Housewives Nightlife, Episode 2: When everyone decides to stay in
When it came to nightlife, this week's episode of "The Real Housewives of D.C." was about as exciting as watching all the poop dry at Mary Schmidt Amons's house.
Oh, wait. That's because we did watch dog poop dry at Mary Schmidt Amons's house. Then we watched a sweet but hardly splashy dinner party at Stacie Scott Turner's aunt's house.
Doesn't anyone go out in "the District" anymore?
Maybe it's proof that Washington's scene isn't as chic as we (and Bravo execs) imagine it is. More likely it's that Washington's truly swanky clubs and restaurants aren't about to throw their clientele to the wolves -- er, the cameras.
But there were a couple of outings worth noting this week: a lunch date and one red-carpet party.
While Amons can't be bothered to clean up her own house, her 23-year-old daughter, Molly, is defying all the rich kid stereotypes by -- gasp! -- working. Yes, a real job! She's waiting tables at cute Euro-style café Leopold's Kafe & Konditorei in Cady's Alley in Georgetown. Which explains why her mom and increasingly detestable British expat Catherine Ommanney meet there for a testy lunch.
Cady's Alley, a posh little shopping outpost within already posh Georgetown, is pretty "inside Washington," and so is Leopold's. The city is teeming with Europeans (diplomats, students, you name it), and that is likely the reason the city is also packed with great European-inspired cafes. There's Montmartre in Capitol Hill, Café Bonaparte and Patisserie Poupon in Georgetown, and the chains Pret a Manger and Illy in Foggy Bottom (Pret has a new shop in touristy Chinatown, too). All fantastic, all worth slipping into for a Housewives-style lunch in the middle of a weekday, between bank-account-blowing stops at Cusp and hu's shoes, of course.
About that party: Thrown at the Park at 14th as a birthday bash for "sixth housewife" Paul Wharton and hosted by Michaele and Tareq Salahi, the party was, well, a far cry from the club's jam-packed scene during last year's inauguration week. In fact, the megaclub looked kind of empty, and a little garish in the light of day -- nowhere near as exciting as it did in its heyday.
Such is life in the fickle nightclub world. Now, people go to Eden and Buddha Bar, and Wharton told the Express his haunt is L2, where he's a member. Loads of other Washingtonians are taking advantage of the splintering nightlife scene, going to clubs that better reflect the economy, that are less "mega," less ostentatious and less likely to slam you with a variable-rate cover charge -- the sometimes-$20-sometimes-$40-sometimes-$1,000-a-table take at the door.
In fact, the forced glamour of the Salahis' party at the Park -- the red carpet, the limo, the tables -- did have me wondering about what the whole thing cost. (Sure hope club owner Marc Barnes got paid.)
But it gave me a little hope that their outings will again extend beyond Georgetown (to the reader last week who guessed they'd visit Cafe Milano: you hit the nail on the head); check back next week to see if they did.
-- Lavanya Ramanathan
| August 13, 2010; 1:24 AM ET
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