1220 19th Street NW, Washington, DC 20036 | (202) 835-0459

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i Ricchi Story on “Our Town” Podcast

When Washington legend Andy Ockershausen calls, you answer! This Summer I was delightfully surprised when he asked to interview me for his broadcast, “Our Town.” I have followed Andy for many years as the familiar voice of DC on WMAL radio. Andy’s broadcasting career closely connected him with US presidents, sports heroes and all kinds of notable persons of influence. He combines this with decades of experience and knowledge of DC life and brings a unique perspective to his interviews with key Washingtonians on his podcast. One of his most notable interviews was with legendary News4 news anchor, Jim Vance, shortly before he passed in July. In a time when our city is changing so rapidly, I think it important (and very entertaining) to remember the personalities who contributed to the unique fiber of Washington. During the first season of “Our Town,” he talked with over 50 guests from various walks of life like Sonny Jurgensen, Chip Akridge, Bill Regardie and Catherine Meloy (CEO of Greater Washington Goodwill).

What a delight it was to discuss the story of i Ricchi with this witty, iconic broadcaster, explaining how we seek not just to serve food but to build a sense of community at our restaurant. Our story shows how creative ideas, committed staff and persistence has kept us going for 28 years in spite of the constantly changing DC dining scene. During the interview, I was compelled to recount a disastrous, but amusing episode involving Israel’s Prime Minister, Shimon Peres, when he was here with a large entourage, including the Israeli Secret Service. You”ll have to listen to learn “the rest of the story,” but it involved 12 full glasses of limoncello – and it wasn’t pretty! Click here to hear more on this story, my life in Italy and our vision to make i Ricchi a haven for everyone in our extended community.

Sizzling Summer Nights at i Ricchi

We have an exciting array of events in August from Italian cultural traditions and spirits tastings to educational culinary experiences all designed to tantalize your taste buds and entertain.

Sample Bruichladdich Classic Laddie Scotch whiskey described as “smooth as pebbles in a pool . . . clean, fresh and lively with both the oak and the grain in perfect harmony” with a favorite cigar at our Spirits Tasting & Cigar Smoker, Thursday, August 10 at 6 pmFind out more about whiskey  Also, you will be able to try i Ricchi’s very own Botanist Gin Ricchi made with fresh lime juice and basil.

Once again, we will be participating in Restaurant Week, Monday-Saturday, August 14-19, so be sure to check out our menus for 3-course lunches at $22 and dinners at $35.  Reserve your table now

Tuscans prepare long communal tables in the streets and feast on local specialties during the Palio di Siena annual horse race every July and August as you can see in the picture. We will transform our Piazza to recreate that sense of camaraderie and merriment on the day of the race in Italy at our Palio Party, Wednesday, August 16 at 7 pm. Sample Sienese specialities like “Pasta della Misera” – an almost forgotten dish popular after World War I of homemade pasta with pancetta, tomato, chickpeas and Tuscan pecorino.   If you missed our Cena Bianca (White Dinner) in June, you definitely don’t want to miss this one! Buy tickets now!

We’ll have fun with your favorite furry companions later on this month.  Bring your pet to dinner outside Wednesday, August 23 for our Pets on the Piazza.  Make your reservation starting at 5:30 pm. Find out more below, and if you share a picture of your pet on our Facebook page, you could win a gift certificate from the Cheeky Puppy AND a gourmet dinner for your pet!  What is his favorite meal – hamburger, steak, tuna?  We’ll let him decide!

Good food is our specialty, but we also like to provide informative events so you can host great parties on your own. Cheese boards can become the centerpiece of your party when you know how to choose and arrange the right cheeses and their accompaniments. Alice Bergen Phillips, owner of Cheesemonster, is a cheese expert with an artistic hand who will educate us on how to craft our own unique boards. The only limit is your imagination.  Read more and get tickets for our Summer Entertaining with Cheese, Thursday, August 24 at 6 pm.

Chef Ricchi: The Pathway to Success

Recently I was honored to be interviewed by Executive Leaders Radio. Their approach to interviewing CEOs is different.  It is all very fluid with a particular emphasis on childhood education, family and experiences between the ages of 8 and 14. It appears there is a direct correlation between those experiences and the life path one has chosen.  It certainly was a revelation to me!  Tune in Sunday, July 16 from 9-10 am on WFED/1500AM or simulcast on WWFD/820AM (www.federalnewsradio.com) to hear my story. It will also broadcast nationally on Saturday, July 22, from 7-8 am and Tuesday, July 25 from 7-8 pm on Biz Talk Radio: www.biztalkradio.com and tunein.com.  To view other interviews, go to our media page.

Iconic Women’s Menu at Dinner with Joan Wages

As a woman entrepreneur, I want to give my customers opportunities to learn more about the significance of women in our culture. Joan Wages, the President and CEO of the National Women’s History Museum, has passionately raised awareness about women’s roles in history for almost 20 years. In December 2014, her tireless efforts moved Congress to create a Congressional Commission to study the creation of a National Women’s History Museum which the president approved.  Find out more about the museum  We are very pleased to welcome her this Thursday at 7 pm to talk about how food preparation has influenced women throughout history at our Dinner with Joan Wages: Women’s History with Food. We are also donating $10 of everyone’s $69 entrance fee to help build the museum!

The menu we will serve was custom designed to highlight women who have had a marked influence on American restaurant culture.  In 1938, during the Great Depression, newly widowed Hattie Moseley Austin opened Hattie’s Chicken Shack in Saratoga Springs, NY, investing only $33. She fed people from every class and was known for feeding even those who couldn’t pay. She would say, “Whenever anybody comes to the door, give ’em something to eat. They may be Jesus.” Although Hattie sold the original restaurant in 1993, Hattie’s Chicken Shack is still operational serving her original recipes, notably her famous fried chicken and biscuits. Read more

It was my great honor to meet Ruth Fertel before her passing in 2002. She has been an inspiration to me and countless others. In 1965, as a divorced, single mother of 2, she mortgaged her home to buy the failing Chris’ Steak House in New Orleans. She had no restaurant experience and knew nothing about steak, but she was determined to make it work.  The community supported her making Ruth’s Chris Steak House an unprecedented success. In an effort to achieve a better life for her children and herself, Ruth transformed a difficult situation into an inspirational story: she became the quintessential female, risk-assuming entrepreneur.  Read more about her

Ella Brennan is, without a doubt, the mother of American restaurants. She put New Orleans on the map as the centerpiece of the whole American food movement. In the 1940s she was pushed into the business by her brother when she was very young and inexperienced. When he died suddenly, she was forced to learn all she could as quickly as possible in order to carry on. That was the beginning of the Brennan culinary empire.  Today she is the matriarch of an extended family of restaurateurs that employ nearly 1400 people. At her flagship, Commander’s Palace, she has mentored numerous talents including celebrity chefs Paul Prudhomme and Emeril Lagasse.  Learn more  Her documentary “Ella Brennan: Commanding the Table” was released last month on Netflix.

Want to taste dishes created by these historic women? See the menu, and get your tickets now!

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