Patrick O’Connell is a perfectionist, so it was no surprise that he somehow produced a flawless summer night for the Inn at Little Washington’s 40th anniversary party.
More than 300 guests — including French Ambassador Gérard Araud, celebrity chefs José Andrés and Daniel Boulud, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, White House social secretary Rickie Niceta, philanthropist Jackie Mars, International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde and George Washington himself — gathered at Mount Vernon over the weekend to fete one of America’s most celebrated restaurants, awarded two stars by Michelin.
“Tonight is an invitation to reflect on the last four decades of our lives and consider what makes a place endure in a culture that reinvents itself every 15 minutes,” chef-owner O’Connell told the VIP crowd. “It’s actually pretty simple: Every day we just try to make it a little bit better than it was the day before.”
The night began with champagne and caviar, moved on to dinner on the lawn with a luxurious menu (foie gras in a golden egg, anyone?) and ended with dessert and fireworks over the Potomac River. All proceeds went to the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association; “President Washington” declared the party “a fine thing.”