press secretary Peter Carr. Hatch and his wife, who live nearby in Vienna, drop by the restaurant four to six times a year.

HEY, ISN'T THAT . . . ?

Larry Summers, dropping a fistful of change at a Borders bookstore at Dulles airport and not even bothering to pick it up! Guess when he was Treasury secretary the stuff was just so thick on the ground he stopped noticing it. The former Harvard prez was seen boarding a flight to Frankfurt, Germany, Friday evening.


  • Engaged: Nationals pitcher John Patterson, 29, to former Miss D.C. Shannon Schambeau, 26, after a spring-training proposal last Thursday in Florida. Patterson had planned to rig up some cool popping-of-the-question scenario in D.C., reports our colleague Barry Svrluga, but the engagement ring arrived while she was visiting, and he just couldn't wait. The Nats' No. 1 starter met the Special Olympics legal staffer (who placed in the top five at last year's Miss America pageant) at a gala for the team's charitable foundation in September 2005.
  • Expecting: Tracey Brown James, daughter of the late commerce secretary Ron Brown and his wife, Alma. James, 40, was the center of attention at the all-pink baby shower hosted by Jaci Reid in her Northwest home. Guests got sushi, pink champagne and bottles of pink perfume; the baby girl (due late next month) received -- among a boatload of other presents -- a year's supply of personalized disposable diapers from Juicy Couture.
  • THIS JUST IN . . .

  • D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, who famously gave Stephen Colbert what-for when she appeared on his Comedy Central fake-news show last July, has been invited to go another round with the comic for a show that could air as soon as this week. Unlike other congressional victims of "The Colbert Report" who try a little too hard to be funny, Norton scored by playing the straight man and acting all outraged when Colbert claimed that the District couldn't be part of the United States because it wasn't a state -- ah, maybe you had to be there. She was pretty funny, though. This week's segment -- tentatively scheduled by the cable channel for Thursday, though the delegate's office says nothing's definite yet -- would focus, naturally, on D.C. voting rights.
  • Jury selection began yesterday in the murder trial of rock producer Phil Spector, in what's shaping up to be another L.A. celebrity justice circus -- the proceedings will be aired live. Spector, 66, who arrived in court with a new blond shag, is accused of killing actress Lana Clarkson four years ago; he calls the death an "accidental suicide."

    "So the Florida Gators had the nation's toughest schedule, and instead of wearing them down, it made them tougher; instead of, like, discouraging them that they got the bad deal . . . all that did was cause them to play harder. . . . Like you might remember, all the pre-game polls said you couldn't win. So much for polls."

    -- President Bush, welcoming the 2006 NCAA national football champions to the White House yesterday, the fourth anniversary of the start of war in Iraq.

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