First, the White House nixes its visitor logs, and now this? Cafe Milano — the Georgetown Italian spot known as a VIP favorite — has added frosted glass doors to its side dining room to give its regular rotation of boldface diners (including those from the Trump administration) a better chance of enjoying their risotto undetected.
It’s another blow to transparency in Washington, quite literally.
In Trump’s Washington, leaks are out, at least nominally, and discretion rules. Members of Trump’s Cabinet are frequent Milano patrons these days. (The newly opaque doors are the very ones beyond which a tipster told us about a dinner between Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.) — a story that, according to a piece in the New York Times, caused headaches for the management.)
Owner Franco Nuschese says the change was meant to keep his diners away from the prying eyes of gawkers, who could step inside the restaurant and peer into the dining room. “The doors are right in front of the podium — people will see the SUVs and they want to know who’s here,” he says. And he says it’s not a Trump-era-specific change. “Nobody asked me to do it,” he says.
Still, the sightings continue: On Wednesday, a diner spotted Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and his wife, Hilary Geary Ross, out for a bite with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and his fiancee, Louise Linton.
The party was about to be seated in the main dining room, our tipster says, when Nuschese whisked them away to the more private side room.