It was so crowded at the opening party of Tadich Grill that strategic maneuvers were necessary to slice through the throngs of A-listers sipping champagne Wednesday night.
Washington’s newest scenester watering hole is the first Tadich Grill to open apart from the famous San Francisco location, which opened more than 160 years ago, making it the nation’s third-oldest restaurant.
Co-owner Yvette Buich said the team explored expanding into other cities such as Chicago and Seattle, but once the Penn Ave spot, which can hold 171 people in the main dining room, opened up across from the old post office building, she knew D.C. was the city.
“It’s all about location,” she said.
Proving her point was the strong showing of political types who showed up for banquet tables overflowing with fresh seafood and the resto’s famous cioppino. Political VIP’s such as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), Rep. Jim Costa (D-Calif.), Hunter Biden and political pundit Mark Russell attended. And other bold-facers such as former astronaut Bill Readdy, former congressman Tom McMillen (D-Md.) and ESPN show host Tony Kornheiser made appearances
There were also Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy and his wife, Mary Davis, reliving their first date at the original Tadich Grill some five decades before. That little factoid could point to the restaurant’s appeal among the Washington power dining set.
“I’ve always been an old-school guy,” said head chef Wil Going, who spent eight years at Chef Geoff’s, “and you don’t get more old school than Tadich Grill.”